Motion ordering Jewish student to cancel Israel trip or resign
December 13, 2019
By David Lazarus
MONTREAL (JTA)—A Jewish student leader at McGill University in Montreal was fighting efforts to oust her from the student union for accepting a trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Jordyn Wright, a member of the Student Society of McGill University’s legislative council and board of directors, said she is “outraged and disgusted” by the student society’s call on Thursday for her to resign for agreeing to the trip sponsored by Hillel.
She is refusing to resign or quit the trip, despite the threat of impeachment upon return.
The trip, called Face to Face, leaves at the end of the month and includes visiting Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria.
“As a Jew, my connection to Israel is one core aspect of my identity, and I hoped that the trip would help me experience Israel through a new lens,” Wright explained in a post on Facebook.
She called the effort to have her resign “anti-Semitic.”
“The SSMU president singled me out and actively encouraged others to attack me,” she said in the post, adding that a non-Jewish counselor also planning to be on the trip has not received the same treatment.
A co-chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, said in a statement: “[W]e are once again witnessing misuse of the student government platform to exclude a Jewish student. The SSMU’s persistent abuse of power and displays of hostility toward Jewish and pro-Israel students are clearly not representative of McGill’s mainstream student population.
“We call on McGill students to reclaim the SSMU from the ideological fringes and rebuild an open, tolerant and inclusive campus environment,” he said.
In a turn around, McGill University’s student union did not ratify a call for Wright to resign for accepting a free trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The student union’s board of directors—its chief governing body—rejected the motion on Monday.
Wright was the only McGill student, and the sole Jewish participant, singled out in the motion. At least one other non-Jewish student from McGill and its student union, the Students’ Society McGill University, is attending the trip.
“CIJA (The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs) applauds the SSMU’s board of directors for unequivocally rejecting the legislative council’s discriminatory motion targeting a Jewish student leader,” the centre’s Quebec co-chair, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, said in a statement.
Wright was invited on the trip, called Face to Face, by Hillel Montreal.
She was identified by Hillel as “an invaluable student to have on this trip due to your student leadership experience and connections on campus.”