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McGill University Summer Program promotional poster features images of fighters

The McGill University promotional poster features images of fighters brandishing machine guns that recognized terrorist organizations.

Anti-Semitism in McGill University

Anti-Semitism at McGill University/ Instagram

 The prestigious McGill University in Montreal, Canada, has become embroiled in controversy, not the first time, surrounding a program titled “Revolutionary Youth Summer Program,”  organized by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), a student-led group at McGill.

What has sparked outrage is the program’s promotional poster, which features images of fighters brandishing machine guns – weapons associated with recognized terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.

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The International March of the Living (MOL), an organization dedicated to Holocaust education, has strongly condemned the program, calling it a dangerous manifestation of hatred and violence.

The MOL, deeply disturbed by the imagery, considers it inappropriate to target young people with messages glorifying violence. They argue that such content contradicts the fundamental values of education and the free exchange of ideas that a university like McGill should uphold.

The MOL has issued a strong call to action. They urge McGill University to take immediate steps to shut down the program and dismantle the “illegal encampments” reportedly set up on campus in support of the Palestinian cause. The encampments have been present since late April.

The MOL’s condemnation extends to social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, demanding the removal of any posts promoting violence. Additionally, they urge social media companies to implement stricter monitoring mechanisms to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The controversy has resonated deeply within the Montreal Jewish community, particularly among Holocaust survivors. Angele Orosz, a survivor who frequently educates at the Montreal Holocaust Museum and participates in the MOL programs, expressed her fear and frustration.

“What’s happening today at McGill is so frightening for me,” Orosz shared. “I came to Canada to escape antisemitism, and now my grandchildren are suffering. This is unbearable.” Her story, along with the concerns of the MOL, sheds light on the potential impact such rhetoric can have on survivors and future generations.

Shmuel Rosenman, Chair of the MOL, and Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, President, emphasize that education should never promote violence. They believe the university and social media platforms have strayed from their core values and urge them to refocus on fostering peaceful dialogue and understanding.

The controversy at McGill University highlights the broader issue of balancing free speech with promoting tolerance and respect. Universities are responsible for creating an environment where diverse viewpoints can be expressed constructively.

However, fostering hatred and violence has no place in academic discourse. The situation calls for a nuanced discussion on responsible activism and ensuring educational programs promote critical thinking and peacebuilding.

The McGill University administration has not publicly responded to the MOL’s accusations and demands. Only time will tell how the university plans to address this issue. However, one thing is certain: the program has sparked a vital conversation about responsibility, education, and the dangers of glorifying violence.



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