The regulatory body for Ontario lawyers and paralegals is declining to comment on an anti-Israel letter issued by a group of law students at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) in support of “all forms of Palestinian resistance.”
The open letter, which has since been deleted, called on the law school’s leadership to denounce Israel. It claimed Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, is “is not a country” but rather “the brand of a settler colony.”
“We are declining the opportunity to comment,” said a spokesperson for the Law Society of Ontario. True North reached out to ask if the regulator believes it is acceptable for aspiring lawyers to hold such views.
“So-called Israel has been illegally occupying and ethnically cleansing Palestine since 1948, when the British unlawfully conceded Palestine’s territory,” claimed the students’ letter. “The apartheid state referred to as ‘Israel’ is a product of settler colonialism.”
The students went on to say that they “support all forms of Palestinian resistance and efforts toward liberation” and that the Hamas attack that killed at least 1400 innocent people was a “direct result of Israel’s 75-year-long systemic campaign to eradicate Palestinians.
“Israel is therefore responsible for all loss of life in Palestine. To say otherwise is to accept and endorse colonialism in all its forms: there would be no death if not for Israel’s apartheid regime.”
According to the law students, the current situation is “neither a war, nor a conflict.”
Instead, it is a situation where Palestinians “are the subjects of Israel’s colonization and genocide.”
Hence, they “condemn any statement that denies or shifts away from the narrative of colonialism, or which equates the struggle of the oppressed with the acts of their oppressor.”
The students also claimed that Canada is a “settler colony” that is an “architect of apartheid.”
“As people living in a settler colony on the lands of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, we are directly implicated in the violence taking place in Palestine, both historically and on-going–the ‘Canadian’ state itself is considered the architect of apartheid.”
TMU’s Lincoln Alexander School of Law condemned the letter, which they said was rooted in “sentiments of antisemitism and intolerance.”
“The letter does not represent the views of our law school or the many students, faculty, staff and community members that are committed to upholding our values of inclusivity, dignity, and respect,” the school said.
“The law school does not tolerate anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or statements that promote violence, terrorism, discrimination, racism, and hate.”
The TMU law students’ statement is just the latest case of radical anti-Zionist and anti-Israel activism in Canadian universities.
As previously reported by True North, student unions at York University issued a joint statement stating that the events that took place in “so-called Israel” serve as “a reminder that resistance against colonial violence is justified and necessary.”
The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union also issued an anti-Israel statement, in which it said it stood “in solidarity with all Palestinians and innocent civilians affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza and around its borders.”
At McGill, an official campus club praised Hamas’s action as “heroic” and “monumental” in a Facebook post. The group also cheered on the launching of rockets and the taking of hostages.
Several Canadian professors also expressed support online for Palestinians “taking their land back,” decrying so-called Israeli “colonialism.”