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The anti-Israel encampments occupying Canadian university campuses have seen disturbing amounts of antisemitism, hate and far-left extremism.

The hateful behaviour seen on campuses puts into question the claims that the encampments are peaceful “anti-war” protests that simply seek to have universities divest from Israel. Furthermore, it is believed that many protesters involved in these encampments are not even students.

True North has compiled a list of concerning incidents that have taken place in the Canadian campus encampments.

Members of the Jewish community targeted at U of T:

There have been numerous cases of Jewish community members being targeted by protesters at the University of Toronto encampment. 

A 24-year-old Ukrainian-Israeli immigrant named Moshe Zelig says he was attacked by a group of pro-Palestinian activists for wearing an Israeli flag. Protesters attempted to steal the flag, claiming it was a “terrorist flag”

In an exclusive interview with True North, Zelig said that leading up to the attack, he was called anti-Jewish slurs, called a “dirty Jew” in both Arabic and English, and told to “go back to Poland.”

Protesters also tried to stop several Jewish professors from entering the encampment. A video captured by Rebel News shows a Jewish professor wearing a kippah at the encampment gates being called a “f**king retard.” In another video, a Jewish professor who was being denied entry was called antisemitic slurs.

The National Post reported that those seeking to enter the encampment must declare that they agree with pro-Palestinian positions, including supporting a Palestinian right to “resistance.” 

Iraqi Jew told to “go back to Europe” at McGill: 

Michael Eshayek, an Israeli student whose family originates from Iraq, was confronted by protesters at the McGill encampment and told to “go back to Europe.” 

When he informed them that his family was from Iraq, they told him “go back to Iraq then.” According to the Times of Israel, there were less than five Jews left in Iraq in 2021.

Protesters then began to say that all those who believe in the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East are racist terrorists. 

Hamas logos at uOttawa, U of T

A protester at  the University of Ottawa was seen proudly wearing the logo of Hamas, the terrorist organization that committed the Oct. 7 attack against Israel and that is using the people of Gaza as human shields.

The Hamas red triangle was also seen multiple times at the University of Toronto encampment, including on a sign that called for violence.

The Middle East Media Research Institute notes that the red triangle is used by Hamas’s military wing, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, in videos where they target Israeli forces.

“The red triangle has come to symbolize Hamas’ war against Israel, and has become a popular anti-Israel symbol expressing open support for Hamas and its terrorist activities,” notes the institute. 

Calls for violence at multiple universities:

Multiple encampments have also seen disturbing calls for violent uprisings, both in the Middle East and globally. Chants have come from protesters, but also from a controversial Canadian politician.

As previously reported by True North, Far-left Ontario MPP Sarah Jama called to “globalize the intifada” at an encampment on McMaster University’s campus. NDP MP Matthew Green stood by Jama as she made her call for a global intifada. 

The term intifada refers to “an armed uprising of Palestinians”, and has resulted in periods of violent unrest in Israel. The last intifada, known as the “Second Intifada,” saw suicide bombings, stone-throwing, and rocket attacks in civilian areas in Israel from 2000-2005.

Calls for intifada were also seen in other encampments, including at the University of Toronto and McGill.

The National Post also reported that the University of Toronto encampment had signs saying “glory to all martyrs” and “behind every violent act is a vital cause.”

Calls for the destruction of Israel at multiple universities:

There were also calls for the destruction of Israel at multiple Canadian universities.

Chants, signs and drawings calling for the destruction of Israel were seen at the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto and at UBC, among others. At UBC, a sign read “Long live Palestinian resistance. From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” 

Far-left extremism at the encampments :

In addition to disturbing antisemitic acts, the anti-Israel encampments have been a hotbed of far-left extremism.

Protesters have been claiming that Canada, like Israel, is an illegitimate “settler-colonial” state. One woman at the University of Toronto was even heard saying “Canada doesn’t exist,” while encampment organizers claimed that the university had no right to cite private property amid it being on “stolen” Indigenous land.

One of the signs seen at the University of Victoria encampment read “from the river to the Salish sea,” suggesting that protesters want to see the destruction of Canada, in addition to the destruction of Israel.

Many communist activists are also taking part in the encampment protests and subsequently bragging about it on social media. The communist activists have also been sharing calls for Intifada. 

At the University of Ottawa encampment, communist activists flew flags with the face of communist Che Guevara, who was a mass murderer.

In an interview with True North,  B’nai Brith Canada’s Manager of Research Richard Robertson said the encampments are “directly contributing to the caustic situation on campus, which is leading Jewish students to feel unwelcome and unsafe on their own campuses.” 

He believes it is time for universities to have police remove the encampments.

“B’nai B’rith supports the rights and freedoms of all Canadians, including the right to protest and the right to freedom of expression. But there are limits on these rights,” he said. “Those limits do not protect the right to intimidate and the right to incite.”