A student leader at Montreal’s McGill University is refusing to resign amid rising Jewish anger on campus following his urging on Twitter to “punch a Zionist today.”
At what was described as a tense meeting of the student union legislative council on Thursday, council member Igor Sadikov did not relent, instead doubling down on his stance, arguing that Jews were not a “a legitimate ethnic group,” according to witnesses who attended.
Sadikov, who also is active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, has denied he is anti-Semitic, noting that his father is Jewish and his mother is half-Jewish. He said his original tweet, which he later deleted, was meant to criticize a “political philosophy,” not Jews.
McGill has condemned Sadikov, joining B’nai Brith, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The university’s undergraduate arts society formally called on Sadikov to resign and B’nai Brith asked police to investigate whether Sadikov had incited hatred with his tweet.
The campus newspaper, The McGill Daily, which Sadikov once served as editor, recently enacted a policy to ban “pro-Zionist” opinion from its pages.