University Of Toronto Student Newspaper Columnist Demands University Administration Surrender To Fanatical Anti-Israel Bullies

June 18, 2024

In a June 6 opinion commentary in The Varsity, a student newspaper at University of Toronto entitled: “Concerns about graduation should not precede the people killed in Palestine,” student Aria Kowal whitewashed the sins of the encampment movement, while spreading false anti-Israel propaganda and running cover for terrorists.

Kowal defended the U of T anti-Israel encampment’s disruption and ruining of law-abiding, tuition-paying majority of students’ convocation ceremonies, blaming the victims for not voluntarily giving in to the bullies’ demands and not sharing her outrage and hatred over an imaginary situation that bears little resemblance to the present realities in the Middle East.

Despite acknowledging the pain she herself felt when outside forces ruined her high school graduation ceremony in 2020, she lambasted those who feel the same way now over the fact that the current situation is “within the control of the administration” if they would only accept “the occupying students’ demands,” including “terminat[ing] partnerships with Israeli universities.” She also rejected the idea of the university taking a “6+ month timeline” to “investigate” the policies they’re being asked to adopt as illegitimate — demanding full, immediate, unquestioning compliance with the official party line of the organizers.

Yes, Kowal feels that a small group of extremist, law-breaking protestors — despite many not even being students, and despite pro-Israel counter protests routinely outnumbering their crowd — should have the right to destroy precious moments in countless other people’s lives and unilaterally dictate school policy to everyone else.

Despite passingly acknowledging the extreme and discriminatory nature of the encampments’ demands, Kowal nevertheless placed the entire blame for the situation on University of Toronto President Meric Gertler due to the fact that he could help make their demands possible “in mere weeks” if he wished to.

Kowal started from the assumption that there is no other legitimate opinion or consideration here and that the entire issue is just a refusal by the school to do what is obviously right — conveniently neglecting to engage in any meaningful mention of the enormous, widespread objections to the encampment movement, its horrid actions and views, and the opposing views and rights of many of the students she expects to simply accept this nonsense. It’s hard to consider this a good-faith conversation when the opposing viewpoint’s entire existence is erased and/or reduced to vague feelings of unjustified annoyance.

But some of these stances become less surprising when, towards the end of the piece, Kowal revealed herself to be shockingly ignorant and/or grossly misinformed over basic facts about the conflict in the Middle East. She described Israel’s defensive war against the genocidal terrorist group Hamas in Gaza, and its targeted operations against other violent terrorist gangs in Judea and Samaria — including those actively involved in plotting new attacks against civilians — as “murder[ing] over 37,000 people.”

By viewing “murder” as the appropriate term for all alleged casualties of the war on the Palestinian side, when well over 15,000 at minimum have been confirmed terrorist combatants, Kowal is unabashedly mourning the deaths of members of the Hamas terror group and calling it illegitimate for the army of a democratic state to fire back at them in active combat during a war they started with an unprovoked massacre of historic proportions. Either that, or she is intentionally misrepresenting the casualty figures to dishonestly demonize Israel in the eyes of her readers. In either scenario, this is totally unacceptable — and the Varsity’s editors should be embarrassed that they failed to fact-check this obvious falsehood.

All things considered, Kowal’s moral high horse from which she sought to beat down on her peers is far from deserved — rather, it serves as an excellent example of why more and more Canadians are rejecting her anti-Israel movement in droves.


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