A Jewish student at McGill University and a member of the school’s student government is being threatened to cancel her trip to Israel or face impeachment.
Second-year student Jordyn Wright had planned to participate in a trip to Israel this winter break sponsored by Hillel Montreal called “Face to Face.” The trip, Wright saysin a Facebook postabout the incident, would consist of “visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories to meet with politicians, journalists, and locals from all sides to better understand a very nuanced geopolitical conflict.”
She continued, “As a Jew, my connection to Israel is a core aspect of my identity, and I hoped that this trip would help me to experience Israel through a new lens.”
But during a Nov. 28 student government meeting, Wright was told that if she proceeded with plans to go on the trip, there would be consequences. Wright said that due to her intention to participate in the trip, the council “voted to call for my resignation from my positions in student government.”
She claims that she was also given an ultimatum by the school’s Science Executive Committee: “Either I withdraw from the trip, or I resign from my position. If I do not resign, I am being implicitly threatened with impeachment upon my return.”
“This is not the first time that Jewish students at McGill have been bullied out of student government,” Wright admitted in the post. “Two years ago, three students were voted off of the SSMU Board of Directors simply for being Jewish or connected to pro-Israel organizations. Last year, a Political Science summer exchange course taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was the source of a controversy in which pro-Israel students were harassed and cyber-bullied.”
Anews releaseby the student government argues that the real issue they had with Wright’s trip was that it was a free trip from Hillel Montreal. Accepting gifts such as this “compromises [student government representatives’] ability to be perceived as impartial when representing the entire student body on the Board of Directors,” they say.
Other members are not so sure. Inan open letterto the board of directors, some students are defending Wright, saying they “believe the direction of the debate was focused on a specific member, Jordyn Wright … in a way that was startling and unwarranted. We are not surprised that Councillor Wright subsequently expressed that she felt targeted and attacked during this session, and we agree that the nature of the motion and its amendments as adopted by the session were hostile, directed, and should be a matter of wider concern.”
Hillel Montrealpublished a Facebook postof its own in support of Wright, saying it is “deeply concerned and gravely disappointed” by the motion passed by the student government at McGill.