McGill student representative apologizes for "punch a zionist" tweet
Published Friday, February 10, 2017 10:40AM EST
A McGill University student representative has apologized after calling for people to “punch a zionist” on Twitter.
Igor Sadikov, who represents students in the undergraduate arts faculty on the Students’ Society of McGill University legislative council, posted the message to Facebook on Feb. 6. While it was later taken down, the comment received condemnation from Montreal’s Jewish community.
“All people vigorously free speech on campus and we understand political speech can be very passionate, when you incite violence, you’ve crossed a clear line,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This is a clear incitement of violence against a group and it needs to be denounced.”
Sadikov issued his apology on his personal Facebook page, saying he does not “condone nor advocate violence on the basis of membership in any identity group.
“I regret the way that I phrased my opposition to Zionism and the fact that some of my constituents and fellow students felt harmed by it,” he said. “To be clear, this tweet was not an attack against Jewish students, but on the adherents of a political philosophy that has detrimental impacts on Palestinians on a daily basis.”
In their own Facebook page, the Arts Undergraduate Society of McGill distanced the group from Sadikov and called for him to resign.
“Igor’s words were his own, published on his personal social media,” they said. “His opinions do not reflect the sentiments of the Arts Undergraduate Society or of its executive.”
In a statement, a McGill spokesperson said the school was aware of the situation.
“Such statements do not represent the views or the values of the university and we believe they violate a number of our policies,” said the statement. “While individual disciplinary proceedings are confidential, appropriate offices are taking action as required.”