A proposal by the president of the largest union in the province to boycott Israeli academics at Ontario universities is being labelled as anti-Semitic and an affront to civil liberties by prominent members of Canada’s Jewish community.

“CUPE has no business boycotting academics, whether they are Israeli or Jewish,” said Avi Benlolo, president of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre. “It goes against the grain of academia.”

On Friday, CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan called for the boycott of Israeli academics and educators who do not condemn the Dec. 29 bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza and “the assault on Gaza in general.”

B’nai Brith Canada called on CUPE National to distance itself from CUPE Ontario and conduct an operational review in light of what they call a “vehemently anti-Israel agenda.”

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