MONTREAL (JTA) – A student union leader at McGill University urged people on Twitter to “punch a Zionist today.”
Igor Sadikov, a member of the legislative council, posted the tweet Monday, prompting calls for the third-year political science major to resign from his elected post.
“This is clear incitement to violence, which should not be tolerated on the part of any student, let alone a student politician,” Amanda Hohmann of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights said in a statement.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs also condemned the post, which was later deleted.
Sadikov, who is also active in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, denied he is anti-Semitic, noting that his father is Jewish and his mother is half-Jewish.
“This tweet was not an attack against Jewish students, but on the adherents of a political philosophy,” he told The National Post.
Some said the tweet only added to what they see as a toxic atmosphere on campus for pro-Israel students, who say they have faced harassment after a pro-BDS motion failed to be ratified last year.
In Britain and France, government officials last year said the term “Zio” and “Zionist” were used on campuses as substitute for “Jew” in anti-Semitic hate speech.