Hate crime targets UTM

Hate crime targets UTM Owen Jarus Nov 5, 2005 With files from LOUIE ROSELLA Staff Hundreds of copies of anti-Semitic literature have been found at the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM), just two months after students started a Jewish club at the school. UTM police are working overtime this weekend looking for those responsible for the pamphlet, entitled Jewish Supremacism Unmasked, which has been pinned up on campus information boards and dropped off at various places in the school's library. By Friday night, all of the literature appeared to have been removed from the campus by school staff, according to UTM spokesperson Steve de Sousa. The literature has also been found at U of T's St. George and Scarborough campuses, as well as Ryerson and York universities. UTM's Jewish community believe this could be inappropriate backlash to students who started a UTM Jewish Club in September of this year. 'I cannot remember something like this happening, and now all of a sudden, after the (Jewish) club starts, we get this wave of anti-Semitism,' said second-year student John Emerson, whose wanted to join the club, but has yet to find the time. 'It's despicable, absolutely despicable.' The hate literature has appeared at libraries at the busiest time of the year, when essays and research projects are due. Tilly Shames, a spokesperson for Hillel of Greater Toronto, a Jewish group for students at UTM and other campuses, encouraged Jewish students to go about their business as usual. 'Students shouldn't feel afraid to use the library or go to other places on campus. If we let them stop us, they will have won,' he said. Jim Delaney, U of T's assistant director for student affairs, said UTM, among the other campuses, are taking security measures at libraries. 'We have a number of procedures in place,' he said, declining to go into detail as to what they were. The disturbing literature draws on age-old stereotypes and refers readers to white supremacist websites. 'Their (Jewish people) highest morality is racial pride, solidarity, tradition and self interest,' according to one excerpt. The two-page brochure claims that terrorists attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001 because of 'America's support of Israeli terrorism against (Arabs),' and goes on to talk about 'Jewish hostility toward Gentiles.' De Sousa said the literature has had a 'distressing' impact not only on Jewish students, but the entire school community. 'It's extremely upsetting anytime you see hate literature like this,' he said. U of T Professor David Farrar, vice provost of students, said support and counselling is available at UTM for those having a hard time coping with the 'naked hatred' displayed. 'The University of Toronto condemns hatred in all its guises,' he said. 'U of T, with all its diversity, is a place of tolerance...but when pure hatred rears its head we must work to counteract it.' A UTM police officer who didn't want to be identified said investigators are focusing their efforts 'outside of the school community,' and don't believe any students or staff are involved. De Sousa said that he hoped no U of T community members were responsible but, 'if any students are found to be responsible, they will be penalized under the University's code,' he said. The University's code of conduct says that a student responsible for organizing a hate campaign will face expulsion.