July 15th, 2024

Jewish teachers file antisemitism complaint against B.C. Teachers’ Federation: lawyer

By The Canadian Press on July 2, 2024.

A Vancouver labour lawyer says a group of teachers has launched a human rights complaint against the BC Teachers' Federation, claiming the union "has engaged in and enabled antisemitism." The office that houses the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is seen in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, March 28, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nono Shen

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver labour lawyer says a group of British Columbia teachers has launched a human rights complaint against their union, saying the BC Teachers’ Federation “has engaged in and enabled antisemitism.”

Paul Pulver, who says he represents BC Teachers Against Antisemitism, filed the complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal over what he calls the “erasure of Jewish and Zionist voices and opinions” within the union and members’ workplaces.

Pulver says in a statement the union’s leadership caused “trauma and fear” among members who have been “intimidated and shamed” by colleagues.

He says the union has “ostracized” the teachers because they’re Jewish or because they hold “currently unpopular views” about Jews, Israel and Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks.

Pulver says the complaint details more than two dozen examples of antisemitism either caused or enabled by the teachers’ union.

The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The statement says the union’s president sent members anti-racism training materials that didn’t mention antisemitism but provided a link to material including a poster that said “Zionists F*ck Off.”

It says the union’s annual general meeting focused on “anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” voices and “excluded, bullied, silenced, and prevented” Jewish teachers from speaking out against “antisemitic motions” proposed at the meeting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2024.

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