President issues statement on anti-Semitic graffiti found in Scott Library

York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri yesterday issued the following statement:

Yesterday evening a report was made to York Security of a series of anti-Semitic graffiti discovered in a study booth in York’s main library on the Keele campus. This hate incident was immediately reported to the Toronto Police Service, who are investigating the incident. We do not know at this point whether this hate crime was committed by a member/members of the York community.

As president of this academic community of some 60,000 people, I and the entire York community condemn these cowardly and hateful acts unreservedly and in the strongest possible terms. As a university we are not immune from the world around us, but as a university, we should be a place where ideas and differences are celebrated not despised. The spreading of hate is a callous and cruel act, designed to isolate and frighten. There is no place for this kind of criminal behaviour at York and such individuals are not welcome here. We will give the Toronto Police Service every assistance in bringing the perpetrator(s) to justice.

Earlier this month, we issued A Joint Statement on Community Values from the University Leadership. Contained in that document was the following:

"Yet some of the events that have happened here on the campus in recent months run the risk of alienating community members from each other, and of driving distance between individuals and communities that should be growing together.

"We must always be vigilant to oppose intolerance in all of its various forms against people deemed to be of the ‘wrong’ colour, gender, sexual orientation, identity, background, politics, religion, nationality or disability."

We stand by that statement today more than ever and stand against all those who would promote fear and distrust among us.