(JTA) — Violence erupted at a a protest by pro-Palestinian students against an appearance by Israeli army reservists at York University in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Members of the university chapter of Students Against Israeli Apartheid, or SAIA, tried to shut down a university-approved panel discussion featuring Reservists on Duty, a group made up of former Israeli soldiers.
The protesters, some with their faces concealed by kaffiyeh scarves, chanted pro-Palestinian slogans in the auditorium that included calling for an intifada, or attacks, against Israeli civilians, the Toronto Sun reported. Punching and scuffling occurred in a nearby stairwell, requiring police to break it up, according to the report. There were some arrests.
Private security personnel also were on hand to secure the event. There were about 600 protesters in the area of the program, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“Further investigation is required into how a registered student group was permitted to glorify terrorism and attempt to intimidate those peacefully assembling on campus,” Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement. “There must be consequences for violent behavior.”
Prior to the event, SAIA hung posters around campus with a Photoshopped image of an Israeli soldier that looks like he is strangling a child as part of a “no killers on campus” campaign by anti-Israel organizations, Arutz-7 reported.