Exclusive: Canadian Vocational School Rescinds Boycott of Israeli Students

A Canadian trade school that originally told an Israeli potential student that it would not accept him because of his nationality has rescinded its boycott of Israelis, the school’s manager of student services told The Tower on Tuesday.

Israeli civil engineering student and amateur carpenter Stav Daron wanted to sign up for a four-week carpentry course with the Island School of the Building Arts (ISBA) on Gabriola Island in British Columbia, and had already purchased a text from the school written by ISBA founder James Mitchell. In his correspondence with school manager Patricia Rokosh, Daron mentioned that he was Israeli. Rokosh responded last Wednesday, according to emails that Daron shared with the news website Mako, by stating that “due to the conflict and illegal settlement activity in the region, we are not accepting applications from Israel.” (The school’s website makes no mention of the restriction in its page concerning international students.)

Rokosh admitted to Daron that Israeli students had previously attended ISBA, but “this is a question of staying in line with our moral compass, which will always be important to us. We are still inclusive and cannot support that which is not inclusive.”

In his final communication with the school, Daron argued that “not taking applications from Israeli students just because they are from Israel is racism, which is basically what you are protesting against.”

After an inquiry from The Tower on Tuesday, Rokosh responded, saying in an email that the school had changed its policies:

After significant thought and listening to all interested parties, ISBA has decided to rescind any restriction placed on accepting students from Israel and apologize for any inconvenience.
ISBA remains acceptant [sic] to all and will continue to do so without restrictions.

This has not been the only incident involving bias in the Canadian educational system during the current school year.

A professor at York University in Toronto was fired in September for writing Facebook posts that claimed Jews were “followers of the Evil One” and accused Jews of murdering “SS hero” Johann Breyer, an 89-year-old who died of natural causes while awaiting extradition to Germany to be tried on charges of being a Nazi war criminal.

A professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta was suspended in November after denying the historical accuracy of the Holocaust and accusing Israel of planning the 9/11 terror attacks.

And a student newspaper at McGill University in Montreal came under fire after it announced that it would no longer publish pieces that “promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider to be oppressive.”

[Photo: Pavel Skurenok / YouTube ]