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Jewish prof accused of anti-Semitism

Sept. 14, 2011 at 9:43 AM   |   Comments

TORONTO, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A veteran Jewish professor at Toronto's York University has been accused by a Jewish student of making an anti-Semitic remark in class.

During his "Self, Culture and Society" class Monday, Prof. Cameron Johnston told some 500 students part of the course would challenge the assumption everyone is entitled to express their opinion, the Toronto Star reported.

As an example, he quoted the Nazi expression used before and during World War II that "all Jews should be sterilized" as an unacceptable example of opinions.

Senior Sarah Grunfeld, 22, left the lecture hall and went to the office of an Israeli advocacy group on campus and complained. Within hours, a news release had been issued and accusations of anti-Semitism were all over the Internet, the newspaper said.

"I'm terribly upset," Johnston told the Star. "So I'm pretty shocked to find the consequences [of ] what I was talking about in lecture is that I get seen as an example of prejudice."

Sheldon Goodman of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs said the student's accusation was "an appropriate reminder that great caution must be exercised before concluding a statement or action is anti-Semitic."

Grunfeld told the Star it's possible she might have misunderstood the context of Johnston's statement, but also said she wasn't convinced he was in fact Jewish.

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