Seif Youssef has demonized
Israel on Facebook and compared
Israelis to pigs. Youssef took a leadership
role in the 2015 Boycott Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)
campaign at McMaster University (McMaster) in Hamilton, Ontario.
As of August 6, 2017, Youssef’s LinkedIn says
he has graduated from McMaster with a degree in business and commerce. It also says
he attended Toronto film school for the 2016-2017 academic year.
As of August 6, 2017, Youssef’s LinkedIn lists
him as the co-founder and executive manager of FSA Productions
On May 2, 2015, Youssef retweeted a tweet
featuring a large pig lying in the mudthat read: “and over here we have the most common breed of the Israeli Zionist in his natural habitat."
On October 7, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “When the customer tells me he used to work in Israel... #NoGasForYou #ItsPalestineYaHabiby."
On September 4, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “So I go to this clubsfest thing and the first club I see is the Israeli Student Association thing. Not a good start to the day. #Furious."
The Arabic version of the invitation, disseminated by Palestine House invited
demonstrators to a “Protest rally in solidarity and support of Palestine Intifada (انتفاضة)."
During the rally, protesters chanted
: “Viva, Viva Intifada!" and
“from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!"
In March of 2014, Mac SPHR attempted to push
through a divestment bill during a heated
meeting of the McMaster Student Union (MSU) General Assembly.
During preliminary discussion, Abdelrahman demanded that BDS be discussed first because “people have other commitments." Abdelrahman insisted on this although other motions were already on the agenda, including a motion set higher up on the agenda to discuss the desirability of taking “political and polarizing stances on international crises, conflicts and concerns."
Abdelrahman further claimed “that the Chair should have arranged the motions in chronological order" although this is not a guideline and several MSU representatives argued that gravity of issues rather than chronology should take precedence.
During his presentation preceding the BDS vote, Abdelrahman claimed
that Israel created “segregated road on racial basis" [01:33] as well as a “siege by air land and sea" [01:40] on Gaza, and was suppressing “fundamental human rights."
Students on both sides of the debate reported
a tense atmosphere. One student at the microphone reportedly
asked security to stand between him and another student. “I’m actually feeling a little unsafe right now," he said. Individual pro-Israel students who opposed the resolution were reportedly
derided and mocked.
The MSU General Assembly voted
in favor of the motion — despite the lack of a constitutionally-required
632-member quorum. The resolution was, therefore, non-binding.
In 2015, McMasterBDS
and Mac SPHR pushed
campaign for the passage
of a BDS resolution that used the exact same wording as the 2014 Divestment resolution.
On March 13, 2015, Youssef tweeted
: “.@JustinTrudeau @McGillU What a pathetic thing to say. I promise we will make BDS pass in Every Canadian Campus #BDS #IsraeliApartheidWeek."
Youssef’s tweet was in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tweet: “The BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses. As a @McGillU alum, I’m disappointed. #EnoughIsEnough."
On March 18, 2015, Mac SPHR and McMasterBDS created a video to further their BDS campaign that claimed
Israel killed “500 kids" in “Gaza this summer." The video used young child actresses to mislead
viewers and play on their emotions.
On March 23, 2015, the MSU General Assembly voted to pass
the divestment resolution proposed by then-SPHR President Yara Shoufani
. The resolution claimed that Israel is committing “war crimes" and called on McMaster “to endorse
" the global BDS movement.
On the same day, Youssef tweeted
: “If you're a mac student at mac Reach the GYM asap and come vote for BDS! Need all the people we can get!"
Youssef also posted
on his Facebook page: “If you're a mcmaster student on campus Reach the GYM asap and come vote for BDS! Need all the people we can get! Here's a quick video on the cause if you want some info! https://fbcdn-video-l-a.akamaihd.net/…/11043547_65003279510…"
Proponents of the divestment resolution resisted all attempts to alter its exclusive condemnation of Israel.
This time, the motion passed with a constitutional quorum — but with less than 10% of students in attendance. During the discussion, the motion was criticized
having been forwarded in violation of the undergraduate student union’s notice provisions.
On March 24, 2015, Youssef shared
a McMaster BDS promotional video to his instagram, adding: “Vini vidi bds."
Following the vote, then-SPHR President Lina Assi
gave an interview to a pro-BDS local radio host, Brendan Stone. In the interview, Assi claimed it was “not true" that “BDS targets Israeli companies or products" and alleged that students are “blinded by misconceptions" in these matters (18:05).
Former SPHR President Yara Shoufani
also participated in the interview. Shoufani stated: “The next step is to mobilize and lobby the administration, because, you know what, the [McMaster Student Union] MSU has money, but the administration has even 1more money… it’s not over yet, Palestine is not liberated… the administration have a lot of money" (19.55).
On February 2, 2016, it was reported
that McMaster’s BDS had compiled a 3,000-vendors list and was “going through each company to find out whether they’re boycottable or not. Assi told Imprint, the University of Waterloo's official student paper, that “Once we submit the recommendations to our student union, they will have to divest." Assi said that “since the BDS movement is now a binding motion on the student union, [the administration] have no choice but to follow the motion."
Supporting the Muslim Brotherhood
Youssef tweeted in support of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the civic unrest in Egypt. Below is a selection of such tweets:
On August 31, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “Body craving a rest, but heart extremely restless. Ya Allah strengthen our hearts to bare what our eyes have seen. #Egypt #R4BIA #Syria." R4BIA is a symbol associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
On August 30, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “Friends in Egypt telling me these are the largest protests since the coup now. Not a house without members in the streets! #R4BIA."
On August 28, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “Every time the door slams, or something falls with a bang I feel like I'm still in #Egypt, and shots are being fired. Can't sit still #R4BIA."
On August 26, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “Daughter killed. Son arrested. But the man's still smiling in the face of all this tyranny. Very good talk by him #Biltagy #R4BIA." The reference was to Mohamed Biltagy
, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
On August 19, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “The most dangerous creation of #Egypt is the man who has nothing to lose, for he can be played easily by anyone. #PlayedByTheCoup #R4BIA."
On the same day Youssef tweeted
: “let's just pile up everything against the #MB and make the ignorant hate them even more!" MB refers to the Muslim Brotherhood.
On August 15, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “What proof do you have that those guys are MB? Or are acting under the MB influence?" in response to a tweet reporting that Muslim Brotherhood supporters vandalized a church during a 2013 demonstration in Egypt.
Youssef also whitewashed Muslim Brotherhood terrorism. On the same day Youssef tweeted
: “Reading the #ObamaSupportsTerrorism tweets are making my blood pressure rise. After all this people still saying the MB are the terrorist.."
In response to the tweet: “are the MB not terrorist? Look at all the churches that were burned by them as a retaliation. Don't be so ignorant," Youssef tweeted
: “even if they WERE people who claimed to be MB members, their actions are against the parties tactics and teachings."
In a different thread, Youssef defended the Brotherhood, tweeting
: “@cestafan you cannot judge a people by the actions a few. Which in all cases was not clearly proved to be MB."
On July 4, 2013, Youssef tweeted
: “Morsi n Islam Supporters showing that this isn't the end. We wont leave until Islam is the law #DoesTheMediaShowThis."
The Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928. Islam expert Robert Spencer
[00:07:30] the Brotherhood "the parent organization of Hamas
and al Qaeda
(and Islamic Jihad)."
The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."
BDS initiatives include compelling institutions and individuals to divest from Israeli-affiliated companies, academic boycotts, anti-Israel rallies and protests.
The movement's most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions." In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.
BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.
The MSA was established by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with the goal of "spreading Islam as students in North America." A 2004 FBI investigation uncovered an internal Muslim Brotherhood document in which a brotherhood leader identified the MSA as "one of our organizations."
With nearly 600 chapters located in the United States and Canada, the MSA is the most visible and influential Islamic student organization in North America, boasting conferences, special events, publications, websites and other activities.
The organization includes a number of previous chapter presidents with explicit links to terrorist groups. Included are al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (Colorado State University), Somali al-Shabaab militant leader Omar Shafik Hammami (University of South Alabama) and Pakistani Taliban recruiter Ramy Zamzam of the MSA's Washington, D.C. council.
Local MSA chapters regularly invite controversial speakers to their campuses. At a 2003 MSA event sponsored by Al-Talib, the MSA-founded Muslim student newspaper, guest speaker Imam Abdul-Alim Musa said, "When you fight [the U.S.] you are fighting someone that is superior in criminality and Nazism ... the American criminalizer is the most skillful oppressor the world has ever known..."
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