commentary

Commentary | In response to a SSMU Equity complaint about anti-Semitism, mentioning The Daily

The Daily has recently been named in a SSMU Equity complaint about anti-Semitism which was submitted by members of the McGill Jewish community, regarding the content and internal culture of the paper. The Daily editorial board takes allegations of anti-Semitism seriously, as we recognize that anti-Semitism is a persistent and pervasive reality of our society. Two of our editors met with the complainants, and the editorial board discussed the complaint. However, upon reviewing this complaint, we found that it largely rested on the conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, which we understand to be distinct from one another.

The Daily maintains an editorial line of not publishing pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider to be oppressive. While we recognize that, for some, Zionism represents an important freedom project, we also recognize that it functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people. We acknowledge, however, that there exists a lack of clarity with regard to the standards by which we reject or accept articles. Going forward, we will be making our editorial guidelines and procedures more detailed so that contributors have a clearer understanding of what we will and will not publish.

In the last two years of our publication, as part of our anti-oppressive training, The Daily has received workshops from members of the Montreal Jewish community in order to be better informed on the issue of anti-Semitism, and will continue to do so. However, beyond these trainings, most of the times we have reached out to members of the Jewish community have been in the context of anti-Zionism, and reaching out in this context is harmful and erases the diversity of the Jewish population. In the future, we are committed to covering more issues relating to the Montreal Jewish community, as well as taking more proactive measures to prevent this from recurring. While the broader Daily community contains Jewish voices, the current editorial board does not include any Jewish members. This means no one on the editorial board has the lived experience of being Jewish; however, having Jewish members on editorial board would not preclude us from furthering our understanding of anti-Semitism and seeking consultation.

We would also like to address specific concerns regarding the satire piece “White Tears Increase on Campus” which we published on September 26. We acknowledge that the conflation of whiteness and Jewishness implied in the article is harmful. While this was not our intention, the effect was perpetuating the homogenization of Jewish identities, and we acknowledge our wrongdoing. We will work to make sure ideas like this, whether implicit or explicit, are not condoned by or published in our paper.


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