I am writing to you today to express my sheer disappointment, dissatisfaction, and frank anger toward the way The McGill Daily has handled the recent surfacing of tweets from Ms. Larbi-Aissa, The Daily’s Culture section editor.
Ms. Larbi-Aissa’s tweets – specifically her March 15, 2015 post, “Found myself sitting in a section of kippas at the gen[eral] assembly. This should be interesting” – are an outright insult to journalism. I am saddened to see that someone who has been gifted with the valuable tools to educate and inform thousands of students through her writing is instead choosing to use those tools to spread hate and intolerance.
Ms. Larbi-Aissa’s September 21, 2015 tweet, “I survived four years of racial profiling at Jewish day school. Bring it,” brings to light an obvious parallel. Just as she felt that the Israeli on her Birthright trip was projecting his isolated experiences with Arabs onto her (“Birthright: Ten days in apartheid Israel,” September 8, Features, page 12), so I feel that she is projecting her isolated negative experience with Jews onto me. I was neither her teacher nor her peer at Jewish school, and yet somehow my identity and religion are being both belittled and accused.
How can you speak of racism and systemic prejudice when you are allowing a leader in your midst to pen such hurtful and intolerant things? I am frightened to see that this is who we are trusting to educate our student population.
Should anyone at The Daily be interested in speaking to an active member of our community regarding our religion, anti-Semitism, or any other pertaining topic, I offer my answers and connections. I would be happy to use this as an opportunity to foster dialogue surrounding my people, culture, and religion.
—Rayna Lew, President of Hillel McGill
Since receiving a longer version of this letter on October 5, The Daily has issued an apology for its response to the tweets.