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UMSU bans student group critical of Israel

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The Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid is threatening to take legal action against the University of Manitoba Students Union for booting the controversial group's student branch off UMSU-controlled campus property.

"A lot of people are very upset about this," coalition spokeswoman Liz Carlyle said Sunday. "It's clearly an attempt to silence criticism of the (Israeli) government."

On the other hand, B’nai Brith Canada has congratulated UMSU for what the national human rights organization is calling a "first victory" that should be emulated on every university campus in Canada.

The only group not talking, on a formal basis, was UMSU, whose president Bilan Arte has not responded to numerous interview requests since Friday.

Joshua Morry, the commerce students' rep on the UMSU council, said Sunday he moved the motion passed by a 19-16 margin Thursday night at the UMSU council.

It de-registers Students Against Israeli Apartheid as a student organization, denies it UMSU funding and denies it office and meeting space in UMSU-owned University Centre, Morry said.

"It’s clearly an attempt to silence criticism of the (Israeli) government," Carlyle said Sunday morning. She said the organization engages in political debate about the actions of the Israeli government in Palestine, and is not in any way anti-Semitic.

History

Updated on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 2:27 PM CDT: clarifies headline, new lede

12:05 AM: updates

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