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Anti-Israel student ‘spits’ on school president, other faculty while receiving diploma

Also unfurled banner reading ‘Divest from Death’

A graduating pro-Palestinian student at McGill University made “spitting motions” at two faculty members, including, allegedly, the school president, while receiving her diploma this past week.

The unidentified student also unfurled a banner which read “Divest from Death.”

According to The Gazette, the official McGill video of the ceremony does not show the student making the spitting motions (it remains unclear if she actually spit) nor holding up the banner. But unedited versions (below) began circulating on social media.

In a statement, McGill said it was “focused on the ceremony itself, and therefore did not notice if the graduating student spat.”

It added, however, “it was […] clear the student was yelling and highly disrespectful. The university remains firmly committed to peaceful and respectful dialogue, even on the most divisive and painful issues.”

Citing privacy concerns McGill refused to say if the student would face any discipline, but did note it would take action if the student code of conduct or the law were “breached.”

McGill moved its graduation ceremonies off-campus this year due to the almost two-month-long anti-Israel encampment on school grounds. Yesterday, 15 pro-Hamas activists were arrested for occupying an administration building that began the afternoon before.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante posted on social media that “protesting is a fundamental right, but it does not justify violence and the illegal occupation of McGill premises.”

According to The Gazette, activists had “blockaded several entry doors,” “vandalized parts of the exterior and interior,” and “yelled threats” such as “violence now.”

A spokesperson for Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights who’s also a McGill student said activists occupied the building because McGill officials would not agree to activists’ demands such as “break[ing] financial and academic ties with Israel.”

MORE: McGill U. student newspaper changes name due to school namesake’s colonialism, racism

IMAGE: Michael’s House of Politics and Philosophy/Facebook

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