‘Punch a Zionist’ tweeter quits student politics
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‘Punch a Zionist’ tweeter quits student politics

Igor Sadikov steps down as a director of a university’s student body after inciting violence against Israel supporters

The Arts Building at McGill University
The Arts Building at McGill University

Igor Sadikov, the student politician who called on his Twitter followers to “punch a Zionist today,” stepped down as a director of McGill University’s student government one day after the university’s Arts Undergraduate Society voted against impeaching him.

The 22-year-old political science student blamed “interference” by the McGill administration, he said in a statement Thursday.

“My continued membership on the [Board of Directors] is, at this juncture, a legal liability for the Society,” he said in the statement.

Sadikov’s decision buoyed the spirits of pro-Israel students and Jewish organisations. The Twitter controversy continued to roil the campus for nearly three weeks, with the pro-Israel side saying Sadikov incited violence with his tweet while Sadikov characterised the controversy as a “misguided joke.”

Sadikov, who also is active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, has denied he is anti-Semitic, noting that his father is Jewish and his mother is half-Jewish.

“This is an important victory for Jewish and pro-Israel students and for tolerance in general at McGill,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn.

Sadikov remains a member of the Student Society legislative council, but faces a March 9 council motion to remove him for “impropriety and for violation of the Constitution.”

Sadikov’s four-word tweet was posted on Feb. 6 and taken down three days later.

Sadikov later posted on Facebook: “I regret the way that I phrased my opposition to Zionism and the fact that some of my constituents and fellow students felt harmed by it.”

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