Working Group Against Jew Hatred formed in Ontario


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 23, 2021

MPP Martow Hosts Inaugural Meeting of The Working Group Against Jew-Hatred

THORNHILL, ON - Prominent Jewish community leaders from a number of organizations met on November 21st to discuss an alarming rise in antisemitic incidents at publicly-funded institutions. Dubbed The Working Group Against Jew-Hatred, members were spurred by the demonstration outside the Marc Garneau Collegiate. Teachers did not stop this demonstration calling for the eradication of Israel and her citizens of all nationalities.

“We would like to remind Ontario residents from all communities that the IHRA definition of antisemitism was adopted by our federal and provincial governments, as well as many of our municipal partners,” said group coordinator Gila Martow, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thornhill.

“It has become a matter of public record that all manners of hate and intolerance are investigated and dealt with quickly and efficiently by our public institutions, except those events that target Jews,” she added.


The group highlighted a number of specific recent incidents for their rise in concern and the need to take action at this time, including:

  • An antisemitic video used by Ontario high school teachers on July 29, 2020 (https://www.jpost.com/international/ontario-pulls-video-called-biased-against-israel-from -online-course-636850) with multiple resurfacing incidents;

  • Emails sent to teachers by a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) staff member using the TDSB email, and containing links to pro-terrorist websites;

  • A Rabbi sending a letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce on November 2, 2021 asking for an explanation as to why York Region District School Board (YRDSB) officials told him that they do not need to follow the IHRA definition of antisemitism with no response from the Ministry; (http://www.gila.ca/stmt-IHRA-2021nov2);

  • The demonstration outside Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in Toronto's Flemingdon Park with staff and students calling for a destruction of Israel, Canada’s ally and the only democratic state in the Middle East (https://www.toronto.com/news-story/10520350-controversy-erupts-as-toronto-students-c all-for-end-to-anti-palestinian-racism-within-the-tdsb/);

  • On May 15th, 2021 a hate-filled rally took place at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto at which several members of the Jewish community were verbally and physically assaulted. No charges were laid and all findings were inconclusive;

  • A guest lecturer gave workshops to select groups of TDSB staff wherein anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments were presented;

  • The annual “Israel Apartheid Week” event permitted at numerous universities which demonizes the Jewish community and the State of Israel; perpetuates a host of falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the Jewish people and Israel; and is generally meant to stigmatize and delegitimize the State of Israel and its Jewish supporters;

  • And the annual Al Quds Day event, which triggered the establishment of a Hate Rally policy at the City of Toronto. Al Quds Day organizers invite guest speakers including Holocaust deniers and others who use threatening language against the Jewish community.

“It is crucial to remember that the forces driving Jew hatred, if allowed to flourish without consequences, will spread to other groups,” stated Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak. “It will have devastating consequences for our province, our cities, and all identifiable groups that call Canada home. We need a strong message that affirms the truism that unless we all speak up against hate, we will all become targets of it,” continued Pasternak.

“Antisemitic incidents are on the rise and continue to be the largest percentage of hate crimes in Ontario. All forms of bias and hate should receive equal outcry from our officials, safety officers and media outlets,” said Martow.

We, the undersigned, call on all fair-minded Ontario residents to stand publicly against Jew hatred in all its forms.

Gila Martow, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thornhill James Pasternak, Toronto City Councillor for York Centre Anita Bromberg, co chair End Jew Hatred Movement Doris Epstein, Co Chair Canadian Institute for Jewish Studies, Toronto Sam Eskenasi, Director of Advocacy for La'ad Canada Christine Douglass-Williams, Board Member, Canadians For the Rule of Law Marjorie Gann, Canadians For the Rule of Law

Aaron Hadida, Founder of Jewish Resistance Leon Kadish, Chair DARA (Doctors Against Racism and Antisemitism) Daniel Koren, Executive Director, Hasbara Fellowships Canada Lisa Levitan, founder of Ottawa Supports Jewish Children Corey Margolese, Jteach and NCSY Andria Spindel, Executive Director of Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation Parents Against Antisemitism Michael Teper, Barrister & Solicitor,Toronto Sandy Wooff - Toronto Zionist Council

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For more information, please contact: Becky Battat | becky.battat@pc.ola.org | 416-648-5548

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