November 16, 2022
Mayor Ken Sim and Council
City of Vancouver
Dear Mayor Sim and Council,
On behalf of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation, and in agreement with the major Jewish organizations in Vancouver and nationally, we thank you and all members of Council for exercising patience and wisdom in adopting the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.
We recognize that the discussion was long and complex, but in the end your overall support for the Jewish community was compelling, and will provide comfort and assurance to all who advocate for justice, are truly anti-racist, anti-bigotry, and anti- Jew hatred. Such hatred takes many forms, the latest being antiZionism, so the adoption of IHRA has proven to be a necessity in combating antisemitism.
The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel states:
“The Land of Israel, was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.”
Thanks for recognizing the inherent right of Jews for equal and fair treatment and for your patience, common sense, morality, and good judgment. May you know peace, good health and goodwill, and may you have blessings for doing the right thing.
Though the vote has been cast, please consider the points we make in the attached addendum as we feel that facts need to be part of the education of all members of Council, city staff and the community at large.
With sincere regards,
Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation
Addendum to Letter to Mayor Sim and Council,
“Zionism” is the belief in the right to self-determination of Jews in their ancient homeland, not a political movement. There is no Judaism without Zionism, as it is a central concept in the Torah. Yes, political Zionism rose in the 1800s to return diaspora Jews to their Land, but there have always been Jews in Israel, proving it is not a colonial project.
Some Jews are not Zionist, some don’t believe there should be a Jewish state, but some Canadians don’t believe that Canada should exist, such as the entire Bloc Quebecois. Russian president Putin doesn’t believe that Ukraine should exist. Does that make these contrary views, the decisive ones for the whole society?
CAEF is appalled at the extent of lies, anti-Israel bigotry, ignorance, and pure Jew hatred expressed at the meeting of Council, which many of us watched on line from Toronto. Many speakers failed to tell historical truths, repeated lies and assumed righteous tones in which Jews are the one people not entitled to define their own lived experience and identify antisemitism in all its guises.
Facts ignored or denied include:
Jews were in the land of Israel, long before Islam was born, long before the Arabs arrived in the land.
Jews are indigenous to Judea, which is why they are called Jews. Arabs come from Arabia. There is zero archaeological evidence of any Palestinian history in the land.
There has Never been a country called Palestine and the decision to refer to the land and the people as Palestine and Palestinian only came about in 1967, and that is well documented. Yasser Arafat introduced this idea along with his Russian backers, and the propaganda has been very effective.
If you look at the artifacts found in the land of Israel, you will see many items that confirm historic Jewish life from over 2500 years ago, and you will find nothing that has any Arabic Palestinian reference.
Israel didn’t come about just because of the Holocaust but was to be re-established after WWI, as a result of the San Remo Declaration in 1920, and then the League of Nations in 1922, and this was confirmed in the charter of the UN in 1945.
Many of the “progressive” speakers want to treat Israel differently than any other people, so they speak about Indigenous rights but deny the same to the Jews. They speak about anti-colonialism when the Jews were not the colonizers. That was the role of its many invaders who drove the Jews into the diaspora, over and over, and over. The Arabs were among the invaders. The Turks were invaders and earlier the Greeks, Romans and Babylonians. The Jews were not invaders or colonizers; Israel is their historic land.
Samidoun is a terror supporting organization that was quoted among others as supporting “Palestinian rights.” The leader of this organization is resident in Vancouver, and is closely associated with the PLFP, a listed terrorist organization in Canada. This organization should not be given a legitimate voice to define or counter claims about antisemtism, when its sole goal is the destruction of Israel, the only Jewish state.
There is a huge difference between the many genocides committed in the world and the Holocaust, a state sponsored plan to eradicate an entire people. This is the only instance in world history of such an atrocity. Thus the call to “intersectionality,” is to deny the severity and extend of Jew hatred in the history of the world, in the Jewish psyche and intergenerational trauma. Jews are not merely a people with a specific religion, but a people with a common language, culture, beliefs, customs and shared history, regardless of whether they are white European Jews, black African Jews, brown SE Asian Jews, Jews from Arab lands or Jews from the ancient community of Kaifeng in China. Hitler claimed the Jews were an unworthy “race,” and today, the anti-Zionists claim Jews are not worthy of their own nation state. That is antisemitism.
UNRWA, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, are all virulently antisemitic, and their reports, policies and practices target the only Jewish state for admonition, spreading lies. There are human rights for all in Israel, but NOT in any of the surrounding Arab countries. Gay Arabs are safe in Israel, as are all other minorities who enjoy full civil rights. To claim otherwise is an antisemitic lie.
The number of Palestinian Arabs has increased under Jewish law, and that is evidence there is no genocide and this is but another lie.
There is no apartheid in Israel, though it is self-evident that there are NO Jews in Gaza nor in areas under the Palestinian Authority control, nor in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, where they thrived for over 2000 years. The claim of apartheid is a lie, and a dangerous one, intended to demonize and isolate Israel. The opposite is true as evidenced by the presence of Arabs in the Knesset and in all spheres of life, and as leaders in academia, business, diplomacy, the judiciary, health care, finance and every sector of society.
There is no ethnic cleansing of Arabs, and given that 21% of the population is Arab, it is a totally bogus claim and a proven lie. There is no genocide against Arabs and never was; however, it is true that the Arab countries all drove out every Jew from their ancient homes. There never was nor is there currently, any mass killing of Palestinian Arabs, despite the lies being presented by so many speakers, speakers who deny that the entire point of BDS, as shared by its founder, Omar Bargouti, is to eliminate Israel. He has said that not a single inch of the land will remain in Jewish hands and his pals in Hamas, have said, not a single Jew will remain alive.
The Arab leader, Haj Al Amin Husseini was a cohort and collaborator with Adolf Hitler, and he brought his Nazi philosophy to the Mandate of Palestine, and ordered the slaughter of the Jews, thus it began before the state of Israel was declared. The inheritors of this genocidal mania are the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs today. This is not an exaggeration, but a proven fact.
Over 800,000 Jews were expelled from Arab lands between 1947-1967, with no compensation and without the ability to take their personal material wealth or to transfer it. They were left stateless by all the Arab lands. Only the Palestinian Arab refugees are recognized; not a single Jewish refugee has been recognized nor aided by any international body, especially not by the UN. Today, the lie of millions of Palestinian Arab refugees taints the discussion about justice. There is no definition of multigenerational refugees, except in this one case, created as propaganda against the Jews. It is likely that fewer than 20,000 original Arab refugees still exist but the PA and Hamas hold their own people in camps so they can claim resources from donor countries and keep UNRWA alive, employing tens of thousands of Arabs in a terror provoking entity. Canada is complicit in this regard, providing funds to schools that teach Jew hatred and violence, as proven in many textbook translations.
Jews are not occupiers, because Israel is their land, and there is no international law that can disprove this. In 1967 Israel liberated the illegally occupied areas of the Mandate for Palestine, Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem, all of which was allocated for reconstituting Israel in 1922 by the League of Nations, and then illegally occupied by Jordan in an offensive war in 1949. Israeli history must be taught to counter the litany of lies that plagues the Jewish people and endangers all Jews, even in the Canadian democracy. Teaching of the Holocaust is insufficient to overcome antisemitism, especially when today’s Jew hatred is couched in anti-Zionism.