July 12, 2023
Minister Melanie Joly
Government of Canada
House of Commons
Dear Minister Joly;
For twenty (20) years the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation has monitored the alarming increase in antisemitism, and educated Canadians about what gave rise to the atrocities that we came to know as pogroms and then the Holocaust. Signs of Jew hatred may be subtle but they are now prevalent, often masquerading as anti-Zionism in which every evil is blamed on the one Jewish state--Israel. Canada and Israel have a strong history as allies which must be preserved and enhanced, especially as Jew hatred is now centered so often on Israel and Canadians who love Israel.
Canadian policies towards Israel are not all consistent with historical or legal facts and need to be reconsidered. The notion that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has any intent or interest in a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the decade’s long conflict with Israel, isn’t based on reality. The PA, like designated terrorist entities, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, is committed to the destruction of Israel. It is part of the charter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the most significant founding organization of the PA, and consistent with Fatah and other PA member groups. PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, consistently incites terror, and rewards any Arab who kills a Jew.
It is very concerning that Canada, along with Australia and the UK, published a statement that housing is an obstacle to peace, when clearly it is the least of obstacles. Canada and its allies should be demanding that terrorism and illegal arms be halted in the PA controlled areas. Why has your Ministry not condemned the stashing of arms in mosques in Jenin, in schools in Gaza, and in or near hospitals? Why are you not condemning the many new terror organizations that have arisen recently and are operating in Jenin, endangering Arab lives, as well as Jewish lives?
How does Canada justify not demanding the end of the Palestinian law that requires a payment for killing a Jewish Israeli? How does Canada justify funding UNRWA which educates kids to hate Jews, deny Israel’s legitimacy, and to aspire to the “honourable” action of killing an innocent Israeli? Pay-for-slay is an abomination and it should result in a war crimes charge, and the end of Western countries’ support for the PA, and the imposition of sanctions against the PA by Canada and every democratic country. Any support for UNRWA must be conditioned on ending pay-for-slay and the PA law behind it, and removing Jew hatred from all text books. Note, all UNRWA textbooks are PA approved!
We note that several self-labelled “progressive” Jewish organizations, are suggesting Canada condemn the building of Jewish homes on Jewish land in Judea and Samaria, which is a position that is naïve and ludicrous, because such buildings have zero impact on the conflict, but can be used as an excuse for more terrorism by the PA and other anti-Israel Arab entities. It is also based on false notions of Israel’s legal rights; building in Area C is absolutely legal and should be of zero concern to Canada. Where is Canada’s outrage at the extensive Arab illegal land grabs and non-permitted Arab buildings in Area C? As per the Oslo Accords, this land is dedicated for Israeli development.
Referring to Judea and Samaria as the “West Bank” is to parlay the language of Jordan’s illegal occupation of this area from 1949 until 1967 when Israel liberated its land in a defensive war. It has never been a legal name for Judea and Samaria, but is part of the ongoing propaganda to convince people that Israel’s rights are not legitimate. The illegal Jordanian occupation was the problem and while they held the area, Jordan did zero development, never established a Palestinian country, nor held the Temple Mount to be of much significance. Now that Jews are returning to their ancestral homeland, this is an offense to the dedicated Islamists who want to remove the Jewish presence from all of Israel.
There are NO “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” there is NO country called “Palestine” and there never has been!
Israel has the legal right to extend sovereignty over the Jewish populated areas of Judea and Samaria, without Canadian approval. Adopting inappropriate and misleading language, as recommended by several NGOs, to describe an area of Israel that is home to over 550,000 Israelis, only inflames the situation and does not resolve any disputes. It is antisemitic and unacceptable.
The call to add pressure against Israel is incredibly baseless and inhumane. Where is the call to end the terrorism perpetrated by the PA and the many vigilante terror groups operating out of Jenin, Nablus and other centers of Islamist antisemitic extremism? Where is the Canadian condemnation of the Jordanian diplomat who was caught bringing illegal arms to the Arab communities of Judea and Samaria with the intent to murder more Jewish woman and babies?
Settlements are not the problem—armed terrorists are! Settlements are part of the security system for Israel and are legal, and it is the government of Israel’s call, not the Canadian government’s, as to where housing may be built. Canada should focus on the lack of housing for its own citizens, as well as refugees, and incoming immigrants, and stay out of Israel’s national and local issues. Calling for boycotts and sanctions, and the biased labelling of Israeli products made in lands populated by Jews, and denying Israel’s right to build homes for Israelis is antisemitic and should be called out as such.
Lastly, since the Palestinian Authority has made it abundantly clear that it is not open to a two state solution, but will only accept one Muslim dominated state, devoid of a Jewish presence, isn’t it time that Canada updated its policies, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish state, and ceased any and all criticism of Israel for defending the lives of all its citizens and residents against a coalition of terrorist entities?
Ms Joly, we are eager to have your response to our serious concerns, and to see that Canada is truly standing with her ally, Israel. Lastly, CAEF would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss everything raised in this letter.
Andria Spindel, Executive Director
Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation