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CAEF Letter to Minister Stephen Lecce and TDSB

September 27, 2021

Minister Stephen Lecce,

Minister of Education, Ontario

Dear Minister Lecce,

The Toronto District School Board has an antisemitism problem! This is not a slight mis-communication, a minor error in judgment, or merely an innocent but ignorant comment with unintended consequences. The TDSB is fostering an environment of Jew Hatred in neglecting to stand for truth, to challenge lies and bigotry, and to remove a hater from its platforms, both on line and in person.

Firstly the TSDB did not discipline Janvier Davila who was found to be teaching a highly antisemitic and woefully false course to educators. The pursuit of peace for Palestinian Arabs is noble until it totally disregards truth, blaming Israel for the plight of people who are hostage to a government of their own that teaches Holocaust denial, Jew hatred and incitement to kill Jews. Arab Israeli citizens enjoy all the civil rights of Jews and sit in the Knesset and if this isn’t taught, then neglect or omission spreads lies. Davila is demonstrating that he has no respect for history, truth, or inclusion and should be removed from his position or required to get training and held to account.

Now we learn that Desmond Cole was allowed a platform to push his antisemitic agenda at a TDSB educators’ conference. That Mr. Cole is a nationally recognized anti-Black racism activist, writer and speaker, does not negate his antisemtic remarks nor make them acceptable. And if ignorance is his excuse then all the more reason for him not to be given a platform to spew lies about Israel and Jews. THERE IS ZERO CONNECTION BETWEEN HISTORIC RACISM IN CANADA AND THE CONFLICT BETWEEN JEWISH ISRAELIS AND ARABS WHO WISH THAT ALL JEWS WOUILD BE FORCED TO LEAVE ISRAEL, THEIR HISTORIC AND PERMANENT HOMELAND! THE BDS MOVEMENT IS A DESTRUCTIVE, GENOCIDAL MOVEMENT THAT WISHES TO SEE JEWS PUSHED INTO THE SEA OR SENT BACK TO EUROPE. Since the majority of Israeli Jews are from Arab countries where they were forcibly evicted, stripped of citizenship and property, never compensated, and many murdered, it is a pathetic position that Davila and Cole espouse. It is immoral, divisive and arguably racist! It is historical fact that Israel has always had a Jewish presence, that the Arabs invaded in the 7th century and have been fighting to eliminate the Jews ever since.

The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation demands that the Ministry take a significant interest and investigate the incidents of antisemitism that are now plaguing the TDSB, and take action to rectify this situation. A report is not significant enough. All those people exposed to the Jew hatred fed by these two people, and others within the board, have been subject to misinformation that needs correction. It may be assumed that this message will have permeated the system and now needs a system wide correction.

The curriculum that is supposed to encourage inclusion and diversity is divisive, exclusionary and is pushing “narratives” not truths, myths not facts, hate not justice, and will indubitably result in more Jew hatred, not less.

Mr. Minister, the incidence of antisemitic attacks is growing in Canada, and globally, and it is fed by the kind of lies that these two people are peddling. It starts with words, but it never ends with words. It starts with the Jews, but it never ends with the Jews. Today, it is Israel that is singled out as the Jew among the nations, blamed for every evil, tragedy, human and natural disaster. Such lies were peddled in the schools in Germany—the educators were never innocent, never stood up against the tyranny of hatred. Let that not be the legacy that grows at the TDSB or any other school, board or institution in Ontario or anywhere in Canada. Stop it Now!

And note, the NCCM which has endorsed the lies propagated by Desmond Cole is pushing its own antisemitic agenda and we censure it for this misconduct! The Palestinian Arabs are not aided by injustice to Jews, and none of the speakers nor the NCCM are actively promoting peace.

We urge your intervention swiftly and effectively, and await your response.



Executive Director


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