February 28, 2023
Chair, Trustees, and Director of Education
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Dear Chair Evans, Trustees and Director Giroux;
The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation writes to express extreme concern that your scheduling a known antisemite to speak at your board meeting this evening, presuming his testimony will be credible when his past is unmistakably viciously antisemitic.
As we have stated in the past, the OCDSB is the only school board that advised its Jewish students to hide in a safe room during student demonstrations calling for the destruction of Israel instead of taking decisive action to disallow or discourage the hateful demonstrations which intimidated and discriminated against the Jewish students. The OCDSB is the only school board whose officials did nothing when a student corrupted an Indigenous land acknowledgment at a graduation ceremony to rant at “Zionists” for “stealing her land”.
Today, you will be the only school board that gives a platform to Jew hatred if you allow Jabir Ghadie to speak. This student harassed a Jewish student in an Ottawa school and then rallied fellow students to bully her until she requested a transfer to another school. Where is your sense of justice and what discipline did you impose on Ghadie?
You are being told that anti-Palestinian racism is rampant but you are not being told the truth. The very definition of “APR” is meant to silence historical facts, criticism of terrorism within the Palestinian controlled areas of Israel and the disputed territories, and undermine efforts to curb antisemitism which is a very real and growing hatred that has infected our society. There is zero equivalency between the Holocaust which led to the mass murder of 6,000,000 Jews and the Israeli War of Independence, initiated by 5 Arab armies against the fledgling state of Israel that resulted in defeat for the Arabs and the re-establishment of the Jewish state. You must get your mind around the fact that the “Nakba” meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic is that the Arabs were defeated and Israel was founded. Since that historical fact is offensive to certain Arab communities, they continue to wage war against Israel and bring their hatred to the Jews in the west.
The Palestinian Youth Movement is not about peace, co-existence, promoting and sharing a distinct Palestinian Arab culture, but about fomenting hate and continuous war against the Jewish State of Israel. Please note this excerpt from the home page of PYM:
“PYM is... the result of ongoing Zionist colonization and occupation of our homeland. Our belonging to Palestine and our aspirations for justice and liberation motivate us to assume an active role as a young generation in our national struggle for the liberation of our homeland and people.”
Zionism is the belief in a Jewish homeland in ancient Israel, where the Jews came from and is not a racist, colonialist movement. It predates the beginning of Islam and is found throughout the Torah, ie the Old Testament. There is no Jewish colonization or occupation as the re-constituted State of Israel, which like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, came about as a result of decisions of post WWI Allied Supreme Council which met in San Remo in 1920, and agreed to re-establish Israel and also create the named Arab states, all from the former Ottoman Empire. Teaching history would enlighten all students to the truth.
The PYM statement calling for “justice and liberation” and “an active role as a young generation in our national struggle,” is a call for war, a genocide against Israelis. The land of Israel was never sovereign to any other people than the Jews. There has never been a state called Palestine, but there was Syria Palestina, named by the Greeks to erase Jewish history, which is now being carried out by Arabs who wish to be known as “Palestinians.” Under the British Mandate for Palestine, given by the League of Nations in 1922, and in operation until the new states were created, Jews, Muslims, Christians of any race or ethnicity were all Palestinians, it was not then an ethno-racial identity. Today, Israeli Arabs constitute 21% of the population of Israel and have full civil rights, serving in the government, high court, media, all professions and even voluntarily, in the Israel Defense Forces.
Further evidence of the malice being promoted by PYM and affiliated groups which support the current Palestinian Authority or its Gazan cousin, Hamas, is in the attached video which shows that Arab children are being trained as terrorists, the goal of which is to destroy Israel and that includes killing civilians. This is child abuse by the governing bodies of Palestinian Arab controlled education, and is reinforced in all their media and mosques.
Telling this truth IS NOT anti-Palestinian racism, it is telling the truth.
Please watch this: https://vimeo.com/684187653
Andria Spindel, Executive Director
Cc Mr. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education