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CAEF Letter to The Westdale re Israelism, the film and Jew hatred

December 5, 2023

Dear Management of the Westdale,

You are about to show a film that discredits Israel, promotes Jew hatred, and disparages all of the 85+%of Canadian Jews for whom Zionism is a part of their identity. There is no Judaism without Zionism, despite what IJV states.

Zion is the name for Jerusalem in the Torah and often references all of Israel, and the Jewish people have a history on the land of Israel that goes back millenium. Not every Canadian likes every aspect of this country, every political leader, party or decision, nor every part of the past or present, but we are Canadian and each can make a decision or take an action to improve things while living here. We do not accept foreigners telling us what needs fixing in our country, nor undermining our society's values. Neither do we accept that Israelism is anything more than a side show for two disgruntled young people who did not make a decision to stay in Israel and address what they felt as wrong. Instead, they chose to undermine an entire people, culture and history.

At a time when antisemitism is growing exponentially and Jewish Canadians are experiencing hatred and fear at an unprecedented level, it is most inappropriate to show a biased, propagandistic view of Israel, a country that has been besieged by terror and suffered losses equivalent to what would be 9000 Canadian lives or 35,000 American as carried out in Israel by Hamas in one day. Every institution that truly cares about human rights for all, justice and the rule of law, should be standing with Israel, helping its people recover from the worst assault since the Holocaust, defending its obligation to remove the terrorists who hold both Israeli hostages and all of Gaza hostage. This brutal Islamist force has destroyed all semblance of peace for both Jews and Arabs, has systematically murdered LGBTQ+ Arabs, has defiled every mosque, hospital and school by storing weapons in these places, mistreated women, taught children to kill not love, not resolve disagreements by any method other than brutal force.

What is the point of showing Israelism to a Hamilton audience, other than to spread lies, misinformation, a singular bias by two young people who really know nothing about democracy and justice as they portray Israel in negative ways? The civil rights of Arabs in Israel are ironclad. The civil rights of Arabs in Judea and Samaria are under PA control and have been since the Oslo Accords. The civil rights and all services in Gaza have been under Hamas since they took over in 2007 after Israel vacated, an election was held and then they battled with the PA, killing Arabs who opposed them. There has been total abuse of Gazans by Hamas for over 2 decades so if you're at all interested in social justice, liberty, civil rights, you need stand against Hamas and support Palestinian Arabs to be free from such torture, and the crimes committed by Hamas, which chose not to build a prosperous healthy society but to steal donor funds and build a war machine, tunnels and bank accounts for its leaders.

You must choose between showing a film that will hurt the Jewish community, reinforce biases and lies or take a stand for Israel, Canada's ally, and for the people of Palestine who want freedom from Islamist hatred and degradation to pursue a better life.


Andria Spindel

Executive Director

Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation


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