CAEF letter to Toronto Mayor Tory

Dear Mayor Tory,

The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation is deeply alarmed at yesterday’s anti-Israel rally, the anti-Jewish rhetoric, the blatant breach of health regulations and the total lack of action by the Toronto City Police in allowing this large gathering to take place. (See photos below.)

The rally was said to be “peaceful” and Covid Compliant but given the large crowd’s lack of mask wearing and zero social distancing, it is unconscionable that there was no City of Toronto intervention. The messages were not those of peace, rather they were one sided, antagonistic, false claims and dangerously aligned with the Anti-Zionist Jew hatred spewed by the Palestinian Authority which was urging Arab Muslims to attack Jews across the State of Israel. Had this rally been about Peace, it would have called on the Palestinian Arabs to cease attacking Jews, to abide by the laws of the country in which they live, and to condemn both rocket attacks from the Gaza strip and the car ramming, knifing and terrorist shooting that has plagued the country since the beginning of the period of Ramadan.

Clearly the intent was to demonize Israel, urge more attacks by Arabs within the country, challenge Israel’s democratic institutions while ignoring the lack of such institutions in the Arab world, especially the non-democratic Palestinian Authority’s hegemony and incitement to violence. This is entirely in breach of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and thus in breach of our province’s own legislation. Israel has been singled out for demonization, bigotry, falsehoods, betrayal by those who wish to see the Jewish state eradicated.

Our first concern is that this hate-fest was allowed to proceed despite being an outlandish display of non-compliance with health regulations, while we see churches shut, schools shut and threats of civil action for disobedience to these requirements. As Mayor, you and Council must condemn this behavior and at the same time express alarm and intervene when our community is threatened as it clearly is when the cause is to destroy Israel.

Please share our concern with the Council noting that another potentially uncivil, non-Covid compliant rally is scheduled for May 15th on city property. (See poster below.) The site should be cordoned off and no rally allowed. We understand completely the importance of free speech, but we are all living under lockdown so this rally should not be taking place. We also know that the Nabka claim and this rally is a definite call for the destruction of Israel, and must not be condoned by any government or politician in Canada, and most certainly not by the City of Toronto.

It is now more urgent than ever that this City give serious consideration to adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism as people are being urged to accept Jew hatred as a legitimate social movement.

Regards,



Andria Spindel,

Executive Director

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