The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation (CAEF) Bulletin summarizes activities, achievements and volunteer engagement. Reader comments are always welcome.
Response from Dr. Meric Gertler, President of University of Toronto, and Reply from CAEF
A week ago, the Palestinian Student Association sponsored Norman Finkelstein at UTM campus during the annual, antisemitic hate fest called Israel Apartheid Week, and the Graduate Student Association passed a resolution to boycott Israel. The President responded in a very considerate manner to our letter which condemned both events. President Gertler focused on two items, freedom of speech and the independence of student organizations from the university administration. These are well known facts but don’t address the substance of our concern.
It is time that the Adult population, and a responsible Administration spoke up and took issue with the lies, the hatred, the antisemitic implications and their damage. It is fine to laud free speech, but that also implies the President is free to speak, and to express another view, that being that the grad and undergrad students’ positions are prejudicial, reflect ignorance and antisemitism, they repeat lies and intimidate Jewish students. Our letter noted that the President of Cornell University, Martha Pollack, has spoken up against BDS on her campus.
Freedom of speech is sacrosanct, but so is speaking up and not being silent in the face of hatred and lies. The late and esteemed Eli Wiesel, a champion for human rights and justice, cautioned all of us to not tolerate the intolerable, or history will repeat itself. Would the University of Toronto allow Neo-Nazis a platform just because they are free to spew hatred? Would this administration ignore calls to defund programs or end relationships with any other country or would it speak up? I know there are student and faculty exchanges with North Korea at UBC where I am an alumnus, and no one is calling to end this despite the most horrible record of human rights abuses in the world by the North Korean government. So, calls to boycott a democratic ally of Canada should be called out by the administration as distinctly antisemitic.
CAEF responded, patiently and I trust constructively in a letter to President Gertler in which we make a few suggestions of concrete action that his administration can take.
Canadians for the Rule of Law Teach-In a Great Success, Volunteers Eager to Act
By Daniel Bordman
On Sunday March 17th, 2019, the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation was a proud sponsor of the very successful first conference organized by the newly registered charity, Canadians for the Rule of Law (CFTRL).
The conference was a starting point for a new way to defend freedom of speech and religion, and fight terrorists and radicals; the rule of law. A series of speakers, from all over the world, spoke on a variety of topics from the role of religion in public space, and propaganda in the media, to bankrupting terrorists through lawfare.
Hopefully, we are at a turning point in Canada, as over 60 people volunteered to help CFRTL’s lawyers research those people and organizations that threaten our freedoms -- from the radical Left, radical Right and Islamists. This activity will contribute significantly to stopping the bad actors in our society from trying to undermine the rule of law through censorious and harassment, violence and potentially terrorism, often funded by spurious or illegal, non-conforming “charities”.
It is not too late for any and all citizens - including you - to be a part of the new army of civilians fighting to maintain our democracy. You can volunteer here for CFTRL.
For people who were unable to attend the conference, we have some good news. As soon as it is made available online, CAEF will send you links to videos of the different panels and keynote speakers which you missed.
A few special features that you will want to view when available: fighting terror organizations in the courts was beautifully presented by Rachel Weiser, Senior Counsel from Shurat HaDin, Israel’s law fare project. Their success has been in undermining terrorist groups by taking away their money through the legal system. In Canada, where there have been attacks on Canadian civil liberties by mob behavior, we heard from John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. In his talk, Carpay spoke of the dangers facing the Canadian rule of law through the biases of Human Rights Tribunals.
The talks also featured members of our organization: Irving Weisdorf, President; Andria Spindel, Executive Director; and Daniel Bordman, Communications Coordinator. Each participated in panels or workshops that addressed issues concerning Canada and the Jewish community.
We thank those of you who attended, and we encourage all to catch up on issues affecting the rule of law in Canada. Consider how you might help with just two hours a month doing research, advocacy or litigation as a volunteer with CFTRL, working to ensure a safe future for our country.