Canada Must Step Up and Act on IHRA - CAEF Bulletin February 27, 2020
On April 25, 1920 in San Remo, Italy, The Supreme Council of the Allied Powers recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
Canada Must Reject the UN’s Anti-Rights Campaign
Recently, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights released a “blacklist” of 112 Israeli companies that do work in Judea and Samaria. This is a completely unprecedented move by the UN which has never called for a massive commercial boycott over territorial disputes before.
The move is emblematic of the UN’s hypocrisy as there are only two countries in the world with active slave markets, Libya and Mauritania, both of which sit on the UN Human Rights Council. Hypocrisy or blatant antisemitism? According to the accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition, this action most certainly represents another day of antisemitism at the United Nations—treating Israel differently than any other country for similar circumstances. Even worse, since there is no illegal occupation, the treatment is nothing more than overt Anti-Zionism which is Antisemitism. See statement from the US Ambassador the UN
CAEF suggests a letter writing campaign to bring this injustice to the attention of our Federal Government and ask the Prime Minister, Minister of Global Affairs, and the Canadian Ambassador to the UN, to speak out against this despicable action. Canada is a signatory to the IHRA definition and ought to act on the principles inherent in the definition. The government voted against Israel at the United Nations at the beginning of 2020, but this latest UN act of bigotry must be challenged by a fair-minded government. The United States has already done so.
The unjust, biased and antisemitic organization, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is running a campaign to urge Canadians to tell the government to support this UNHRC recommended boycott of 112 companies. This is the same tactic used to close down Jewish businesses in Europe in the 30s - spread lies, demean a people, single out one group, the Jews, for unfair treatment. Let us not stand by while a Canadian organization boasts of the same tactics today.
CAEF offers the sample letter below for readers to use in writing to the PM, Minister of Global Affairs, UN Ambassador, or your own MP. Use your own words, adapt this letter, or copy it. See addresses below. Stand Proud, take action.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Prime Minister 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francois-Philippe Champagne Francois-Philippe.Champagne@parl.gc.ca
House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Marc-André Blanchard email@example.com
466 Lexington Avenue, 20th Floor New York, NY 10017, USA
I was recently shocked when the office of UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, released an unprecedented blacklist of companies doing business "related to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," which for the UN includes the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.
The controversial database, which Bachelet's office has yet to produce on any other state, was mandated by a March 2016 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council that was sponsored by Kuwait on behalf of the 22-member Arab Group, Pakistan on behalf of the 56-nation Islamic group, along with Sudan, Venezuela, Algeria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Chad, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, and Libya.
Dictatorships initiated this blacklist not because they care about human rights, but to divert attention from serial rights abuses committed by council members like Venezuela, Libya, and DR Congo, by scapegoating the Jewish state.
Doing business in disputed territories has never been prohibited under international law, nor, until today, subject to a UN blacklist. For example, the EU has business and financial dealings in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara and in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.
Curiously, out of more than 100 territorial disputes in the world today, including in Tibet, Kashmir, Crimea, Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus, the UN chose only to blacklist companies doing business in Israel's disputed territories.
I am writing to request that Canada officially condemn this blatant antisemitic action of applying rules and condemnations to Israel, which are applied to no other state, no matter how horrific the behaviour of that state. It is time for Canada to do the right thing and protest this unreasonable and unacceptable scapegoating of Israel at the UN, by the UN. Canada should have no part in this and should make its displeasure known.
The IHRA and Ontario, Bill 168, The Combating Antisemitism Act
This week the Ontario government will debate the draft bill that would make IHRA the standard for evaluating, and fighting antisemitism in the province. Many of you signed the petition circulated by CIJA or wrote letters to members of the provincial parliament and the premier, urging their support. Great work.
If you haven’t acted yet, or want to do more, letters to the opposition can’t hurt. Take the time and write your MPP if you have not. Below is an article for the National Post which is a wonderful summary of the issue. This is our opportunity to ensure not only the fight, but the prevention of antisemitism.
Read it here
Post Script to Canada
When the government gets it right, it is our duty to acknowledge it, not just to criticize when they get it wrong. Today we are informed that Canada backed Israel in its International Criminal Court (ICC) challenge.
The Canadian Jewish News reported that Canada submitted a letter to the ICC rejecting the chief prosecutor’s decision to investigate (bogus) war crimes claims by the Palestinian Authority, on the grounds that there is no recognized state of Palestine, and thus the ICC has no jurisdiction in this matter under international law.
Send your appreciation to the government, but also ask that the government cease funding the ICC until this matter is laid to rest and the investigation withdrawn.
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