Chag Pesach Sameach! Don’t Passover this Bulletin, April 4, 2023
To our Muslim Friends, Ramadan Mubarak; to our Christian Friends, Happy Easter!
Passover is a most important event in the Jewish calendar and seasonal cycle, a celebration of freedom, of liberty and hope. It is a time that all Jews, secular and religious, retell the story of the exodus from Egypt, freedom from slavery, struggles with G-d, survival in the desert, redemption and renewal. Spring has arrived so we also enjoy the renewal of life for all living things.
Over recent decades we also recognize the influx of refugees from many countries, fleeing wars. We recognize other ways people are enslaved, controlled by tyrannical governments, experiencing censorship, cancel culture, ideological evisceration of critical thinking, and limitations on freedom of religion.
May All Canadians Enjoy Many Blessings, Fellowship, and Freedom!
High Risk Event or Low Quality Security Assessment?
Toronto Metropolitan University Took the Easy Way out— Cancelled the Jews.
Last week, CAEF reported that an event sponsored by the TMU chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) was canceled, pretty last minute, by the university. We said we would provide more information, and here it is in the words of the SSI Chapter chair, Shira Mammon:
“The room was booked on March 1st and I received confirmation for the Margaret Laurence Room at Oakham house on March 2nd by Alex Hrach, a conference coordinator at TMU. On March 22 I received a call from Marco Hernandez, a risk-assessment specialist at TMU who informed me that he was now assigned to follow up on our event because he was informed (by Hillel at TMU) that protests were being planned for our event. I told Marco we still planned to go ahead with the event and he said that was great. I inquired from Marco about arranging security for the event; he said there would be a fee of around $40 an hour and that he would get back to me with specific details. I was then invited to a meeting with a number of individuals who work in the Security Department at TMU.
This meeting took place on March 24th. I did not have all of the answers to their questions at that moment but emailed them right after with the information they needed - most importantly, that the event would be closed to only those who registered (and so the security risk was minimal because I knew all of those who registered by that point and we were going to close the registration). Later that day, I g0t a call from Denise Campbell, the Executive Director of Community Safety at TMU who stated that it was not possible to arrange security, and as this event was not safe, it could not take place at TMU. Her reasons were as follows:
Insufficient time to gather the additional security staff/pay-duty police officers to enhance current security measures for the building and space.
The event has circumvented the Connect RU event approval process.
Key University stakeholders had not assessed the event.
Of note: None of these factors are normally needed when planning an event at TMU. The Oakham House room cannot be booked through Connect RU which is why we used the student center booking link (which normally should not be an issue).
Denise told me that we could postpone the event and have it at a later date with security in place - I told her Lt. Col. Eyal was only in for the day but she failed to understand and repeatedly said we could reschedule. She said off-campus security would not be allowed because it is school policy that they need to provide security when there is a security risk like this.
The result: we rented a room at the holiday inn for over $200. The protesters still came to TMU.”
Thanks to Shira for sharing this story with CAEF. Needless to say, we are dismayed that the Security Department would consider the talk by a retired Israeli military officer, speaking about the humanitarian work done by the special Good Neighbour Project, saving Syrian lives, would be considered high risk; that the security staff couldn’t be found when the department called the meeting to discuss it; that the students offered a reasonable process for controlling entrance to the event and accepted costs for any onsite security. How “risky” would a street protest be? Did the university really think that a huge crowd would arrive, threaten lives or property, be beyond the capability of campus security to control? Just what were the real issues?
Did the protesters succeed? Did they shut down the event?
Photo from the meeting held with Lt. Col. Eyal Dror at the downtown Holiday Inn.
See video of the pathetic protest that took place.
Read excerpts from The Palestine Chronicle by Paul Salvatori, a known antisemite who posts regular rants against Israel. In this querulous article he seems upset that the speaker and Jewish students left so he had no one against whom to protest. He complains that he wasn’t sent a notice of the "cancellation (or an invitation to join SSI at the hotel), and nobody cared that he followed his own Facebook message-he showed up for a non-event.
“I organized a demonstration against Eyal Dror at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). He didn’t show up and the event he was supposed to be speaking at, hosted by the Students Support Israel (SSI) chapter at TMU was canceled.”
“The demonstration was to protest what he was going to talk about—‘humanitarian’ work the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are doing in Syria, though the state occupies it illegally.”
“I was told by staff at TMU that SSI canceled the event on the Friday before it was to take place (the following Monday). That’s more than enough time for the group to have announced publicly on its Facebook page, where it was advertising the event, that it was being canceled and why.”
Salvatori writes that his group demonstrated against Israel’s white washing of its crimes, but the “crime” is that the IDS saved Syrian lives, lives being blown apart by their own government, and this seems of little concern to him and his motley crew of protesters. He has zero empathy for the wounded Syrians who made it to the perilous border with Israel to receive care and compassion from Jews, which they could not receive from their own people, bombed and brutalized by their President, Bashir al-Asad.
Jews can be very proud of the dedication of Eyal Dror and the many IDF soldiers who risked their lives and provided medical support to wounded civilians, whom they were under no obligation to treat. The Israeli government and NGOs provided equipment, supplies, technology, and even fabricated an operating room at the border.
May the IDF and its incredible, dedicated, selfless, humane, and compassionate members be blessed and forever remembered by the Arabs whom they served selflessly, and may Salvatori and his band of bigoted antisemites wake up to the truth and repent for their Jew hatred.
On Andrew Cohen’s regrettable “progressive” journey
By Doğan Akman
Andrew Cohen is a writer and a professor of journalism at Carleton University. He has published scholarly books.
On Saturday, March 18, 2023, (p.09) he published an opinion piece titled Deafening Silence-In Israel’s hour of crisis, in which he wrote, “It has come to this: In Israel’s hour of crisis, as thousands fill the streets protesting the assault on democracy and human rights, etc. mainstream Jews in Canada are unseen and unheard. They have been orphaned, by timid, tepid leadership out of step with their views. This is the unspeakable silence of the Canadian Jewish establishment”,
He alleges but does not substantiate his allegations. Obviously, he believes that his article as a whole substantiates his position, but clearly it does no such thing.
He then proceeds to rely on the results of a sclerotic survey sponsored by JSpaceCanada (JSC) and the New Israel Fund Canada (NIFC) to support his key points.
Advocacy and Action
A reader responds to an Ad in the National Post of April 1, 2023
Read letter from Doğan Akman, Senior Counsel, Civil Litigation Branch, Federal Department of Justice (ret’d), written to theComment Editor of the NationalPost in response to a full-page ad, titled Our Concern for Israel, signed by 300 Canadian Jews, published April 1, 2023. The gist of the ad is that the signatories oppose the Israeli government’s proposed judicial reforms. Akman disagrees with their premise that democracy is threatened.
Dear Mr. Jerema,
Knowledge is preferable to unwarranted concern
On April 1, 2023, a group of Canadian Jews published a document titled “Our Concern for Israel”.
The cause of the concern, as they phrased it is that “the governing coalition’s program of judicial reforms could run counter the ideals and founding principles of the state. We are of the view that these potential reforms may very well cripple the independence and autonomy of the judicial system and impair human civil rights. The end result of any such changes needs to be consistent with the original principles of the Declaration of Independence….we believe it is imperative that we speak out at this time to challenge these pending judicial changes, in a clear, urgent, and unequivocally strong voice. Our love and support for the State of Israel require nothing less.”
With all due respect to the signatories, their challenge is not informed on at least three issues.
From the wording of the document, it is clear that the signatories have not done their homework before publicizing their concerns. Hence their speculative and unsubstantiated conclusion that the reforms may very well cripple the independence and autonomy of the judicial system and impair human civil rights.
I will illustrate the preceding assertion with two examples.
Read letter from Richard Sherman to Mid-Atlantic Media, publisher of multiple newspapers and magazine, concerning the real roadblock to peace.
Dear Letter to the Editor:
Both the editorial( "Progeny of the Taylor Force Act") and Stephen Flatow's erudite letter ( "What the PA Can Do") express the correct aspiration in terms of achieving peace in the Middle East. However, there is a constitutional roadblock that makes such aspirations totally ineffectual.
The enabling document of the PA is the 1964 PLO Charter which mandates the annihilation of every Jew in Israel. Those annihilation of the Jews clauses have never been revoked as per the requirements of Article 33 of the PLO Charter: notice of a meeting specifically called to revoke the annihilation clauses and a 2/3 vote at such a meeting. Such a meeting has NEVER been held. There is no provision in the PLO Charter for oral revocation, not by Yasir Arafat nor by anyone else.
Every member of the PA is constitutionally committed to the murder of every Jew in Israel as per its enabling document which is why the "Play for Slay" program which awards bounties for Jew killing fits perfectly within the PLO Charter.
In light of the PA's legal existence being totally within the four squares of the genocidal PLO Charter, any interest in peace expressed by any member of the PA is pure taqiya ( dissimulation) and nothing more.
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