Yom Hashoah Reminds Us to Remember, Memories Keep Alive the Human Spirit
Hurrah for the Concordia Student Union!
A Letter of Apology to the Jewish Community from Concordia Student Union was published on line in Facebook, and is the first serious step in acknowledging the problem of Jew hatred and taking a step to address it. CAEF congratulates and thanks the CSU and asks that they now adopt IHRA and press the university to adopt and implement the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.
Dear Jewish Community,
More than anything else, this is embarrassing for us. It is embarrassing for us because even trying to verbalize our mistakes only serves to highlight how ridiculous they are. An ongoing theme of the CSU is that we try our best to support and give a voice to those who are being discriminated against, but this is something we have neglected to do for the Jewish Community. Today, we strive to acknowledge our mistakes and begin the process of correcting ourselves.
Overall, our mistakes can be described in one word, indifference. Indifference to one of the world’s oldest forms of discrimination. Indifference to the concerns of our Jewish students. Indifference to the struggles they have faced. While a common topic of our meetings has been how the CSU can tackle other forms of discrimination or support certain minority groups, the Jewish Community and Antisemitism are seldom brought up.
This indifference has led to numerous opportunities being missed by the Concordia Student Union to help the Jewish Community and to tackle issues of Antisemitism on our campus head-on. By doing so, the CSU has assisted in fostering a campus culture where Jewish students are afraid to openly identify as Jewish. Instead of choosing to tuck their Star of David necklaces under their shirts out of fear of having insults hurled at them for things they do not control and are not responsible for. Our silence on these issues only benefits the oppressors and sets the belief that these acts are somehow justifiable which encourages the oppressors to continue this behavior. This behavior continues well outside the boundaries of our campus and into a society where they may harm many more individuals.
We do not believe any student should attend the campus in fear due to their religion or ethnicity. The fact that so many do is a tragedy and one which the CSU has a moral obligation in combatting. Therefore, we would like to achieve the following over the next year to ensure that the Jewish community knows the CSU is there to help when acts of Antisemitism occur and that we will give equal attention to this form of discrimination as any other:
The initialization of an Antisemitism training for all incoming CSU Representatives to better understand this often understated form of discrimination within our campus.
As many instances of Antisemitism occur unpredictably on campus, the development of a Bystander Prevention Program (BPP) for the student body allowing them to identify and safely intervene and/or support Jewish Students if they witness an act of Antisemitism.
In tandem with the above, a mandatory training to all CSU Club Executives so that they may be able to identify Antisemitism and host events in which the Jewish Community can feel safe and participate in.
To work with Concordia to quickly remove the Antisemitic graffiti/vandalism which is found around our campus and leads to an unwelcoming atmosphere for Jewish Students on campus.
The inclusion of a Jewish perspective in CSU operations moving forward when dealing with topics of discrimination and an acknowledgment of Antisemitism when combatting different forms of discrimination on campus.
While we stood idly by in the past while acts of Antisemitism occurred, we hope not to repeat those mistakes again and hope the Jewish Community will give us another chance to support them in the future.
The Concordia Student Union
Jewish Pride—Our Pride—Standing Proud
Watch Ben M. Freeman, author and educator in CAEF Web Talk,
Jews Tell New Democratic Party Leader to Stop Party Caucus’s Antisemitism
Resolutions that slander Israel, promote divisiveness in Canadian society and leverage Jew hatred are all on the agenda of the NDP Policy Convention being held virtually April 9-11. CAEF and major Jewish organizations have called on NDP Party Leader, Jagmeet Singh to ensure these resolutions are kept off the agenda, and though published, do not see the light of day on the virtual convention floor. To read more about the actions CAEF has taken and how you can help, click here.
A very explicit Op Ed on this matter, written by Terry Glavin, and published in the National Post on April 7th, 2021, and is available here. In response, the following comment was submitted on line by Susan Silverman of Toronto and is shared here with permission of the author:
“Redefining Canada’s Place in the World”, the NDP’s 2021 Policy Book reads like an apocalyptic nightmare and to imagine there are several fringe MPs who embrace some of its absurdity is beyond frightening. Perhaps there really is something called “COVID brain fog” that has infested this fringe element. Most disturbing is their never-ending anti-semitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric. Israel, the only democracy and supporter of free speech in the Middle East, with its outstanding breakthroughs in medicine, science and technology, has become the favourite whipping-boy of the left. Most minorities (think African Americans, Canadian aboriginals, etc.)are treated by the progressives as “victims”; one must then ask, why are Jews, who make up .2% of the world’s population always vilified?
Former leader and now the voice of reason and common sense as a political analyst, Tom Mulcair, was able to quarantine the anti-semitic toxicity that is once again rearing its ugly head in NDP quarters. Jagmeet Singh needs to show his courage or risks being a footnote in Canadian history.
Lies Told by Jews are Still Lies, and are Damaging and Antisemitic
Moshe Phillips, National Director of Herut North America, wrote on April 2nd, 2021 in an article published by the Jewish National Syndicate, about history professor Michael Fishbach’s recent essay in what he describes as a respected American journal of history. Phillips rightly points out the anti-Israel professor barely knows the history of the Middle East and the editors of American Jewish History are negligent, if not complicit, in disseminating an antisemitic tirade that fails to meet the standard of scholarship generally required for publication.
We need Jewish professors and academics to stand proud as Jews and Zionists, but we don’t owe any support or respect to those who vilify Israel and spread lies.
Education is No Antidote to Jew Hatred
A recently released study, published in Tablet magazine on March 29th, 2021, found that the more educated individual is more likely to be antisemitic than persons with less education, which should be no surprise today as we witness leftist professors poisoning the minds of millions of students against Israel and the Jewish people. The study by Jay Greene, Albert Cheng and Ian Kingsbury should evoke a huge amount of discussion in academic circles, Jewish communities, Holocaust centers, and amongst all the organizations fighting antisemitism and trying their (and our) damnedest to make a dent in the fight to end Jew hatred.
Shockingly and sadly, we see the same in Canada, with a host of self-defined academics and intellectuals campaigning against the internationally recognized definition of antisemitism, and even proposing weakened versions to exclude examples of antisemitism that favour fair treatment of Israel, because it includes examples that call out their own detestable bias. We need remember that among the top executors of the Final Solution, were very educated Germans, that commandants of Nazi concentration, labour and death camps were the very educated, and that those who carried out experiments, tortures, and the antisemitic propaganda were professionals in their fields—doctors, lawyers, judges, professors, engineers, public relations and personnel professionals. No discipline was without those who complied or gave the orders.
If education is not the panacea—what is?
Another great article that presents what should be the goal of a liberal education, ie producing reasonable people, capable of reasoning, thinking critically, arguing rationally, considering all perspectives, open to being wrong not demanding to be right, is the Times of Israel, April 7, 2021 blog by Andrew Pessin. Pessin reviews the book by Jonathan Marks entitled, Let’s Be Reasonable: A Conservative Defense of Liberal Education.
Read the article here, or read the book to understand how the BDS movement which defies reason, serves as a political movement using what Marks describes as “norms of warfare”rather than “of reason.”
CAEF Readers Please Support the Canadian Student and the Global Campaign to Adopt the IHRA
Canadian university and college students who have experienced antisemitism on campus have come together to challenge it and change the campus experience. CAEF encourages everyone to now open the link, sign the letter, urge the university or college you attended or your kids or grandkids now attend, to adopt the IHRA, and do it NOW.
Then support the Adopt the IHRA Coalition, an umbrella group of more than 145 NGOs from around the world that calls for the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism by companies, institutions and governments.
Peace with the Arab Palestinians—a Mirage of Historic Proportion
BESA, the Promise, a Code of Honour for Albanians
The recent webinar with Consul General Donat Sylva from the Republic of Kosovo, led many readers to ask for more information about the documentary CG Syla mentioned that depicts the history of one of the most significant stories to come out of the Holocaust. Albanian people rescued almost 2000 Jews from their own country Albania and Kosovo and from neighboring countries. The Muslim citizens hid Jews, giving them alternate identities and refusing to give up any Jews to the German occupying forces. Watch the documentary, "Rescue in Albania" here