October 8, 2021
Ms Shirley Chan
Superintendent of Education
Toronto District School Board
Dear Ms Chan,
The Jewish community acknowledges that ingrained Antisemitism with its religious and racial roots and 3000 year-old history, has lived on the fringes of our free and democratic society. But, to see this ideology of hate invading our institutions like the TDSB is beyond tolerance! Under the guise of diversity and inclusion, Javila Davila and Desmond Cole are excluding the one group which both experienced heightened levels of discrimination and also helped defeat intolerance and racism in Canada.
This situation needs a strong voice, a champion who will educate him or herself on the antisemitism that is being spewed by Davila and Cole, their false claims against Israel and the Jewish people and their lack of both fairness and appropriateness in grabbing the agenda and unwittingly subjecting others to their hatred. Both of these men have demonstrated a lack of support for inclusiveness, threatened the safety of Jewish students and teachers, and misused their roles within the TDSB. This is not reflective of the values of our society and most certainly does harm to our society, and contributes nothing to keeping Canada safe for all.
Jew Hatred may begin with the Jews, but it never ends with the Jews.
The comparison they make in regards to Canada, equating our Indigenous people’s suffering to Israel and the Palestinians is absolutely absurd. Jews are the indigenous people of Israel, while the Arabs arrived thousands of years later, and the people referred to as Palestinian arrived from many Arab countries and only adopted the identity of “Palestinian” in 1967. These are incontrovertible facts, not opinions Jews are not colonizers.
The teaching of critical race theory should also be banned or abolished for all its false and insubstantial claims and racist divisiveness. There is little validity to claiming today that all white people are racist, that our great country was formed on racism and that the original “discoverers,” “colonizers,” “settlers,” “developers,” with European backgrounds were all evil. The very fact there are Metis people proves the point as their heritage is that of Europeans who married with the Indigenous people in this country.
Jews have much experience in Canada with discrimination, and that in the not so distant past when job ads stated "Gentiles only need apply" and Toronto beaches, hotels, clubs and restaurants often refused Jewish clients, and universities had quotas on Jews.
Israel has signed normalization agreements with 4 Muslim countries and more will soon sign. Israel wants peace. Israel is the first country to aid any other country suffering from a disaster. How many of the 22 Arab countries do that? How many honour their women, grant civil rights to minorities and tolerate religious differences? Where are the Jews that lived in Arab countries for thousands of years? What human rights exist for Palestinian Arabs in those countries? Have Davila or Cole heard of the Farhud? It has been proven that the Arabs in Israel have a better life style and greater opportunities than in any Arab country!
This inversion of truth and expression of racism against Jews into our teaching realm has to be challenged. We appreciate your speaking up at the recent educator’s conference to question Cole. We ask that you continue to take a strong stance against antisemitism, identify it, call it out and support the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.
Our freedom depends on people defending it.
Chair, Education Committee
End Jew Hatred Canada & CAEF