Letter to Marit Stiles, re antisemitic & communist history of candidate, now elected MPP, Sarah Jama
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @michaelteper1
Marit Stiles, MPP
Leader of the Official Opposition, MPP Davenport
Room 465, Main Legislative Building,
Toronto, ON M7A 1A5
Dear Ms. Stiles:
I am writing to you as a private citizen about your party’s candidate in the Hamilton-Centre byelection, Sarah Jama.
By now you will have received letters from both B’nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation (“CAEF”) about various statements and social media posts made by Ms. Jama that raise legitimate concerns about her attitudes toward the Jewish community. I will not waste your time repeating them in this letter.
I will present you with additional evidence that whatever vetting process you applied to Ms. Jama’s candidacy must have been grossly inadequate.
1. There are significant issues regarding Ms. Jama’s past, and potential continuing affiliation with the Communist Party. No, this is not McCarthyite red-baiting. The evidence is here:
2. According to her social media history, Sarah isn’t exactly the most loyal NDP supporter herself. According to my search of the Elections Ontario database, Sarah’s history of financially supporting the Ontario NDP is a great big zero. Not one cent. She’s all take and no give. She gets cranky when asked for money. Not exactly what I would call a “team player”.
3. Sarah says some weird and offensive things on social media, which I would suggest evidences a lack of maturity and judgment not commensurate with a provincial parliamentarian. Here’s an example:
4. Now let’s get to the antisemitism bit. B’nai Brith and the CAEF (full disclosure – I’m a member of the CAEF board of directors) have made it clear that Sarah is a harsh critic of the State of Israel and that she supports a program of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) against Israel. I won’t belabour those points. But there’s more. Sarah practices BDS not only against Israel, but against a ReachAbility a Canadian nonprofit association that provides employment and advocacy services for disabled Canadians. ReachAbility has no operations in Israel or transactions with Israelis. Sarah’s refusal to deal with ReachAbility is solely because she alleges that Tova Sherman, the CEO of that organization, is a personal supporter of the State of Israel.
I don’t know exactly what Tova did or said that raised Sarah’s ire, but I did perform a quick search of Tova’s Twitter history. The only “pro-Israel” entries I could find were these:
So Tova’s daughter lives on a Moshav. That’s a type of democratic socialist volunteer collective farm, like a kibbutz, but with slightly greater private ownership of personal property. Moshav Mero is located just north of Safed, well within the 1948 territory of Israel. It is not in the so-called “occupied territories”. It looks like the head and front of Tova’s offence is that she publicly called for donations for the reconstruction of the moshav when it was destroyed by fire.
Other than that, I found no other public statements made by Tova about Israel, Palestine, or Palestinians, of any kind. Zero.
I know that many people in the NDP are not fond of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism, despite the fact that it is the internationally recognized definition and has been adopted by over 35 countries including Canada. There are some proPalestinian activists who prefer the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (“JDA”) because it defines antisemitism much more narrowly, denying that opposition to Zionism is not antisemitic. But even the JDA states that the following to be antisemitic:
Holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s conduct or treating Jews, simply because they are Jewish, as agents of Israel.
Requiring people, because they are Jewish, publicly to condemn Israel or Zionism (for example, at a political meeting).
So, therefore, I respectfully submit that there is a prima facie case that your candidate, Sara Jama, has posted at least one antisemitic statement on social media. One is too many.
Ms. Stiles, Jews are not stupid. We know how to use the internet and how to perform investigations. Ignoring the issues won’t make them go away. The evidence in this letter alone makes it abundantly clear that Sarah Jama is manifestly unfit to represent the people of Ontario in the Legislature, and that the NDP has no business in continuing to support her.
You need to re-examine her social media history in detail, immediately, and make a decision about whether what you already know is enough to terminate the NDP’s endorsement of her as a candidate. Don’t wait until she’s elected and more embarrassing revelations come forth. Best regards,