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News Briefs: Ford Government Adopts IRHA Definition Of Antisemitism As Ontario Law

CAEF lauds “a great first step in combatting antisemitism” in Ontario

The Government of Ontario became the first province in Canada to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism on Tuesday, circumventing a scheduled public hearing into Bill 168 by use of an Order-in-Council. The move surprised proponents and caused cries of subterfuge from the bizarre alliance of Islamists, anti-Israel agents and marxist progressive “Jewish” groups that opposed the legislation.

The Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford joined jurisdictions including Canada, the United States, the UK and the EU in recognizing the IRHA standard. 

In a statement to, the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation (CAEF) described their role in promoting the cause for almost three decades.

“CAEF has been presenting programs to educate and confront antisemitism for 29 years, and has been working with local and international experts on securing support for the adoption of IHRA at the provincial and municipal levels of government, since Canada adopted it two years ago,” said executive director Andrea Spindel. “We were prepared to present to the Justice Committee as it moved to public hearings this week, especially in light of unwarranted objection from anti-Zionist voices in Canada that repeatedly stand against Israel and disseminate lies, encourage boycotts and bigotry.”

Ontario provincial legislator Roman Baber was ecstatic that years of hard work by him, fellow MPP Robin Martin, and numerous Jewish organizations to get the IRHA definition of antisemitism adopted was successful.

Spindel went on to thank MPP’s Roman Baber (York Centre) and Robin Martin (Eglington-Lawrence) who sponsored the legislation, adding “this is a great first step in combating antisemitism and we hope it will be followed with education and training, monitoring and accountability reporting to remedy the situations that have given rise to increased antisemitism.”

Jewish organizations demand pro-terrorist professor be sanctioned

A University of Toronto professor was assailed after taking part in a celebration of a Palestinian spokeman linked to the May 1972 massacre of 26 innocents at Lod Airport in Israel.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) spoke out after Dr. Chandni Desai, Assistant Professor in the Critical Studies of Equity and Solidarity at U of T, served as one of two panelists at the online event on October 22 and called Ghassan Kanafani of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) an “inspiration”. She also sits on a panel of judges for the annual Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship, awarding money in his memory to student applicants.

Despite the murder of one Canadian, 17 Christian pilgrims from Puerto Rico and eight Israelis, and an additional 80 people injured at Lod that day, they did not rate a mention during the event, with Desai dismissing “the Zionist sort of narrative of terrorism or whatever” in relation to Kanafani.

“It is shocking and totally unacceptable that a professor at a Canadian university would participate in an event that honours and venerates an individual complicit in the mass murder of civilians,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of FSWC. “We urge the University of Toronto administration to uphold its commitments to both human rights and an environment of inclusion by making it clear it will not tolerate the glorification of terrorists by faculty members.”

Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith, reinforced the outrage expressed by Levitt, asking on Twitter “Is this what @UofT considers “academic freedom”?  Absolutely unacceptable to honour and glorify the legacy of terrorists.”

Antisemitic menace apprehended

Community tips to the York Regional Police Hate Crime Unit led to the arrest of a suspect allegedly involved in antisemitic incidents just before Rosh Hashana.

Kurt Edwards, a 43 year old man of no fixed address, was charged with assault, violating a probation order, and seven counts of mischief to property. A car with Jewish passengers had been verbally abused and upon videotaping the perpetrator an assault was attempted. Shortly afterwards a few blocks away, a man of the same description vandalized the area with antisemitic and anti-Black graffiti. 

Police Chief Jim MacSween stated in a press release that, “York Regional Police does not tolerate hate crime in any form and will ensure those individuals who commit these types of crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Nora Visser accepted an award recognizing the extraordinary efforts of her parents, Rein Hulsker and Cornelia Hulsker-Scheiss, to hide a Dutch Jew from the occupying Nazis during WWII | Photo: Consul General of Israel

Dutch Holocaust heroes honoured by Yad Vashem

A family from Holland was honoured in a ceremony on October 15 in New Liskeard, Ontario, for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

The medal of Righteous Among the Nations, created in 1963 by Yad Vashem, was presented by the Consul General of Israel in Toronto and Western Canada Galit Baram, to Nora Visser, the surviving daughter of the family. A certificate was presented to her by Jonathan Allen, the executive director of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem. 

Visser accepted the award, given to heroic non-Jews, recognizing the extraordinary efforts of her parents Rein Hulsker and Cornelia Hulsker-Scheiss to hide a Dutch Jew named Dik Biet from the occupying Nazis. Biet’s wife and newborn daughter were in hiding at another home nearby. As a 10 year old, Visser would nervously walk to another home serving as an underground headquarters, carrying paperwork that was almost certainly forged documents. A total of 14 Jewish people were shielded in the operation.

The names of Nora and her parents will be engraved at the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. “It’s a great honour,” Visser noted at the event. “There are still so many people in the world that do not like the Jews.”


This article was originally published on on October 29, 2020, and can be viewed on their site by clicking here.


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