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United Against Hate Canada asks Ontario Minister of Education, Todd Smith, to disguise anti-Zionism as combatting anti-Palestinian racism


June 19, 2024

Honourable Todd Smith

Minister of Education of Ontario

Unit 8

5503 Hwy. 62 S

Belleville, ON K8N 0L5

Re: Antisemitism at the TDSB - proposal to disguise anti-Zionism as combatting

anti-Palestinian racism

Dear Minister Smith,

I write today on behalf of United Against Hate Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to

promoting cross cultural dialogue and highlighting the contributions of Canada’s diverse

population to the wellbeing and success of our country.

While we are not a Jewish organization, we are extremely alarmed at the growing and

unprecedented wave of antisemitism that Canada has seen since last October following the

Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and murder of 1200 Israelis.

Since that time, hate, including violent attacks, has been aimed at Jews in many countries

driven by those who support Hamas and who claim that the state of Israel has no right to

defend itself while cheering on the terror by calling it “resistance”.

Ontario has not been immune. The province has witnessed arson attacks against Jewish

institutions and vandalism against local businesses simply because their owners are Jewish.

There have been demonstrations adjacent to Jewish neighbourhoods aimed at intimidating the residents and illegal and hateful encampments on properties belonging to various universities attempting to delegitimize Israel and promote Hamas.

Thus we write today to ask for your intervention at the Toronto District School Board

(TDSB) which is, in our view, being weaponized to foster antisemitism in the guise of teaching “anti-Palestinian racism” as part of the Board’s anti-discrimination strategy.

We have been contacted by a number of concerned individuals in Toronto to alert us that a

Board committee voted 5 to 3 to move forward with an anti-Palestinian racism policy.

The definition of anti-Palestinian racism is nowhere defined by the Toronto Board. In other

locales, however, requests for teaching anti-Palestinian racism have openly stated that

accepting the legitimacy of Israel as the Jewish homeland where Jews have dwelt since time

immemorial is itself an example of anti-Palestinian racism.

The proponents of teaching anti-Palestinian racism often stand behind the slogan “From the

river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” In other words, they support the destruction of the

Jewish state and its replacement by a Palestinian state. They reject a negotiated two state

solution to the Middle East conflict as supported by Canada, Israel and the United Nations.

Within this context should one disagree with this tenet, that person is simply labelled as an

anti-Palestinian racist.

We suggest that there is no anti-Palestinian racism problem at the TDSB. There is no need for the creation of a new category of "marginalized victims" to be added to the Board’s anti-racism/anti-hate strategies. The purpose of the demand is simply to delegitimize the Jewish state and to provide political cover for those such as Hamas who have waged an on-going war against Israel.

We anticipate that opening up the current parameters - which focus on anti-Black and anti-

Asian racism as well as antisemitism, Islamophobia and homophobia - will probably elicit a tidal wave of demands from different ethnic, racial, and religious groups to be included in their own category.

Why does the Board not have a specific anti-Syrian, anti-Filipino, anti-Greek, anti-Italian, etc.

racism policy ? Why should Palestinian Arabs be the only ethnicity to have a specific

anti-racism category ?

The obvious corollary is that the TDSB will now have to institute an anti-Israel racism policy.

Israel as the Jewish homeland is, as you know, recognized by Canada and nearly every

western democracy through the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, thus with its new "anti Palestinian racism " directive, the Board will find itself with mutually conflicting anti-racism policies.

We would be pleased to meet with you in person or online and recommend that as Minister you step in to nip this disguised effort to push the Hamas and Islamic Jihad line in the bud. Many Trustees are asking for your intervention.

One thing is clear: the Jewish community has largely lost confidence in the TDSB.

We would also suggest that the public is outraged with this spectacle at the TDSB and that is not a good thing for the Board’s long term credibility.

Incidentally, we were one of the many organizations that asked to delegate to this committee

and were refused on rather flimsy, and we would say illegitimate, grounds.

Awaiting your response,

Yours truly,

Marvin Rotrand

Director General

United Against Hate Canada

c.c. Doug Ford, Rachel Chernos Lin, Deborah Lyons, Irwin Cotler, Michael Levitt, Shimon

Koffler Fogel, Andria Spindel, Rich Robertson


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