November 15, 2021
Toronto, ON— A student protest at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute featured a large sign and chants of the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. This is the latest in a series of antisemitic incidents at TDSB schools, which have created a disturbing climate of hate for Jewish staff and students.
In response, Noah Shack, Vice President at CIJA issued the following statement:
“We strongly support the right to protest and freedom of expression which are cherished Canadian values. However, these rights go hand in hand with the responsibility to not advance bigotry, racism or hate. The phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” rejects the right to self-determination for Jewish people and calls for the destruction of Israel. This is hateful toward the Jewish community, and this rhetoric should not have been supported by TDSB staff.
“The TDSB urgently needs to take concrete action to address systemic antisemitism. The incident at Marc Garneau CI is an important teachable moment for students about the impact of words and actions. But it is just the most recent in a series of antisemitic incidents that have not been fully addressed. We remain committed to working with the TDSB to ensure a safe, nurturing learning environment for all students and staff, with no space for antisemitism.
Translate Hate. “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free” is a common call-to-arms for pro-Palestinian activists. It calls for the establishment of a State of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, erasing the State of Israel and its people. It is also a rallying cry for terrorist groups and their sympathizers, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to Hamas, which called for Israel’s destruction in its original governing charter in 1988. Learn more here.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations across Canada