This week, we engaged with a sports organization to question their choosing an antisemitic singer for an important event. We addressed the absurdity of equating a small number of Jewish extremist settlers with a state-sponsored terrorist organization. We have engaged our community to support police in Toronto, and we have expressed our disappointment that a Jewish minister has been let go for an infraction that would not affect others similarly.
Read on to learn more.
The CIJA Team
Last weekend, a singer who had posted a series of divisive social media statements – among them telling people who support Israel to stay home – that served only to encourage hate against many in the Jewish community, was given the red-carpet treatment at the NHL All-Star game.
While the NHL did the right thing in January by questioning the decision by the International Ice Hockey Federation to prevent Israel from playing in international tournaments, the egregious decision to allow a singer who has publicly expressed anti-Israel sentiment to sing Canada’s National Anthem at the All-Star game was both hurtful and surprising.
On behalf of the nearly 150,000 Jewish Canadians affiliated with one of the 12 local Jewish Federations across Canada, CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel sent a letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Read it here on CIJA.ca.
On Feb. 1, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order sanctioning four Israeli settlers for their involvement in violence against civilians in the West Bank. Canada’s foreign minister, Mélanie Joly, subsequently hinted that Canada may follow suit by enacting sanctions against extremist settlers and later added that her government may also sanction senior members of Hamas.
In a piece in the National Post, CIJA President and CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel reflected on the real dangers of western governments’ applications of false equivalencies between extremism and terrorism. Read it here
This week, MP Selina Robinson, former minister of post-secondary education in British Columbia’s NDP government, was dismissed from cabinet, despite apologizing for offensive comments and offering to undergo 'anti-Islamophobia' training.
We understand that she has work to do to restore trust with many of B.C.’s diverse communities, but she has also been a strong advocate for the Jewish community in cabinet and, while Premier Eby’s ministers and others are held to one standard, a different, unfair standard is applied to members of the Jewish community.
We’re asking you to write to Premier David Eby to express your disappointment and request he take meaningful steps to rebuild trust with our community.
Cutting the Toronto Police Services budget by $12.6 million in a moment of rising hate crime and amid protests rife with violent hate speech throughout the city – often targeting Jewish neighbourhoods, schools, community centres, and businesses – is just not acceptable.
We only have one more chance to request the Toronto Police Service receive the money they need to keep our community safe.
On February 14, Toronto City Council will have the opportunity to reverse this decision. We ask you to send an email to your Toronto City Councillor urging them to vote in favour of fully funding the requested Toronto police budget, so our law enforcement can continue to properly protect all Torontonians.
Communities are gathering in cities across Canada in support of the people and land of Israel. Find an event near you.
February 19 | Family Day (CIJA offices closed in BC & ON)
April 22-30 | Passover
CIJA in the News
Shimon Koffler Fogel: Don't equate extremist Israeli settlers with Hamas (National Post)
People in Israel don't want war (Toronto Sun)
Missions abroad cannot be abandoned (The Hill Times)
Manitoba not a home for hate (The Winnipeg Free Press)
Prime Minister invited Waffen-SS veteran Hunka to his official reception for Zelensky (The Globe and Mail)
CAMPUS WATCH: Carleton CUPE union denounced for justifying Oct. 7 massacre (True North)
Jewish PSAC members file human rights complaint against union (National Post)
Des fonctionnaires juifs intentent une poursuite contre leur syndicat (Le Droit)
Former U of T imam says he was let go for social media post he never made, petition calls for reinstating him (CBC News)
WARMINGTON: Anthem singer dons pro-Palestinian attire at NHL All-Star Game (Toronto Sun)
NHL All-Star Game anthem singer wears pro-Palestinian attire, sparks outrage: ‘Mind-boggling’ (Fox News)
'Perfect choice' to 'disturbing': NHL All-Star anthem singer's pro-Palestinian attire in Toronto spurs debate (Yahoo News Canada)
NHL criticized for hiring anti-Israel anthem singer Kiana Ledé for all-star game in Toronto (National Post, + Postmedia Syndication)
Plante hasn't gone far enough to denounce antisemitism, community leaders say (Montreal Gazette)
CIJA reacts to Montreal City Councillor’s Demotion Following Anti-Israel Posts (CJAD 800)
CIJA reacts to Montreal city councillor's demotion following anti-Israel posts (iHeartRadio)
Montreal library moves children’s books over author's Israel comments (The Montreal Gazette, + Postmedia Syndication)
Plante won't act on complaint against anti-Israel barrage at Agglo, Norris cut (The Suburban)
Quebec children's author rejects accusations of antisemitism as books removed from library's shelves (CBC News)
Montreal library moves children’s books over author's alleged anti-Israel comments (National Post)
Montreal’s Jewish Public Library moves books by local children’s author Elise Gravel to closed stacks in response to her series of illustrated messages criticizing Israel (The Canadian Jewish News)
Torching of Quebec sex-ed book in U.S. condemned by National Assembly (Montreal Gazette)
Quebec politicians denounce U.S. candidate's torching of Quebec author's book (CBC News, + The Canadian Press Syndication)
Book Censorship and Freedom of Expression: A Tale of Two Incidents (BNN)
Affaire Elise Gravel: «Le message qu'elle envoie est dangereux», dit le CIJA - Benoit Dutrizac (QUB Radio)
Le Proche-Orient, «terre merdique» : une ministre juive perd son poste (Le Journal de Montréal)
B.C. minister steps down after comment offends pro-Palestinian groups (Edmonton Journal, + Postmedia Syndication)
Senior B.C. minister Selina Robinson removed from cabinet for saying Israel founded on ‘crappy piece of land’ (The Globe and Mail)
Selina Robinson steps down as B.C. cabinet minister over comments on Middle East (CBC News)
Jewish groups decry Robinson's cabinet exit, as Eby slams 'hateful' office vandalism (Times Colonist, +The Canadian Press Syndication)
Le vandalisme du bureau de Selina Robinson est un acte « haineux », dit David Eby (Radio-Canada)
Ex-B.C. cabinet minister's office vandalized after she stepped down over Palestine comment (Ottawa Citizen, + The Canadian Press Syndication)
Rob Shaw: Score-settling on the minds of some as Selina Robinson turfed from cabinet (Vancouver Is Awesome)
British Columbia’s Jewish community is outraged after MLA Selina Robinson is removed from cabinet over remarks about Israel (The Canadian Jewish News)
B.C. MLA's office plastered with 'hateful' messages after resignation, premier says (iHeartRadio)
FIRST READING: How anti-Israel pressure forced out a Jewish cabinet minister in B.C. (National Post)
Jewish community offended, hurt by Robinson's removal from B.C. cabinet: advocate (CityNews Toronto)
Selina Robinson’s resignation was not a ‘joint decision’ with B.C. premier, source says (Vancouver Sun)
Rob Shaw: Score-settling on the minds of some as Selina Robinson turfed from cabinet (The Orca)
David Eby claims Selina Robinson offered to quit twice after saying Israel founded on 'crappy' land (Penticton Now)
Jewish groups criticize B.C. premier over pro-Israel minister's resignation (True North)
'No Zionists:' Canada politician's office defaced after 'crappy land' row (The Jerusalem Post)
Robinson out of cabinet (Jewish Independent)
Journalists partly to blame (Jewish Independent)
Commemorating the Shoah (Jewish Independent)
Associate Director, University Relations and Public Education | Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver/CIJA
CEO, Ottawa Soloway Jewish Community Centre
Community Engagement Specialist | Jewish Federation of Ottawa
Associate Director, Community Security (Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver)
Director of Grants and Allocations (Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver/CIJA)
Vice President, Community Planning, Partnerships & Innovation (Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver)