This Week in Canadian Jewish Advocacy, February 18, 2024

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|February 18, 2024
This Week in Canadian Jewish Advocacy

This week, we urged the community to advocate for important police funding to protect Toronto’s Jewish and other minorities and followed that success with a thank-you campaign to the MayorWe condemned the federal government’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia for failing to call out a protest at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. And we have created a document with some information vital to unionized workers experiencing hate in the workplace 

Read on to learn more.

The CIJA Team  

On learning that Mayor Olivia Chow would not be fully funding the Toronto Police Service’s requested budget (a $12.6 million shortfall) in a moment of rising hate crime, we asked you to send two emails: one to the Mayor to reverse her decision, and one to your Toronto City Councillor urging them to vote in favour of a motion to fully fund the requested budget, so our law enforcement would have the resources to continue to properly protect all Torontonians. Following actions from more than 7,000 people, Mayor Chow announced Wednesday that she will now support the motion to boost Toronto police funding to the amount originally requested. 

It’s a huge win, and it wouldn’t have happened without your participation.  

Mayor Chow deserves recognition for that. Please help us send her a message of thanks both for hearing our concerns and acting on them. 

Click here to send Mayor Chow a letter of appreciation for this decision.

Monday night, a mob of anti-Israel protestors targeted Mount Sinai hospital, one of the most well-known Jewish institutions in Toronto. They climbed scaffolding with Palestinian flags in hand, putting themselves at risk of injury – for which the hospital would have treated them. They disturbed patients and medical workers, using a megaphone directly under a ‘Hospital Quiet’ sign, chanting in Arabic and in English, ‘Long live the Intifada!’   

Many elected officials, including the Prime Minister, Premier Ford, Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, MP Melissa Lantsman, and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, publicly condemned the demonstration immediately, calling it out for what it was – blatant antisemitism. The Toronto Police are investigating.  

Yet Amira Elghawaby, the federal government’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia, not only refused to condemn the actions of the demonstrators as so many others had done but also rejected the antisemitic nature of the gathering, claiming instead the protestors were standing in peaceful solidarity with the Palestinians. Her statement was full of whataboutism and a denial of actions both recorded on video and relayed by eyewitnesses. She went so far as to condemn those labeling the occurrence as antisemitic.   

It was an attempt at revisionist history, and one to which our community and Canadians of good conscience took offence. We call on her to resign or, failing that, for the government to remove her from her position.

CIJA’s Legal Task Force has created a flyer for unionized employees with critical information about rights in the workplace, especially regarding antisemitism. Download it here.

Community Calendar

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 

‘Completely unacceptable’: Selina Robinson gets death threats, B.C. premier says (Global News) 

B.C. minister who resigned over Mideast comments received death threat, premier says (Toronto Star) 

Canadian universities cancel speeches over speaker's Hamas atrocities 'celebration' (National Post) 

Jewish PSAC members file human rights complaint against union (National Post) 

Howard Levitt: Is Canada headed for a great fall in failing to confront antisemitism? (Financial Post) 

Taiwanese envoy warns against banning MPs’ sponsored travel, but former Harper-era minister Kent says MPs should not accept ‘large gifts’ (The Hill Times) 

Eby condemns 'hatred and violence' in BC after death threat sent to Selina Robinson (Kelowna Now) 

Unionized Jewish employees to take PSAC to Canadian Human Rights Tribunal over Israel-Hamas war (The Hill Times) 

Le ministre de la Colombie-Britannique accepte de démissionner après que le commentaire sur un « morceau de terre merdique » ait offensé les groupes pro-palestiniens (Actual News Magazine) 

He recently spoke at Western University. Other schools are saying no (London Free Press) 

Canadians divided over Ontario ministers promoting anti-Semitism ad during Super Bowl LVIII (Yahoo News Canada) 

Jewish Canadian politician fired, gets death threat after snark about pre-Zionist Palestine (The Times of Israel) 

Mount Sinai Hospital protest: Police investigating (CTV News Toronto) 

Police are investigating after a group of anti-Israel protesters targeted Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital (The Canadian Jewish News) 

Canadian PM Denounces 'Reprehensible' Protest Targeting Jewish Hospital in Toronto (Haaretz) 

Terry Glavin: The despicable untruths behind Selina Robinson's political lynching (National Post) 

Concordia cancels speech by Oct. 7 massacre glorifier (The Suburban) 

Community leaders "disgusted" with Plante stance on antisemitism (The Suburban) 

Police investigate protest outside Mount Sinai after Trudeau calls it ‘reprehensible’ anti-Semitism (The Canadian News) 

Hamilton MPP calls PM's protest condemnation 'bonkers' (The Hamilton Spectator) 

WARMINGTON: Israel learns Canada, New Zealand and Australia are not true friends (Torontoa Sun) 

MPs spending big sums on travel paid for by foreign groups (National Post) 

Federal funding supported academic conference with speakers who celebrated Hamas attack (National Post) 

Près de 12 000 pétitionnaires contre un Bureau du Québec en Israël (Le Canada Français) 

Concordia cancels speech by Oct. 7 massacre glorifier (The Suburban) 

Des pétitions de milliers de signatures contre un Bureau du Québec en Israël (Noovo + CP Syndication)


Community Careers

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)

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations across Canada

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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada.
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