This week, we met with Ontario MPPs from all parties at Queen's Park to address several issues of importance to our community and continue to stand against antisemitism.
Read on to learn more.
The CIJA Team
Wednesday, Jewish community leaders met with Ontario MPPs from all parties at Queen's Park for our annual CIJA Jewish Community Advocacy Day to address several issues of importance to our community, including combating antisemitism, fighting hate with education, fighting food insecurity, safeguarding culturally appropriate long-term care, and growing the Ontario-Israel partnership.
The day started and continued in the spirit of unity, with the leaders of every major political party expressing firm support for our community and condemning antisemitism.
We are grateful to all MPPs and community members for participating!
Watch the wrap-up video here!
On Monday, the youth responsible for tearing down and burning Israeli flags taken from a Dollard-Des-Ormeaux Jewish elementary school on April 26, which he filmed and posted on social media, pleaded guilty to arson in front of the Quebec Court – Youth Division. Per the plea deal, the youth received a sentence of one year's probation with conditions that impose protections for both the school and the Jewish community.
CIA shares the Jewish community’s concern that the sentence did not sufficiently consider the hateful motivation behind his actions nor the magnitude of the incident’s impact on the community.
The youth has since been called back to court to answer for recent online posts. His conditions of probation are under review. CIJA is monitoring the situation closely.
In this National Post op-ed, Becca Wertman-Traub, CIJA's Director of Research, and Alex Goldenberg, lead intelligence analyst and a research fellow at the Network Contagion Research Institute Rutgers Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience, examine the toxic power of online antisemitism and the critical requirement for education at all levels of society about the real-world dangers of antisemitism, radicalization, and online hate.
On August 16, 1933, one of the worst outbreaks of antisemitic violence happened at Christie Pits in Toronto, which was sparked by Nazi-inspired youth flying a swastika flag at a public baseball game to antagonize and provoke Jewish Canadians. This riot, with more than 10,000 participants, led to the passing of the first anti-hate law in Canada.
To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the largest race riot in Canadian history, Toronto’s Italian and Jewish communities collaborated on a live, interactive, theatrical production depicting the Christie Pits Riot produced for students in grades 8 and 10. The re-enactment will teach participants and the audience about this dark period and how it can guide us in combating antisemitism and other forms of racism and hate today.
We are grateful to the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Jewish Archives (UJA), and Toronto District School Board Jewish and Italian Heritage Committees for their partnership. Additional support was provided by the Toronto Holocaust Museum and Villa Charities. Funding was also provided by Kultura Collective, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the Diamond family, the Lou & Wendy Myles Endowment Fund, and Lenny Lombardi and CHIN Radio.
On May 15, the Coalition to Combat Online Hate sent an open letter to Minister Pablo Rodriguez urging Canadian Heritage to take action and table its long-awaited online harms legislation. This Coalition includes CIJA, organizations representing other equity-seeking groups including the LGBTQ2+, Black, and Indigenous communities, and other religious and interfaith organizations.
During the last federal election, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party promised to introduce legislation to tackle online harms within the first 100 days of a new term. That deadline has long passed and, while Heritage has consulted with stakeholders – including CIJA – on the bill, no legislation has, to date, been introduced.
Online hate, however, isn't waiting for legislation. Attacks based on ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender and more continue to grow. Social media platforms refuse to take responsibility and even make it easier for hate as we saw with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter and subsequent promotion of antisemites such as Kanye West.
CIJA in the News
- Online antisemitism is the bellwether of real-world violence (National Post)
- Montreal Jewish groups denounce sentence for teen who burned Israeli flags (Montreal Gazette)
- Sentence for teen who burned Israeli flags outside Montreal school too lenient: Jewish community (CityNews Montreal)
- Canadian teen who burnt Israeli flags sentenced to year on probation (The Jerusalem Post)
- Harsh criticism of light sentence for teen in DDO antisemitic attack (The Suburban)
- Teen gets probation and must apologize for burning Israeli flags (CBC News Montreal)
- Burning of Israeli Flags: Teen Gets a Year of Probation - 7:21 (CBC Montreal News)
- Jewish organizations say the one-year probation sentence for a Montreal youth who burned Israeli flags doesn’t reflect the ‘magnitude’ of the crime (The CJN)
- L’adolescent qui a brûlé des drapeaux israéliens est condamné (Journal Métro)
- Teen pleads guilty to arson in Israeli flag burning at West Island school (CTV News Montreal)
- Jewish org blasts light sentence given to teen who burned Israeli flags in Montreal (Israel National News)
- Montreal teen who burned Israeli flag banned from social media after violating probation (Montreal Gazette)
- Montreal teen who burned Israeli flag banned from social media after violating probation (Toronto Sun)
- Montreal teen who burned Israeli flag banned from social media after alleged probation violation (CJAD, CTV News Montreal, iHeart Radio)
- Teen who burned Israeli flags in DDO violates probation (The Suburban)
- Will this week’s vote on Parliament Hill change Canada’s relationship with Israel? The NDP’s foreign affairs critic introduced the controversial motion (The CJN)
- Nikki Haley details speaking fees, corporate board position in disclosure (Washington Post)
- Top Lobby Organizations in First Quarter of 2023 (The Hill Times)
- Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is no longer pursuing legal action against JSpaceCanada and New Israel Fund of Canada regarding the interpretation of comments made on a podcast from The CJN (The CJN)
- Hate crime reports fell slightly in 2022, Toronto police say (Toronto Star)
- Jews subject to more hate crimes than any other group in Toronto in 2022 (The Jerusalem Post)
May 25-27 | Shavuot
October 16-17 | Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It
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