Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel

This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (as an op-ed). Please help this important statement get into broad circulation – pass it on to your networks (faculty, community, MPs, university presidents, unions etc.). You may also wish to write to the Star and Globe editorials and express your dismay that they have chosen not to publish it.
Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel
James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.
Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about
the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within
Canada. The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula
Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and
professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie
Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick. *

The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of
anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel’s accountability for what many
have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B’nai Brith and the
Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel
on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly
echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.
They strongly state that they are against all expressions of racism. While
firmly committed to resisting any form of prejudice against Jewish people,
their statement explicitly states that these spurious allegations of
anti-Semitism bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind.
The statement underlines the immeasurable suffering and injustice to the
Palestinian people due to the severe poverty, daily humiliations, and
military invasions inflicted by the State of Israel.

Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of Israel

We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism,
anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy
“Never again” means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of
history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream
of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and
injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and
leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel.
We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those
organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel
are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the
1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from
Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university
presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically
regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper,
B’nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because
“anti-Semitic hate fests” were being allowed on campuses. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these
arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut
down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to
this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating
posters, and infringing on free speech.

We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest
recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth
strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December
2008, Israel’s siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there,
with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It
is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel’s accountability to the
international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to
proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.
We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we
are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the
same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student
organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their
democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate
criticism of the State of Israel.

Signatories:
Abigail Bakan
Adam Balsam
Sharon Baltman
Julia Barnett
Lainie Basman
Jody Berland
Sam Blatt
Geri Blinik
Anita Block
Elizabeth Block
Sheila Block
Hannah Briemberg
Mark Brill
Stephen Brot
Meyer Brownstone
Eliza Burroughs
Smadar Carmon
Gyda Chud
Charles P. Cohen
Nathalie Cohen
David Copeland
Natalie Zemon Davis
Eliza Deutsch
James Deutsch
Judith Deutsch
Abbe Edelson
Jack Etkin
Elle Flanders
Danielle Frank
Ursula Franklin
Dan Freeman-Maloy
Miriam Garfinkle
Alisa Gayle
Jack Gegenberg
Mark Golden
Brenda Goldstein
Sue Goldstein
Cy Gonick
Marnina Gonick
Rachel Gotthilf
Amy Gottleib
Kevin A. Gould
Daina Green
Lisa Frances Greenspoon
Ricardo Grinspun
Cathy Gulkin
Rachel Gurofsky
Deboran Guterman
Yesse Gutman
Freda Guttman
Judy Haiven
Michael Hanna-Fein
Jean Hanson
Jan Heynen
Maria Heynen
Adam Hofmann
Jake Javanshir
Jeannie Kamins
Marylin Kanee
Howard S. Kaplan
Gilda Katz
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta
Mira Khazzam
Bonnie Sher Klein
Mark Klein
Martin Klein
Naomi Klein
Joshua Katz-Rosene
Ryan Katz-Rosene
Judy Koch
Anton Kuerti
Jason Kunin
Aaron Lakoff
Michael Lambek
Natalie LaRoche
Richard Borshay Lee
Andy Lehrer
Gabriel Levin
Gabriel Levine
Joel Lexchin
Kim Linekin
Abby Lippman
Lee Lorch
Martin Lukacs
Audrey Macklin
Elise Maltin
Richard Marcuse
Wayne Mark
Gabor Mate
Arthur Milner
Anna Miransky
Dorit Naaman
Joanne Naiman
Neil Naiman
Michael Neumann
David-Marc Newman
David Noble
Clare O’Connor
Robin Ostow
Andre W. Payant
Jenny Peto
Simone Powell
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Fabienne Presentey
Yacov Rabkin
Diana Ralph
Naomi Rankin
Judy Rebick
Ester Reiter
Jillian Rogin
Richard Roman
Joseph Rosen
Herman Rosenfeld
Martha Roth
Marty Roth
Ruben Roth
E.Natalie Rothman
B. Sack
Ben Saifer
Miriam Sampaio
Jacob Scheir
Fred Schloessinger
Alan Sears
Shlomit Segal
Edward H. Shaffer
Noa Shaindlinger
Ray Shankman
Eva Sharell
Elliot Shek
Sid Shniad
Max Silverman
Samuel Singer
Elizabeth Solloway
Susan Starkman
Greg Starr
Jonathan Sterne
Jeremy Stolow
Rhonda Sussman
Vera Szoke
Joe Tannenbaum
Howard Tessler
Marion Traub-Werner
Ceyda Turan
Sandra Tychsen
Cheryl Wagner
Jon McPhedran Waitzer
David Wall
Naomi Binder Wall
Kathy Wazana
Karen Weisberg
Barry Weisleder
Paul Weinberg
Judith Weisman
Suzanne Weiss
Abraham Weizfeld
Ernie Yacub
B.H. Yael
Yedida Zalik
Melvin Zimmerman

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Posted on March 16, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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