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Much to Celebrate this Chanukah and Many Challenges

Much to Celebrate this Chanukah—An Historic Announcement on Fighting Antisemitism! Canada should follow suit!

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to combat Antisemitism during a Chanukah reception at the White House on December 11, 2019.  This Executive Order will make clear that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to antisemitic discrimination.  This move will penalize colleges that allow antisemitism on campus!  In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced his government will introduce legislation in the new year to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

As Alan Dershowitz stated at the event, "this will go down in history as the most important action in 2,000 years against antisemitism".  Regrettably, many left-wing progressive Jewish groups are enabling BDS antisemitism and have condemned this historic action.

See the video of President Donald Trump's signing the Executive Order against Campus BDS Antisemitism

Specifically, the order is aimed at federally-funded universities and colleges and will require the Department of Education, when reviewing whether there has been a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to consider this widely accepted IHRA definition of antisemitism as part of its assessment of whether an incident or activity may be antisemitic. The IHRA defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”  Criticism of Israel could be considered antisemitic if it is applying double standards by requiring of Israel to behave in ways not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.  Additionally, it is important to remember other principles of the IHRA such as Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

There have been far too many horrible instances of antisemitism -- from harassment of students at Canadian universities to murder at a kosher market in New Jersey -- and daily there are instances across the globe, too many to report here.  But there are organizations that are monitoring, reporting, and countering these evils.  We all must do our part.  We cannot ignore any act, nor the people who traffic in antisemitic hatred. It is an imperative, to protect our democratic, free society, to keep our children and grandchildren safe.  The US announcement is a beginning, and is part of many wonderful acts by President Trump in support of Israel and the Jewish people.  We seek similar support from our government and all democracies across the globe. The United Nations must be confronted for its heavily biased anti-Israel agenda, and we must build strong alliances with all faiths and peoples that experience persecution and who fight hatred, and support the Jewish people’s rights to the land of Israel.

Chanukah reminds us of the struggle and the success of a small people, the Jewish people, to fight a big enemy and win.

We celebrate this and wish all people, a happy, healthy festive season and a Happy New Year, 2020!

We Welcome the Next Step in Making Ontario Free from Antisemitism\

L-R Gila Martow, MPP, Andria Spindel, CAEF, Premier Doug Ford, Dr. Stuart Kamenetsky
L-R Gila Martow, MPP, Andria Spindel, CAEF, Premier Doug Ford, Dr. Stuart Kamenetsky

In Ontario, the Premier and Progressive Conservative Caucus also celebrated Chanukah and made an important announcement on December 10th.  The Premier pledged to adopt the IHRA definition and work with Jewish community organizations to implement this important definition of antisemitism. Premier Doug Ford lit Chanukah candles, and thanked the Jewish people of Ontario for decades of important and meaningful contributions to all facets of life in Ontario.

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