NB: EXCITING UPDATE TO OUR CONFERENCE: KEYNOTE ADDRESS WILL BE FROM RABBI IRVING GREENBERG, & A SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM ELIE WIESEL!
Beth Tikvah Synagogue & CIJR Present: The Annual Sabina Citron International Conference: THE JEWISH THOUGHT OF EMIL L. FACKENHEIM: JUDAISM, ZIONISM, HOLOCAUST, ISRAEL — Toronto, Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The day-long Beth Tikvah Conference, co-chaired by Prof. Frederick Krantz (CIJR) and Rabbi Jarrod R. Grover (Beth Tikvah), open to the public and especially to students, features original papers by outstanding Canadian and international scholars, some his former students, on the many dimensions of Emil L. Fackenheim's exceptionally powerful, and prophetic thought, and on his rich life and experience. Tickets: Regular – $36; Seniors – $18; students free. For registration, information, conference program, and other queries call 1-855-303-5544 or email email@example.com. Visit our site: www.isranet.org/events.
The Time Has Come to Consider Drastic Action: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Oct. 14, 2015 — Like most Israelis, I am proud that we remain one of the most democratic countries in the world, despite being surrounded by a sea of barbarism and facing continuous threats to our existence by hostile neighbors.
The Social Right to See Each Other’s Faces: Barbara Kay, National Post, Oct. 13, 2015— My 10-year old granddaughter is an empathic child, easily distressed by tales of human or animal suffering.
The NDP’s Anti-Israel Grassroots: Pat Johnson, National Post, Aug. 20, 2015 — Part of the Conservative party’s strategy against the New Democrats in this election includes the website Meetthendp.ca, which aggregates controversial statements by NDP candidates.
Proud to be a Canadian: Dan Illouz, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 13, 2015 — I am Canadian. I was born in Montreal, raised in Montreal and graduated high school, college and law school in Montreal.
Israeli Arab Reporter Lucy Aharish Blasts Muslim and Arab Leaders: The Israel Project, Oct. 14, 2015
Lethal Lies: Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2015
Why this Socialist Will Vote For Harper: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Oct. 13, 2015
NDP Candidates Under Fire For Comments About Israel: Jodie Shupac, CJN, Aug. 15, 2015
Candidly Speaking, Oct. 14, 2015
Like most Israelis, I am proud that we remain one of the most democratic countries in the world, despite being surrounded by a sea of barbarism and facing continuous threats to our existence by hostile neighbors. But the nation today is facing a serious threat, not from external adversaries but from elements of Arab-Israeli society that have been incited by their kinsmen in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to engage in frenzied attacks against their Jewish neighbors. The levels of incitement and calls to become martyrs “for Allah” have reached such a feverish pitch that in addition to rock throwing, impressionable Arab-Israeli youngsters are now engaged in indiscriminate stabbings and acts of mayhem against Jews.
Significantly, the ongoing attacks are not restricted to communities over the Green Line and have occurred in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Petach Tikva, Afula, Kiryat Gat and Raanana. PA anti-Israeli incitement makes no distinction between Israelis living behind or beyond the Green Line. The demonic level of the incitement is reflected in the spontaneous street parties and public celebrations that erupt whenever an innocent civilian has been murdered. Pictures of murdered Israelis are shared on social media and proud parents of “shaheeds” bless their children for their martyrdom initiatives on official PA-sponsored TV.
A key source of this vicious hysteria emanates from our “peace partner,” Mahmoud Abbas, who denies that a Jewish Temple ever existed in Jerusalem and accuses Israelis of “contaminating” and “defiling” Al-Aqsa mosque with their “filthy feet” as well as plotting to demolish it. Abbas has refused to condemn the attacks, his military factions claim credit for the murders, and the PA media boasts stabbings and murders as heroic acts and a prelude to eliminating Jewish sovereignty in the region. In fact, Abbas himself publicly sanctified the murderers, stating, “We bless you. We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah every shaheed will be in heaven and every wounded will get his reward.”
After the stabbing of the 13 year old boy in Pisgat Zeev, the official PA spokesman accused Israelis of executing his assailant – who was hailed as a hero. In a deliberate and successful attempt to incite further terrorism, pictures were posted on PA sponsored media comparing the terrorist to Muhammad Al Dura, the young boy falsely claimed to have been shot by Israeli forces, images of which laid the groundwork for the second intifada. However, speaking with a forked tongue, Abbas persists in telling the Western media that he seeks peace. Despite threats to the contrary, he has not disbanded the PA security forces – knowing that were he to do so and were the IDF to withdraw, Hamas would immediately take over the region.
With the eruption of this wave of violence and the death of innocent Israeli civilians, the response – or lack thereof – from world leaders is deplorable. The U.S., claiming to be an ally of Israel, was especially disappointing as President Barack Obama arranged that Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power absent themselves when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.N. General Assembly – a calculated insult to Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry declined to apportion blame but attributed Palestinian “frustration” to Israel’s ongoing settlement construction and the White House spokesman expressed condemnation of violence directed against “Israeli and Palestinian civilians,” disgustingly implying a moral equivalence between terrorists and innocent Israeli victims.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had the chutzpa of calling on Israel to review the “excessive force” he alleged it was employing against terrorists. Likewise, the Quartet “called upon all parties to exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve unchanged the status quo at the holy sites in both word and practice.” The British foreign secretary called for an end to the occupation. His French counterpart announced his intention to pursue a resolution at the next meeting of the U.N. Security Council demanding a freeze on all “settlement” construction, including in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs that even Abbas had initially conceded Israel would retain. All of this obviously encourages the Palestinians to intensify terrorism. These attacks do not constitute an existential threat to Israel and we have overcome far greater threats of terrorism.
But now we face a dangerous new phenomenon with the emergence of extremist Arab-Israeli elements supporting enemies of the state. In the past, hostile Arab-Israeli proclamations and demonstrations were basically ignored. But that has now changed with the violence and killings by crazed Arab-Israelis aspiring to become martyrs and it has raised profoundly greater tensions within society which can no longer be dismissed.
In light of this, the government and Zionist parties in opposition must temporarily set aside conventional political differences and achieve a consensus on measures required to stem the new threat of mushrooming Arab-Israeli terrorism. In this context, restrictions and compromises relating to unfettered freedom of speech and activity will be required to prevent incitement and enable Israeli citizens to live in security…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
National Post, Oct. 13, 2015
My 10-year old granddaughter is an empathic child, easily distressed by tales of human or animal suffering. Yet in her chosen Hallowe’en costume she will appear to be carrying her head and a “blood”-stained plastic meat cleaver after having been decapitated. I don’t see her as a future recruit to ISIL, though. One needn’t be a psychiatrist to understand that Hallowe’en acts as a healthy safety valve in managing childish fears. But even a 10-year old understands that while anti-social costumes are received with good cheer on Oct. 31, they would be inappropriate at other times.
You can see where I’m headed here. To the vexation of most Canadian pundits, self-masking as a cultural norm bloomed into a hot-button issue in this election campaign. The debate continues to rage. I’m an old hand in this battle. As I have taken a hard-line stance in support of banning face cover in the public sector for years, I have read and heard and amassed in my inbox every imaginable strenuously argued rebuttal to my position. Hallowe’en’s approach seems the right time to dismiss them once and for all as the red herrings they are.
What I find to be the common denominator amongst the pro-niqab crowd is confusion around the social significance of masking. My malcomprehending opponents divide into two distinct categories. The first understands the niqab narrowly, as a religiously obligated appurtenance not essentially different from the wimple, kippah, hijab, sheitel (a wig worn by ultra-Orthodox women) and the turban. These critics (including the normally savvy pundit Evan Solomon in Maclean’s, I was chagrined to see) argue along the slippery-slope worry lines of: “niqab today, sheitel tomorrow.” To those slippery-slope email correspondents I respond (but in more restrained language), “What part of [profanity] FACE COVER do you not understand?” Face cover is neither the equivalent of, or on a downward slope from the hijab, kippah or wimple; it is a new, unique, and aggressive form of social disappearance.
In any case the alleged slippery slope has been tested. In her proposed Charter of Values, former PQ leader Pauline Marois encouraged intolerance for all religious accessories in the public sector. She and her Charter were handily rebuffed. Yet opposition to the niqab alone remained firm, and is now passing into Quebec law. In the second category are those who triumphantly adduce other forms of face cover as though they were analogous to niqabs. What about Hallowe’en? Ski masks? Surgical masks? Full-head motorcycle helmets? Hockey goalies? We don’t ban them! Ergo …
Hallowe’en, as I have implied, is performance theatre, when personal disappearance is permitted via a social contract between those who conceal their identity and those who consent to be “scared” by it. The same goes for horror films, costume balls and the like. These are controlled environments in which players and audience tacitly agree to permit faux-menace for entertainment’s sake; the collective complicity precludes anxiety and adds a fillip of pleasure to the exercise.
The others: These are masks worn transiently for protective purposes everyone understands as legitimate — from cold and infection, against wind and flying objects — in, again, a controlled, limited environment. When the skier leaves the hill and enters the lodge, he removes his mask. When the surgeon enters the recovery room to speak to the patient, he removes his mask. When the motorcycle rider parks, he removes his helmet. When the hockey game ends, the goalie flips up his mask. In fact, these false analogies are not only unpersuasive, they are actually petards to hoist their champions. In every case, the mask-wearer is scrupulously careful to ensure that his mask is removed the moment that it is no longer practically necessary, because he is well aware he then no longer meets the criteria for respectful self-presentation to his fellow citizens…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
National Post, Aug. 20, 2015
Part of the Conservative party’s strategy against the New Democrats in this election includes the website Meetthendp.ca, which aggregates controversial statements by NDP candidates. Already the site has led to one Nova Scotia New Democrat being relieved of his candidacy — and presumably the Tories are saving their best fodder for later in the long campaign. A number of the comments posted so far centre on Israel. Some NDP candidates accuse Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “war crimes” and call for a boycott of the Jewish state. Another talks about how good he felt supporting the murderous First Intifada.
The NDP’s response so far — cutting loose the young Nova Scotia candidate — will almost certainly not be the last time their hands are forced in response to oppo research by the Tories. The social media response, including from NDP supporters, has been predictable: Leader Thomas Mulcair is caving to pressure from the Zionists who, in the inevitable spiral of online discourse, morph into caricatures of Jewish power and control.
What we’re witnessing, in fact, is a realignment that is necessary if the NDP is ever to be a legitimate aspirant for government — and Mulcair knows this. He cannot form a government that includes the radical crazies whose mania about Israel represents a sort of far-left Tea Party that holds sway with the grassroots, but which threatens the party’s legitimacy among general election voters. Grassroots New Democrats with any sense of history or humanity need to recognize that this process of taking the party back from anti-Israel extremists is essential to returning the party to its true, progressive roots. They should not condemn it, but welcome it.
The “pro-Palestinian” movement, as it now exists, has no place in a progressive political party. Its tactics and positions are antithetical to progressive values. The “pro-Palestinian” movement has cleverly co-opted the language of peace and human rights, but it promotes the (violent, if necessary) destruction of Israel. It exhibits zero concern for human rights violations perpetrated by Hamas and Fatah against Palestinian women, gays, minorities or anyone else. It shamelessly makes common cause with the most misogynist, homophobic forces in the world, those who obliterate basic human rights and freedoms, use their own citizens as human shields in wartime and who tolerate none of the collective bargaining or other labour rights that are sacrosanct to most “pro-Palestinian” activists here. And they do this while accusing others of “blind,” “uncritical” support for Israel.
The so-called “pro-Palestinian” movement has made life worse, not better, for generations of Palestinians. It has prolonged violence and statelessness by goading Palestinians into expecting nothing but total victory — the violent eradication of the State of Israel — instead of demanding coexistence and peace. This is a movement that thrives on confrontation and violence — even here in Canada. It hates compromise, reviles the concept of mutual coexistence with Jews and seeks the elimination of the only thriving democracy in the Middle East. It rejoices in rubbing salt in historical wounds by manipulating the imagery of the Holocaust and Nazism against the Jewish state and people.
It would be one thing if the movement took a two-pronged approach — demanding an end to Israeli occupation while pressuring the Palestinians toward human rights, democracy and the kind of economic growth that would result immediately from coexistence with Israel. But it doesn’t. “Pro-Palestinian” activists are perfectly contented to see Palestinians oppressed and destitute, as long as the oppressors are Arab. There’s a special kind of racism in this. But this is key to understanding the continuing conflict: the Palestinians have never really been the issue. The issue is the Jewish state. Few “pro-Palestinians” care about building a Palestinian state; their obsession is dismantling the Jewish one. Carriers of such an ideology have no place in a progressive movement. The NDP is finally recognizing this, albeit with a hand from the Tory attack machine.
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 13, 2015
I am Canadian. I was born in Montreal, raised in Montreal and graduated high school, college and law school in Montreal. The values I grew up on were both Jewish and Canadian values. While I now live in Israel, I still hold dear these values which made me into who I am today. As a Canadian, I was always proud of the great stories of Canadian heroism which we were taught in school. Canada has a long history of standing up for freedom. Unfortunately, until recently, it felt only like history.
For example, when the free world was threatened in the Second World War, Canada carried out a vital role in defending the Free World and contributed forces beyond what can be expected of a small nation of then only 11 million people. Between 1939 and 1945 more than one million Canadian men and women served full-time in the armed services! More than 42,000 were tragically killed while heroically defending freedom and Canadian values. Canada was a lighthouse for freedom, with a clear moral compass and showing the world how a small country that is ready to stand up for what is right can make a real difference. However, in the past few decades, Canada became the country of neutrality.
Canada started adopting policies that were more appropriate to Swiss values than Canadian values. Instead of standing up for freedom, Canada stayed away from big questions of international relations, preferring the safe route of consensus and neutrality to the tough battle for freedom and values. By trying to please everyone, Canada’s moral voice was silenced. Canadians were seen as “nice and friendly” but nothing more. They had no voice.
This was true until Stephen Harper became prime minister. Since then, Canada has regained its voice and its moral clarity. It has regained its moral leadership. Prime Minister Harper once said that “Canada is not just any country, but a people determined to do right – compassionate neighbors, courageous warriors, and confident partners; a bastion of freedom in an unfree world.” Since becoming prime minister, Harper has made sure that this statement would be a continuing reality.
In the Middle East, Harper has led the world with his moral clarity. With the rise of Islamic State, Canada immediately agreed to contribute troops to defeat this evil group. How can a freedom-loving country do anything else? When the world powers preferred personal interest over values and followed the American president’s utopian vision set out in the dangerous agreement with Iran, Canada made it clear that it would not remove sanctions on the Islamic, gay-hanging, freedom-hating regime as long as it does not change its ways. As the world ignored the sponsorship of terrorism, the affronts to human rights, and the regional destabilization, let alone the continued calls for the destruction of both America and Israel, Canada did not budge and, rather, questioned how world leaders could trust such an evil regime.
In a world in which Islamic State and Iran are fighting for supremacy in radical Islam, Canada is the only country that chose the right side, which is opposing both of these evil groups. This has been done under Harper’s leadership. Canada, in the years before Harper, would have rather chosen the path of “going along to get along.” Harper chose the path of moral clarity and leadership.
Still in the Middle East, Canada stands strong for the only democracy in the region, Israel, against all its detractors, even paying a heavy price in the UN for this moral stance. As some threaten Israel with boycotts, Harper was incredibly clear about his support for freedom and democracy – for Israel. In the Knesset this past January, he said: “I believe the story of Israel is a great example to the world. It is a story, essentially, of a people whose response to suffering has been to move beyond resentment and build a most extraordinary society, a vibrant democracy, a freedom-loving country… with an independent and rights-affirming judiciary, an innovative, world-leading ‘Start-up’ nation. In the democratic family of nations, Israel represents values which our government takes as articles of faith, and principles to drive our national life. And therefore, through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.”
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Canada’s voice was especially loud in opposing this act of aggression by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many world leaders were afraid to confront him. Harper was not afraid to confront Putin and tell him directly to “get out of Ukraine.” He even stood up clearly and said: “I don’t think Russia under Vladimir Putin belongs in the G7. Period.”
If Canadian values had been made irrelevant to international relations by successive Liberal governments before Harper, he made them relevant once again. Former foreign minister John Baird said: “Sometimes you should be a referee and a rule-setter, but if you want to get a certain result, you have to be a player. When it comes to promoting Canadian values and interests, we can’t afford to not be a player.” Harper made Canada not only a player but also a candidate for most valuable player. In fact, with Harper’s proven leadership, Canada was named the most reputable country in the world, for the fourth time in six years, by the Reputation Institute, a global private consulting firm based in Boston and Copenhagen.
The world now once again can look to Canada for moral leadership. Without even going into economic questions, or delving into the way Harper helped Canada be the nation with one of the best economic growth rates (with a GDP growth of 16.1 percent since 2006), the best job creation (with over 1.2 million new net jobs), and the best growth on middle-class incomes among any of the advanced developed nations since the end of the global financial crisis, it is clear that he has done great good to Canada’s international standing.
Elections in Canada were recently announced for October 19. For some unexplainable reason, Harper is currently trailing in the polls. As a proud Canadian living abroad, surrounded by people from various countries who look at Harper’s leadership with great awe, I want to give a clear message to Harper: Thank you for making me prouder than ever to be Canadian.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Israeli Arab Reporter Lucy Aharish Blasts Muslim and Arab Leaders: The Israel Project, Oct. 14, 2015—Furious at the incitement by local Muslim and Arab leaders, she speaks the truth: “You are inciting thousands of young people to go the the streets. You are destroying their future with your own hands.”
Lethal Lies: Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2015 —Directly inflaming passions, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, declared on Tuesday that 15-year-old Hassan Manasrah (who gravely wounded an Israeli 13-year-old and stabbed another passerby in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood) had been “cold-bloodedly executed” by Israelis.
Why this Socialist Will Vote For Harper: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Oct. 13, 2015—For the past 50 years, my inner socialist has been my moral compass. It has guided me in politics and in my writing.
NDP Candidates Under Fire For Comments About Israel: Jodie Shupac, CJN, Aug. 15, 2015 —Three federal NDP candidates are under intense scrutiny – and one has resigned – for controversial comments each made about Israel.