Scott Weinstein (coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on the June 1st- anti JNF demo – see below
by MIRROR NEWS
May 26, 2011
Former Conservative MP Stockwell Day can expect a mixed reception in Montreal on June 1. Day will be guest of honour at a dinner organized by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a group opposed by Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), who plan to demonstrate outside the Westmount synagogue where the dinner will be held (450 Kensington).
“We want to expose the truth about what JNF does, because most of what is known is propaganda,” says IJV member Scott Weinstein. He argues that most Jews contribute to JNF, a registered Canadian charity, without being aware of the organization’s activities. He says JNF, a major Israeli landowner, has a racial mandate, creating residential and green spaces for Jews while destroying Palestinian villages, with support from Israel’s government.
“We are an organization based on improving the lives of all Israelis who live within our borders, be they Arab, Christian or Jewish,” responds JNF executive director Mark Mendelson (referring to 1967 borders). He says IJV has a right to protest, but insists their facts are wrong. “We are not a land-grabbing organization. We are an organization based on sustainable development,” Mendelson says.
Weinstein maintains his criticism of JNF. “Ultimately, we’d like to see JNF de-listed as a charity,” he says. The demo runs from 5:30–6:30 p.m.
MANIF EN APPUI À LA CAMPAGNE CONTRE LE FONDS NATIONAL JUIF (JNF):
Date: Mercredi, le 1e juin, à 17h30 – 18h30
Lieu: Synagogue Shaar Hashomayim
450, av Kensington, Westmount Google map
Le 1e juin, lors de sa soirée de levée de fonds, le Fond national juif – Canada (FNJ) rendra hommage à Stockwell Day, un fondamentaliste chrétien reconnu pour son soutien indéfatiguable des politiques expansionnistes israéliennes.
Le FNJ jouit du statut officiel d’organisation de bienfaisance canadienne, il n’est toutefois, une organisation de charité comme les autres. Le FNJ, qui est l’axe central sur lequel repose les pratiques d’appropriation des terres du gouvernement israélien, est financé entièrement par le biais de dons privés déductibles d’impôts. Les principes guides du FNJ sont l’expulsion et l’exclusion permanente de non juifs (les Palestiniens et les Bedouins) des terres sous contrôle du gouvernement israélien.
Les contribuables canadiennes participent sans le savoir, non seulement à la destruction sans relâche, de villages, vergers et terres agricoles mais aussi à l’expulsion continue des populations non juives. Ceci est rendu possible en raison du statut officiel d’organisation de bienfaisance canadienne dont jouit le FNJ. Cette injustice perdure et les contribuables canadiennes jouent un rôle important dans la collecte des fonds pour le FNJ.
Soutenez nos efforts pour mettre fin au rôle joué par les contribuables canadiennes! Voix juives indépendantes (VJI) s’est engagé à appuyer la campagne internationale contre le FNJ et le rôle déterminant qu’il joue dans l’expropriation des terres et la destruction continue des maisons et des moyen de subsistance des populations non juives en Israël et sous occupation israélienne.
SOUTENEZ NOTRE CAMPAGNE POUR FAIRE LA LUMIÈRE SUR LA RÉALITÉ DISCRIMINATOIRE DES PRATIQUES ET POLITIQUES DU JNF
Comment s’y rendre: C’est à 15 minutes de marche du métro Atwater et à 3 rues à l’ouest de l’avenue Clarke au nord de Sherbrooke ouest.
Pour tout renseignement complémentaire: email@example.com
IJV Demonstration to expose JNF Canada;
A Charity like no other
Date: Wednesday, June 1, 5:30pm – 6:30p
Where: Synagogue Hashomayim
450, av Kensington, Westmount. Google map
At its June 1st fund-raiser, Jewish National Fund Canada is honouring Conservative Party icon Stockwell Day, a fundamentalist Christian, for his long-time support of Israeli expansionist policies.
Registered as an official Canadian charity, it is a charity like no other. Funded by private, tax-deductible, donations, it is in fact the official arm of the Israeli government Land Authority. The JNF is based on the removal and permanent exclusion of all non-Jews (Palestinians and Bedouins) from all Israeli-controlled land.
JNF Canada’s continuing tax-exempt charitable status has Canadian tax payers unwittingly participating in the on-going destruction of Palestinian and Bedouin villages, orchards and productive agricultural land, and the displacement of the inhabitants.
Help us to end Canadian tax-payers role in this injustice. Independent Jewish Voices is committed to supporting the global campaign against the JNF and the central role it plays in excluding and destroying the livelihoods of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, and those living under Israeli occupation.
Join us in exposing JNF Canada.
How to get there: a 15 minute walk from metro Atwater, 3 streets west of av. Clark and north of Sherbrooke O.
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Canada’s Jewish Community Condemn the Extreme Silencing of Protest in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza
March 29, 2010
We, the undersigned, members of Canada’s Jewish community, believe that Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israeli citizen both Jewish and Palestinian, as well as internationals, have a right to demonstrate nonviolently in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip against acts, practices and installations they consider to be in violation of fundamental human rights.
We are concerned that recent actions by the Israeli authorities in both Israel and the West Bank, as well as recent actions by the Canadian government in Canada, threaten basic values of fairness and justice, thereby further obscuring the path of peace and justice in the Middle East.
These actions are:
1.The ongoing military crackdown on the non-violent protest movement throughout the West Bank, namely:
- The arrest and continued imprisonment of 15 residents of Bil’in village, including Abdullah Abu Rahma, the leader of its nonviolent movement, arrested on December 10, 2009
- The new military order declaring Bil’in a closed military zone
- The ongoing imprisonment of Wa’el Al-Faqeeh, a non-violent grassroots leader in Nablus , arrested on December 9, 2009
- The ongoing military suppression in the village of Nil’in where 17 people are currently in prison including the co-ordinator of the Popular Committee, Ibrahim Amira
- The shooting and/or killing of peaceful Palestinian and international demonstrators and activists, among others Ellen Stark (March 19, 2010 in An Nabi Saleh), Tristan Anderson (March 13, 2009 in Nil’in), Bassem Abu Rahma (April 17, 2009 in Bil’in) and Rachel Corrie (March 16, 2003 in Gaza)
- The ongoing arrests of peaceful Israeli and international demonstrators throughout Israel and the West Bank, including the Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) - Hagai El-Ad, arrested along with sixteen others, at a peaceful demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah on January 23, 2010
- The torture in an Israeli prison of Omar Alaaeddin from the village of Al Ma’asara - arrested on March 14, 2010 and released one week later with no charges pressed against him
2.The ban of Israeli and international visitors, and extreme restrictions on food, medicine and reconstruction supplies to Gaza.
We believe that not only are these actions a significant threat to democracy and justice in Israel, their repercussions are being echoed here in Canada.
1.The Conservative government has staged a coup of Canada’s flagship public agency for human rights and democratic development, Rights and Democracy. By cutting funding to Betselem and Al Haq, the newly Harper government appointed leadership no longer permits support for Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups.
2.The Harper government funding cut dropped cash flows to Alternatives and KIAROS, two major NGOs supporting Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups.
3.The government surreptitiously formed, with no authority from Parliament, the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA) in an attempt to curtail freedom of speech across Canada, with a view to possibly criminalize certain human rights debates.
These actions by the Israeli and Canadian governments aim to prevent a united effort by Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, and others to forge a non-violent and just alternative to the occupation.
We call for continued denunciation of ongoing Israeli state and police disregard of human rights and non-violent action. We as Jews of conscience will not remain silent- we add our voices to the growing number of Jewish and non-Jewish voices around the world who understand that universal human rights and values include Israel and the Jewish people. We reclaim the right and the responsibility to speak out against all forms of occupation, segregation and discrimination.
Shalom u Bracha
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Scott Weinstein: Letter to the Editor
National Post Published:March 04, 2010
Israeli Apartheid Week:
It is remarkable what speed politicians can change their tune, and what speed their past can be uncovered. Michael Ignatieff recently condemned Israeli Apartheid Week, but here is what the Liberal leader previously wrote in The Guardian on April 19, 2002:
“When I looked down at the West Bank, at the settlements like Crusader forts occupying the high ground, at the Israeli security cordon along the Jordan river closing off the Palestinian lands from Jordan, I knew I was not looking down at a state or the beginnings of one, but at a Bantustan, one of those pseudo-states created in the dying years of apartheid to keep the African population under control.”
The quote by Michael Ignatieff on Israel is still up on The Guardian’s website
Scott Weinstein, Montreal.
Écouter le reportage de Marie-France Abastado- émission “Dimanche magazine” sur Radio-Canada, du13’09’09 : www.radio-canada
Écrite par l’auteure britannique Caryl Churchill en réponse à la situation dramatique qui prévalait à Gaza en janvier dernier, la pièce a été produite pour la première fois à Londres le 6 février 2009. Elle est reprise depuis lors un peu partout sur la planète, suscitant énormément d’intérêt, autant du point de vue artistique que social. Un public restreint avait eu l’occasion d’assister à sa représentation à Montréal, au début de mai, à l’Espace Geordie, où une première lecture avait été faite en français, dans une traduction de Jocelyne Doray.
Sept enfants juifs : du passé vers l’avenir, quelles responsabilités portons-nous ?
« Dix minutes de radio pour Sept enfants juifs. Dix minutes de radio pour sortir de nos sempiternels problèmes et s’ouvrir à ceux d’Israël et de Gaza. Dix minutes de radio pour une pièce engagée et bouleversante. Qui dit mieux? », voilà comment se terminait l’article Dix minutes pour Gaza de Nathalie Petrovsky dans «La Presse» du 9 mai 2009. Elle déplorait que la pièce Sept enfants juifs de la dramaturge britannique Caryll Churchill ait été diffusée à Montréal presque « confidentiellement ». Moins d’un mois plus tard, le 6 mai, la Fondation Charles-Gagnon, en collaboration avec Voix juives indépendantes présentait cette pièce mise en scène par Stéphane Jaques dans le cadre de sa journée sur l’art engagé. Et ce n’était qu’un début!
Ce n’est pas un hasard si cette pièce a été écrite et diffusée au moment où l’invasion d’Israël dans Gaza remuait les populations à travers le monde. Elle soulève la question de la mémoire et de ce qu’on en fait. On ressort de la représentation bouleversé et aux prises avec des émotions partagées par rapport aux horreurs qui se perpétuent – notamment l’incursion soutenue de colons israéliens en Palestine qui suivent, encore de nombreuses années plus tard, les horreurs subies par les Juifs au cours de la deuxième guerre mondiale. Plus encore, c’est le déchirement que connaissent les parents entre faire œuvre de mémoire en racontant à leurs enfants les pires horreurs du passé ou au contraire les préserver et en quelque sorte enfouir le passé. Existe-t-il une réponse simple ? Bien sûr que non !
Les échanges qui ont immédiatement suivi la représentation à laquelle j’ai assisté à Montréal confirment que ce dilemme est encore vivant pour plusieurs personnes, non seulement en ce qui concerne le thème directement abordé dans la pièce mais relativement à tout héritage du passé. Comment se souvenir mais sans s’alourdir avec des désirs de vengeance ?
Au delà des interrogations précises que cette pièce suscite dans le contexte actuel concernant Israël et de ses politiques – voire les politiques canadiennes -, elle entraîne inévitablement les spectatrices et les spectateurs à réfléchir sur la manière dont le passé s’imprime en chacune, chacun d’entre nous et sur l’usage qu’on en fait. Que l’on choisisse «de dire ou de ne pas dire», «de se raccrocher au passé ou de le dépasser pour construire», l’enjeu de la responsabilité par rapport à la mémoire se pose. C’est l’une des raisons qui amène le Comité Québec/Canada de la Charte des responsabilités humaines à s’associer, en collaboration avec l’équipe montréalaise de Voix juives indépendantes, à l’initiative de diffuser plus largement cette production théâtrale d’abord au Québec, puis éventuellement ailleurs.
À noter que la pièce a été diffusé dans plusieurs villes déjà et est visible dans différentes versions sur YouTube, dont celle du Royal Court theatre de London.
Fighting the CJA censorship of Jeff Halper
January 12, 2009
Federation Combined Jewish Appeal / Gelber Centre
Mark Gold, President, Federation CJA
Dear Mr. Gold,
Your last minute decision to prevent our scheduled public presentation, by Jeff Halper, Israeli
peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee titled “Peace in Israel? Peace with Gaza? Yes We Can!” to the Jewish community on Thursday, January 15 at the Gelber Centre is most disturbing and unnecessary.
It is difficult to interpret your decision to ban the presentation by the Jewish Nobel Peace Prize nominee as other than an act of political censorship, something surely not in the tradition of the CJA.
We object strongly to your decision, and question the validity of your stated excuse that the cancellation is due to “security concerns” presented by the negative reaction from another group called Les amis d’Israel. You do not cite any threat by them, and if a threat is evident, then the police should be notified. We have had many experiences organizing these kinds of events and there have never been any security issues at our presentations, (including those at the Gelber Centre). As we have always, we can guarantee our presentation will be respectful and calm.
While we seriously doubt this explanation, we also object to your refusal to consider our request to facilitate a joint meeting with Les amis d’Israel (we do not know who they are) and the FCJA to ensure a mutually satisfactory outcome. In fact, we would be most pleased if you would actually facilitate a joint debate with them that evening at the Gelber Centre. That would be a proud event for the Jewish community, one that would demonstrate that it is not afraid of differing opinions and views.
Censorship of speech and opinions within the Jewish community is a grave act – an assault on our long history of supporting intellectual debate and diverse opinions. The Jewish community thrives because of our intellectual courage and opinions; Democracy and freedom are best served by an educated public able to make informed decisions. Censorship kills democracy, and serves autocratic ends that are deleterious to Jews.
The group Independent Jewish Voices exists precisely to ensure that the Jewish community can have healthy exchanges and debates on critical issues facing us without political censorship or accusations of disloyalty.
We know Jews have a large range of opinions about Israel, Palestine, Zionism, and the Middle East, and we would have expected you to be open to the respectful airing of these. It is most disheartening that the self-appointed leadership, represented by the FCJA, is demonstrating distrust of Jewish people. By imposing political censorship on a presentation that addresses the crisis in Israel and Gaza, the FCJA shows that it fears hearing the full range of these opinions when they may include peace messages from a non-violent Jewish-Israeli Nobel Prize nominee that may counter the public positions of the FCJA.
Thus, we hereby request that you reverse your decision and allow the scheduled presentation to proceed unhindered. To this end, we are prepared to discuss a mutually satisfactory resolution to this last minute crisis with you as soon as possible.
Scott Weinstein, On behalf of Independent Jewish Voices Montreal
Dear Prime Minister Harper.
We read with dismay and sadness the report of your remarks in the Montreal Gazette with regard to those who criticize the State of Israel. As Jews, and as Canadians, we are deeply offended by your allegations that objections to Israeli policies that include the occupation, forced eviction, and denial of human rights to Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank — as well as discrimination against the many Palestinians living in Israel — are signals of “anti-Semitism.”
To the contrary, these objections are rooted in the many Jewish struggles for justice and democracy throughout history, and reflect the contributions made by many Jews around the world for the respect of human rights. Thus, we are troubled that you, as Prime Minister of Canada, chose not to recognize the multiplicity of Jewish voices and positions, both in Canada and in Israel. It is our history of dissent, constructive criticism, and community action that has helped build Canada. Our ability to address not only Jewish concerns but also those of our fellow citizens stems from the painful memories of how silence was used against us.
Dissent is not something we take lightly – whether in Israel, Canada, or elsewhere. To equate the “criticism of the state of Israel as similar to the attitude of Nazi Germany” is slanderous!
As members of Independent Jewish Voices (Montreal) we demand that you retract your statements: they reflect the type of overwhelming misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of Jewish cultures and histories that continues to contribute to racism against Jews. Moreover, we demand that you make a public apology to all of us — Jews and non-Jews alike — who take their role as citizens conscientiously.
Independent Jewish Voices (Montréal)
Ehab Lotoyef and IJV Montreal engage in a little theatre at the 2008 Israel Day parade. (photo Mary Ellen Davis)
Thousands fête Israel
Published: Thursday, May 08 2008
Stephane Dion dances the Horah at the annual march celebrating Israeli independence. photo: Allen McInnis, The Gazette
The flag she grabbed from the cardboard box marked “Made in China” was white and blue, but it wasn’t the Magen David. It was the Fleurdelisé, and, disappointed, the teenage student from a Jewish day school chucked it to the ground. “I don’t want this one!” she exclaimed to her friends.And for several minutes Thursday morning, the flag lay there, crumbled and trod upon by the oblivious students milling around the monument to King Edward VII in Phillips Square.
It was the start of the annual march for Israel Independence Day. And on the blustery 60th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state, flags symbolized everything.
The pride of belonging – to Israel and to Canada – could be heard and felt in the snap of every one. And there were thousands.
Almost everyone in the crowd – between 16,000 and 20,000 people, organizers claimed – carried or wore as a cape the Israeli flag: a blue Shield of David on a white background, bordered top and bottom by blue stripes symbolizing a Jewish prayer shawl.
Some also held aloft the Canadian flag, the red-and-white Maple Leaf.
But rare was the sight of the Quebec Fleurdelisé, with its big white cross and its four white fleurs-de-lis on blue in each corner.
And nowhere, of course, was the black, white, green and red flag of that other non-country, Palestine.
That flag was adopted in Gaza in 1948 after the Arab League rejected the United Nations partition of British Mandate Palestine into a Jewish and a Palestinian state and began a year-long war against the fledgling Israeli nation.
“What I find sad is, if the Arabs had accepted the UN declaration back then, today we’d be celebrating two states, not just one,” said Ernest Sinyor, an Egyptian-born Jew and retired engineer who carried the Canadian flag beside his wife, who had the Magen David.
Together with their daughter they watched the lunchtime rally at Place du Canada, where federal, provincial and municipal politicians danced the hora, the traditional Zionist circle dance, to songs performed by musicians from the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Sderot.
In separate speeches, Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day and federal Liberal leader Stéphane Dion drew a link between Canadian and Israeli nationalism.
“As fellow Canadians, we can all take pride in the pivotal role Canada played in crafting the United Nations revo- … resolution that led to this defining moment in history” in 1948, said Day, Canada’s public safety minister, reading a message from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is to visit Israel next month.
But to reporters, Day distanced himself from a statement by Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, that Canada’s burgeoning Muslim population might be eroding Ottawa’s longtime support for Israel.
“We are a multicultural nation,” Day said.
“We are proud of the fact we are made up and are built of people who have come here from all countries, including the Jewish people. They celebrate the fact we are a multicultural nation, we celebrate that, and we want to see peace in Canada and around the world.”
Dion told the crowd: “There are thousands of us in Montreal today and millions across Canada who are celebrating our friendship with Israel. Sixty years is young in the life of a people, but so much is left for us to accomplish for the cause of peace.”
Under Montreal police protection across from the park, several dozen ultra-orthodox Jews wearing sackcloth as a sign of mourning lamented the existence of Israel, while a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators lamented the lack of a Palestinian state.
“The message is, not all Jews believe in ‘Israel, right or wrong,’ ” said Scott Weinstein, an organizer with Independent Jewish Voices – Montreal.
“Don’t think of us as a monolithic voice, and don’t be afraid to criticize Israel. We’re Jewish Canadians, and we criticize Canada, too. We’re not disloyal to Canada. It’s patriotic to have a voice for peace and justice.”
Leaving the park at the end of the rally, the Malka family of Côte St. Luc reflected, too, on the notion of patriotism.
“It’s Israel’s 60th birthday, and it’s really important to support our country,” said Anael Malka, 12, who attends Hebrew Academy.
Added her mother, Celine: “It’s the only country we’ve got.”
© Montreal Gazette 2008