Press Release For immediate release May 16, 2011
Toronto District School Board “twinning” with injustice, says Jewish Group
“Independent Jewish Voices is alarmed that two Toronto District School Board (TDSB) schools will be participating in the upcoming Jewish National Fund (JNF)-Downsview Park School Twinning Program on May 19,” says IJV Toronto spokesperson Corey Balsam. “The twinning program is portrayed as a benign environmental initiative, but the involvement of the Jewish National Fund, with its history and ongoing participation in human rights violations tell a different story.”
The program is a joint initiative of JNF Toronto and Parc Downsview Park Inc., linking the federally-funded Canada Forest at Downsview with the Toronto Community Forest in Israel’s Negev desert region. Participants in the program are scheduled to take part in a day of environmental activities and tree planting. The trees planted in the Canada Forest are to be “twinned” with a number of trees that are being planted in the Toronto Community Forest.
“By participating in this program, the schools involved—and therefore the TDSB—are allying themselves with an organization that is directly implicated in systemic discrimination against Palestinians and in possible war crimes,” Balsam continued. “We ask that the TDSB distance itself from this program and ensure that none of its schools participate in it in the future,” he concluded.
For more information on the JNF-Downsview School Twinning Programs, consult the IJV report : Twinning the TDSB with Injustice
IJV Toronto media contact:
Corey Balsam – (647) 888-9533 firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Jewish Canadian and Israeli Women occupy the Israeli Consulate in Toronto on January 7, 2009
Response to the Koffler Centre’s blacklisting of artist Reena Katz
May 14, 2009Re:Kensington Market exhibit stirs controversy among Jews, May 10The blacklisting of Jewish artist Reena Katz by the Koffler Centre, not for the content of her art but for her personal political views and associations, is yet another example of the intellectual sclerosis that is being imposed on the Jewish community by our so-called leaders who increasingly try to narrow the writ of permitted debate amongst Jews and declare more and more of us beyond the Pale for daring to question the party line on Israel.Jewish criticism of and opposition to Zionism is as old as Zionism itself and is founded upon both religious and philosophical precepts within Jewish thought. Encouragement of debate and free inquiry within the Jewish community has long been a core feature of Jewish life.
Yet, despite this, a small self-appointed group within the Jewish community attempts to squelch any hint of dissent or disagreement when it comes to Israel and Zionism. Dissenters such as Reena Katz are cast out and slandered as a warning to others.
The Koffler Centre not only does the Jewish community a disservice, it attacks the right of all artists in Canada to free expression. It has also revealed itself as being unfit to play any role in the artistic or cultural life of either the Jewish community or this country.
Andy Lehrer, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto
For more on Reena’s show and it’s struggle to be shown see the each hand as they are called website.
20 Years of Queer Resistance from South Africa to Palestine
May 23rd 2009
Buddies in Bad Times Theater
12 Alexander Street
Admission is Free. Everyone is welcome.
1986: Queer people in Toronto united in the Anti-Apartheid
Committee (SNAAC) to fight for justice in South Africa.
2009: Another struggle against apartheid is building throughout the world.
Queer people are joining the international call to name ’s occupation
of Palestine apartheid.
Israel has now begun to frame itself as a tolerant, queer-positive
democracy.This can never be reality under Occupation.
Join Queers Against Israeli Apartheid on May 23 for an evening to reignite
Toronto’s queer community in the fight against apartheid.
This event will feature:
Tim McCaskell. Tim was a member of the Simon Nkoli Anti-apartheid Committee,
which did queer solidarity with anti-apartheid struggles in the 1980s. He was
also a member of the Body Politic Collective, the ground-breaking Toronto
radical queer newspaper; an organizer of the 1981 bath raids protest and Right
to Privacy Committee; co-founder of AIDS Action Now; and has been an
anti-racist activist for several decades. Tim is also one of the subjects of
John Greyson’s acclaimed new documentary opera, Fig Trees.
Rafeef Ziadah. Rafeef is a member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid,
as well as a spoken word poet and performer, and a union activist.
Natalie Kouri-Towe. Natalie is a member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.
Opening Remarks by . El-Farouk is co-founder of Salaam: Queer
Muslim Community, and Pride 2009 Grand Marshall.
This event is co-sponsored by Salaam: Queer Muslim Communities and
Food and refreshments will be provided.
This event is located in a wheelchair accessible venue.
For more information, please contact: email@example.com.
There is difference and there is power. And who holds
the power decides the meaning of the difference.