FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2016
Independent Jewish Voices Denounces Islamophobic Event and Silence of Canadian Jewish Establishment
Toronto, Ontario—Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) unequivocally denounces the event organized by the Jewish Defense League of Canada (JDL Canada) that took place March 10th at the Toronto Zionist Centre.
“The main guest, Pegida UK leader Paul Weston, has no place in Toronto,” says Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for IJV. “The main goal of Pegida UK, affiliated with the far-right German Pegida, is to promote xenophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.”
In 2011, the now-defunct Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) condemned the alliance between JDL Canada and the English Defense League, to which Weston is closely affiliated. However, the CJC’s successor—the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)—has been silent about this event as well as the JDL’s persistent incitement to hatred towards Arabs, Muslims and Syrian refugees.
“Jews were once refugees to this country and were themselves the scapegoats of racists, so we should be the first people to challenge incitement to hatred against refugee communities,” says Levitan. “In that light, we challenge CIJA to take a principled stand by condemning JDL Canada’s incitement to hatred towards Syrian refugees, Muslims and Arabs in general. CIJA should also condemn the JDL’s links to European fascist groups.”
“More broadly, IJV urges all Canadians to oppose any event or organization that incites hatred against a community. This is not the Canadian way,” concludes Levitan.
For more information please contact:
Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices Canada