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Posts Tagged ‘B’nai Brith Canada’

Toronto Transit Rejects Anti-Israel Ads

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

It happened in New York City and Washington, D.C.  It happened in Denver and in Los Angeles. Transit agencies accepted virulently anti-Israel and misleading ads for billboards and posters.  In a few places, and only after great expense and perseverance, some of those billboards were removed, or at least countered.

But in something that seems to happen with increasing frequency these days with respect to Israel, Canada has once again pulled ahead of its southern neighbor in exercising prudence, obviating the need for private individuals to duke it out with the Israel haters. At least that’s the case in Toronto.

Here’s what happened:

Last week the Toronto Transit Commission rejected what it determined were inaccurate and misleading anti-Israel ads.

The ads were placed by the group Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.  CJPME looks to be very much a Jewish Voice for Peace clone – all anti-Israel, all the time.  In fact, the ads that were submitted to the various Canadian transit systems were the same as ads that were placed in several places in the U.S., including on transit signs in parts of outer New York City. Those ads were largely sponsored by a comrade-in-arms group of JVP, the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine.

The same “disappearing Palestine” theme also appeared in the fall of 2011 as part of the Starbucks Digital Network newsfeed through Starbucks Wi-Fi, which the Simon Wiesenthal Center protested at the time.

The general idea for the proposed Toronto ads tracked a series of ads that ran in a Vancouver, Canada transit station and on 15 Vancouver buses.  Those ads show 4 maps, allegedly revealing Israel as a voracious land grabber whose territory increases steadily over time, in direct proportion to a mythical state called Palestine.  The Palestine Awareness Coalition paid for the Vancouver ads.

According to the Canadian Jewish News, CJPME president Thomas Woodley told a Canadian Jewish magazine that his group raised $35,000 from private donors to run the ads in Toronto and other Canadian cities.

“We congratulate the TTC for making the right decision in rejecting the ads,” said Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada. “They carefully reviewed their own rules and put the ad into historical context to find that it was misleading and inaccurate and could lead to hatred or violence against supporters of Israel and the Jewish community in particular.”

“We applaud them for the thoughtfulness that they brought to this issue and their strong stance for a fair reading of their advertising policy. In properly interpreting the law on free speech to understand that it does not include the right to spread false information, the TTC has not allowed itself to fall prey to the false anti-Israel propaganda campaign.”

While Vancouver permitted the ads to run, the Toronto Transit Commission rejected those ads.  Here are the standards both entities were required to apply, Section 14 of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards:

Advertisements shall not:(a) condone any form of personal discrimination, including that based upon race, national origin, religion, sex or age;

(b) appear in a realistic manner to exploit, condone or incite violence; nor appear to condone, or directly encourage, bullying; nor directly encourage, or exhibit obvious indifference to, unlawful behaviour;

(c) demean, denigrate or disparage one or more identifiable persons, group of persons, firms, organizations, industrial or commercial activities, professions, entities, products or services, or attempt to bring it or them into public contempt or ridicule

A Toronto Transit Commission policy states that if at least five people complain about an ad, the issue goes to a three person advertising review committee, made up of TTC commissioners. After a review of the ad, if two of the three members oppose the ad, it is rejected, according to a Toronto newspaper, The Star.

The TTC made its determination to reject the CJPME ad on Friday, Oct. 19.

Canadian B’nai Brith Delegation Humiliated on Temple Mount

Friday, May 31st, 2013

“You don’t have to send delegations to Hungary to witness raw antisemitism.”

B’nai Brith Canada winded down its 10-day annual mission to Israel on Tuesday morning, May 28, with a visit to Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. Although the group had been made aware of the anti-Jewish intolerance at the Temple Mount – which remains under control of the Jordanian Waqf [Islamic trust] – they were shocked by the intensity of the antisemitism.

While waiting to be admitted, a Muslim guard began harassing the delegation, calling Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, chutzpan (insolent) and threatening to deny him entry. No one had provoked him. Several other visibly religious Jews were being treated harshly as well.

Upon entering, the Canadian women – all dressed modestly – were forced to buy unattractive shawls to cover up with. Then at least 50 Arab women, dressed in full hijab, began screaming “Allah Akhbar” repeatedly.

The Canadian tourists were warned not to move their lips in prayer, nor cry or show emotion as Jews. A Muslim Israeli policeman and an official of the Waqf followed the group closely throughout the visit, often forcing them to move quickly.

Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, who accompanied the Canadian group, often had to beg for just another moment to finish his sentence. Meanwhile, Muslim men, women and children were strolling freely; some of the youths were playing soccer on the holy site, which in some areas was strewn with garbage. While they could use any gate to enter and exit, the Jewish group could use one specific gate only.

Also evident were signs of desecration and destruction of Jewish artifacts.

“You don’t have to send delegations to Hungary to witness raw antisemitism,” said Dimant, “Jews are treated as second-class citizens in the Jewish state.”

Dimant, who led the mission together with Eric Bissell, president of B’nai Brith Canada, is also a delegate to the Global Forum on Antisemitism taking place this week in Jerusalem. “It’s ironic that the Forum is meeting in Jerusalem and will by design ignore this hatred in Jerusalem,” he said. “I doubt that any of the delegates will leave the conference hall to protest this antisemitic behavior in Israel’s capital, which is an ongoing problem.”

Visiting Har HaBayit is a “lesson in subjugation,” Rabbi Richman stated. “When they trash everything we have and we allow it, then we deserve what we get.”

Linda Olmert, executive director of Eretz Nehederet-Birthright for Israelis, joined the Canadian tour. She had made aliyah from Toronto decades ago.

“It is infuriating that Israel abdicated to the Muslim Waqf de facto dominion over our holiest site, the Temple Mount,” she declared. “It makes my blood boil that [Waqf officials] can and do make every effort to impose their misogynist, apartheid world view deliberately and particularly on Jewish groups. Did we really return to Israel to be told in our own land, on our holiest site, that we must not pray or cry? However the worst tragedy is that most of Israel is oblivious to this, and just does not care.”

Also, “can it really be that the Israeli media, which have made a major case of the Women of the Wall and their fight with the rabbinical institutions, keep silent about the fact that only a few meters away, on the far holier Temple Mount site, Jewish women are forced to pay for Palestinian plaid scarves to ensure covering from the tips of their toes to our heads?”

Nevertheless, “I see the cup as half full, as hundreds and hundreds of people, including yeshiva students, come once a month,” Rabbi Richman said. “There’s an awakening, although a bit too little and too late, because for generations Israelis were taught that we have no connection” to Temple Mount.

When the visit ended, a number of small boys – apparently on cue – pelted the Jews with stones.

B’nai Brith Canada will issue an official protest to Prime Minister Netanyahu and to the minister of Religious Affairs.

Each year, the mission visits cities in the disputed territories that are central to Jewish history, including Hebron, Beit-El, Ariel and Shilo. It’s an unusual itinerary for a mainstream North American Jewish organization. David Wilder, spokesperson for Hebron’s Jewish community, presented to Bissell a Certificate of Appreciation, and to Dimant a Certificate of Honorary Citizenship.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-bnai-brith-delegation-humiliated-on-temple-mount/2013/05/31/

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