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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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.

Talmud Takes to Jewish.tv

Friday, August 9th, 2013

A class on Talmudic ethics in Vancouver, B.C., praised by regulars, is going virtual in a new series on Jewish.tv, the multimedia portal of the Judaism website Chabad.org.

In the hour-long class, Rabbi Binyomin Bitton, director of Chabad of Downtown Vancouver and dean of the Jewish Academy there, dissects a complex Talmudic narrative and shows how it remains applicable in day-to-day life.

“The class starts at the literal level, then goes deeper and deeper,” says Susan Katz, a freelance writer and regular attendee of the “Talmud for Beginners” class. The class then discusses everyday situations and learns how to apply the Talmud and the thought processes behind it, says Katz.

Bitton’s calming demeanor and slightly French-accented voice set the tone to delve into daily life scenarios as they were seen by the Talmudic sages thousands of years ago. “Talmudic logic, principles, debates and discussions,” he explains, “help you analyze situations and issues from many angles, to come up with creative logical solutions to complex issues and conflicts, and help you to think ‘out of the box’ and discover that there is always another perspective to the matter.”

The crux of the Talmud is a commentary on the Mishnah. Written around the year 165 of the Common Era, the Mishnah was the first codification of Jewish “oral law” as handed down from generation to generation, from the times of Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. It took more than 200 years to write the Talmud, beginning around the year 220.

The Talmud, Bitton says to his class, is based on explaining the minute details of the Mishnah and its wording: “The Talmud is telling us that every word of the Mishnah is so precise and is chosen very carefully to tell us something.”

The first in the series of four classes will focus on “Liability for Damage.” It airs on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. EST, with subsequent lessons airing on Thursdays at the same hour. They also can be viewed afterwards at any time of the day on Jewish.tv.

Diving Into the Nitty-Gritty

“Rabbi Bitton zeroes in on a specific subject and presents it in an easy-to-understand and well-illustrated fashion,” says Rabbi Shmuel Lifshitz, director of Jewish.tv. “He skillfully helps the student to think ‘Talmudically’ and to gain the tools for studying Talmud.”

The first class examines the ramifications of what transpires when an object for sale is included in a certain category of goods. For example, what happens when an object that was purchased turns out to be different than described? What if someone had used the Hebrew word for “barrel,” and the item was indeed more like a “pitcher”?

The class discusses that while most people would, of course, understand it to be a barrel and nothing else, some may believe it to be a pitcher. Is such a sale valid or not? And does one take into account what the seller thought, based on an innate understanding of an item or a difference in terminology?

“The class gives me a way to take a situation with many possibilities and helps me narrow it down to look at a situation,” says Katz.

She explains that in life, multiple people share responsibility for a particular situation. For example, “if someone leaves a piece of pottery on the sidewalk and I break it,” is the fault of the one who placed it there or the one who stepped on it?

“The Talmud gives me the understanding of how to resolve the situation. It goes beyond civil law because there is also a sense of purpose, and it affirms the place of kindness and looking at a person as a person, and the ramifications it will have in their life. It teaches us how to relate to each other and how to take the other person into the equation, too.”

The debate around the table in Vancouver tries to probe the attendees to come up with their own logical responses. Says Bitton: “There is a depth and intellectual level that is unique within the Talmud. It challenges the mind like no other wisdom, and gives the individual a sentiment of intellectual achievement and appreciation that only the Talmud can give.”

Iranians in Canada Caught Using Fake Israeli Passports

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Canadian authorities have caught seven Iranians using fake Israeli passports at Vancouver International Airport.

The Iranians, whose identity is unknown, were posing as the Solomons family from Rehovot, located south of Tel Aviv. Iranians need a visa to enter Canada, and the travelers may have been trying to take advantage of Israelis’ ability to travel to Canada without a visa.

The passports listed the Iranians’ names and ages as Mona, 48; Tomer, 40; Nadine, 15; Narin, 11; Binyamin, 9; Marin, 6; and Nermin, 5. The passports, however, contained several Hebrew errors and mismatched translations, enabling authorities to recognize them as forgeries. The passports were sent to Israel’s Israeli Population and Immigration Authority.

Several Iranians in recent years have tried to enter various countries with fake Israeli passports.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iranians-in-canada-caught-using-fake-israeli-passports/2013/07/25/

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