Call for Diverse Jewish Voices on Ontario Anti-Semitism Committee

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We the undersigned Jews from Ontario, Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and allies applaud the establishment of the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate (OARD) and its Anti-Semitism Committee. However, we are extremely troubled by the exclusion of the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO) and Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) from this committee.

We believe that this exclusion rests on an unwillingness on the part of the OARD and their partners in the institutional Jewish community to include voices that are critical of Israel and supportive of Palestinian rights. We take this opportunity to point out that criticism of Israel’s government or policies is not inherently anti-Semitic, but that equating the two has been used to ostracize and silence many voices.

We are concerned about the current rise of anti-Semitism and we believe that Jews and allies must stand united, not fractured, as we address all forms of bigotry and racism. All Jews are vulnerable to anti-Semitism, regardless of their political opinions. 

The Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate will increase its credibility and effectiveness by expanding the Anti-Semitism Committee to include a greater range of Jewish voices, including those who are critical of Israel.

We urge the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate to invite the United Jewish People's Order and Independent Jewish Voices to join the committee.

For more background, visit these links:

NOW article by Rachel Epstein, Executive Director of UJPO: 

https://nowtoronto.com/news/pro-palestinian-jewish-group-denied-seat-on-ontario-anti-semitism-committee/

Submission by IJV to the Anti-Racism Directorate:

http://ijvcanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IJV-submission-to-Anti-Racism-Directorate.pdf



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