I am pleased to extend my warmest greetings to all those celebrating the restructuring and relaunch of The Canadian Jewish News.
Over the years, The CJN has become a popular source of information for the Canadian Jewish community. The newspaper – published in Toronto and Montreal – provides in-depth coverage of news of the Jewish community here at home, in Israel, and throughout the world. The government is pleased to support such a vital community resource as the paper moves to its new office and resumes publishing its print edition. Today, you can look to the future with confidence while reflecting upon the achievements of the past 42 years with pride.
Please accept my best wishes for every success in the years to come.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
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Speaking out is not ‘sad’
As two of the Jewish signatories to the Canadian writers’ petition protesting Israel’s proposed displacement of tens of thousands of Bedouin in the Negev and of Palestinians in the West Bank, we assure your arts correspondent Bill Gladstone (“Eye on Arts,” CJN, Aug. 1) that what he refers to as U.S. author Alice Walker’s “misguided instincts” had nothing to do with impelling us to raise our voices. The inspiration came from a similar petition by leading Israeli writers such as Amos Oz, AB Yehoshua and David Grossman.
We thank Mr. Gladstone for considering our work “admirable,” but wonder why he considers it “sad” that we should join our world-renowned Israeli colleagues in speaking out against an injustice.
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The government of Israel has come forward with a plan to invest some $2 billion over the next 10 years for the development of Bedouin and Palestinian communities and the Negev (“Eye on Arts,” CJN, Aug. 1).
However, letter writers Bernard Katz and Elizabeth Block level strong criticism of the plan.
Katz believes that Israel will be doing what “European settlers did to the indigenous peoples of Canada.” It apparently has not crossed his mind that Israel, a moral nation, might do things differently under these very different circumstances.
Block, as well, takes a shrill and distasteful view when, as a Jew, she disassociates herself from this plan which she believes not only foments anti-Semitism and which she says “for the first time in history, has a basis in the things Jews have done and are continuing to do.”
How unfortunate that some Jews are so cynical with regard to Israel that they believe a plan which will provide properly functioning neighborhoods with electricity and water infrastructure, access to proper health care and social services, modern education and employment is something to be ashamed of and distance yourself from.
Cote St.Luc, Que.
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Not time for peace agreement
I respectfully request the advocates of 1967 borders to illustrate one fact that would indicate that Palestinian leaders have changed their minds with respect to the removal of Israel from “their” Palestinian land (“This is no way to build trust” CJN, Aug. 15).
How can anyone reasonably argue that this is the time for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement? Have they ceased declaring that terrorists are their heroes? Have they terminated their TV programs reeking with hate toward Jews and Israelis?
Should we not have learned from the U.S. and Allied occupation of Germany and Japan that victors in a war don’t merely sign a peace agreement, as we did at Versailles? At this moment, there is absolutely no sign of a change in the mindset of the Palestinian leaders that they have altered their undiminished determination to destroy Israel.
When the Palestinian leaders can demonstrate to Israel that they will conduct themselves as Canada co-operates with us and as the various European countries live with each other, then Israel and the Palestinian leaders can meet to discuss peace.
William K. Langfan
Palm Beach, Fla.
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Is security Bibi’s priority?
The Netanyahu government seems to prefer the release of 100 convicted Palestinians, many of them murderers, to the halting of settlement construction (“This is no way to build trust” CJN, Aug. 15). Strange for a government that professes that security is its top priority.
Rabbi will triumph and grow
Rabbi Cahana’s faith and spiritual strength are even greater than that of biblical Job, whose afflictions were external whereas Rabbi Cahana is enduring a personal test of courage and faith (“Rabbi Cahana talks about life after devastating stroke,” CJN, Aug. 15). He will triumph and grow with more spiritual insight, revelations and understanding of the mystical realms that guide the universe, which the creator will reveal through the rabbi.