I have two words for the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), which, for reasons I find utterly baffling, is intent on attending the Durban Review Conference (Durban II): stay away (“Iran tries to exclude CIJA from Durban II conference,” CJN, April 24). The conference on “racism” is nothing more than another UN-sanctioned excuse to spend far too much time and money trying to gain consensus for the idea that Israel’s existence is morally indefensible. The Jew-hating thugs who are organizing the event, including Iran, which has vowed to wipe the Jewish “blot” off the Middle East map, need this consensus so that they can justify Israel’s destruction on moral grounds.
Not even Adolf Hitler, with all his maniacal hatred, would have been so brazen as to convene an international conference on racism to deal with his “Jewish problem.” He had to do it in secret, at a conference in Wannsee.
Alone among nations, Canada has taken a moral stance and announced that it will not take part in this odious event. Instead of begging the country in the forefront of global anti-Semitism for permission to attend what is shaping up to be a second Fiesta of Judenhass (with Israel as the piñata), CIJA and every other NGO and nation that can see this farce for what it is should take a cue from Canada and refuse to participate.
To attend Durban II is to validate it. Far better to stay away and heap contempt on it from the comfort of home.
Don’t close She’arim!
I am a parent with a child in Grade 6 at She’arim Hebrew Day School. I commend the community’s past efforts in assisting She’arim financially, educationally and morally. Closing She’arim, however, will bring its students one step closer to the two-thirds of Jewish children, mentioned by David Koschitzky in his article, who do not attend Jewish day school (“Debate on closure burdened by misinformation,” CJN, April 10).
Many of She’arim’s children have already attempted to enter mainstream Jewish day schools and could not adapt. I am not convinced, nor likely will the rest of the She’arim parents be, that Mercaz (formerly the Board of Jewish Education) will be able to successfully put in place an integrationist transition strategy in a mere matter of months without stigma or prejudice to She’arim students. Our children, for whom our community allegedly “cares deeply,” will suffer during the transition.
Moreover, without She’arim, future parents of children with learning disabilities will likely not even consider approaching or registering their children in the regular Jewish day school system. The result will further compound the two-third’s statistic referred to by Koschitzky.
She’arim presently provides a plethora of assistance tools to its students, including an occupational therapist, art therapist, social worker and music therapist. It is not realistic to think that such varied assistance will be available in the new integrated schools.
More likely, in the absence of a She’arim, the struggling student will have no alternative but to enter the public school system, thus effectively denying him or her a Jewish education. Mounting debt is indeed a problem. But filing for bankruptcy, which is what Mercaz is basically doing, for our precious Jewish children of today and of tomorrow is a far greater problem.
Closing a school is never a good precedent. The board of She’arim probably had no choice but to close the school. However, it must have been precipitated by Mercaz putting the brakes on any further funding.
You are right, Mr. Koschitzky. This is a “magnificent community” that seems to always be at the forefront of great Jewish causes locally and in Israel. But let’s put the nurturing of our children’s Jewish souls first, even if means incurring debt.
Ridiculous and dangerous claims
I was very concerned about the article “Honey product can stimulate the immune system” (CJN, April 17), with its suggestion that honey can, in some undetermined manner, “boost one’s immune system.” Suggesting that honey has a role to play in treating leukemia in a patient whose daughter is profiting from its sales is a brazen conflict, with the potential to steer patients away from accepted and potentially effective treatment. It is hard to imagine that, with today’s medical advances, The CJN would peddle such ridiculous and dangerous claims to its readers under the guise of news. I sincerely hope that your paper considers focusing on health care information with the potential to lengthen rather than shorten the lives of those without significant medical knowledge. Patients are entitled to choose their own therapy in any way that gives them comfort. The CJN, on the other hand, has a responsibility to promote accurate health information for the benefit of our community.
Dr. Rob Myers
Urgent issues not discussed in The CJN
Our greatest challenges stem from within the People of Israel, not from without. Sure we have enemies, we always have and we always will, a sure sign we stand for what is morally right in this morally challenged world. Sure the Arabs want to wipe us out, both those that claim to be a our peace partners and the other 99 per cent of them. They are clear and vocal and open about it.
From what I can see, we are the problem. One may be horrified at the violent over reaction to Danish cartoons (Twelve editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in a Danish newspaper in September 2005. Danish Muslim organizations responded by holding public protests. The controversy deepened when the cartoons were reprinted worldwide, which led to protests across the Muslim world.) But we must also be horrified at the under-reaction of Jews and their leaders everywhere to the rape of the Temple Mount by the Arab Waqf. Tons of material is being hauled away by truck every day right under the nose of the Israeli government, which says not a word.
And now the greatest travesty of all: the possible giving away of God’s gift, Jerusalem, by a Jewish government to a band of terrorists. Then there are all the members of the Knesset who profess to oppose these things, but stay in the government because of their attachment to their positions. Are these things not worthy of comment and coverage by Canada’s largest Jewish paper? We need to let the government of Israel know that we love Israel and we, therefore, object to these self-destructive moves.
Perhaps you disagree with my position on these things, but I have not seen any discussion on this in The CJN. These issues cannot go ignored.
Hatikvah’s lyrics not official
Israel is far more sensitive to minorities than Canada in some respects. While Canada’s national anthem in French still has the words “il sait porter la croix,” Israel, in recognition of the fact that Hatikvah does not (to put it mildly) resonate with some 24 per cent of its citizens who are not Jewish, has made only the melody of Hatikvah official (“Israeli organizes largest ever simultaneous singing of Hatikvah,” CJN, April 24). The words in Hebrew are not official, and to my knowledge, no Arabic version has been circulated. Let us wish all citizens of Israel a happy 60th Independence Day.
Jews are a nation
Rabbi Yehiel Ben Ayon ends his otherwise interesting book review (“Debunking a specious theory,” CJN, April 3) with this statement: “And Judaism has never been a nation/race, but rather a faith-based religion.” While Judaism is a religion – with its belief in a supernatural being – one can not overlook the fact that Jews are a nation connected by common origin, occupying the same ancient territory, speaking the same ancient language and having the same culture and the same history. In ancient times, living under kings David, Solomon and others, Jews were a nation until they were exiled from ancient Israel in 586 BCE and from Judea in 70 CE. And this is why the Jewish nation in the reborn Israel is a member of the United Nations.
Cote St Luc, Que.