Jews for Judaism responds
I applaud Frank Dimant, B’nai Brith Canada’s CEO, for many years of selfless service and commitment to the betterment of Canada’s Jewish community. It is, therefore, distressing to read his shameful and cynical accusations against Jews for Judaism (“Jews for Judaism criticizes B’nai Brith ad,” Aug. 14). Even though Dimant admitted that Jews for Judaism may have been correct in pointing out that The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry is an organization targeting Jews for conversion, it was unfortunate that he felt compelled to viciously attack the messenger.
Alleging that Jews for Judaism sought to “destroy Jewish unity” and “profit” from B’nai Brith’s mistake is simply outrageous. Jews for Judaism’s concern was simply to set the record straight and ensure that innocent Jewish community members not assume, based upon the B’nai Brith full-page advertisements, that groups like the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry have altruistic aims and are totally reliable friends with our best interests in mind.
Jews for Judaism has been closely monitoring groups such as Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry for decades and has extensive files on them. Many Jewish organizations in Canada and throughout the world routinely consult with Jews for Judaism to assess Christian groups who may be potential partners in worthy projects. I would suggest that in the future, B’nai Brith also avail themselves of Jews for Judaism services.
Jews and Christians co-exist
As a Christian who has worked with B’nai Brith and other Jewish groups, as well as the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and Christians for Israel in a limited capacity, it’s disheartening to hear that an ad promoting a common interest, namely access to Muslim holy places such as Mount Moriah, is being seen as a Trojan horse to infiltrate the Jewish community.
In the Concordia University theology department, as well as in Israel, Christian scholars work with rabbis to arrive at their own unique and/or common understandings of the Bible and God. Our identities are not conflicted. To make it seem there are ulterior motives to these co-operative ventures does a disservice to the decades of hard work and ideals for which both parties have struggled and yearned
In defence of the JDL
The Jewish Defence League’s belief from the time of its inception was that the deep problem of anti-Semitism was not being addressed by the Jewish establishment. Its original members were not hardened toughs. They were young professionals and businesspeople, supported silently and financially by many in the Jewish establishment who wanted their names kept secret (“Is the JDL filling a void in street-level Jewish activism?” Aug. 21).
The JDL organized flamboyant events confronting anti-Semitism in Toronto, and stunts that drew international media attention to the plight of Soviet Jewry when so many in the early days of the movement wanted the sha-shtil attitude and to not make any waves.
The JDL believed, and still does, that many in the community are lax in realizing the terribly worrisome situation the Jewish world finds itself in today. To see them and so many supporters of Israel stand proudly waving Israeli and Canadian flags in front of the Israel Consulate and facing huge crowds of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel protesters may not be “sophisticated,” but they give me strength and make me very proud.
Judy Feld Carr
Greens actually do take sides
With all due respect to Colin Griffiths (“Greens Don’t Take Sides,” Aug. 21), he is showing that he and his party already have.
Perhaps the two furthest apart, polar opposite cultures/nations on the planet are Israel and the Palestinians. Any attempt to equate them, their actions or their intentions, on any level, is the western world’s primary method and tool of undermining Israel and calling into question its fundamental rights for anything it does, vis-a-vis the Palestinians or in its national self-interest. It’s scrutiny that is not bestowed on any other nation on the planet.