Week of February 6
CIJA responds to francophones
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is pleased that Jack Jedwab, a former director of the Canadian Jewish Congress-Quebec region, lauds our work to oppose the so-called charter of Quebec values as both “forceful and articulate”(“Values charter could ‘devastate’ community,” Cjnews.com).
However, we would like to reassure readers of The CJN that the inclusion of Israel in our name in no way impedes CIJA from making our community’s voice heard in the francophone media. We are, in fact, regularly asked to comment on a wide range of Jewish-related issues with no connection to Israel.
Indeed, on the issue of the charter itself, CIJA has been quoted, interviewed and mentioned on some 60 separate instances in the francophone print and electronic media, more so than any other community-based advocacy organization. CIJA is always available to provide information and commentary on its work on behalf of our community.
Associate Director, Public Affairs (Québec)
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Harper’s trip to Israel
Sheryl Nestel of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (“Harper’s Israel trip criticized,” The CJN, Jan. 23) got one thing correct when she wrote that the government of Canada’s stance “does not reflect the opinions of all of Canada’s Jews.”
The government of Canada’s stance does not reflect the opinions of those Jews who support a Palestinian right of return and would thus have Israel, as a Jewish state, commit national suicide; nor the opinions of those Jews who support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel; nor the opinions of those Jews who oppose Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, which prevents weapons falling into the hands of terrorists; nor the opinions of those Jews who oppose the separation fence, which prevents the murder of Israeli men, women and children.
The government of Canada’s stance, thankfully, does not reflect the opinions of Independent Jewish Voices Canada, which advocates for each and every one of these positions.
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We live in an era where there are national campaigns in the United States, Britain and other countries by anti-Israel groups, including associations of university professors, calling for academic boycotts of Israel.
This is why it is heartening to hear of the partnership between Dalhousie University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to create an ocean studies centre in Eilat (“Dalhousie, BGU to create ocean studies centre,”The CJN, Jan. 30).
This is a good example of Canadian academia opting out of, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper so aptly put it in his recent address to the Knesset, “going along to get along.”
Aislin’s controversial cartooning
I’d be inclined to cut Aislin some slack (“Aislin rejects accusations over Harper cartoon,” The CJN, Jan. 30).
But I wonder if he has the guts to paint a similar political cartoon showing someone’s face covered by a Muslim flag. If not, and he and his editors felt that this would be too controversial, then all his rationalizations are just a bunch of bull.
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Show some love
Rabbi Philip Scheim expresses his hope that there be more of a connection between rabbis of different affiliations in our community (“What happened to the love?” The CJN, Jan. 9). I would like to piggyback on that wish by suggesting that each of us form a connection with a fellow Jew, no matter his or her status or affiliation.
I suggest as a first step something simple. How about greeting a fellow Jew with a “Good Shabbos”? Those two warm, friendly words can bring us closer together.