Saving Danish Jews
I very much enjoy reading The Canadian Jewish News, as there are so many interesting and informative articles.
I need to point out to you, however, that an error crept into a book review of The Boys Who Challenged Hitler (“Books serve as enlightening gifts for Festival of Lights”). The reviewer stated that “ultimately tiny Denmark helped save 700,000 Jews from being delivered to German death camps.” The number of Danish Jews saved by their Danish rescuers is actually slightly over 7,000.
Vetting Syrian refugees
Bert Raphael writes of his concerns about Syrians arriving in Canada bringing with them their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments, which are taught in the Syrian Muslim school system (“Welcoming Syrian refugees”).
I, too, am worried! I worry about how intensive the precautions are that our government is taking to investigate the backgrounds of these asylum seekers, their real names at birth, the past involvement in any of the myriad branches of the secret police, the army intelligence services, and the facilities available to obtain false passports in the areas in which they are temporarily housed.
In the 28 years of my involvement in the “secret rescue” of the Jewish community from Syria, I, as chairman of the national committee for Jews in Arab lands of the former Canadian Jewish Congress, was refused by the then-Liberal governments, to bring in even one Jew from Syria into Canada.
Obviously, the present Liberal government’s attitude has changed considerably and will hopefully allow the suffering and beleaguered members of the Yazidi and the Syrian Christian communities entrance and citizenship in this country.
Judy Feld Carr
The message from campus
As a member of the board of directors of StandWithUs Canada, the Canadian affiliate of the international Israel education and advocacy organization, we have some facts to include in the discussion about “How bad is it on campus? Depends on who you ask.”
Unfortunately, the vicious boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, presented at times as a mere fringe group in the article, actually has far-reaching and very concerning results.
When Israeli academics and professionals are being disinvited to international conferences, and worse, when fallacies about Israel are being spread around campuses without anybody countering them with facts, generations of students (Jewish and non-Jewish) are becoming dangerously misinformed.
And although as stated, many Jewish students are not impacted by the tension that surrounds a motion by their student union to condemn Israel, as a community, we have a responsibility to ensure that not one Jewish student is feeling harassed on campus because of his or her religion. Too often, Jewish students are now the target of anti-Israel bullying and intimidation, and in some cases, grade reprisals.
How much more difficult will our lives as Canadian Jews be in a few years if even a fraction of our future policy-makers graduate with misinformed, negative views of Israel?
The “fringe group of people” mentioned at McMaster University are the BDS proponents of the student union who humiliated pro-Israel students when they overwhelmingly passed a BDS motion against Israel. The fact is, 12 BDS motions had been passed by student unions by 2014.
Since StandWithUs Canada launched three years ago, five motions have been defeated. We believe that providing student leaders with the intensive training and professional strategies to stand up confidently and effectively in support of Israel makes a difference.