CIJA responsive to refugees
Mitchell Goldberg and Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld’s column on Syrian refugees is a gratuitous attack on the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) that simply does not reflect the facts (“The time to act on the crisis is now,” Oct. 15).
Contrary to the authors’ suggestion, in 2012 CIJA publicly urged the government to maintain equal health care coverage for refugee applicants regardless of their country of origin. We likewise called on the government to avoid separating families (as sometimes occurs) that come to Canada under irregular conditions, re-unify those families quickly when separation is unavoidable, and speed up the process for such claimants to sponsor their families.
In response to the Syrian crisis, CIJA mobilized community members to sponsor refugees, providing information on the process so synagogues and families can get involved through the exceptional work of groups like JIAS and Lifeline Syria. CIJA is also a longstanding member of the Multi-faith Alliance for Syrian Refugees and facilitated a comprehensive political program for its leadership when it made representations in Ottawa some months ago. CIJA is also working directly with the Jordanian government in raising funds to aid the 650,000 refugees currently in Jordan, which will remain home to far more Syrian refugees than Canada could ever admit.
Those who want CIJA to promote a partisan agenda, which for many this issue has become, are unwittingly asking for CIJA and its federation partners to violate Canada Revenue Agency regulations, which explicitly prohibit registered charities from doing so, most especially during an election campaign. CIJA cannot and will not jeopardize the good standing of the federation community to satisfy the parochial and partisan needs of any segment of our constituency.
David J. Cape, chair, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
On this sad anniversary of Israeli prime minister’s Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, one can’t help but wonder if Rabin would be honest about this “vision” and the Oslo accords if he were still alive today (“Realizing Yitzhak Rabin’s vision,” Oct. 22).
The knife-wielding Oslo generation of Palestinians has now come of age, just the latest murderous graduates of 20 years of Oslo-created PA hate schools, hate textbooks, and hate television stations.
Would Rabin have the integrity to admit that non-stop barbarism for two decades has been the only result of our delusional adherence to the so-called two-state
Would he now encourage the nation to finally let go of this deadly concept, proven false so many times, and effect our full and rightful sovereignty over the whole land?
Would he have the humility to admit that he and all the other well-intentioned Israeli leaders since the 1990s have been spectacularly and fatally wrong?
I am sad to read that we Jews have not yet learned, that when we have been uniquely privileged to have as our prime minister a righteous supporter of the State of Israel, we shoot ourselves in the foot and vote for candidates whose affinity is for the Muslim world.
Stephen Harper has stood with Israel through thick and thin, standing up for what is right, as the best friend Israel had in a world increasingly hostile to Israel and Jews. We should have all stood in gratitude with Harper, especially in a riding like Mount Royal, where the Jewish vote could have actually made a difference.
Niqab isn’t our problem
Barbara Kay suggests that the niqab represents “a triumphalist ideology” that will support Islamist efforts to “colonize and transform western democracies” (“Rejection of the niqab is self-defence, not racism,” Oct. 15).
If our western democracy is so fragile it can’t withstand a handful of women wearing veils at a citizenship ceremony, then we truly have much bigger problems to worry about.