Nov. 3, 2017
This past week, we saw three remarkable examples of what our community can achieve when we work together to hold decision-makers accountable.
On Oct. 23, the sole Jewish director of McGill’s student government, along with two of his pro-Israel colleagues, were booted from their positions for having the bravery to stand up to antisemitic bullies. This latest scandal was only the latest in a series of antisemitic incidents on that prestigious campus, including a prominent student politician who told his followers to “punch a Zionist today.”
Within hours, our community jumped into action. As outrage poured in from across the country, B’nai Brith Canada launched a petition demanding action, attracting more than 5,000 signatures in less than a week.
Our collective demands were heard loudly and clearly at McGill. The ousted directors were reinstated by the student government, and McGill President Suzanne Fortier swiftly announced an investigation into antisemitism on campus.
Make no mistake - B’nai Brith will remain vigilant, to ensure that those responsible for harassing and demonizing Jewish students at McGill – and campuses across the country – are brought to justice.
In Toronto, members of our community mobilized to save a life this week. Following a tragic accident, Netanel Ouanounou had been placed on life support, but doctors issued a death certificate and ordered the hospital to disconnect him.
On only a few hours’ notice, hundreds of Jewish supporters packed an Ontario courtroom in a show of solidarity with the Ouanounou family. Combined with support from B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights and the Va’ad HaRabbanim, this was enough to secure an injunction that will keep Netanel alive. We will contest this issue in court until his right to life is no longer under threat.
In the West as well, the voice of the grassroots Jewish community – B'nai Brith -- is making a difference. On Tuesday, B’nai Brith publicized the case of a Vancouver imam who called on his congregants to send money and weapons to Palestinian terrorists.
This story became international news, and Vancouver Police have launched a serious investigation. No matter what pushback we may receive, B’nai Brith will never stop exposing antisemitism and radicalization within Canadian places of worship.
When our community speaks up, decision-makers listen. Please give generously, so we can continue to command their attention, and demand action on antisemitism.
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom,