June 4, 2021
OTTAWA/TORONTO – Following outreach from B’nai Brith Canada, Canadian Muslim groups are distancing themselves from false and inflammatory “mock eviction notices” sent to Canadian households.
The notices, which tell recipients that their “house is scheduled for demolition in the next three days” before later clarifying that it is “not real,” are ostensibly intended to draw attention to the eviction of Palestinians from homes in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
However, the notices are littered with falsehoods. They fail to explain that the homes in question have been owned by Jews since 1875, and that their Jewish owners were ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem in 1948 by the Jordanian Army. An Israeli court ruled in 1982 that the Palestinian occupiers could stay as tenants so long as they paid rent, but they have refused to do so – hence the potential for eviction.
Canada and other democracies around the world enforce the normal business practice of evicting residential tenants for their ongoing refusal to pay rent.
The notices also falsely assert that “only Palestinians are subject to evictions” in Israel, glaringly ignoring the fact that in 2005, Israel unilaterally uprooted around 8,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip, which led to its takeover by the Hamas terrorist group.
Though the notices have understandably alarmed Jewish recipients, there is no evidence at this time that they are being sent specifically to Jewish homes.
The notices originate with a group called “Buycott Palestine,” which encourages Canadians to purchase Palestinian goods – and boycott Israeli ones. Among its partners, the organizations lists a number of Canadian Muslim groups, including Islamic Relief Canada and Human Concern International.
B’nai Brith has written to all of these groups and asked them to account for their involvement in this campaign. The Canadian Council of Muslim Women told B’nai Brith that the notices “do not reflect the official policy or position of CCMW,” while both the CCMW and another group, the International Development and Relief Foundation, swiftly removed their logos from the Buycott Palestine website after B’nai Brith reached out.
“These unsolicited notices mark a new low for the anti-Israel movement in Canada,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Not only are they spreading false propaganda, but they are frightening and confusing many recipients, not all of whom speak English as a first language.
“No credible organization can afford to be associated with this disturbing campaign.”
While B’nai Brith has received complaints about the notices from Jewish families in downtown Toronto and Ottawa, organizers have taken credit for distributing them in other cities as well, including Edmonton and Niagara.
Similar eviction notices have been used in the past at U.S. universities such as Emory, NYU and Florida Atlantic, but this appears to be the first time that the disturbing tactic has surfaced in Canada.
B’nai Brith encourages members of the community suffering from antisemitism to contact [email protected] for incidents involving violence, vandalism or harassment in the “real world,” or [email protected] for incidents occurring online. You can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter.
If it’s a criminal matter, please call police first, then contact us at 1-800-892-2624.