“Independent Jewish Voices” Promotes Holocaust Denial
B’nai Brith Investigation: A so-called Jewish group has
links to a White Supremacist Hate Site
By Aidan Fishman
B’nai Brith Canada
Campus Affairs Coordinator
A group that calls itself Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), and passes itself off as an organization that speaks on behalf of Jewish Canadians, promotes Holocaust denial through social media, a B’nai Brith investigation reveals.
Postings on the group’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts have been directing followers to articles from the white supremacist hate site Veterans Today. One article in particular falsely asserts that no more than 1-million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany and characterizes modern antisemitism as a natural reaction to Israeli policies. The article was also promoted online by Sid Shniad, a B.C. resident who serves as IJV’s co-chair and official spokesperson.
Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Law Poverty Center have denounced Veterans Today as a white supremacist hate site, replete with false accusations of Jewish responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings.
The posting by IJV cannot be described as accidental or unknowing. In fact, one Facebook follower of the IJV page explicitly pointed out that the article supports Holocaust denial, but IJV failed to answer it or delete the link.
IJV has a controversial history in Canada. It was founded in 2008, and became one of the first groups in the country to endorse the anti-Israel boycott in 2009. In that same year, IJV co-founder Diana Ralph was outed by the National Post as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. At the time, IJV distanced itself from Ralph’s views, and she claimed to resign all posts within the organization, but is still listed as a member of IJV’s Steering Committee on its website. To this day, IJV advocates for the complete isolation and demonization of Israel.
IJV has since become a key component of the anti-Israel movement in Canada, exploiting its status as a self-declared “Jewish” organization to lend a veneer of credibility to the movement’s crusade against the Jewish State.
IJV spokesperson Tyler Levitan has been given a prominent place in reporting by the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail and Canadian Press on the recent failure of an anti-boycott bill in the Ontario Legislature. Levitan also writes for Huffington Post Canada — which he uses as a platform to condemn Canadian Jewish organizations for supporting Israel — falsely claiming that IJV better represents mainstream community views on the Middle East than the aforementioned groups.
Many Jewish Canadians have told B’nai Brith that they are livid that an organization with links to hate groups has been receiving excessive mainstream media coverage on the pretense that it represents Jewish community views, according to Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.
“Although we do not blame individual journalists, the media has been deceived by this group,” Mostyn said. “It is time for the media to realize that IJV must no longer be consulted and perceived as a spokesperson for any element of the Canadian Jewish community.
“Holocaust denial has no place in Canadian society, especially from an organization masquerading as a representative Jewish group,” Mostyn added. “These postings cement the notion that IJV is a Jewish fig leaf for neo-Nazis and antisemites of all stripes. IJV provides cover for those who would peddle antisemitism under the guise of radical anti-Zionism.”
Aidan Fishman, B’nai Brith Canada’s Campus Affairs Coordinator, can be reached via e-mail at: [email protected]
According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an organization comprised of 31 democracies that includes Canada, Holocaust denial is defined as the negation of the historical reality and/or extent of the genocide against the Jewish people carried out by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War. Elements of Holocaust denial include the gross minimization of the Jewish death toll during the Holocaust, characterizations of the Holocaust as a positive event, deflection of primary blame for the Holocaust away from Nazi Germany, and attempts to blame the Jews for causing or provoking the Holocaust.