Jewish people stand for free speech on the CALEB/Tadamon! conference


    April 20th, 2008: To the administration at Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne


    Mesdames, Monsieurs,

We write to urge you not to cancel a joint conference by Comité d’action pour la lutte étudiante boulonnaise (CALEB) and Tadamon! April 21 on Israel and Palestine. Behind this censorship attempt appears to be a false belief that critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, or anti-Jewish to be precise. The Jewish people in Quebec and Canada are divided on the issues of Israel and Palestine. There are many Jewish people like us who support open discussion and activities for Palestinian human rights, and oppose the Israeli occupation and suppression of the Palestinian people.

We have heard that there is pressure from a few Jewish students to cancel this event. We have heard the the Israeli consulate told the Cegep administration that Tadamon! is sponsored by foreign powers. This is reminiscent of McCarthyism ‘Red Baiting’ during the Cold War – silencing domestic critics, unionists, social justice militants and organizations by associating them with the Soviet Union. We note that another stated objection is that the workshop happens during the Jewish holiday of Passover, but yet there are no restrictions on other Cegep classes and exams. If the conference is closed down, it reinforces anti-Jewish sentiment by suggesting the belief that Jews are against free speech, repress critics, and control our public institutions.

We strongly urge you to let the event on April 21 proceed as planned. As an educational institution, your Cegep should be encouraging open discussion of all issues and supporting freedom of speech – not closing down critical voices. As concerned Jews, we particularly urge you to uphold democratic traditions that we share – free speech and the right to organize. It is imperative that CEGEP Bois-de-Bologne permit the CALEB-Tadamon! conference proceed unhindered.

Abby Lipman, PhD
Professor, McGill University (for identification purposes only)
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Cy Gonic, Sid Shniad, Andy Lehrer, Mia Amir, Mark Etkin (M.D. FRCPC)
members Administrative Council, Association of Concerned Jewish Canadians

Greg Robinson
Professeur UQAM

Eric Shragge, Associate Professor and Principal,
School of Community and Public Affairs,
Concordia University

Bruce Katz, professeur d’anglais
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Scott Weinstein
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Mira Khazzam
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Freda Gutman
Tadamon! Montréal

Robert Silverman
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Ben Saifer
Not In Our Name – Jewish Voices Against Israel’s Wars – Ottawa

Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.,

Devora Neumark
Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Darrel Legge
Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Martin Lukacs
McGill University
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Judith Weisman
Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Against Israel’s Wars

Aaron Lakoff

Lynda Lemberg
Educators for Peace and Justice

Nchamah Miller & Elizabeth Block
Not In Our Name (NION) Toronto

Smadar Carmon
NION Toronto

Judith Weisman
Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Against Israel’s Wars

Richard Marcuse, M.A., Cand. Phil.
Member, Jews for a Just Peace Vancouver

Helga Mankovitz

Mordecai Briemberg (Vancouver)

Shulamit Lechtman

Natalie Polonsky LaRoche

Ellen Shifrin

Dr. Sam Noumoff
McGill University

Karin Friedemann
Editor, World View News Service

Fabienne Presentey
member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

David Mandelzys
Member of NION,Concerned Jew, and Concerned Canadian Citizen


Please add my name to the letter “Jewish people stand for free speech” on your website.
Miriam Garfinkle M.D. (Toronto)


Comment by Miriam Garfinkle — April 23rd, 2008 @ 5:52 PM

Sgnature added;
Abraham Weizfeld, Montréal, Kebek
Co-foundateur Alliance de Canadien/nes juif/ves concerné/es

Nous les dissidents juif/ves et les Palestinien/nes qui sont boycotter depuis toujours sont denouncer pour vouloir boycotter l’État Sioniste!

Comment by Abraham Weizfeld — May 15th, 2008 @ 3:00 PM

Please, add my name, thanks

Comment by Ait-Khélifa — May 15th, 2008 @ 4:21 PM

Saving Israel’s Reputation

The Jewish people are alone on the planet, in spite of being equipped with the most righteous rules of behavior towards all comers; we are despised by all nations!
Friendless! I really don’t care what the world thinks about us or what the world thinks about how Israel responds to violence directed towards her citizens. Israel must do what has to be done to protect herself and her people regardless of how the world reacts! What we should be worried about is, are we following out written rules of behaviour?
Remember the famous question “how could good people stand by and do nothing to prevent the death of six million Jews”. I am going to describe how a similar situation is taking place today and the fact is, Israel is involved because of profit motivated indifference. The word genocide is familiar to most of us while the real meaning of the word is not. Let me help, Genocide means “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial political cultural group”, understanding that carrying out such a horrendous act requires behaviour of the most despicable, Natzi like In fact! just a little over 300,000 innocent women and children have been murdered to date, according to the “British Medical Journal”, hundreds more are being added to the Tally daily! The curious thing about what’s going on is that Israel is providing the very best of sophisticated killing equipment to the genocidal government of Srilanka, just because they have decided to eliminate an ethnic minority living on their Island. The reason, racial hatred towards a minority whose only crime is demanding the same rights as every one else in Srilanka, nothing more.
Unlike some groups, Tamils have no plans for world domination, no interest in destroying their country, or subjugating any other group. Tamils want to live free in peace in their traditional homelands in Srilanka!
This story is going to be very familiar to most of you. When the British left Srilanka in 1948, just like other places they abandoned, they left a political mess behind that festered for 30 years! During that time the British sent political experts there to asses the situation but their recommendations for a federal political system were ignored. The system the British left behind gave a religious ethnic majority complete control of the country and no representation for the other ethnic groups.
For 30 years being pragmatic, intelligent, and British educated, Tamils negotiated in good faith with the Srilankan government for a fair settlement of their political grievances and equal representation for their people. In short equal rights!
Finally after 30 years of government directed pogroms and anti-Tamil riots with Singhalese mobs, running through Tamil neighborhoods, burning and killing everything Tamil in their path, as an attempt by the government to put the Tamils in their place using terror tactics.
Increased violence against Tamils, 30 years of fruitless negotiations with the government, left the Tamils no choices! Subjugation or freedom, Tamils went with freedom, decided to fight for their rights!
Today known in the media as “the Tamil Tigers” a democratic free enterprise based organization, represents the leadership of approximately 4.5 million Srilankan Tamils including those in the Diaspora that support the Tigers as well.
Israel is supplying arms and advisers to the Srilankan government, Srilanka has no external enemies so what could they be doing with the latest in technology when it comes to killing? They are doing their very best to eliminate the last 3.5 million Tamils living in Srilanka and they are doing a good job with Israel’s help!
I don’t mind Israel selling arms to a foreign country to deter an external threat; I don’t mind Israel selling arms to a foreign country to defend itself from an external enemy. I am sick with grief and embarrassment when Israel sells arms to a foreign country, So that it’s government can murder and enslave a religious minority that doesn’t see things quiet the same way as the majority wants to! Israel has gotten involved in genocide, just for profit! What about Israel’s reputation? What about Jewish moral values?
My interest in this situation started back in September 08, when a friend came to apologize to me about the deaths of two Israeli boys blown to bits in a place called Vanni, Vanni is in Srilanka! What were they doing in a foreign war zone? They were training the Srilankan Army in the use of some new radar! I was floored, I couldn’t believe it. How does Israel explain the deaths of these boys to their families? I was beside my self. I started checking best I could through regular sources and the internet to find out what has been going on in Srilanka and Israel’s involvement.
Un-biased information on the Srilankan Civil war is hard to find but there are two un-spun sites Jews could visit for un-biased information ,
Israel’s involvement in the conflict is a fact that isn’t public knowledge but the five hundred thousand Tamil refugees in North America all know what Israel had been up to in Srilanka and every Tamil family here has been hurt by Israel’s involvement. Strangely there is no anger or animosity towards Jews from this group, no Tamil anti-Israel riots, no negative anti-Israel demonstrations, just disappointment and sadness that the Israelis backed a group of Srilankan Nazi’s, instead of them! Two prominent Srilankan government officials have just been indicted in the US for the crime of genocide, visit
How can Israel, why would Israel be involved with genocidal politicians anywhere? Never mind a group whose top members have been indicted in the US for the crime of genocide. How can Israel be part of this mess and then worry about its international image?
What an embarrassment! Israel has provided every thing from Kfir ground attack air -craft to Dvora patrol boats including the instructors and hardware to go with them!
Now that I had a good background to the history of the conflict and real knowledge of what was happening daily in Srilanka, I wrote to consul Mr. A. Gissin, Ambassador Ms. Miriam Ziv, editor of the Canadian Jewish news Mr. Mordechai Ben-Dat , as well as Mr. Aubrey Zidenberg and Courtney Betty from B’nai Brith Canada.
I didn’t write once, I wrote many times to each, updating the humanitarian disaster in Srilanka as it was taking place, trying to get their attention, asking them to speak out about what is happening to the Srilankan Tamils, all Israel had to do was accept the mistake and speak out against the genocide, with the hope of getting Israel out of this mess before the public became aware. The perfect opportunity for Israel to do some good and benefit from it publicly. 70 Million of the world’s Tamils, every one a consumer, every one a potential Israeli customer would have cheered Israel for condemning the genocide that is killing their brothers in Srilanka.
No one responded to my correspondence; It appears, all of the people I wrote to, the ones you regularly see in the Jewish news papers giving themselves an award or being given an award for some marvelous work they have done, are indifferent, when it comes to human suffering if the victims aren’t Jewish.
Israel has an opportunity to do the right thing, save thousands of lives and benefit publicly as well as financially. Unlike all other previous attempts at making international friends which have flopped. Jews should reach out to the Tamils. Srilanka is strategically placed in south Asia. A perfect place for Israeli business to setup manufacturing operations because of the highly skilled Tamil labour force available, as well as being strategically located from a military stand point.
The Tamil Diaspora has enough PhDs and money to deal with Israel on all levels of science, technology, and trade when the war is over in Srilanka.
Once peace breaks out the Tamils will need everything Israel has to offer and they have the money to pay for it too!
For the life of me I can’t understand why Israel decided to get involved with a bunch of genocidal politicians in Srilanka.
In Srilanka the government sponsors anti-Israel propaganda in the media daily, While enjoying aid (arms) Provided by Israel. At the UN the Srilankan representatives have had a party performing on behalf of Hamas activists attacking Israel publicly for its inhumane treatment of Gaza’s residents. Keep in mind that this is happening when the Srilankan government is purposely targeting Tamil civilians, killing hundreds daily while Israel supplies them the arms and advisers to help eliminate the Srilankan Tamil population.
In spite of being kicked in the groin repeatedly on the international stage by the Srilankan government, Israel still takes their money!
Long term business prospects for Israel with Srilanka are Nil! Iran is now the largest aid (arms) provider and has Srilanka sitting in its lap, Pakistan another non-friend of Israel, is a long term close ally of Srilanka supplying pilots, aircraft, and cluster bombs, pushing out Israeli arms dealers.
Israel’s standing in the world community is at the bottom of the list, sixty years of trying to fit in hasn’t worked, and sixty years of trying to make friends hasn’t worked!
Now! There is an opportunity to save millions, be thanked, and remembered for having done the right thing, by a group that won’t ever forget and will be in Israel gratitude forever!
Why not hold out a helping hand to Srilanka’s Tamils, do it for Israel if not for them but do it!
Don’t stand by and do nothing like others have when we needed help.

Serge Harrison

Comment by Serge Harrison — March 3rd, 2009 @ 10:45 AM

Re: Saving Israel’s Reputation.

The writer obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Canada has added the Tamil Tigers to its list of “Terrorists”……..

These terrorists like the Moslem terrorists, and Hamas in Gaza use suicide bombers regularly to kill innocent men women and children.

I ,as a born Canadian am proud of the stand Canada has taken..

I too am proud of the system of democracy and freedom that we have in our country.
And suggest anyone who doesn’t like it should move to another country , the sooner the better…..

But I can’t tolerate those who abuse their freedom of speech to express
ideas that incite rebellion……and hate. Raise money, or demonstrte in support
of these terrorists.

Many have got on the bandwagon of the radicals of the anti Israeli obsession of

spreading unfounded and unsupported propaganda against this “Democratic

Country in the Middle East……I have visited many parts of the world and kept my

eyes and ears open and my mouth shut…., including the middle east and Israel.

Ask Any Palestinian if he would prefer to have the area he lives in be under ” Hamas rule”and the answer is a flat no.

I suggest you go to live there for a couple of days, and see how much

you support it afterwards. Then go to Israel and see the difference.

Gaza has been destroyed from within by the Hamas reign of Terrorism.

During the second world War there was a song

“When the Fueher says , we is the Master Race
We heil, heil right in the Fueher’s Face…….

Is das Nazi Land so Good?
We would leave it if we could…”

Replace this Nazi Land with the Terrorist regimes… and you get the real picture/

To all those self hating Jews remember that no one respects you for your
policy of climing on the backs of the ” radical rebel hate mongers”

Thank G-d that we have such a great country, good leaders, and a brave and committed defense and police force. Our system of justice is one of the best in the world.

Comment by Joe Ziv — April 5th, 2009 @ 5:52 PM

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