Take Action: Why did the Canadian Anti Hate Network Chair promote anti-Palestinian hate?
Take a minute to write to the Board of The Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
Tell them they must ask Farber to erase his tweet and apologize to those he smeared or release a statement distancing the organization from his smear.
Ask the Canadian Anti-Hate Network to make a statement condemning Regavim and the Canadian organizations that arranged for this event and/or act as a conduit to provide tax receipts to Regavim.
On January 12, following our email blast campaign, Bernie Farber erased his original tweet smearing pro-Palestine protestors and posted a new tweet in which he said: “I shouldn’t have been so quick off the trigger and for that I apologize”.
Although this was positive, Farber still insisted that the demonstration should not have been held in front of a faith-based school, without demanding full and rigorous accountability from the venue for hosting such a racist and regressive event.
We re-emphasize what we stated in our original call: “If there are fascist events organized in schools or religious centers, of course protest will be expected, and the location should not be used as an excuse to smear antifascist protestors.”
We will continue to challenge anti-Palestinian racism and encourage all groups and institutions to educate themselves about this insidious and prevalent form of hate.
Regavim was set up by far-right Israeli politician Bezalel Smotrich (now Israeli Finance Minister).
Why would the chair of an anti-hate group align with extreme nationalism, homophobia and racism?
On December 17, about 20 justice minded individuals rallied in front of an event organized in Toronto by pro-settler Regavim, which Ha’aretz calls “one of the most prominent right-wing groups in Israel today.”
In response to a week of Regavim events in the Toronto area more than 1,800 individuals and 30+ groups called on the Canada Revenue Agency to stop providing tax receipt for donations to an organization that works to demolish Palestinian homes and communities.
Once he learned about the campaign to oppose Regavim the long-time leader of the now defunct JDL sprung to its defense. Meir Weinstein repeatedly attacked those challenging Regavim and when he discovered a rally was planned to counter Regavim’s final event in Toronto Weinstein tweeted, “Urgent: The BDS is Planning on Harassing Jews at the Or Chaim Yeshiva Tonight Sat. Dec. 17, 7:00 PM 159 Almore Ave, Toronto. Join Meir Weinstein and Stop this Antisemitism tonight.”
Echoing Weinstein, the Director of Education at AGPIworld.com Neil Orlowsky, tweeted a video clip from the anti-Regavim protest with the note, “this was the scene this evening in a Jewish, not Israeli, neighborhood in Toronto. Another Free Palestine group targeted the Jewish community on Shabbat and congregated outside a Jewish day school. This is why we say anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”
Of course, those making this claim were deliberately disingenuous; no one was protesting Jews, but instead protesting the publicly advertised event featuring far-right Regavim and advocating for the colonization of Palestine.
Despite Orlowsky’s inaccuracies and lies of omission – immediately countered by Oppose Anti-Palestinian Racism and many others on twitter – Farber quote tweeted Orlowsky noting: “Targeting Jews in general for the actions of the Israeli government is an antisemitic act no matter how it is defined. This must stop.”
If there are fascist events organized in schools or religious centers, of course protest will be expected, and the location should not be used as an excuse to smear antifascist protestors. It seems the Regavim organizers chose specifically to organize these events in mostly synagogues and one school in an attempt to evade protest and criticism.
Those who rallied in the cold on December 17 to protest Regavim should be applauded, not criticized.
The Canadian Anti Hate Network must ask Farber to erase his tweet and apologize to those he smeared or release a statement distancing the organization from his smear.
Canadian Anti Hate Network should take this opportunity to educate its board, staff and supporters about anti-Palestinian hate. Recently the Canadian Arab Lawyers’ Association published a helpful handbook titled “Anti-Palestinian Racism: Naming, Framing and Manifestations”, which Canadian Anti Hate Network should consider employing.
Organizations initiating include: