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Barrie, Ontario council member gets heat for supporting IHRA definition of antisemitism

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Public spaces in Chattanooga were spray painted with Nazi symbols last weekend, outraging the Jewish mayor and community leaders | Photo: Chattanooga Times Free Press

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While the world was mourning and remembering the many lives lost to Islamic terrorism on 9/11, the Toronto-based CD4HR was busy spreading false conspiracy theories about Israeli involvement in the attacks. This is par for the course for the fake human rights organization, having previously smeared a Jewish Member of Parliament over “dual loyalties”. These parrots of the regime in Iran have been otherwise railing against the peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain as a betrayal of the Islamic world, but after their detour into 9/11 mythology there is significant pushback about their online provocation.

In a post September 13, Honest Reporting Canada has rallied the online community to lobby Twitter to remove CD4HR’s Twitter page (@cd4_hr) “in light of its engaging in antisemitism and have called on Twitter to reaffirm its position calling for zero tolerance against Jew hatred on its platform.” 

The objections arose after CD4HR piggybacked a Michael Moore tweet touting a conspiracy involving President George W. Bush and the Saudi’s, adding another layer to the speculation:

“On the anniversary of #September11 its very important not to be misled by the #US evil admin & to look into all these suspicious points that reveal it most likely was an inside job by the US regime & #Zionist Allies to JUSTIFY all invasions & plundering of resources in the #ME.

“Canadian hate mongers usurped this tragic event to propagate antisemitism and to incite hatred against Jews,” stated Honest Reporting Canada, noting the IRHA definition of antisemitism encompasses “accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing.”

CD4HR manager Firas Al Najim has already been a person of interest this year in investigations by both Ottawa and Peel Regional Police, and federal officials took a deeper interest in him after he encountered the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a store and posted a video of him lobbying her on Middle Eastern policy.

Barrie, Ontario

A controversial council member in Barrie upset his allies by announcing he was going to support the adoption of the IRHA working definition of antisemitism.

Keenan Aylwin, a self-described activist who represents Ward 2, told his followers on Facebook, “Many criticize the definition for being vague, imprecise, and for the potential for valid criticism of the government of Israel to be silenced. Many support the definition and see it as an important step in fighting antisemitism … I’m concerned that this much-needed conversation around fighting antisemitism is now tied up in the complex issue of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.”

In deciding to nonetheless support the motion later that evening, Aylwin said he “looked to members of the local Jewish community for their views. Those I spoke to, by-and-large, supported the definition and saw it as an important symbolic gesture to the local Jewish community demonstrating that Barrie City Council stands with them.”

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The disappointment Aylwin anticipated was expressed online by Independent Jewish Voices Canada. They pronounced they were having a blue Tuesday, when they awoke to the news this morning. Their Facebook page asserted “true antiracists (to) oppose the IHRA definition.”

Lewisburg, Pa.

A dozen demonstrators gathered along Buffalo Road in Buffalo Township, Union County last Saturday after a graffiti artist turned two crossroad signs into swastikas. Milton state police say the incident was first reported just after 10 a.m.

“The crime occurred as the unknown actor(s) arrived on scene by unknown means and painted a swastika symbol on the eastbound and westbound four-way intersection road sign,” Trooper Matthew Lada wrote in a press release. 

Before the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation got to the site to clean away the hate symbols, protesters took action on their own, nearly ending up in an altercation.

Posting an antisemitic conspiracy trope about 9/11 got the Canadian Defenders 4 Human Rights the kind of attention that can get a social media account cancelled | Photo: Canadian Defenders for Human Rights CD4HR (Twitter)

According to the Daily Item, the group covered the offending signs with black trash bags, but a truck stopped at one of the signs “and took the garbage bag off. The group attempted to confront the man, but he drove away. Other drivers revved their engine, shouted as they drove by, made obscene gestures and refused to slow down as they were passing the protesters over the time they were there.”

On Saturday evening, the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way posted a statement in response to the incident, declaring, “Hate speech must be taken seriously. Images of swastikas and phrases touting “white power” are threatening to all people of color and people who feel other in our Valley, including allies. Now is not the time to stay silent.”

Road signs in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania were altered to display swastikas, which outraged residents set out to rectify within hours| Photo: Facebook

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Jewish leaders, including Mayor Andy Berke, were quick to condemn the defacement of a bridge in Chattanooga, with the discovery drawing a stern warning from Berke.

“I learned that the Walnut Street Bridge and portions of the Bluff View Art District, two of our city’s most beloved and beautiful public spaces, had been defaced with swastikas. The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating and I have every confidence that the vandals will be identified and brought to justice soon … these kinds of destructive acts and attitudes have no place here.”

“Having lived in Chattanooga my whole life, and hearing the news today that someone painted Swastikas on the Walnut Street Bridge and the Arts District made me sick to my stomach,” said Austin Center, Chair of the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Committee.

Rabbi Craig Lewis of Mizpah Congregation thanked the city officials “for taking swift action to repair the damage and for providing assurances for our protection. Sadly, we have seen this before with swastikas used to frighten and intimidate … It is especially troubling at this time as we are on the cusp of the Jewish new year”.

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Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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