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Three thousand show solidarity with Israel at End Jew Hatred event

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On May 12 in Toronto, 3000 supporters of Israel sang and danced as blue and hite flags streamed in the air. (Photo: Jack Kohane)

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They came by foot, they came by bike, by car, by truck, by motorcycle, waving Israeli flags, singing Am Yisroel Chai. Over 3,000 – mostly Jews – thronged to Earl Bales Park on early evening Wednesday May 12, to proclaim their pride in and support of Israel.

Before coming together, motor cavalcades drove up and down Bathurst St. from as far north as Richmond Hill and south of Eglinton Avenue, blaring horns, Israeli flags streaming out of windows. People all along Bathurst cheered them on, many with Israeli flags and bearing signs in support of Israel.

Everyone converged at Earl Bales Park near the Holocaust Memorial sculpture. Israeli music blared. Horns tooted. Goldi Steiner of Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights, blew a shofar. People sang and danced. Blue and white flags streamed in the air, wrapped around bodies. Some children made their own, like three year old Osip Coland. His sister Janet, nine, a Bialik student, stood next to him waving her own flag. “I came for Israel,” she said.

Rabbi Moshe Meirovich blessed the crowd with a passionate, heartfelt prayer for Israel and led them in the singing of Hatikvah. Councillor James Pasternak assured them “that Toronto stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel.”

Agnes Imani, Founder and Chair of Jews Against Antisemitism Canada, spearheaded the idea of a car rally along Bathurst St and was a moving force in organizing the demonstration.  Working together with End Jew Hatred  (with Covid precautions) a new grassroots Jewish organization , it followed on the unprovoked attack on Israel by Hamas, and the anti- Israel rhetoric in Canada’s main media .  “Our love for Israel will prevail”,  she said.  “We will be loud, we will be heard and we will be proud.   I am thrilled that the Toronto Jewish community came out in such large numbers at the most critical time where we need to show our support for Israel. Dr. Judith Weinroth, one of the organizers, was elated by the response.  “Beyond mywildest dreams,” she said.  “We are here in solidarity with Israel.   We are here to support them.  I was so happy to see young families, yeshiva students – people of all ages.“

As Hamas bombards Israel with thousands of rockets aimed deliberately at civilians; as Jews are assaulted with rocks and weapons stockpiled in the Al Aqsa mosque, and as – unprecedented– Arab Israeli- mobs roam the streets of Jerusalem wreaking havoc with property and attacking Israelis, the world is silent, or opposed to actions taken by the only democratic country in the region.

Biased, one-sided, the clear, unambiguous calls for Israel’s destruction and genocide of all Jews, goes unreported. At best moral equivalence is expounded; both sides are guilty. It seems to matter not to the educated, the news media, the academics and many politicians that every act of response by the Israeli Defence Forces has been in response to provocation, harm directed at its citizens and the responsibility of government and an army is to protect its people.

Three small skirmishes by pro-Palestinians erupted during the motorcade along Bathurst St. and after the rally as people disbanded. One incident was at Bathurst and Lawrence and another at Steeles and Bathurst. Police quickly disbanded them before they could do real harm, however one incident at Chabad Gate in Thornhill resulted in someone being sent to hospital and over 35 police and a helicopter intervened, arresting a group of the antagonists, the pro-Palestinians.

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End Jew Hatred volunteers handed out a six page booklet with facts that clearly stated the truth about Israel, to counter the false information that prevails and fuels anti-Zionism – a pernicious form of antisemitism. “We want to show the world that the news is not always the truth,” Andria Spindel, told the crowd. She is co-founder with Anita Bromberg of End Jew Hatred and volunteer Executive Director of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. “We support Israel one hundred percent and her right to protect her citizens.” Spindel pointed out that people came with peace in mind, followed coved compliance rules, cooperated with the police who were ever present but unobtrusive.

In contrast, on May 13 in downtown Toronto, over ten thousand pro-Palestinian protesters turned violent and attacked individual Jews and the small Jewish group of counter protesters. Fifteen people were hospitalized and a young woman was sexually assaulted. Hundreds of police were present and broke up most of the expressed conflict between the protesters and the Jewish group, by ushering the Jews away. The angry crowd carried on parading its enmity in a Covid unsafe manner until late into the night.

Reports the next day of physical assaults on Jews, and the fear and anguish experienced by Jews who were present have horrified the community, brought out condemnation by the Mayor of Toronto and Premier of Ontario, but the anti-Israel protests continued into Sunday May 16 in many cities across the country.

Born in Hamilton, Doris has many years of experience as a multimedia journalist. She has worked in radio, television and print journalism and written on a variety of topics especially the crucial issues in Canadian and Jewish life today. She is also Co Chair of the Canadian Institute of Jewish Research in Toronto.

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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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