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The Gales Of November Howl Around CJPME

“Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East” engulfed in controversies at home and in Israel

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When a sharp-eyed analyst on Twitter saw that the Canadian representative to the P.A. had met with the far-left lobby group, the CJPME record of radical anti-Zionism was reproduced for all to see. This put the Trudeau government on the spot – once again- for associating with antisemites instead of denouncing them.  (Screencap: CJPME)

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Riding the wave of a post-Covid travel adventure around the Holy Land, the far-left “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East” earned some unwanted attention online towards the end of their trip – and even more scrutiny, when they tried to exit the country.

The online analysis by @Hansardish of their recent travels and their previous anti-Israel activities has rocked Ottawa. In a series of tweets using original source material, ‘Hansard (Paraphrased)’ detailed uncomfortable connections between the Trudeau government and an organization they described as “A deeply antisemitic Canadian activist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel.”

Earlier this month, the CJPME social media was chock full of buzzwords describing the high-level meetings being held in Ramallah and elsewhere. “Earlier this week in Ramallah” said one post, “CJPME’s VP met with Mahmoud of the BDS National Committee and Nada of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). Together we’ll continue to build the movement for economic pressure against Israeli apartheid. #BDS

“CJPME’s Michael Bueckert stopped by the weekly demonstration in #SheikhJarrah held by Free Jerusalem (including many Jewish Israeli activists)”, stated another, “in solidarity with the 175 Palestinian families who are facing threats of mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing.”

But the publicizing of one of their diplomatic sessions has now opened a can of worms for Global Affairs Canada and may have also been the catalyst for an airport intervention.  

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On Halloween, a tweet proclaimed, “CJPME’s VP had a productive meeting with David Da Silva, Canada’s new Representative to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. We raised urgent concerns about Israel’s attacks on Palestinian civil society, and encouraged 🇨🇦 to reject Israel’s unfounded ‘terror’ designations.” They tagged @CanadaRepPA. In response, Da Silva wrote to @CJPME @mbueckert and @CanadaRepPA, “Thank you for the visit and for the discussion. I look forward to continuing to engage with you and @CJPME on these important issues.”

It was that response from Da Silva that ignited a storm through the Remembrance Day week. Ron East, publisher of TheJ.ca and founder of the Israeli Canadian Council, retorted, “Why would an official representative of the Canadian government meet with an organization which is anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and by the IHRA definition – which the Canadian government endorsed – is Antisemitic. Looking forward to your reply.”

None has been forthcoming. Meanwhile on November 8, @Hansardish dug up the ugly facts about CJPME explaining, “This search of records has, of course, been conducted in good faith based on available data from the Lobby Commissioner and social media postings from the organization.”

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The Twitter thread began:

So today, what do we find online? The organization “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East” crowing about meeting the new Canadian rep in PA, @dawdsCAN

BREAKING: Federal Official @DawdsCan (who reports in to @melaniejoly) met with antisemitic organization and engages with vicious antisemites online. CJPME? A deeply antisemitic Canadian activist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Here’s a link to EIGHT YEARS of documented antisemitism from CJPME’s OFFICIAL Facebook group, MODERATED by CJPME leadership. Not only has @dawdsCAN engaged with a viciously antisemitic group, he’s indicated that he looks forward to “engaging with CJPME on THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES.”

Hansard (Paraphrased) @Hansardish went on to take the Trudeau cabinet to task:

“We’re still in the throes of the antisemitism crisis created by federal funding f #LaithMarouf and the inaction of @pablorodriguez and @HonAhmedHussen. So why, WHY, for fucks sake, WHY is @melaniejoly’s official @dawdsCan meeting and engaging with avowed #antisemites? This is utterly unacceptable behaviour from a Canadian public servant who works in a government publicly committed to eradicating antisemitism.

On Twitter, @CanadaRepPA has a history of tolerating death threats and antisemitism.In addition,” @Handsardish noted. The thread also incorporated a government record of two grants to CJPME, for $2471.00 (2018) and $3354.00 (2020), another outrageous failure of the Trudeau regime’s “vetting” practices. 

At the same time as CJPME was pumping out antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric including Jews being called a ”cancer”, the organization was until 2022, illegally lobbying Members of Parliament and the Canadian government. (Screencap: @Handsardish)

@Handsardish pointed two Jewish MP’s, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and Conservative Deputy Leader Melissa Lantsman, to a letter CJPME had written opposing adoption of the IHRA definition as a standard contract requirement for funding recipients: “CJPME is fighting to defend the right of #LaithMarouf and antisemites like him to call for dead Jews and still get money from the government.”

Among the other findings retweeted were, “CJPME staff defacing Jewish products in stores in 2019” and “CJPME board member accusing Canadian Jews of being more loyal to Israel than Canada.” In addition, a June 20 tweet from AntisemitismCA was republished which asserted “CJPME Facebook group has propagated violent antisemitism for the last 8 years”, naming Bueckert as one of the administrators and providing examples illustrating the claims.

@Hansardish also accumulated tweets that established a prolonged period when CJPME was lobbying Parliament for years without registering- as required under federal law.  https://twitter.com/Hansardish/status/1591643786006106113

The sequence shows the lobbycanada.gc.ca definitions that trigger the Lobbying Act, and that CJPME were finally listed on January 18 of 2022. A series of images from 2021 alone demonstrated “grassroots lobbying prior to registration”, including campaigns to oppose the designation of six infamous Palestinian NGO’s as terrorist groups; “ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem”; a meeting with an MP to help “end apartheid in Israel”; and a direct targeting of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to “oppose Israeli annexation”.

The thread also disclosed a 2017 photo of Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and CJPME leaders, noting “There does not appear to be a lobby registry entry associated with this meeting.” A similar situation appears to have occurred in 2016, based on “a photo of CJPME representatives meeting with the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephane Dion, on Sept 13, 2016.”

Among the accomplishments CJPME listed online were  “Dozens of face-to-face, one-on-one meetings with Members of Parliament… we are repeatedly “in the face” of politicians with our constituent email campaigns, postcard campaigns, and policy campaigns (2019)” and “CJPME helps 20,000 Canadians email Trudeau on Gaza” and “CJPME Active at NDP Convention to Support Palestine Resolutions”

It appears that ardent anti-Zionist Niki Ashton, an NDP MP from Manitoba, was lobbied illegally in 2017 by the then-unregistered CJPME. (Image: CJPME)

These revelations – and the serious questions about how the organization has been for years so willingly accepted by Liberal government Foreign Affairs officials – provoked attention the likes of which CJPME has never seen. But before the contingent of anti-Israel leftists could get back to Canada and assess the damage, they had another problem- because it appears the online disclosure of their travel activities resulted in a run-in with Israeli authorities.

In a statement issued this week, CJPME complained,

“Last weekend, CJPME’s VP Michael Bueckert was threatened by Israeli security after meeting with leading human rights NGOs in Palestine, which have been unjustly criminalized and persecuted by Israel.

As he described on Twitter: “Leaving Ben-Gurion [airport] after meeting human rights groups in Palestine-Israel (including Defense for Children International – Palestine and Addameer), I was falsely accused by a security agent of meeting with “[the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine aka PFLP]” and was given a warning that doing so could affect re-entry. [This is] a clear threat against meeting human rights defenders. Israel’s criminalization of leading Palestinian NGOs is designed to sever ties with the international community, & the ‘warning’ threats against me at Ben Gurion were intended to discourage visits.”

In that last particular tweet cited, the organization did not include the Bueckert punchline, perhaps because it reflected how the uproar started: “We need @CanadaRepPA to clearly denounce Israel’s attacks on civil society. #StandWithThe6”

Israeli Canadian Council founder Ron East challenged the enthusiastic support for CJPME espoused on Twitter by David Da Silva, Representative of Canada in West Bank and Gaza. East pointed out that CJPME statements clearly meet the threshold of antisemitism established by the IHRA working definition, “which the Canadian government endorsed.” Da Silva or Global Affairs Canada have yet to respond. (Image: Twitter)

One diplomat who rushed to soothe CJPME’s diminished dignity was the P.A. representative to Canada,  Mona Abuamara.

She tweeted on November 14, “When you get to flagrantly disregard laws with no accountability, & when you can’t hide the lack of legitimacy, principles, & values behind your atrocities; you threaten, intimidate, & terrorize people, organizations, & even nations that endanger your pathetic charade!”

If anyone won’t be intimidated, it’s @Handsardish.  

A tweeter suggested on November 9 to the original poster, Da Silva and Joly that “Opposing apartheid isn’t antisemitism. Hope CJPME sues for defamation.”

“Discovery of a group that permits this content on its official page, moderated by CJPME’s leadership forum would be amazing,” replied @Hansardish, “and it would destroy the organization because whatever they share in private will be worse.”

After the megathread, @6974searchlight asked Housefather and Lanstman, “can you both check to see if this is another instance of the federal Liberals turning a blind eye to anti-semitism?” to which @Handsardish wise-cracked, “Spoiler: IT IS”.

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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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.

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We thank you for your ongoing support.

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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