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Canadian Nurses Conference “Honoured” To Host Anti-Zionist

Desmond Cole was chosen to moderate an “anti-racism” panel

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Desmond Cole is seen speaking on February 9, 2019 in Toronto. (Photo: http://vishkhanna.com/)

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The “Second National Summit on Racism in Nursing and Health Care” platformed an anti-Israel activist whose antics in 2021 forced the Toronto District School Board to apologize, after he aggressively repeated antisemitic far-left rallying points, and was rude to senior staff challenging him at a seminar. 

The Canadian Academy of Nursing scheduled a panel discussion on November 22 to be moderated by radical Toronto author and self-proclaimed “journalist” Desmond Cole, who asserts “white supremacy” permeates our society.

Last year, veering far off from the assigned topic of anti-Black racism, he told TDSB staff that the Jewish state is “settler colonialism” and “If people interpret ‘Free Palestine’ as being violent, it is because they are benefitting from Palestinians being unfree.” Cole repeatedly said the phrase “Free Palestine” – taunting objectors who maintained it is a dog-whistle for the destruction of Israel, and defended Javier Davila – a Student Equity Program Advisor who had distributed antisemitic material to fellow TDSB employees that could guide them to BDS propaganda praising the banned terrorist group, PFLP. A board official admitted to parents that Cole had also said, “the national anthem, Oh Canada, should not be played in schools.”

The Canadian Nurses Association described the event as follows:

“We are honoured to have Desmond Cole moderate a panel of nursing leaders, including Birgit Umaigba, Lisa Bourque-Bearskin, and Samantha Louie-Poon. To facilitate our action going forward, Cole will first engage our panelists in an in-depth discussion on what we’ve learned from recent research into racism, including its broader impacts on public health and health care. We’ll use this research to propose solutions and discuss next steps.”

In response to the announcement, the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation sent a letter to CNA leadership to express their “significant concern.”  

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“The CNA may not be aware of some of the remarks that Mr. Cole has made in the past at other organizations, such as the Toronto District School Board, in which Mr. Cole ventured his personal views on the geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East,” wrote CAEF Executive Director Andria Spindel on November 17th. 

“These views would be, in our estimation, highly problematic and offensive to most of the Jewish membership of the CNA and, we presume, likely not representative of the CNA’s mandate or values. Specifically, we would like to draw your attention to the following articles from the Canadian Jewish community press, as well as a press release from the Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies:  

https://thecjn.ca/news/tdsb-apologizes-for-harm-caused-by-talk-from-activist-desmond-cole/

https://www.thej.ca/2021/09/29/the-arrogance-of-desmond-cole-backfires-exposing-rampant-jew-hate-in-his-anti-racist-universe/

FSWC Demands Accountability from TDSB After Conference Keynote Speaker Goes on Anti-Israel Tirade (friendsofsimonwiesenthalcenter.com) ”

The FSWC statement that was provided explained that, “Cole used his platform to spread misinformation about Israel, completely erase the Jewish perspective on recent contentious issues and deny the Jewish experience of antisemitism.”

The letter, sent to CNA president Sylvain Brosseau and CEO Tim Guest, went on to state:

“At the CAEF, we wholeheartedly support the CNA’s efforts to confront racism in Canadian society, and hope it will include combating antisemitism as Jews are the most frequently targeted group for hate crimes. It is not our place to give your organization instructions on whom to invite to speak at your national event. We merely wish to provide you with information so that CNA can make informed decisions about this event, and the potential repercussions to Jewish and other members of the CNA with personal connections to Israel.”

The CAEF advised TheJ.ca it received a response on Wednesday from Mr. Guest, indicating they had no knowledge of Cole’s prior antisemitic tirades or of his causing controversy for the TDSB.

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After the TDSB apologized to staff last year, Cole played the victim card, claiming “(staff) were directed to interrupt me by their superiors” with “scripted talking points”.” He alleged, “The reason this is happening is I have said these things in previous presentations and now people are uncomfortable and trying to disrupt me.”

The anti-Zionist antisemitic mob in Canada rallied behind Cole, among them the “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East”. Recently described as “A deeply antisemitic Canadian activist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel”, they demanded the TDSB “issue an apology to Desmond Cole for how he has been mistreated, and clarify that “Free Palestine” is not hate speech.” They also coordinated an email campaign which deluged the Board with 2000 missives.

As we reported last week, CJPME officials were detained leaving Israel earlier this month after meeting with West Bank BDS leaders and a PFLP-affiliated “human rights” group.

The Gales Of November Howl Around CJPME – TheJ.ca

The Toronto District School Board received 2000 emails through a CJPME campaign in support of Desmond Cole. (Image: CJPME)

Bizarrely, despite Cole being the darling of BDS champions like CJPME, the Summit on Racism in Nursing and Health Care at which he was showcased was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson – which itself was targeted by BDS organizers after buying a Haifa –based manufacturer.

In response to an inquiry from TheJ.ca, a spokeman from the Canadian Nurses Association replied, “Desmond Cole was considered and decided on as a moderator by CNA as an organization due to his extensive experience and work on anti-racism.”

The panel that Cole moderated included at least one member of the organization’s “Anti-Racism Advisory Committee”

That member, Samantha Louie-Poon, is a Registered Nurse “with a passion for disrupting oppressive knowledge systems”. A Research Coordinator with the University of Alberta, it appears that at the very least, she shares Cole’s dismissive contempt for our country.

Describing herself as “a settler of Chinese ancestry”, her doctoral dissertation “focuses on anti-racism strategies across so-called Canada.

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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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.

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