'Defining Zionism In Winnipeg' Exposes How Leaders Fail To Stem Antisemitism, Risking Our Safety
The Publisher of theJ.ca, Ron East, was honoured to make a presentation to the prestigious Lanny Remis Speakers Forum on Thursday.
The luncheon, held at the Shaarey Zedek synagogue, attracted 50 people, many of whom were familiar with Ron's father Yoram Hamizarachi East, who had been a favorite speaker of Mr. Remis.
In appreciation of Ron's participation, the daughter of Mr. Remis gifted Ron with audio tapes containing a dozen lectures that Yoram had presented on Middle Eastern and Diaspora affairs and politics.
The topic, 'Defining Zionism in Winnipeg', presented an overview of the issues that TheJ.ca and Ron personally have brought to public attention, sometimes to the discomfort of community leadership. He maintains they refuse to budge from a 'shtetl' mentality that fails to recognize, let alone meet, the new challenges posed by the progressive Jewish left, Neo-Nazis, and radical Islamists. Those enemies make headway by successfully portraying Zionism as "a dirty word" and associate support for Israel with allegations of racism, oppression and genocide towards Palestinians. This is increasing the erosion of safety for Jews in our city.
Ron mentioned how local leadership had not even heard of IfNotNow when one of their leaders, Lex Rofeberg, was imported by Limmud Winnipeg last February, and it took the grassroots alerting the community to force the Jewish Federation and 3 synagogues to take a stand against the anti-Israel celebrity being the featured speaker at Shabbat Across Winnipeg.
Ron explained that the dangers of far-left Jewish progressive movements went beyond IfNot Now and includes IJV, and made the crowd aware of their links to terrorist supporting organizations that give them their cues about how and when to criticize Zionism and promote BDS boycotts.
He told the audience that community leaders are scared of speaking out against rising antisemitism in Winnipeg because 'what will the neighbours think'. One example he cited was the failure of the organized community to issue any kind of statement about the recent bust of a neo-Nazi group The Base, which TheJ.ca was gathering information about since April.
"Trail Blazer!" "Keep up what you are doing." "You are the voice of so many who cannot [dare not] speak."
As part of the presentation the assembly was shown a brief interview from Israeli TV with Guy Bexhor, an expert on the Middle East, the Arab world and Islam.
The TV interview connected the diminishing safety of Jews in America and England as a direct consequence of the shift of traditional centrist/left leaning liberal parties to full-blown antisemitic hotbeds, as radical leftists and Muslim agitators ensure platforms against Israel are normalized as offical policy. Jews in western countries then spout the same anti-Zionist canards in order to maintain their standing within the political left like the Democrat Party in the US. Ron explained how the same phenomena is happening in Canada, with CIJA and its agencies in our cities telling their donors to rely on verbal assurances they engage in unverified backroom diplomacy to protect the Jewish population that pays their salaries, without pushing back on the Marxist agenda.
He challenged the audience to examine the "Case for Giving" brochure that is circulated to encourage support of the annual CJA fundraising campaign and see for themselves that there is no allocation to intelligence gathering and general community safety.
According to the website, "Community Planning assesses long-term Jewish community needs, identifies priorities and develops action plans. The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg undertakes planning on behalf of the community and invites you to join the conversation".
Ron noted despite $5.8M raised, any conversation about allocating a dime towards an action plan to help fund the grassroots proactively gathering intelligence on groups like Antifa and countering anti-Israel protesters is immediately shut down. A voice piped up "it's not their mandate", to which Ron replied "Then that is a problem".
An example was provided that if Neo Nazis showed up outside the Sharrey Zedek synagogue where the event was held, under Federation policy, they would make no effort to find out beforehand and would do nothing to physically counter the image of swastikas being waved outside the shul by brownshirts.
Some of the audience expressed concern this struck them as true, with one stating afterwards "there is a festering systemic problem with our current leadership, and it's only getting worse."
With their head-in-the-sand 'sha shtil' approach to imminent threats being exposed is actually undermining our community safety, Ron told how some leading figures in the Winnipeg Jewish community have sought to demean the efforts of the grassroots in Winnipeg that has stood against Linda Sarsour and a laundry list of antisemites and Israel-haters since January.
Instead of heeding the words this year of the World Jewish Congress that antisemitic words lead to antisemitic violence, the establishment has resorted to using twisted language to try to mislead their patrons in Winnipeg that the canaries in the coal mine should be ignored. As seen in this video, Ron read the list of insults directed at him and the grassroots pro-Israel movement by the local establishment in the last few months.
In conclusion, after showing the evidence that all our enemies, from the left, the right, and the Arab world, are using common tactics of Judeophobia and delegitimization of the State of Israel to make us targets for abuse and violence.
Ron's speech ended with a visual statement of what Zionism should mean in the modern world. Ron urged the group to openly raise this discussion going forward, and force a discussion within Jewish Winnipeg if modern Zionism includes taking pro-active measures to protect Jews in the Diaspora.
"You have certainly given us much to think about."
If your organization, group, shul, or gathering would like to hear the presentation "Defining Zionism in Winnipeg", Ron East would be glad to arrange to do so.
Please email theJ.firstname.lastname@example.org for booking information.
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