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  • Marty Gold

Jewish Federation awaits "final decision" from sponsors of Sarsour panel


Linda Sarsour

Quiet diplomacy is the prefered route for the representatives of Winnipeg's Jewish community in their efforts to convince the sponsors of an upcoming appearance by radical "progressive" American activist Linda Sarsour to recind their invitation.


In a brief email sent to the community Wednesday, Jewish Federation officials revealed they had met with the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and the Canadian Muslim Women's Institute and "detailed the many reasons why Linda Sarsour should not be given a platform in our community and emphasized her unrepentant antisemitism."


Supporters of Israel and the Jewish community had shown massive opposition to Sarsour being imported as a star panelist at an April 26th event via a petition that was begun by the founder of TheJ.ca, Ron East, which now stands at over 4100 signatories.

Sarsour is a champion of the boycott movement - BDS - that seeks to isolate Israel, and the petition pointed out her public support for convicted terrorists and Jew-baiters. It forced a startled Seven Oaks School Division to cancel the original venue booking for the event, and the event has been moved to the Ukrainian Labour Temple.


Federation President Laurel Malkin and CEO Elaine Goldstine told readers "The SPCW and CMWI promised us that they would go back to their respective boards with our concerns. We will continue to update you on our progress and the final decision of the SPCW once it is made." Previously, the SPCW had reiterated the event "Sorry, NOT Sorry! Unapologetically Working for Social Justice" was not designed to focus on the situation in the Middle East. However, in recent appearances at US venues in places like North Carolina, regardless of the planned topic, Sarsour always brings up the State of Israel and the Palestinian conflict.


Acknowledging that many individuals had already contacted the sponsors, the Federation suggested "in order to maximize the effectiveness of the conversations we are having with the SPCW and CMWI, we request that you allow these conversations to take place, free of vitriol."


Previously, at least one other Jewish organization, B'nai Brith Canada, had met with the sponsors, which did result in an online apology from them for having originally scheduled Sarsour to speak across the street from an Orthodox synagogue.