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Message from Elaine Goldstine, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg July 2019

by Elaine Goldstine June 26, 2019

Dear Community Members, 

It has been an eventful week for the Winnipeg Jewish community and the Canadian Jewish community at-large.

On Monday morning, we welcomed Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr, Senior Trade Commissioner Stanley Gomes, and Howard Loewen, CEO of MicroPilot, to discuss the benefits of the modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).

On January 1, 1997, the original Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement came into effect, resulting in a fruitful trading relationship between the two countries ever since. The CIFTA was in need of modernization to address emerging technologies, and ensure that it is as inclusive as possible.

Last year, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Israel was valued at more than $1.9 billion. Exports to Israel from Canada increased by 35 per cent from last year.

Through the modernized CIFTA, Canada and Israel are creating ideal conditions for increased trade, and new opportunities to further expand the Canada-Israel economic partnership for the mutual benefit of both countries.

For further information on the modernized CIFTA, I invite you to review the new version of the agreement.

Yesterday was a landmark day in the fight against antisemitism in Canada.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodríguez announced the Government of Canada’s new anti-racism strategy that adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Our advocacy agent, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), has long advocated for the adoption of this definition because it offers a practical tool for authorities as they work to tackle antisemitism across Canada.

The IHRA definition definitively and explicitly recognizes that anti-Zionism - the delegitimization and demonization of the Jewish state - is a clear and unequivocal expression of antisemitism. The definition states clearly that Jew hatred includes applying antisemitic slurs to Israel, denying the Jewish people’s legitimate right to self-determination, accusing Israelis of blood libels and holding Israel to double standards. The IHRA definition clearly exposes how the demonization of Israel is antisemitism, pure and simple.

We applaud the Government of Canada for including it in its new anti-racism strategy. Please take a moment to help us thank the government for taking this important step in combating antisemitism.

As we celebrate this major milestone in the fight against antisemitism, we must also remember the past and the lives that have been taken by baseless hatred. After 25 years, justice still has not been served for the 85 lives that were lost, along with hundreds who were injured during the terrorist bombing of the Jewish Community Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We welcome you to join us on Thursday, July 18 as we pay respects to the victims of this horrific incident at ourannual AMIA Commemoration.
On behalf of all of us at the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, I would like to wish you a safe and happy summer and I look forward to providing further updates in the fall as we kick off our new CJA campaign.

Sincerely,



Elaine Goldstine
Chief Executive Officer
 
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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.