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Article re: Jamiaca from 2018

Good morning,

I was doing a little research on my family tree and came across this article from 2018 on the Jewish cemetery in Jamaica. 
Funnily enough, the one grave you mention is my great grandfather, Sir Edmund Hart. I had no idea he was Jewish. I have forwarded the article to my cousin who is researching our family tree. 
There is a dearth of information about my mother's family. She was originally born in Jamaica and came to Canada in 1956. My grandfather was "a maid's child" ("out of house" is what they call it) although he received his father's name. My mother never knew her father's family. 
Thank you for publishing the article. It's amazing how the internet is able to make connections we would never have dreamed of even 20 years ago. 
Karen Sawatzky


Israel Central Elections Commission Denies Request to Disqualify Kahanist Candidates


Israel Central Elections Commission Denies Request to Disqualify Kahanist Candidates

March 6, 2019


This evening, the Israel Central Elections Commission denied the request brought by the Reform Movement, to disqualify the candidacies of Michael Ben Ari and Itamar Ben Gvir, who are running in the elections for the 21st Knesset.  Orly Erez Likhovski, the head of the Legal Department at the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), which represented the Reform Movement in the case, presented the committee with numerous examples of written and video evidence demonstrating that the two candidates have a long history of racist incitement and that racism and racist incitement are central to their platform. The request for disqualification was denied by one vote: 15 for disqualifying Ben Ari and Ben Gvir to 16 against. The results of the vote went against the recommendation of Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit.

Ben Ari and Ben Gvir view themselves as the heirs of Rabbi Meir Kahane, an extremist whose political party, Kach was ruled to be a terrorist organization in the nineties and was barred from running for the Knesset.

Anat Hoffman, the Executive Director of IRAC, stated: Today, we were the only Jewish voice in the room speaking against racism. Years of fighting against bigotry culminated in our strong case, supported by solid evidence, against the Kahanists. We lost by a single vote, but the fight is not over. We be appealing to the Supreme Court. I am proud of our team and our refusal to give racism a place in the Knesset.


For further information contact

Karen Saar

+972 54 779 1020

Re: Could Israel Lose the Dead Sea Scrolls


I am a German journalist based in Israel, currently writing for the "Jüdische Allgemein" an analysis on whether with the latest UN decision, Israel might loose its right to the Dead Sea scrolls, which Rhonda Spivak wrote about in the Times of Israel. I am now trying to get in touch with Rhonda for an interview. Any chance you can help?
Thank you very much.
Warm regards
Lissy Kaufmann
radio & print journalist | Israel & Middle East

+972 545 876 841
[email protected]

latest stories & radio features:

Moving embassy to Jerusalem

There is no reason for Israel to agree to cede that area, which includes the holy sites, and which would facilitate terrorism against Jewish Jerusalem residents.  I wish the U.S. would move its embassy to the eastern part of Jerusalem. 

Richard Shulman


Hi Rhonda ...

Thanks, as usual, for your latest edition. Just one correction: You 
refer to last month's gathering in front of the Rady Jewish Community 
Center as an "anti-Israel demonstration." It was nothing of the sort. It 
was an event to commemorate the death of some 2000 Palestinians at the 
hands of the twelfth most power military in the world, the most powerful 
military in the region, nuclear-armed Israel. By labeling the gathering 
"anti-Israel," you are suggesting that Palestinian lives are worthless. 
Certainly not worth commemorating.

Of course, I realize that any gathering of this sort is automatically 
labeled "anti-Israel." Would you refer to some protest against, say, 
Saudi Arabia's assault on Yemen as "anti-Saudi"? Or a protest against 
the US's participation in the air war in Syria as "anti-American"? I 
don't think you would. Obviously, any criticism of Israeli government 
actions -- other than, say, policies linked to the high price of cottage 
cheese -- is reflexively labeled "anti-Israel." Dishonest language of 
this sort very much stifles debate about Israel's actions -- debate Jews 
such as myself deem critical. The future of the "Jewish State" -- for 
those who care -- hangs in the balance.

Regards ...

David Kattenburg

A great column on Sayad Kashua

July 1, 2016


A great column on Kashua, one of the best I have read on the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Kashua supposedly is a moderate Palestinian, Israeli or otherwise. Imagine what the others think and would do if they had the chance. A two-state solution? Not now, not in the near future, maybe not in the distant future.

Jack Mennis, Pittsburgh


Jewish Community Alert: York University Faculty Association Executive Endorses Divestment


Toronto - 2.17.16: Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is issuing a Jewish Community Alert cautioning Jewish students from choosing to attend York University, should the union's Stewards' Council support the union executive's endorsement of boycott initiatives aligned with discrimination against Israel and the Jewish people.


This Alert comes on the heels of Friday's endorsement by the Executive of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) of '#YUDivest'- a cover for the anti-semitic and discriminatory Boycott Divestment and Sanction campaign against the Jewish people.  The campaign is initiated by Students against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) - an organization known for its anti-semitic and anti-Israel positions.


In a comprehensive pre-vote letter to YUFA President Richard Wellen, FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo encouraged YUFA to consider the following:

  • The antisemitic nature of boycott campaigns against Jewish people;
  • YUFA's mission statement/Objects/Constitution may not allow for endorsement of boycotts under union business;
  • YUFA may be voiding its Equity statement on inclusivity of staff;
  • YUFA may be contravening the Ontario Human Rights Code, particularly by enhancing a poisoned environment and potential existence of discrimination, exclusion and a toxic environment.
  • YUFA may be contravening the Ontario Business Discriminatory Act.   

According to Mr. Benlolo, "YUFA's 51-member Stewards' Council still has a chance to counter the Executive in a Council vote on March 4th.  They may not realize that this boycott movement, couched in the language of human rights, is in reality a malicious campaign that targets and singles out the Jewish community as a collective; demonizes Israel and Israelis; applies unfair double standards to Israel at the exclusion of other nations in the Middle East; and rejects the legitimacy of Israel as the only Jewish State in the world - and therefore incites discrimination." 


According to early reports, YUFA's Executive passed the resolution on February 12th and will bring the matter to Stewards' Council vote in March.  In a subsequent note to Dr. Wellen, Mr. Benlolo asked, "why not simply submit a resolution that condemns investment in arms, rather than align York's entire faculty with the profoundly anti-semitic Students against Israeli Apartheid organization? What is gained by this, other than to sow further tension and hostility on campus?"


According to a faculty member who wishes to remain anonymous, "I might now feel uncomfortable participating in many university activities out of fear of being discriminated against just because I am Jewish and I support Israel.  This endorsement could create an atmosphere at the university where I am afraid to walk around and interact with other community members, administrators, faculty and students in a free and fair manner without being judged or discriminated against.  I publicly disavow any association with the YUFA Executive and its anti-semitic and discriminatory decision."


It is refreshing to note that a number of York University faculty, including Dr. Carl Ehrlich have been working overtime to oppose this resolution.  In a memo to YUFA Stewards, Dr. Erlich wrote, "While I do not doubt the innocent motives of most of those who have signed on to the #YUDivest petition, the fact of the matter is that whether we include a disclaimer or not, the perception of our membership and of the community at large will be that YUFA and its associated faculty members support BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions)." 


"As York's faculty Executive has now joined a censorship campaign against Israel and the Jewish people, coupled with the controversial cleansing of Israel mural hanging in the Student Center and reinforced by a climate which neglects student and faculty complaints of exclusion and a toxic environment, it is with great sadness that we are cautioning Jewish students from attending this university at the present time," said Mr. Benlolo.

"We have tried nearly everything to bring the university and its organs to recognize that we are concerned for the safety and security of its Jewish students and faculty.  As a York Alumnus myself, I am disappointed with the Board of Governors and faculty.  Never in my career in the Jewish community have I seen such a discriminating environment against the Jewish citizens of this city and country."


NOTE: In order to discourage York University faculty from supporting this anti-semitic campaign, FSWC will distribute this release and its letter to YUFA to as many faculty members as possible, to the media and to the community at large.  FSWC encourages the community to reinforce this educational campaign by contacting York University faculty.



Stacey L. Starkman

Director, Communications and External Relations

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

5075 Yonge Street, Ste. 902

Toronto, ON M2N 6C6


416.864.9735 x 32

[email protected]

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and its widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at www.fswc




Dear Sir,

I very much enjoyed your informative article about the Imperial Hotel in Vienna

You mentioned Unser Wien, the book about looted property which I also found to be a most important source.

Did you know that the Austrians have launched a campaign against the author of the book?

The Guardian just wrote an article about it -

I do not know Mr Templ personally but I was very grateful for his book and think that what the Austrians are doing is shameful.

Having read your detailed article, I thought that if you did not already know about the attacks on Mr Templ you might want to know about them.

Best wishes,

Laurel Zuckerman

Paris Writers News
[email protected]

Looking for anyone who knew Israel Freedman or Yude Brownstone

Dear Ms. Spivak

I am a Toronto professor of journalism at Centennial College. I am currently writing a book about the Canadian Jews who were killed during the Second World War, and will be in Winnipeg next week to do some research and interviews.
I have not been able to find anyone yet who knew the two local men, Israel Freedman, or Yude Brownstone, and wonder if you could publicize my request?
Both are buried in Normandy.
Freedman's father was a butcher Peter. His mother was Molly.
My contact information is below, and my telephone number is 416 822 1503
Many thanks for any help you may be able to give me on this matter.
Ellin Bessner
Centennial College
Journalism Professor
951 Carlaw Avenue
Suite 149
Toronto, Ontario

Letter to the editor from National Council of Jewish Women of Canada

For over a hundred years the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) has supported immigrants and refugees coming to Canada during and after the displacements of war.

At this terrible time, hundreds of thousands of refugees are risking their lives to escape intolerable situations, only to face the horrors of flight, human smugglers, and insecurity, and are unable to meet their basic human needs.


We urge all Canadians to do what they can to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of these traumatized people.

Protocols do not take precedence over saving lives.  Contact your elected representatives and urge them to make a difference.  Contact non-governmental organizations, and find out how you can help. 


Spread awareness and encourage action.

We need to ensure that these refugees find a safe haven.  We can be that haven.


Let's make it happen.


Sharon Allentuck


National Council of Jewish Women of Canada

Statement by Mark Adler, Conservative candidate for York Centre

September 21, 2015
For Immediate Release


Toronto - Mark Adler, Conservative Party candidate for York Centre, today issued this statement regarding anti-Semitic graffiti in Bathurst Manor, Toronto:


"I am deeply disturbed by the appalling anti-Semitic graffiti in the Bathurst Manor area, which trivializes the Holocaust, denigrates the memory of Holocaust victims, and is highly offensive to the ethnically and religiously diverse members of the Conservative Party.


“Moreover, the timing of this odious graffiti is deplorable as Jews across Canada prepare for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and holiest day in the Jewish calendar, during which time Jews strive for personal peace that will help make the world a better place for all.


“I am proud that under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper Canada has become a world leader in the global fight against anti-Semitism, and a re-elected Conservative Government will continue to combat anti-Semitism in all its forms.”




AIPAC strongly condemns the arson attack that resulted in the death of the Palestinian infant Ali Saad Dawabsha and the serious injuries to the other members of his family in the village of Duma. We express our deep condolences to the family.  

Prime Minister Netanyahu, along with major Israeli political and military leaders, have expressed their profound outrage over this murder and pledged to find the terrorist perpetrators and bring them to justice. The deliberate and heinous targeting and murder of innocents cannot be tolerated. 

Terror - whatever the source - must be given no quarter. 

Americans Increasingly Disapprove of Iran Deal

Major U.S. polls have overwhelmingly found that Americans are increasingly skeptical of the nuclear deal struck last month between the P5+1 and Iran. Nearly two-thirds of Americans lack confidence that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and significant pluralities disapprove of the deal.  Most polls also conclude that the majority of Americans believe Congress should reject the JCPOA. Even polls that pre-supposed the JCPOA would stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons found that most Americans believe that the deal will not work.

Pew Research Center Poll – July 14-20, 2015

Results: More Americans disapprove than approve of the proposed deal and most are not confident in Iran’s ability to uphold the agreement.

Question: “From what you know, do you approve or disapprove of this agreement? [If necessary: The recent agreement on Iran’s nuclear program between Iran, the United States and other nations].”

  • 48 percent of Americans familiar with the agreement disapprove of it, while 38 percent  approve.

Question: “How much confidence do you have that Iran’s leaders will uphold their side of the agreement? A great deal of confidence, a fair amount of confidence, not too much confidence, or no confidence at all?”

  • 73 percent of Americans familiar with the agreement are not confident that Iran’s leaders will uphold their commitments, while 26 percent are confident.

CNN Poll – July 22-25, 2015

Results:  More Americans than not believe Congress should reject the deal.

Question: “As you may know, the U.S. Congress must approve the agreement the United States and five other countries reached with Iran that is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons before it can take effect. Do you think Congress should approve or reject the deal with Iran?”

  • 52 percent of Americans believe that Congress should reject the deal with Iran, while 44 percent believe that Congress should approve it.

Washington Post-ABC News Poll – July 16-19, 2015

Results: Most Americans are not confident that this agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Question: “How confident are you that this agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – very confident, somewhat confident, not so confident or not confident at all?"

  • 64 percent of Americans are not confident that this agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 35 percent are confident.

Secure America Now Poll – July 22-23, 2015

Results:  More Americans than not believe Congress should reject the deal.

Question: “From what you have seen, read or heard about the Obama’s administration’s deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program, do you want your U.S. Senators and Congressman to vote Yes or No upon the deal between the Obama administration and Iran?”

  • 45 percent of likely voters want their U.S. Senators and Congressman to vote no to the deal, while  29 percent want their U.S. Senators and Congressman to vote yes.
When provided with additional information about the agreement:
  • 65 percent of likely voters want their U.S. Senators and Congressman to vote no to the deal, while 25 percent want their U.S. Senators and Congressman to vote yes. 

Quinnipiac University Poll – July 23-28, 2015

Results: Americans oppose the deal with Iran by a 2-1 margin, and more Americans than not believe the deal will make the world less safe.

Question: “Do you support or oppose the nuclear deal with Iran?” 

  • 57 percent of registered voters oppose the nuclear deal with Iran, while 28 percent support the deal.

Question: “Do you think the nuclear deal with Iran would make the world safer or less safe?” 

  • 58 percent of registered voters think the nuclear deal with Iran will make the world less safe, while 30 percent think it will make the world safer. 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll – July 26-30, 2015

Results: The longer the debate goes on about the Iran deal, the more Americans are increasingly in opposition to the deal.

Question: As you may know, an agreement has been reached between Iran and a group of six other nations, including the U.S. The agreement attempts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon by limiting Iran’s ability to produce nuclear material and allowing inspections into Iran’s nuclear sites in exchange for reducing certain economic sanctions that are currently in place. Do you support or oppose this agreement or do you not know enough to have an opinion?

  • Only 35 percent of respondents support the agreement while nearly two-thirds of respondents oppose the deal or have no opinion. 
  • The NBC/WSJ poll also asked respondents in June if they supported the proposed deal. From June to July, support for the deal decreased from 36 percent to 35 percent, while during that same period the number of Americans opposing the deal increased from 17 percent to 33 percent. 

Statement by Minister Nicholson on Swearing-In of 34th Government of Israel


May 14, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the swearing-in of the new Israeli government:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the occasion of the swearing-in of Israel’s 34th government.

“Canada has a warm and long-standing friendship with Israel, which is based on a shared commitment to the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“Our government will continue to strongly support Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself, by itself. Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered this message to the Israeli people in his historic address before the Israeli Knesset in January 2014. We also continue to support a bilaterally negotiated two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians based on a commitment to peace and mutual security.

“I wish the Prime Minister and his cabinet success in their new term and offer our best wishes to the people of Israel.”

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicholson Disappointed by Human Rights Council Resolutions on Israel

March 28, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada looks to the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the UN to be a strong and impartial proponent for improved human rights globally.

“It is therefore with profound disappointment that Canada notes, at the just-concluded 28th session of the HRC, that Council time was again taken up on resolutions specifically and unfairly targeting the State of Israel. Israel is a strong liberal democracy with which Canada stands shoulder to shoulder. Our shared respect for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law is the basis of our close relationship.

“At a time when the world is confronted by so many egregious instances of human rights violations, Canada urges HRC voting members to focus resources and Council time on those country situations which truly warrant international scrutiny and deliberation.”

Israel Prepares For "Electronic Holocaust" Cyber Attack
For Immediate Release

“Electronic Holocaust” Promised as Israel Prepares for Large-Scale Cyber Attack
  • Islamic hackers preparing for annual 7th of April Operation-Israel cyber attack
  • ISIS and other terror groups adept at using world-wide web to further their goals
  • Western countries face same cyber threats as Israel

Tel Aviv, March 25, 2015…For the past several years, on April 7, groups of extremist hackers have targeted Israeli government domains and companies.  This year, in Operation-Israel 2015, they are threatening Israeli banks and military websites promising to carry out an “electronic Holocaust.”

The largest hacker group, AnonGhost, which is affiliated with the global hacker group Anonymous, is set to attack Israel for the third straight year.  The group ostensibly conducts these cyber-attacks in order to avenge Israeli actions in Gaza. Link to Operation-Israel 2015 video uploaded to YouTube by Anonymous warning of the attack here.

 “These groups call themselves anonymous, but in reality the Op-Israel hackers responsible for the actions are mostly from the Middle East, with connections to our local conflict, according to Daniel Cohen, a research associate at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) Cyber Warfare program.  “The hackers are mostly Muslims from Gaza, Syria, Morocco and other countries in our region. As a group they generally oppose the establishment and are influenced by various radical Islamist and terrorist movements, who also drive them towards attacking Israel.”

The hackers usually upload Arabic songs and communicate directly to pro-Israeli visitors. 

According to Col. Gabi Siboni, head of the INSS Cyber Security Program, “The terror challenges facing Israel and the West are not only physical, but cyber as well.  Israel is confronting these threats from Shiite Hezbollah and from Sunni Hamas on a daily basis.  They are sophisticated and becoming more so. There is no question that in due course, the United States and other Western countries will face the same threats as Israel from these groups as well as from ISIS, if they are not already.  ISIS is particularly adept at using the world-wide web to further its goals.  But it is not only terrorist groups that perpetuate cyber attacks, nations do so as well and the need for cyber-security responses are growing exponentially."

These types of issues and others will be discussed at the US-Israel Defensive Cyberspace Operations & Intelligence (DCOI) conference to be held April 27 – 28 in Washington, DC.  The conference is an Israeli - American partnership which seeks to promote informed public debate on cyber-net security and international collaborations in the technological, intelligence and policy-making domains.  Link to conference website here.

On April 7, Israel could expect to see attacks on Israeli government websites and various private sites. The attackers may release Israeli credit card details online, although the information will likely be probably be previously stolen and not on the day of the attack. Hackers may also try to attack users through e-mail messages or text messages to private cellular phones.  According to Daniel Cohen, about a hundred hackers participated in the previous attacks.

The who support Op-Israel 2015 are capable of penetrating web applications like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress but there are some, albeit small in number within the Operation Israel hacking teams who are capable of performing advanced attacks on specific targets and inflicting real damage, financial and otherwise, said Cohen.

The INSS Cyber program experts suggest that organizations upgrade their servers, perform backups, never open emails from unfamiliar sources and monitor activities on their website. Private citizens should consider changing simple passwords to more complex ones and never open unidentified e-mails.

For further information and to interview Col. Gabi Siboni or Daniel Cohen contact Laura Kam [email protected] +972-54-806-8613.

Book "Memory Is Our Home"

Dear Editor: Rhonda Spivak, 


Please share with your community of educators and friends, with second and third Generation.  


I am thrilled to be able to make this announcement, my book "Memory Is Our Home"


Published by ibidem- Verlag, academic press, April 2015.  The following ISBNs were assigned to my book:

EU edition: 978 3 8382 0682 0,  US edition: 978 3 8382 0702 5


My book, Memory is Our Home is written with the high school, college age reader in mind and beyond. Memory is Our home, is a rich, living document, a thirty-year account that reveals a vibrant life of Eastern European, twentieth-century Jewish history and culture. Based on my mother’s diary, her writings about Warsaw Poland during the years following WWI, in the interwar period in Warsaw, and the six long years of WWII, and how she was able to survive in Soviet Russia and Uzbekistan. Interwoven with her journals are stories she told to me throughout my life, as well as my own recollections as my family made a new life in the shadows of the Holocaust in Communist Poland after the war and into the late 1960s. By retelling this story I try to shed light on how the Holocaust trauma is transmitted to the next generation, the price my family paid when we said good-bye to the old world and the challenges we faced in America.  

Transmitting the memory of the vibrant culture before the Holocaust is just as important just as the memory of the Holocaust, to combat ignorance and prejudice and sharing of cultures and knowledge of history. 


Foreword to Memory is Our Home, is by Dennis B. Klein, Professor of History, Director of Jewish Studies Program, Kean University, NJ,


Read an excerpt from the book,

To be a "memorial candle"



Book's website.


To order via Amazon or Columbia 


You can also order via.

[email protected]



For bulk sales, from 5 copies up, for teachers or institutions, please email sales rep at Columbia University Press: Corey Beebe, [email protected]



Thank you,

Suzanna Eibuszyc

Minister Nicholson Speaks with Danish Counterpart

States solidarity with Denmark in the face of terrorism and anti-Semitism in Copenhagen
February 15, 2015 - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement after speaking with Martin Lidegaard, Denmark’s Minister for Foreign ‎Affairs, following yesterday’s terror attacks:
“This afternoon, I spoke to my Danish counterpart, Martin Lidegaard, to express that Canada stands in solidarity with Denmark following these heinous attacks.
“I was saddened and angered to learn of yesterday’s acts of terrorism in Copenhagen, which involved a freedom of speech event and a Jewish synagogue, injuring five police officers and murdering two innocent civilians. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are sacred values that must be defended.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of these cowardly attacks and I wish a speedy recovery to those injured.
“These horrible attacks are yet another tragic reminder that no country is immune to terrorism. Canada and its allies will not be intimidated. We will continue to stand in solidarity against terrorists who threaten the peace, freedom and democracy our countries so deeply value.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:
Johanna Quinney
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
[email protected]
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
[email protected]
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Like us on Facebook: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada-DFATD

Press Release: ADL Welcomes U.N. Session Addressing Rising Tide of Global Anti-Semitism

New York, NY, January 22, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) informal plenary session on the rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide, noting the importance of the body’s “long overdue” recognition of the urgent need to address the increasingly tragic consequences of the rise of anti-Jewish animus around the world.

ADL underscored the importance of the session - particularly in the wake of the Paris Kosher supermarket terror incident and other recent attacks against Jews - as well as the sobering figures on global anti-Semitism. ADL’s recent polling in 100 countries found that 26 percent of adults surveyed across the globe, amounting to more than a billion people, harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

This U.N. special session on anti-Semitism was long overdue. In many respects, it is sad that it took the loss of Jewish lives and ongoing daily threats to Jews to bring about this meeting. Yet, it is entirely appropriate that the international body, founded in the shadow of the Holocaust, has recognized the urgency of this issue.

Our recent polling shows that more than a quarter of the world’s adult population is infected with anti-Semitism, so it is significant and telling that the U.N., which represents all countries, has finally turned a specific focus on anti-Semitism and recognized, in the words of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, that ‘The fight against anti-Semitism is inseparable from our wider quest for peaceful coexistence and human rights for all.’

As Ambassador Power eloquently stated in her remarks, ‘When the human rights of Jews are repressed, the rights of other religious and ethnic groups are often not far behind…Attacks on Jews are attacks on us all.’  We commend the leadership of the United States in helping to bring about this meeting, and welcome the backing of this important event by the 37 cosponsoring countries.

We hope the passionate and heartfelt speeches delivered during the session will resonate with the entire world. The true success of the meeting will be measured by the implementation of urgently needed serious and concrete actions to combat the tide of rising anti-Semitism.

The UNGA session was cosponsored by the 28 European Union counties, the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Norway, Andorra, Rwanda, Panama and Uruguay. The morning session featured statements by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney, French State Secretary for European Affairs Harlem Desir, German Minister for Europe Michael Roth, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, E.U. Head of Delegation and representatives from other member states. The afternoon session featured a panel discussion with leading international experts on anti-Semitism.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.


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