Call or email your Ontario MPP today to voice your opposition to MPP Will Bouma’s bill to re-define antisemitism.
No 2589 Posted by fw, February 17, 2020
CONTACT YOUR ONTARIO MPP TO VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS MPP’s BILL
“Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is dismayed to see that efforts to brand criticism of Israel as antisemitic have made a return to Queen’s Park today. Will Bouma, Ontario [Conservative] Member of Provincial Parliament for Brantford-Brant, introduced a Private Member’s Bill this afternoon calling for the adoption of the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The Bill, entitled An Act to Combat Antisemitism, would require the Ontario government to be guided by the IHRA definition as well as its examples. It would also amend a previous bill, the similarly intended Standing up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act of 2016, to include the IHRA definition.” —IJV Canada
The above passage is excerpted from a December 11, 2019 IJV article. The article is reposted below in full.
From: Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Date: February 17, 2020
Subject: The IHRA is coming to Queen’s Park: Let’s be ready
We’ve got a big battle ahead of us in Ontario this winter against the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) re-definition of antisemitism.
Ontario’s provincial legislature will be back in session at Queen’s Park tomorrow. As you may know, a private member’s bill was tabled by PC MPP Will Bouma in December to adopt the IHRA’s definition. Known as Bill 168, or the Combating Antisemitism Act, it has already passed its first reading (of three). According to our sources, it could come up for a second reading as early as this Thursday. If it passes a second reading, it could quickly move to a final vote.
To find your MPP and their contact info, click here.
For emails you can use IJV’s letter to MPP’s as a template.
If you are Jewish, be sure to mention that in your phone call or email.
IJV opposes the IHRA’s examples of antisemitism because they intentionally conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel and Zionism, and support for Palestinian rights. The adoption of the IHRA definition poses a threat to academic freedom, freedom of expression and the right to protest Israel’s violations of international law.
You can remind MPPs that the IHRA definition is controversial even within the Jewish community, and that several municipal councils in major cities have refused to adopt it, including Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal.
Once again, IJV maintains the fight against antisemitism is crucial, and we applaud members of the Ontario legislature for taking this fight to heart. However, the IHRA is wrong!
Thank you for your support in this matter, and stay tuned for more action alerts in the coming weeks!
Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is dismayed to see that efforts to brand criticism of Israel as antisemitic have made a return to Queen’s Park today. Will Bouma, Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament for Brantford-Brant, introduced a Private Member’s Bill this afternoon calling for the adoption of the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The Bill, entitled An Act to Combat Antisemitism, would require the Ontario government to be guided by the IHRA definition as well as its examples. It would also amend a previous bill, the similarly intended Standing up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act of 2016, to include the IHRA definition.
The IHRA definition has been strongly criticized by prominent civil rights groups, the Federal NDP as well as dozens of Jewish organizations, for conflating legitimate political opinion on the Israel-Palestine conflict with antisemitism. Efforts to adopt the definition are widely viewed as attempts to silence the growing movement for Palestinian rights, especially on college and university campuses.
The Ontario Bill comes after US President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he would be issuing an executive order to adopt the IHRA definition. Trump’s order would also empower the US Education Department to withhold funding to educational programs that are perceived as overly critical of Israel.
“Just a day after Donald Trump announced his decree to adopt the IHRA redefinition of antisemitism, the Ford Conservatives are riding the wave and hoping to pull something similar off in Ontario,” said Sheryl Nestel, a member of IJV’s Steering Committee based in Toronto. “Make no mistake, this Bill has very little to do with protecting Jews from antisemitism and a whole lot to do with shutting down the growing movement for Palestinian human rights. It’s ironic, though sadly not surprising, that both the Ford and Trump administrations are the ones leading this McCarthyist crusade against critics of Israel, all the while claiming to champion free speech.”
If adopted, Ontario would become the first Canadian legislative body to adopt the IHRA redefinition. In June it was adopted by Heritage Canada as part of its “Anti-racism Strategy”. Subsequent efforts to have it adopted by municipal councils in Vancouver and Calgary have since failed or been postponed on account of widespread public opposition led by IJV and its allies.
For more information about IJV’s opposition to the IHRA redefinition of antisemitism and our efforts to fight it in Canada go to www.NoIHRA.ca.
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