On February 26, 2017, I attended the fourth annual Israel Advocacy Training Workshop in Toronto. The goal of the event is to educate Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel on how to confront the rising tide of blackmail, which, under the guise of “criticism of Zionism”, inevitably turns into ordinary anti-Semitism. The latter affects not only Israeli businesses, but also Jewish individuals in Canada, and what’s even worse, students at Canadian universities.
Though one may expect that the experience with the Holocaust in the West had forever changed people’s minds about anti-Semitism, it looks like things are only getting worse. The influx of huge numbers of mostly Muslim immigrants in Europe (and also in Canada) creates a situation, where governments and various organizations are afraid to confront the ideological extremism of the newcomers in the name of “keeping the peace”. That allows hatred for the Jews to flourish in Europe. In Canada, the mainstream media turns a blind eye on that hatred, as it was the case with the recent cover up of the genocidal Muslim sermons at Masjid Toronto that called for physical extermination of Jews and other infidels.
The event, organized by Hasbara Fellowships Canada, aims at alerting people about these problems and providing tools for solutions. The event included 15 presentations in three locations, so it was impossible to attend all of them. They covered various topics: the Balfour Declaration as a key to Israel advocacy; how to get apathetic people to be involved in advocacy; inspiring Zionism in kids, etc.
I will say a few words about the presentations I attended. Jeff Ansell (from Jeff Ansell & Associates), an expert in public communications, delivered a crash course in public speaking. He emphasized the importance of confident communication, which makes the points of Israel advocacy more convincing. He also brought up our attention to an often-overlooked aspect of advocacy. The opponents of Israel don’t rely on facts, throwing facts at them is not going to sway their minds. A much more effective way is to add emotions when arguing with them.
The presentation of the immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann (Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell LLP) dealt with a controversial topic: “Walls, Immigration & Trump’s Refugee Ban: What It Means for Israel Advocates”. The new President of the USA ran on the platform of fixing the neglected immigration problems in the USA. Building a wall at the southern border to stop the illegals from coming in, was one of his promises.
These measures have some unexpected consequences for Canada. Illegals who fear deportation, turn their attention to Canada and try to cross the border, as it is the case in Manitoba. Our country and the USA have a safe third-country agreement, which prevents failed refugees in one country to re-apply in the other. Unfortunately, this applies only at official border crossings, where the immigrants could be immediately returned to the US immigration officers. At the unguarded spots, like in Manitoba, it is impossible to determine where those people came from, so the RCMP is obligated by law to take them in. After that, their situation must be examined by Canadian courts.
At this point, the majorities of them are Muslims from the northern states, but later we have to be prepared for Mexicans and Central Americans. A theoretical doomsday scenario outlined by Mr. Mamann was the cancellation of the third-country agreement by Donald Trump. That would force Canada to take all potential refugees from the USA, thus allowing Trump to get rid of about a million immigrants at no cost.
Currently, Canada’s Refugee Board can handle no more than 12,000 refugee determination cases per year. If several hundred thousand enter Canada, that will be an economic disaster. Though most of them could be rejected, it will take years for their cases to go through the courts. And during the waiting period, they will be entitled to welfare payments, healthcare support better than that for Canadians, schooling, etc. We will witness social unrest like in Europe and the Jews will be affected negatively.
Another interesting presentation was delivered by Dr. David Nitkin (from Canadians for the Rule of Law) on the topic: “Legal Action, not Words: Lawfare as a Solution”. Over the last few years, we have seen more aggressive actions by Muslim extremists in Canada. It’s not just violence, but also campaigns to influence or change Canadian institutions to make them more sharia-compliant. Clueless politicians help that process – Prime Minister Trudeau has visited radical mosques, the Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne went to a mosque, covered up and sat in the back with the second-class women. Such actions encourage Muslim extremists and allow them to claim that even politicians of Canada submit to Islam, thus making ordinary Muslims, who want to escape extremism, even more fearful.
Many of those organizations are sponsored by extremist countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. The reluctance of politicians to get involved has led to grass-root initiatives to use courts against Muslim extremists and their sponsors, resulting in “lawfare”. This is a tool that uses the courts to fight Islamists and their politically correct Western supporters. Organizations like the Lawfare Project (USA), Shurat Ha Din (Israel), Canadians for the Rule of Law (Canada) are involved in it. They are not-for-profit organizations, which, among other activities, go after countries, banks and organizations sponsoring terrorism to seek justice for the victims. The best-known of them, Shurat Ha Din, has been successful in blocking terror funding; seize assets of Iran, Syria, Hamas and North Korea in US courts for specific cases of terrorism; act successfully against Chinese banks for processing transactions for terrorists, etc.
Mr. Nitkin emphasized that these lawfare groups need extensive popular support to continue their work. Islamic extremism and terrorism, with their anti-Semitic activities, require constant flow of money to be successful. Stopping that flow through the courts will curtail those activities.
The National Director of Hasbara Fellowships Canada – Robert Walker – also made a presentation, dedicated to the shameful reality of campus anti-Semitism in Canada: “2016 in Israel Advocacy on Campus: A Top 10 List”.
His main observation was that the crude anti-Semitism of the past is transforming into a more sophisticated movement. While in the past students were shocked by mock walls and checkpoints on campus, now the anti-Semites focus on taking over student organizations and moulding them according to their views. The recent defeats of BDS motions at Canadian universities create a false feeling of security. Some people still live with the old ideas – a major donor to York University noted recently that when he was growing up in Montreal, he was sometimes attacked with rocks for looking Jewish, so he thought that Jewish students now had much better life. Such people simply cannot see how anti-Semitism has adapted to the new realities. One of the examples Mr. Walker provided, was the walk-out from a Ryerson University discussion about introducing Holocaust Education Week. The President of the student union (a Muslim) orchestrated the walk-out by text messaging to ensure that there was no quorum for the motion. In the past, such people were careful not to attack the Holocaust, but now they find ways to do so in covert ways.
Another presentation tried to answer the question: Is a Muslim Reform Possible? It was delivered by Suhail Raza, a reform-minded Muslim, husband of the brave activist Raheel Raza (founder of Muslims Facing Tomorrow).
Mr. Raza admitted that a reform in Islam was possible, though very difficult. A possible way to do so was to re-interpret the Islamic scriptures. He said that new interpretations of the Koran were out of the question, due to the resistance of most Muslims, who consider the book unchangeable. New concepts could emerge, according to him, by re-evaluating the Hadiths, testimonies about the life and views of Muhammad, which don’t have the same authority as the Koran. Such concepts would include gender equality, re-evaluating the principle of jihad as outdated, declaring sharia law man-made and other similar profound changes.
Despite his good intentions, I don’t see how Mr. Raza’s vision could be put into practice. The resistance to any changes in Muslim theology is overwhelming. During the Q&A session, he admitted that his organization is small, it has no presence at the universities and is even blocked from access to the government by people like Omar Alghabra, a hard-line Muslim adviser of Justin Trudeau.
The event concluded with the talk of the keynote speaker Dr. Mordechai Kedar. He is one of the most prominent Israeli experts on Islam and Islamic extremism, with a vast knowledge of the problems in the Middle East.
The focus of his talk was the mass Muslim immigration to Europe. Politicians and ordinary people are blissfully unaware of what is actually going on. They think that we are dealing with the usual movement of people looking for better life. The reality is that what is happening is Hijra – invading of foreign countries in order to impose gradually Muslim rules. The Hijra, the travel of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina to conquer it, is considered the most important event in Islam, it is year one in the Muslim chronology. Muslim societies are tribal and people in them avoid moving out, unless they have the plans to take over foreign territories. That is the process we are witnessing now in Europe and the same could happen in Canada.
The whole presentation of Dr. Kedar can be seen in the uploaded video.
As usual, the workshop provided plenty of useful information, but at the same time made it clear that things are difficult. We must not Ignore the negative trends and delude ourselves that Justin Trudeau’s meaningless ramblings about “diversity” have any link to reality.
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