A memorial service was held last night for Howard Grief, a prominent Canadian and Israeli lawyer and legal scholar. His decades-long work on the legal aspects of the Jewish State made a unique contribution to the issue of its legitimacy. Before, Israel’s restoration was usually seen as justified solely by the Biblical history or as an act of mercy by the Europeans, who tried to redeem the feeling of guilt for the Holocaust.
After years of painstaking research, Howard Grief reached the conclusion that the Jews have inalienable rights to the land of Israel established by international laws and agreements, which have never been revoked. He published his findings in his monumental work (over 730 pages) “The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law: A Treatise on Jewish Sovereignty over the Land of Israel.”
The full hall of the Toronto Zionist Centre, where the event took place, was a clear sign that Howard Grief’s life and contributions are remembered. The memorial was led by Renanah Goldhar-Gemeiner, who has worked for a long time on publicizing a petition to the House of Commons to reaffirm the Jewish rights over the land of Israel, which Canada affirmed in 1922.
Many attendees – relatives, friends and supporters – shared their memories about Howard Grief. From their words emerged the picture of a gentle and attentive man, who had an utmost respect for the people around him. His work was the meaning of his life and despite his failing health in his later years, he never stopped promoting his ideas.
Goldi Steiner and Salomon Benzimra from Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights shared their impressions from the contacts with Howard Grief. He fully supported their work to make the information about the rights of Israel widely available, specifically in the education system of Israel. Despite the attempts of various forces to belittle those issues, they were encouraged by Mr. Grief, who was confident that when you work hard on spreading the truth, it will eventually reach everybody.
Salomon Benzimra explained how Howard Grief’s research inspired him to get involved in the legal issues surrounding Israel. When he wrote his own book intended to popularize the truth about Israel, he sent the manuscript to Mr. Grief, who meticulously examined it and made numerous remarks.
Mark Vandermaas (from Israel Truth Week) told us how he discovered the work of Howard Grief. Some time ago he attended an event by Tahir Gora’s organization of Muslims combatting anti-Semitism, where Salomon Benzimra spoke. The only objection came from a representative of a certain Jewish organization, who stated that the issue of Israel’s legal rights shouldn’t be discussed, because it will hurt the two-state solution.
After talking to Salomon, he learned about Howard Grief’s work. He saw its importance in the fact that it provided an antidote to the lies and deceptions that have surrounded the restoration of the Jewish State. Before that, like most people, he thought that Israel was created by a single act in 1947. His own experience as an activist taught him that those, who deny the legitimacy of Israel and promote anti-Semitism under the disguise of criticizing the “Israeli apartheid,” are basically the same people, who defend illegal occupations and breaking the rule of law in Canada. In that sense, opposing anti-Semitism (regardless of its stripes) is also a struggle for preserving the democratic values of Canada.
The memorial concluded with a prayer for Howard Grief and Israel.
You can see highlights from the event in this video:
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