Saturday, 19 September 2009

IJV's response to the National Post article

Re: Church Helped Fund 'Anti-jewish' Group, Sept. 17.

Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber characterizes it as "shocking, outrageous, shameful and scandalous" that a Christian church contributed money to the founding event of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV). We disagree. It is completely appropriate for churches and other organizations to collaborate with groups like ours in the pursuit of social justice.

Mr. Farber claims that IJV is "anti-Zionist" and "anti-Jewish."

We are proudly Jewish. Our members include Holocaust survivors and their children, religious as well as secular Jews, and Jews who have dedicated their lives to fighting anti-Semitism as well as all other forms of racism. We span a broad spectrum of views from strongly Zionist to strongly anti-Zionist. But we all support the principles of universal human rights, international law, and opposition to any form of racism, including anti-Semitism. We believe that both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to peaceful and secure lives. We adhere to the great Jewish tradition of dissent, debate and pursuit of universal social justice.

Independent Jewish Voices is very much in the mainstream, providing a voice for the growing number of those within the Jewish community and beyond who are critical of Israel's human rights violations. It is Mr. Farber and the Canadian Jewish Congress who find themselves increasingly on the margins.

Sid Shniad, co-chair Independent Jewish Voices, Surrey, B. C.
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