September 10, 2021: Elie Wiesel said, “To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” We cannot forget the victims of the Holocaust and all those who perished at the hands of the devil. As we observe the Days of Awe, this must be a catalyst for action.
Shanah Tovah and Shabbat Shalom. This New Year brings hope and renewed energy as we counter Antisemitism, hate and intolerance and defend freedom and democracy. Along with our international partners, we are speaking out daily and shaping opinion on matters of importance. If our message inspires you, share his email with your family and friends and help us continue growing our new movement that will change the course of history. This week, we proudly profiled one of our newest Board of Governors additions, Charlotte Salomon, a distinguished lawyer based in Victoria, who brings to the organization a breadth of expertise and leadership.
Leadership grounded in passion and action is what the world requires now more than ever. This is especially the case as we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow. As I wrote in my editorial in the National Post today, “there is no time limit on preserving our freedom and our way of life. This 20th anniversary memorial to the victims will come and go. We will keep taking our freedom for granted – ignoring the signs – until one day its too late. 9/11 must be a catalyst for action not only for memory. We must let our fear drive us to renewed action”.
This renewed action must start today. The antisemitic assaults on our city streets might have subdued, but an impending sense of violence is simmering just below the surface. Its easy to forget. In the days following the horrific 9/11 attack, whom among us felt at ease to fly, let alone see and hear a plane overhead? The nearest exit had to be a heartbeat away and skyscrapers were off limits for weeks, and months following that tragic day. Our feelings of fear and anger fade, but they should not.
This week, as the Immigration and Refugee Board held what might be the final deportation hearing for Helmult Oberlander, The Abraham Global Peace Initiative (AGPI) called for justice to finally be served. The organizaiton said, “we have been waiting and following this case patiently for many decades. The Jewish community and descendents of Holocaust survivors have been patiently waiting”. Oberlander has been accused of entering Canada fraudulently by failing to disclose his alleged ties with Nazis and membership of a Nazi killing squad in Ukraine and Russia.
We will continue pressing for justice on Nazi war criminals. And we will continue to press about important issues of the day including the Antisemitic so-called Durban IV Conference that will be held at the United Nations in the coming week. The reaction to our petition has been wonderful and overwhelming. This week, AGPI commended New Zealand, Cypris, Italy and Croatia on their announcement that they would not participate. They join 12 other countries including the U.S. Canada, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Hungary, Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, France and Bulgaria.
Given the volume of countries banning the conference, we call on the UN Secretary General to cancel it.
Even while European Jewish communities reported a spate of antisemitic assaults and vandalism this past week, the rejectionism of antisemitism through the Durvan IV boycotts and anti-Divestment campaigns is picking up momentum. This week, Arizona became the first US state reportedly to fully divest from Ben and Jerry’s over its decision to stop selling ice cream in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. Arizona will divest a total of $143 million from the company while Florida is also threatening to divest. Anti-BDS State and provincial laws are among the best solutions to stop false narratives against the Jewish State and economic sanctions.
These are the issues of the day. As we head into Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, we are propelled to push further with principled conviction in our effort to be a global voice of reason. The world needs it now more than ever.
Wishing you and yours and Shanah Tovah and G’mar Chatimah Tovah,