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You are here News International Canada clamps down on criticism of Israel

Canada clamps down on criticism of Israel

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Stephen HarperIn an affront to free speech, Canadian committee declares that criticism of Israel should be considered anti-Semitic. Between November 2009 and January 2010, the CPCCA held ten separate hearings during which time representatives of various non-governmental organizations, religious institutions, police departments and Canadian and Israeli universities presented papers meant to assess the level of anti-Semitism in Canada.

While groups critical of Israel were denied the chance to address the committee, major Zionist organizations like B'nai Brith Canada, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, and the Canadian Jewish Congress were welcomed.

"Much of today's anti-Semitism manifests in anti-Israel agitation around boycotts, divestment and sanctions," said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, during a hearing in November 2009. "It deploys an unfair double standard against the Jewish state, singling out of Israel alone for one-sided, harsh criticism and calls for punitive actions."

Throughout the consultation process, the CPCCA regularly focused on Canadian university campuses, which were routinely described as hotbeds of anti-Semitism, where Jewish students or students with pro-Israel leanings are often intimidated and threatened. This accusation was made repeatedly, and included in the CPCCA's final report, despite the fact that Dr. Fred Lowy, President Emeritus of Concordia University in Montreal, stated in his address to the CPCCA that, "by and large, Canadian campuses are safe and are not hotbeds of anti-Semitism of any kind".

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