B’nai Brith, CIJA comment on Islamophobia measure; Quebec passes controversial religious neutrality bill

(JTA) – Jewish leaders in Canada are debating a measure meant to prevent intolerance aimed at Muslims and other minorities.

Earlier this month, the head of B’nai Brith Canada outlined his objections to M-103, a parliamentary motion passed earlier this year that “condemns Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage held hearings on the measure this week.

Critics of the measure say it singles out Muslims for special treatment because it condemns only Islamophobia by name and does not explicitly mention other religious groups. Others have accused the motion of hampering free speech. [Read more…]

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After beating Rafael Nadal, Israeli-Canadian teen loses in semifinals of Rogers Cup

Denis Shapovalov of Canada celebrating his victory over Rafael Nadal of Spain during day seven of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Aug. 10, 2017. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Denis Shapovalov of Canada celebrating his victory over Rafael Nadal of Spain during day seven of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Aug. 10, 2017. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israeli-born teenager Denis Shapovalov, who upset top-seeded Rafael Nadal in Montreal’s Rogers Cup tennis tournament, lost in his semifinal match.

Shapovalov lost Saturday night to fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany. [Read more…]

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Canada announces support to empower young peace advocates in Middle East

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale yesterday announced a contribution of $168,011 to the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Tel Aviv-Jaffa to train and empower Israeli, Palestinian and other Middle Eastern and North African young leaders as peace advocates.

The Peres Center was launched in 1996 by Shimon Peres, a former prime minister and president of Israel. [Read more…]

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Canada strips citizenship of ex-Nazi for a fourth time

(JTA) – A 93-year-old ex-Nazi stripped of his Canadian citizenship for an unprecedented fourth time is vowing to appeal the decision yet again.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced an order-in-council revoking the citizenship of Helmut Oberlander, a retired developer in Waterloo, Ontario, who has been accused of hiding his Nazi past before obtaining citizenship in 1960. The government had stripped Oberlander of his citizenship in 2001, 2007 and 2012, but the decisions were repealed after appeals by his lawyers. [Read more…]

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Canada reverses ban on labelling West Bank products as ‘Made in Israel’

Vered Saadon toasts with an Israeli tour group in Rahelim, West Bank, June 21. (Andrew Tobin)

Vered Saadon toasts with an Israeli tour group in Rahelim, West Bank, June 21. (Andrew Tobin)

(JTA) – Federal government authorities withdrew a guideline that prevented goods produced in the West Bank from being labelled “Made in Israel.”

In a statement released July 13, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said that two wines that had fallen under the labelling ban did in fact “adhere” to the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and could be sold as labeled. [Read more…]

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Israeli energy minister join critics of U.S. pullout from Paris climate accords

(JTA) – Israel’s energy minister and the CEO of the Goldman Sachs bank, Lloyd Blankfein, joined the chorus of critics who condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate deal.

Minister Yuval Steinitz criticized the move implicitly. “Even if there is a 50 per cent chance that climate change and global warming is man-made, we must act to reduce risk,” he wrote on Facebook, adding that Trump’s decision will not change Israel’s plans for reducing the use of fossil fuel. [Read more…]

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Canada, Britain and U.S. oppose UN health body’s resolution singling out Israel

(JTA) – Canada, Great Britain and the United States joined three other nations in voting against a World Health Organization resolution that they said singles out Israel for criticism.

The resolution, which passed by an overwhelming majority on Friday during the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, mostly speaks of the need to improve services provided to Palestinians and residents of the Golan Heights. It also mentions the health needs of “prisoners and detainees” in Israel. [Read more…]

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