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Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada Florence and Norman Vickar Archival Endowment Fund aims to better preserve community’s historic records

The late Norman &
Florence Vickar

By MYRON LOVE  It is of utmost importance to know the past in order to understand your place in the grand scheme of things. From time immemorial, people the world over have venerated their past. Even in pre-literate societies, the stories and legends have been recounted orally from generation to generation.
In Judaism, we also continue to tell the stories and legends of our origins, our people, through the weekly readings of the Torah and the study of our sages through the centuries.

In our community, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada has been charged with collecting and preserving the history of Jewish settlement in western Canada. Over the course of its 50-plus years in existence, the JHCWC has amassed a collection of over 100,000 artifacts, including documents, photos, newspapers, manuscripts and audio and video recordings and Holocaust-era documents and artifacts dating back to the origins of our community.
Over time however, such artifacts tend to deteriorate without proper preservation techniques. Thus, to better safeguard the items in its collection for the long term, the JHCWC has established the Florence & Norman Vickar Archival Endowment Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, whose aim is to support a full-time archivist who will ensure proper storage and archival treatment of the collection.
(Andrew Morrison, the JHCWC’s resident archivist, is currently employed on a part time basis.)
The endowment fund, she points out, would also enable the Centre to make improvements to upgraded storage facilities to protect from water damage and meet archival standards and continue the digitization of the collection.
“It is vital that we carry out these upgrades if we are to be able to protect our community’s records over the long term,” Belle Jarniewski, the JHCWC’S executive director­ notes.
Belle is also happy to report that the lead donors to the campaign are Larry and Tova Vickar. “We greatly appreciate their generosity and hope that that will inspire other community members to donate,” Jarniewski says.
The Vickar family has deep roots in Western Canada. The family’s record of community involvement and leadership in Canada began more than 100 years ago – in 1906 – when brothers Sam and Dave arrived on the Prairies from Lithuania via South Africa – to try their hand at farming in Saskatchewan. They were successful farmers and businessmen, operated both a general store and a farm implement dealership – and became involved in community service.
Sam and Dave set the template for the generation that followed. Between the two of them, they raised ten sons and one daughter, many of whom went on to successful business careers and leadership roles in the Jewish and general communities.
“My parents (Florence and Norman) had strong feelings about the importance of preserving the Jewish history in western Canada,” Larry Vickar notes.
He points out that his father was one of the founders of both the JHCWC and its earlier iteration, the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada while the Vickars were still living in Saskatchewan, and that he served on the Centre’s board after moving to Winnipeg. As well, Norman’s older brother Ed, in 1997, endowed the Marion and Ed Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada, in the then-new Asper Jewish Community Campus.
“My extended family and I have been happy to work with Belle and her team on this worthwhile endeavour,” he says. “We greatly appreciate her leadership in the community.”
Readers who may wish to contribute to the Florence & Norman Vickar Archival Endowment Fund can phone 204 295-3947 or write to the Jewish Heritage Centre at jewishheritage@jhcwc.org.

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David Matas delves into the UN’s history of being controlled by authoritarian states and its anti-Israel bent

By BERNIE BELLAN David Matas, expert on human rights and counsel to B’nai Brith Canada, spoke at the Gwen Secter Centre on Thursday, July 11, to 25 members of the Remis speaker series group.
In his talk, Matas focused on the question how the rise of authoritarianism throughout the world in recent years, especially in such countries as China and Russia, also countries in Africa and Asia, is affecting the United Nations.
Matas also gave a comprehensive history how UNWRA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) came into being, how its existence has served as an impediment to Palestinians becoming self-sufficient, and how it has served the interests of Hamas.
He also delved into the histories of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and the UN Human Rights Council – both of which have a legacy of being anti-Israel.
I videoed Matas’s presentation. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoidOBNM8Ig
Apologies for the way the video first appears – where the image is sideways. (After a few seconds of recording Matas’s speech, I realized I needed to change the orientation of my camera to get a better result.)

Also, following Matas’s remarks, he agreed to answer a question about the story that was just in the news on Thursday about the forced resignation of Dr. Matthew Bzura as president of the Professional Association of Residents and Interns of Manitoba (PARIM). Matas agreed to go on the record with a response. He wanted to make it clear though that anything he had to say at this point was not being said on behalf of B’nai Brith Canada; rather, it was his own personal opinion.
Matas suggested that Bruza should have been told of the concerns that the board of PARIM had about his social media post in which he criticized Dr. Gem Newman. He (Bruza) should have been “given an opportunity to respond and then the decision made after that, but that didn’t happen. The people who were making the decision (to ask Dr. Bruza to resign) made the decision before (they voiced) any expression of concern (to Bruza).”
Matas went on to say that, “in substance there was nothing wrong with what he (Dr. Bruza) had to say about Newman.”
“The remark he (Dr. Bruza) made, as far as I can tell, was not made on behalf of the association. This organization has a policy that they will not take a stand on geopolitical issues, but Bruza said, quite rightly I would say, that this was not just a geopolitical issue, this was Newman basically criticizing his (Bruza’s) and other associations for not agreeing with what Newman said. So, it wasn’t just a comment on a geopolitical issue, it was a reaction to something said that affected the organization with which he (Bruza) was involved.”

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Palestinian campus encampments dismantled across Canada—whether voluntarily or by authorities

"I have waited 69 days to post this picture." — Michael A. Sachs of JNF Pacific at the University of British Columbia's Point Grey campus, where a pro-Palestinian encampment was situated.

By SAM MARGOLIS (CJN) Several encampments which have occupied Canadian universities since April have been dismantled, a week after an Ontario Supreme Court granted the University of Toronto an injunction to remove a pro-Palestinian tent protest from its downtown campus.
At McGill, the Montreal campus was closed for the day from the early hours of June 10 while police and a private security firm removed protesters.
“McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly, within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe. However, recent events go far beyond peaceful protest, and have inhibited the respectful exchange of views and ideas that is so essential to the University’s mission and to our sense of community,” McGill president Deep Saini said in a news release.
“People linked to the camp have harassed our community members, engaged in antisemitic intimidation, damaged and destroyed McGill property, forcefully occupied a building, clashed with police, and committed acts of assault,” he said.
In Ottawa, protesters voluntarily removed their tents from the campus July 10, claiming that negotiations with the university administration had stalled.   

Several encampments which have occupied Canadian universities since April have been dismantled, a week after an Ontario Supreme Court granted the University of Toronto an injunction to remove a pro-Palestinian tent protest from its downtown campus.
At McGill, the Montreal campus was closed for the day from the early hours of June 10 while police and a private security firm removed protesters.

“McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly, within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe. However, recent events go far beyond peaceful protest, and have inhibited the respectful exchange of views and ideas that is so essential to the University’s mission and to our sense of community,” McGill president Deep Saini said in a news release.
“People linked to the camp have harassed our community members, engaged in antisemitic intimidation, damaged and destroyed McGill property, forcefully occupied a building, clashed with police, and committed acts of assault,” he said.
In Ottawa, protesters voluntarily removed their tents from the campus July 10, claiming that negotiations with the university administration had stalled.   

“Every dollar you make off the blood of Palestinians will be lost as we continue to confront you, on this lawn and across campus this coming year, and the year after that, and every year until the complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” protesters from Occupy Tabaret said on a post on Instagram.
An encampment at University of Waterloo was dismantled on July 7, in exchange for the university dropping a $1.5-million lawsuit and injunction proceedings.
A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of British Columbia, which had maintained an inescapable presence at the Vancouver campus since the end of April, was voluntarily dismantled on the evening of July 7—and local Jewish groups are hoping this will provide a step towards easing fears among Jewish students and the community as a whole.

Several encampments which have occupied Canadian universities since April have been dismantled, a week after an Ontario Supreme Court granted the University of Toronto an injunction to remove a pro-Palestinian tent protest from its downtown campus.
At McGill, the Montreal campus was closed for the day from the early hours of June 10 while police and a private security firm removed protesters.

“McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly, within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe. However, recent events go far beyond peaceful protest, and have inhibited the respectful exchange of views and ideas that is so essential to the University’s mission and to our sense of community,” McGill president Deep Saini said in a news release.
“People linked to the camp have harassed our community members, engaged in antisemitic intimidation, damaged and destroyed McGill property, forcefully occupied a building, clashed with police, and committed acts of assault,” he said.
In Ottawa, protesters voluntarily removed their tents from the campus July 10, claiming that negotiations with the university administration had stalled.   

“Every dollar you make off the blood of Palestinians will be lost as we continue to confront you, on this lawn and across campus this coming year, and the year after that, and every year until the complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” protesters from Occupy Tabaret said on a post on Instagram.
An encampment at University of Waterloo was dismantled on July 7, in exchange for the university dropping a $1.5-million lawsuit and injunction proceedings.

A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of British Columbia, which had maintained an inescapable presence at the Vancouver campus since the end of April, was voluntarily dismantled on the evening of July 7—and local Jewish groups are hoping this will provide a step towards easing fears among Jewish students and the community as a whole.

The closure of the UBC Vancouver encampment took place a week after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the University of Toronto an injunction to clear a pro-Palestinian encampment from its campus.  The court ordered tents to be removed and gave police authority to arrest anyone who did not vacate the protest site.
“In our society, we have decided that the owner of property generally gets to decide what happens on the property,” Justice Markus Koehnen wrote in the July 2 ruling.
“If the protesters can take that power for themselves by seizing Front Campus, there is nothing to stop a stronger group from coming and taking the space over from the current protesters. That leads to chaos. Society needs an orderly way of addressing competing demands on space. The system we have agreed to is that the owner gets to decide how to use the space.”
Students at UofT voluntarily dismantled the encampment, which had numbered over 150 tents at some points, before the injunction deadline.
In Vancouver, Michael Sachs, the executive director of the Jewish National Fund Pacific, told The CJN, “There is a sense of relief that this is over, but also a sense of frustration with the amount of damage this has done, both to the Jewish community on campus and to the campus itself,”
Sachs went to UBC early Monday morning and took a photo of himself before the emptied encampment that he later posted on social media.

Several encampments which have occupied Canadian universities since April have been dismantled, a week after an Ontario Supreme Court granted the University of Toronto an injunction to remove a pro-Palestinian tent protest from its downtown campus.
At McGill, the Montreal campus was closed for the day from the early hours of June 10 while police and a private security firm removed protesters.

“McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly, within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe. However, recent events go far beyond peaceful protest, and have inhibited the respectful exchange of views and ideas that is so essential to the University’s mission and to our sense of community,” McGill president Deep Saini said in a news release.
“People linked to the camp have harassed our community members, engaged in antisemitic intimidation, damaged and destroyed McGill property, forcefully occupied a building, clashed with police, and committed acts of assault,” he said.
In Ottawa, protesters voluntarily removed their tents from the campus July 10, claiming that negotiations with the university administration had stalled.   

“Every dollar you make off the blood of Palestinians will be lost as we continue to confront you, on this lawn and across campus this coming year, and the year after that, and every year until the complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” protesters from Occupy Tabaret said on a post on Instagram.
An encampment at University of Waterloo was dismantled on July 7, in exchange for the university dropping a $1.5-million lawsuit and injunction proceedings.

A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of British Columbia, which had maintained an inescapable presence at the Vancouver campus since the end of April, was voluntarily dismantled on the evening of July 7—and local Jewish groups are hoping this will provide a step towards easing fears among Jewish students and the community as a whole.

The closure of the UBC Vancouver encampment took place a week after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the University of Toronto an injunction to clear a pro-Palestinian encampment from its campus.  The court ordered tents to be removed and gave police authority to arrest anyone who did not vacate the protest site.
“In our society, we have decided that the owner of property generally gets to decide what happens on the property,” Justice Markus Koehnen wrote in the July 2 ruling.
“If the protesters can take that power for themselves by seizing Front Campus, there is nothing to stop a stronger group from coming and taking the space over from the current protesters. That leads to chaos. Society needs an orderly way of addressing competing demands on space. The system we have agreed to is that the owner gets to decide how to use the space.”
Students at UofT voluntarily dismantled the encampment, which had numbered over 150 tents at some points, before the injunction deadline.
In Vancouver, Michael Sachs, the executive director of the Jewish National Fund Pacific, told The CJN, “There is a sense of relief that this is over, but also a sense of frustration with the amount of damage this has done, both to the Jewish community on campus and to the campus itself,”
Sachs went to UBC early Monday morning and took a photo of himself before the emptied encampment that he later posted on social media.

“Once the encampment was no longer in the news cycle, it was taken down.  Some questions now are, who is going to pay for the damage done?  And how much is it all going to cost after they destroyed the field?”
At various points during the 69-day encampment, dozens of tents and hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters took part in the event, which occupied MacInnes Field at the school’s Vancouver campus. Some local media outlets described the atmosphere as resembling a festival. In ordinary times, the field is a campus hub and green space used by the university’s community for numerous recreational activities. Today it remains fenced and barricaded. 
Sachs had made regular trips to the perimeter of the protest since it began over 10 weeks ago. On its first day, according to his account, he witnessed Charlotte Kates, the coordinator of Samidoun, helping to organize and orchestrate the encampment.

Several encampments which have occupied Canadian universities since April have been dismantled, a week after an Ontario Supreme Court granted the University of Toronto an injunction to remove a pro-Palestinian tent protest from its downtown campus.
At McGill, the Montreal campus was closed for the day from the early hours of June 10 while police and a private security firm removed protesters.

“McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly, within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe. However, recent events go far beyond peaceful protest, and have inhibited the respectful exchange of views and ideas that is so essential to the University’s mission and to our sense of community,” McGill president Deep Saini said in a news release.
“People linked to the camp have harassed our community members, engaged in antisemitic intimidation, damaged and destroyed McGill property, forcefully occupied a building, clashed with police, and committed acts of assault,” he said.
In Ottawa, protesters voluntarily removed their tents from the campus July 10, claiming that negotiations with the university administration had stalled.   

“Every dollar you make off the blood of Palestinians will be lost as we continue to confront you, on this lawn and across campus this coming year, and the year after that, and every year until the complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” protesters from Occupy Tabaret said on a post on Instagram.
An encampment at University of Waterloo was dismantled on July 7, in exchange for the university dropping a $1.5-million lawsuit and injunction proceedings.

A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of British Columbia, which had maintained an inescapable presence at the Vancouver campus since the end of April, was voluntarily dismantled on the evening of July 7—and local Jewish groups are hoping this will provide a step towards easing fears among Jewish students and the community as a whole.

The closure of the UBC Vancouver encampment took place a week after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the University of Toronto an injunction to clear a pro-Palestinian encampment from its campus.  The court ordered tents to be removed and gave police authority to arrest anyone who did not vacate the protest site.
“In our society, we have decided that the owner of property generally gets to decide what happens on the property,” Justice Markus Koehnen wrote in the July 2 ruling.
“If the protesters can take that power for themselves by seizing Front Campus, there is nothing to stop a stronger group from coming and taking the space over from the current protesters. That leads to chaos. Society needs an orderly way of addressing competing demands on space. The system we have agreed to is that the owner gets to decide how to use the space.”
Students at UofT voluntarily dismantled the encampment, which had numbered over 150 tents at some points, before the injunction deadline.
In Vancouver, Michael Sachs, the executive director of the Jewish National Fund Pacific, told The CJN, “There is a sense of relief that this is over, but also a sense of frustration with the amount of damage this has done, both to the Jewish community on campus and to the campus itself,”
Sachs went to UBC early Monday morning and took a photo of himself before the emptied encampment that he later posted on social media.

“Once the encampment was no longer in the news cycle, it was taken down.  Some questions now are, who is going to pay for the damage done?  And how much is it all going to cost after they destroyed the field?”
At various points during the 69-day encampment, dozens of tents and hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters took part in the event, which occupied MacInnes Field at the school’s Vancouver campus. Some local media outlets described the atmosphere as resembling a festival. In ordinary times, the field is a campus hub and green space used by the university’s community for numerous recreational activities. Today it remains fenced and barricaded. 
Sachs had made regular trips to the perimeter of the protest since it began over 10 weeks ago. On its first day, according to his account, he witnessed Charlotte Kates, the coordinator of Samidoun, helping to organize and orchestrate the encampment.

The Centre of Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has long called for Samidoun to be added to Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. CIJA and others maintain that the Vancouver-based organization has direct ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which, since 2003, has been listed as a terrorist group under Canada’s Criminal Code.
On May 1, Vancouver police started a hate crime investigation after comments Kates made at a rally praising the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and referring to a number of terrorist groups as heroes.
Sachs also noted that UBC is located in the riding of British Columbia Premier David Eby. He believes that Eby, as well as the university, could have done more to end the encampment sooner and help assuage the emotional distress it has caused for Jewish students, staff and faculty.
Nico Slobinsky, CIJA’s vice-president of the Pacific Region, said he was encouraged to see the encampment abandoned and the return of MacInnes Field for all students to enjoy safely.
“Since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks committed by Hamas, Jewish communities have come under increased pressure in many spaces across Canada and around the world, including in post-secondary education. The UBC encampment was concerning and made many Jewish students feel unsafe on their own campus,” he said.
Ohad Gavrieli, the incoming executive director of Hillel BC, sent a note to the Jewish community on campus this week stating that the encampment, had been, since it started on April 29, a “troubling center of antisemitism and anti-Israel activities.” He expressed concern that “such a demonstration of hate and intimidation was allowed to persist at the heart of UBC.”
“As we look ahead to the fall semester in September, we hope that the lessons learned from this troubling episode will lead to a campus environment where Jewish students can feel safe and respected,” Gavrieli wrote.
The university, at this time, offered no response regarding any possible legal actions that may be pursued against the organizers of the encampment.  Further, it is unclear when the field will be returned to its earlier condition and how much it will cost to repair it.
Clare Hamilton-Eddy, the director of media relations at UBC, did tell The CJN that the school “remains committed to respectful dialogue with student protesters.”
A group calling itself the People’s University of Gaza UBC, which, among its other demands, has called on UBC to divest from Israel, vowed that it would continue to protest.

Several encampments which have occupied Canadian universities since April have been dismantled, a week after an Ontario Supreme Court granted the University of Toronto an injunction to remove a pro-Palestinian tent protest from its downtown campus.
At McGill, the Montreal campus was closed for the day from the early hours of June 10 while police and a private security firm removed protesters.

“McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly, within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe. However, recent events go far beyond peaceful protest, and have inhibited the respectful exchange of views and ideas that is so essential to the University’s mission and to our sense of community,” McGill president Deep Saini said in a news release.
“People linked to the camp have harassed our community members, engaged in antisemitic intimidation, damaged and destroyed McGill property, forcefully occupied a building, clashed with police, and committed acts of assault,” he said.
In Ottawa, protesters voluntarily removed their tents from the campus July 10, claiming that negotiations with the university administration had stalled.   

“Every dollar you make off the blood of Palestinians will be lost as we continue to confront you, on this lawn and across campus this coming year, and the year after that, and every year until the complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” protesters from Occupy Tabaret said on a post on Instagram.
An encampment at University of Waterloo was dismantled on July 7, in exchange for the university dropping a $1.5-million lawsuit and injunction proceedings.

A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of British Columbia, which had maintained an inescapable presence at the Vancouver campus since the end of April, was voluntarily dismantled on the evening of July 7—and local Jewish groups are hoping this will provide a step towards easing fears among Jewish students and the community as a whole.

The closure of the UBC Vancouver encampment took place a week after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the University of Toronto an injunction to clear a pro-Palestinian encampment from its campus.  The court ordered tents to be removed and gave police authority to arrest anyone who did not vacate the protest site.
“In our society, we have decided that the owner of property generally gets to decide what happens on the property,” Justice Markus Koehnen wrote in the July 2 ruling.
“If the protesters can take that power for themselves by seizing Front Campus, there is nothing to stop a stronger group from coming and taking the space over from the current protesters. That leads to chaos. Society needs an orderly way of addressing competing demands on space. The system we have agreed to is that the owner gets to decide how to use the space.”
Students at UofT voluntarily dismantled the encampment, which had numbered over 150 tents at some points, before the injunction deadline.
In Vancouver, Michael Sachs, the executive director of the Jewish National Fund Pacific, told The CJN, “There is a sense of relief that this is over, but also a sense of frustration with the amount of damage this has done, both to the Jewish community on campus and to the campus itself,”
Sachs went to UBC early Monday morning and took a photo of himself before the emptied encampment that he later posted on social media.

“Once the encampment was no longer in the news cycle, it was taken down.  Some questions now are, who is going to pay for the damage done?  And how much is it all going to cost after they destroyed the field?”
At various points during the 69-day encampment, dozens of tents and hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters took part in the event, which occupied MacInnes Field at the school’s Vancouver campus. Some local media outlets described the atmosphere as resembling a festival. In ordinary times, the field is a campus hub and green space used by the university’s community for numerous recreational activities. Today it remains fenced and barricaded. 
Sachs had made regular trips to the perimeter of the protest since it began over 10 weeks ago. On its first day, according to his account, he witnessed Charlotte Kates, the coordinator of Samidoun, helping to organize and orchestrate the encampment.

The Centre of Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has long called for Samidoun to be added to Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. CIJA and others maintain that the Vancouver-based organization has direct ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which, since 2003, has been listed as a terrorist group under Canada’s Criminal Code.
On May 1, Vancouver police started a hate crime investigation after comments Kates made at a rally praising the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and referring to a number of terrorist groups as heroes.
Sachs also noted that UBC is located in the riding of British Columbia Premier David Eby. He believes that Eby, as well as the university, could have done more to end the encampment sooner and help assuage the emotional distress it has caused for Jewish students, staff and faculty.
Nico Slobinsky, CIJA’s vice-president of the Pacific Region, said he was encouraged to see the encampment abandoned and the return of MacInnes Field for all students to enjoy safely.
“Since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks committed by Hamas, Jewish communities have come under increased pressure in many spaces across Canada and around the world, including in post-secondary education. The UBC encampment was concerning and made many Jewish students feel unsafe on their own campus,” he said.
Ohad Gavrieli, the incoming executive director of Hillel BC, sent a note to the Jewish community on campus this week stating that the encampment, had been, since it started on April 29, a “troubling center of antisemitism and anti-Israel activities.” He expressed concern that “such a demonstration of hate and intimidation was allowed to persist at the heart of UBC.”
“As we look ahead to the fall semester in September, we hope that the lessons learned from this troubling episode will lead to a campus environment where Jewish students can feel safe and respected,” Gavrieli wrote.
The university, at this time, offered no response regarding any possible legal actions that may be pursued against the organizers of the encampment.  Further, it is unclear when the field will be returned to its earlier condition and how much it will cost to repair it.
Clare Hamilton-Eddy, the director of media relations at UBC, did tell The CJN that the school “remains committed to respectful dialogue with student protesters.”
A group calling itself the People’s University of Gaza UBC, which, among its other demands, has called on UBC to divest from Israel, vowed that it would continue to protest.

In a statement released on social media, the group said, “After years of divestment organizing on campus, we build the People’s University of Gaza as one tactic of escalation. We call on you to join us as we advance into the next stage of our strategy for our demands.”
Encampments have been prevalent on prominent university campuses in BC for the past several weeks. Protesters started a camp on the University of Victoria campus on May 1 and, according to university officials, the size of the encampment has not diminished.
“The university continues to take a calm and thoughtful approach and remains hopeful for a peaceful resolution.” said Kristi Simpson, vice-president of finance and operations at UVic.
Meanwhile, at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, protesters continue to disrupt activities on the campus. On June 28, a group of 25 protesters occupied a building, interrupting an ongoing exam, blockading several entry doors, and causing damage to flags in the school’s International Centre. Over the June 29-30 weekend, protesters vandalized the entry to VIU’s human resources office.
“Such actions, which violate university policies, jeopardize the safety and security of our staff, infringe upon private and secure areas, and cannot be tolerated. We firmly condemn the disruption of academic exams, as our primary mission is to provide an optimal learning experience for our students,” officials from VIU said in a July 3 statement.
An encampment at UBC’s campus in Kelowna ended on June 29.

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Jewish Cemeteries Vandalized in Cincinnati, Montreal

Vandals in Canada targeted a Jewish cemetery. Photo: Screenshot

Vandals have targeted notable Jewish cemeteries in Cincinnati, Ohio and Montreal, Canada, sparking outcry and concern over mounting threats of antisemitism.

Vandals at Montreal’s Kehal Yisrael Cemetery placed memorial stones in the shape of a Nazi swastika on top of tombstones. Ones with the last names Eichler and Herman were targeted in the antisemitic attack. 

Placing memorial stones on graves is an ancient Jewish custom to memorialize the dead. Jewish cemeteries oftentimes have stones nearby tombstones for mourners.

Canadian leaders decried the vandalism.

“It is absolutely abhorrent and revolting to defile the dead with swastikas,” Jeremy Levi, the Jewish mayor of a Jewish-majority suburb of Montreal, commented on X/Twitter. “This desecration at the Kehal Israel cemetery in Montreal is beyond contempt. [Canadian Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau, step aside and get out of the way so we can reclaim our country. May this Kohen’s neshama have an Aliyah on high.” One of the tombstones vandalized belonged to a Kohen.

The leader of the Conservative Party in Canada’s parliament and candidate for prime minister, Pierre Poilievre, lambasted Trudeau and denounced antisemitism. “We cannot close our eyes to the disgusting acts of antisemitism that are happening in our country everyday,” he posted on X/Twitter. “The prime minister must finally act to stop these displays of antisemitism. If he won’t, a common sense Conservative government will.”

Canada, like many countries around the world, has experienced a surge in antisemitic incidents since the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Meanwhile in Cincinnati, vandals targeted two historic Jewish cemeteries this past week, toppling and shattering ancient tombstones — some dating back to the 1800s. 

According to a statement from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, 176 gravesites in Cincinnati’s West Side were ruined “in an act of antisemitic vandalism.”

“Due to the extensive damage and the historical nature of many of the gravestones, we have not yet been able to identify all the families affected by this act,” the statement continued. “Our community [is] heartbroken.”

The Cincinnati Police Department and the FBI are investigating the incidents.

The destruction of monuments is the latest in a greater trend of antisemitic vandalism. In an incident over the weekend, vandals in Australia targeted war memorials dedicated to Australian veterans who sacrificed their lives in Korea and Vietnam with pro-Hamas graffiti.

A couple weeks earlier, vandals in Belgium defaced two memorials for Holocaust victims with swastikas and a phrase calling for violence against Israel. In Germany, meanwhile, at least seven stolpersteine, or stumbling blocks in the sidewalk meant to mark Jewish homes seized by the Nazis, were defaced with the message “Jews are perpetrators.”

The US, Canada, Europe, and Australia have all experienced an explosion of antisemitic incidents in the wake of the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, and amid the ensuing war in Gaza. In many countries, anti-Jewish hate crimes have spiked to record levels.

According to the B’nai Brith, antisemitic incidents in Canada more than doubled in 2023 compared to the prior year.

The post Jewish Cemeteries Vandalized in Cincinnati, Montreal first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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