Peril In Canada: Defend the Institute – CIJA Needs to Back CIJR yesterday (Updated II: Hecht Responds)
Federation in Canada is attacking the institute of all places!?
Israel advocacy in Canada has four letters as far as I am concerned, CIJR.
I read this in JPOST today in shock that the institute, the venerable CIJR run for decades now by Professor Krantz is being marginalized by the political nitwits in the Canadian Jewish community. Federation is very good at raising & spending money, this I already know.. It is also not so good at Israel advocacy or turning out little Zionists, in fact it is piss poor at that on its best day. That all important mission has historically fallen to more passionate places & people like Professor Krantz, who is a beacon and mentor to a great many, myself included and of course the highly regarded Jewish community day schools.
This think tank is on steroids!
Without luminaries such as Krantz and the think tank, there would be no Hashmonean, because I started my own writing over 15 years ago at Dateline Middle East, the student publication that originated at the Institute from before the days of the big bad internet even. Other far greater CIJR products than myself come to mind, Hillel Neuer, now infamous for taking on the United Nations itself at UNWATCH - I had the pleasure of writing and honing my Zionist teeth with him at the Institute under Krantz.. Not enough? Perhaps CK the man behind Jewlicious, who also is cut from the same fine cloth of CIJR & Montreal based advocacy with years of devotion to the cause under his belt.. There are dozens and dozens more passionate effective advocates for Israel out of the Institute’s think tank.
I am alarmed that strong voices like the Canada Israel Committee which has historically been a solid supporter of CIJR is now apparently pressured to prop up politically correct watered down forms of advocacy in Canada. This is a sure road to nowhere, when the suits come in with their PR glitz and salaries one thing is lost for sure, grassroots Zionism which in reality is the only effective kind.
CIJA is a foreign entity to me, its creation is beyond my own tenure in the old lush zionist fields of Canada, but if this is the state of affairs, then the state of affairs for the good of Israel, Canada, and the Canada Israel relationship needs to change.
Restore CIJR’s funding, or wake up 10 years later to find that Canada Israel advocacy is nothing more than an empty suit which bleeds Canadian Jews of their gelt with little return for all, especially Israel.
LINK: One look at the empty CIJA Website tells it all..
Shocking. Where have the millions mentioned in the article gone? The CIJR budget is and has always been tiny, the returns well beyond fiscal measure. How much money was wasted so far in 2008 by the CIJA? I’m sure they’d rather we all not know..
Is this part of the new wave of pseudo Israel advocacy like J-Street? Now it is coming to Canada too?
Update: Bill Bilek CIJR’s Original Chairman responds at JPOST
As one of the original founders of the CIJR with Prof. Kranz, and as its first Chairman, and as a former Chairman of the Quebec Region of the Canada-Israel Committee, I can attest to the strength of will, and the can-do spirit of the Canadian Jewish community. It is the leadership that, with rare exception, has failed its constituency. Over the years, a small clique of moneyed “machers” has suppressed efforts to actively support the policies of the Israeli government, when they viewed them as inconvenient, or “politically incorrect” and risking their privileged status in Canadian society.
William Bilek, m.d. – USA (09/21/2008 22:07)
Hardly a vote of confidence for the ‘money machers’ from one of the former main men, I look forward to the canned press release from CIJA stating.. nothing at all likely. Wouldn’t it be something to see them openly & publicly challenge Canadian Israel advocates with decades of service, while they seemingly cannot challenge public opinion in Canada from those with a less than stellar message about Israel because it may not be ‘politically correct’?
It is ‘Self Serve’ these days I guess
You would think that a more friendly Harper govt would in essence make the advocacy market smoother in Canada, and CIJR even more welcome, as opposed to rougher. But take a guess which side of the aisle the ‘blackballers’ stand on, left you say? Shocka!! I’m basking in the North American bi-partisan Israel love lately..
There are a few more Canadian heavy hitters that are CIJR supporters, even if they don’t sound off publicly one would hope they can put the screws on privately at least, if not for the Institute than at least for Canadian Israel advocacy’s sake. Until then I’m sorry ‘our shitty little country‘ and some of its strongest advocates are embarrassing some well to do Canadians so.
Update II: Oh yeah - Canadian heavy hitter & Israel advocate Thomas Hecht responds..
“We are existentially threatened by the malice of the wicked enhanced by the hesitation and weakness of the allegedly virtuous” W.Churchill 1938; When describing the threat by Hitler to our civilization , equally relevant today !!
Congratulations Mr. Leibler and best wishes,
Thomas O. Hecht former Chairman Canada Israel Committee-Quebec Region and former President of UIA and the Israel Bond Organization in Canada.
Thomas O. Hecht – Canada (09/22/2008 23:03)
When some of the biggest names in passionate Canadian Israel advocacy of the last decade agree there is a problem, it would appear there is indeed a serious problem, just saying..