Thompson Citizen publishes CJPME letter rebutting attack on MP who criticized Israeli apartheid

On April 28, 2023, the Thompson Citizen published a letter from CJPME’s Ghida Mawlawi. The letter was a response to a Canadian Press article on B’nai Brith’s “Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents,” which as CJPME has noted conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism. B’nai Brith’s report had attacked MP Niki Ashton, who represents the region which includes Thompson, Manitoba, for her support for Palestinian rights. The letter reads in part:

In perusing the report, I was surprised to find that B’nai Brith seems to deliberately conflate incidents of anti-Semitic speech and violence with pro-Palestinian activism and criticism of Israeli policies. For instance, Churchhill-Keewatinook Aski NDP MP Niki Ashton was flagged down for anti-Semitic speech for a tweet in which she employs the terms “apartheid” and “settler-colonialism.” In the same vein, a bus advertisement in St. John’s, sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices Canada, which cites Amnesty International’s claims that Israel is practicing apartheid, was also featured in their report as anti-Semitic speech.

B’nai Brith’s tendency to lump all anti-Israel actions with actual incidents of anti-Semitism seriously undermines the reliability and validity of their data. Moreover, I find that it comes at a great disservice to the fight against anti-Semitism.