Letter:I Gave the Wrong People a Platform

I’d like to make an apology and draw attention to an article I wrote earlier on in the semester about Corey Fleisher, a well-known Montrealer who erases swastikas and hateful graffiti around the city.

I was unaware of his pro-Israeli views in writing the article and had I known would have avoided giving him a platform. While Fleisher obviously does valuable work that can’t be discredited, his message of eradicating hate is contradictory in light of his support for the state of Israel. His message of eradicating hate should also be extended to Palestinian people.

I would also like to apologize for sourcing from B’nai Brith Canada, the oldest Jewish organization in Canada and staunch defender of the state of Israel. B’nai Brith has a long history of aiding Israel in the occupation of Palestinian land, and has ties to the Jewish National Fund, an organization that’s existed since 1901 to develop Israeli land in Palestine. The same organization has supported Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In 1936, B’nai B’rith donated $100,000 to the organization to buy 1,000 acres in what was then Mandate Palestine, and sent another $100,000 three years later. After Israel’s declaration of independence, the B’nai B’rith chapter in the U.S. also sent $4 million worth of goods to help support the state.

More recently, B’nai Brith Canada attacked the Toronto District School Board in 2017 for disseminating a definition of Islamophobia to children they considered to be too broad.

The Israeli state has caused immense harm to Palestinian people by occupying Palestinian territory, in the West Bank and in Gaza previously. The 12-year blockade imposed on Gaza from the state of Israel has led to humanitarian crisis and human right violations. The blockade imposed a decreased right to import goods, banned all export of goods and travel, which in turn led to massive economic collapse, decreased fishing rights and mass food insecurity in the area.

The Link is an advocacy publication that traditionally publishes articles of an anti-oppressive nature. For that reason, I’d like apologize for not adequately vetting my sources, and not being critical enough of their discourse.