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New Israel Fund of Canada: Trump is a “source of danger to Israel”

Joan Garson, the Chair of New Israel Fund of Canada (NIFC) and former past chair of ARZENU, the international organization of Reform and Progressive Zionists, believes that “fear” in the Jewish community pushes people to the right side of the political map and emboldens Israeli nationalism.

Speaking at NIFC conference in Jerusalem, Garson expressed her hope that “many are beginning to understand President Trump as a source of danger to Israel.”

The following are excerpts from Joan Garson’s speech (February 2017):

NIFC is about our shared Canadian values, and our support for those who act at the grassroots to bring change in Israel that advances those values…

We in Canada, extraordinarily, went from the right to the left in what is now a source of national pride… Our role in Canada is, at least now with the current government and the broad support felt for it, to build on the pride being shared in Canadian values and turn that to support for our work in Israel…

Fear in the Jewish community in Toronto and Canada determines the opinions for many on the right, and impacts on the way politics in Israel and the politics of President Trump are heard – and the real, horrifying expression of anti-Semitism in North America now is reinforcing that fear.

Fear for Israel and the Jewish community is a key motivator. In part, it explains support for expressions of Israeli nationalism and even increased anxiety for Israeli security.

Given that context, I suggest it is hard for many to hear Israeli or American politics critically, separate from the fear for Israel’s existence. I believe that gradually many are beginning to understand President Trump as a source of danger to Israel; particularly, in light of the trend of the non-Jewish right being encouraged internationally by his success…

I believe the emerging international right doesn’t change the need for us to be seen as a beacon for values in Israel. And this task, always difficult, may be easier now as the dangers of the right are part of the context in which we operate…

Our support for democracy in Israel is heard in a new and now very worrying context of fear for shared democratic values… The recent campaign to circle mosques around Toronto as a gesture of support for religious tolerance is an apt illustration.

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About CIJnews Staff

CIJnews Staff
CIJnews is an independent, dynamic and reliable online news source that serves the Canadian Jewish and Israeli communities and provides an uncensored platform for the spectrum of voices.

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