B'nai Brith Canada’s report normalizes and perpetuates anti-Palestinian racism: ARPCF

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Montreal, May 13, 2024— The Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) is expressing deep concern over the recent “Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents” report issued by B'nai Brith Canada (BBC), which it finds rife with anti-Palestinian racism (APR). By systematically conflating legitimate criticism of Zionism and Israeli policies with antisemitism, BBC not only mischaracterizes the advocacy for Palestinian rights but also endorses a narrative that perpetuates discrimination against Palestinian activism. This narrative seeks to normalize racism against Palestinians, silence support for Palestinian human rights, legitimize the racial and colonial nature of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and legalize the racial nature of the Zionist political movement.

“B’nai Brith Canada’s report dangerously legitimizes APR under the guise of combating antisemitism,” said Jamila Ewais, a researcher for the ARPCF. While the report documents real incidents of antisemitism, it still conflates many other incidents with Palestinian activism. “This not only distorts the nature of antisemitism but also undermines the integrity of genuine human rights advocacy by ignoring the severe impact of Israeli policies on Palestinian lives.”

BBC’s advocacy efforts regularly try to smear all support for Palestine. “It’s as if criticism of Palestinian human rights activism were the whole raison d’être of B’nai Brith Canada,” Ewais added. The ARPCF points out that BBC regularly defames, stereotypes, silences, excludes, and justifies violence against Palestinians, and does not hesitate to express its support for the Israeli occupation and the dehumanization of Palestinians, with racist acts inferred from a supremacist perspective. This stance is described in Jasmine Zine’s book, "Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North." Zine's report documents how BBC launches calls to action supporting a pro-Israeli stance, distributes petitions against individuals exercising their rights to support Palestine, and attempts to shut down the Boycott, Divesment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a movement which exists simply to economic pressure on Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians.

The ARPCF criticizes BBC’s report's attack on health sector workers, political activists, human rights defenders, and the UNRWA for calling for a ceasefire and rejecting the Israeli occupation. This conflation dangerously blurs the lines between hate speech and legitimate human rights demands that seek to rectify the injustices faced by Palestinians, including anti-racist efforts. BBC’s targeting of the Palestinian narrative reflects the violent nature of its pro-Zionist ideology, and perpetuates a discourse that deems Palestinians unworthy of justice or dignity.

The ARPCF calls on BBC to retract its report and revise its approach to anti-racism to reflect a more accurate and inclusive understanding of the dynamics at play. The fight against antisemitism is not accomplished by demonizing pro-Palestinian advocacy, and the ARPCF strenuously urges BBC to reorient its advocacy accordingly.

About the ARPCF – The mandate of the Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) is to create public awareness about racism in Canada.  This mandate falls in line with the Foundation’s broader purpose of monitoring and combating manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination by increasing public awareness of such biases.

For more information, please contact Jamila Ewais, 514-389-8668
ARPCF, [email protected]  www.cjpmefoundation.org

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  • Lynn Naji
    published this page in Statements 2024-05-13 12:56:23 -0400