The following letter from Martin Gladstone is extremely important! The anti-Israel BDS group is using QuAIA as a tool to demonize Israel and the Jewish community during Gay Pride Week – although QuAIA has stated that it will NOT march in the Parade (they said that last year) they are planning other means of making a strong statement and impacting the City such as their rally yesterday at City Hall – this is part of the much larger assault on Israel we are seeing with the Palestinians massing on Israel for media coverage and propaganda and similar to the hate-mongering during the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the ROM last year.
If you are an articulate speaker or know of anyone who is a good speaker – please ask them to sign up (details below) or be in touch with me – otherwise please make an effort to be in the audience next Tuesday – there are 2 days left to sign up. Please read Martin Gladstone’s letter below – it explains everything. Write to Frances Pritchard at email@example.com and request to speak on May 24th at the Exec. Mtg. – Please let me know if you decide to participate either as a speaker or in the audience!
Shirley Anne Haber
The Media Action Group
Please sign up – if you have not done so – to make a deputation to the city Executive Committee chaired by Mayor Ford to comment on the City Manager’s Report re Compliance with the City of Toronto’s Anti-Discrimination Code. (MAY 24 1:30PM at Toronto City Hall) ) If you do not want to speak, please encourage others to attend simply to show the councillors that this is a serious issue – the presence of constituents always makes a difference. (The City Manager indicated in his report that ‘Israel Apartheid’ does NOT contravene the City’s Anti-Discrimination Policy).
What happens at Executive Committee level usually determines what happens at City Council. That is why your voice should be heard.
There has already been a large rally at city hall on May 16th to start a campaign that if the city cuts funding they are homophobic. It avoids the issue of the anti –Israel groups that are hijacking the Pride Parade by hiding behind the City Manager’s Report. The following link describes the rally at City Hall.
The following is from the Jewish Tribune after QUAIA announced it would not march at Pride.
[The QuAIA statement continues] “Instead of marching as a contingent in the parade this year, QuAIA will focus its Pride Week activities on hosting a community event to raise awareness of Israeli apartheid, and how LGBTQ communities can pressure the Israeli government to comply with international law through the campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions. QuAIA will also continue to contest Israel’s ‘pinkwashing’ campaign, which attempts to use LGBTQ human rights to obscure Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.
“QuAIA’s new plans will pose a challenge for Mayor Rob Ford, who announced that he would cut more than $100,000 in city tourism funding for Pride Toronto if QuAIA continued to march.”
Most people expect QUAIA to be there in a disingenuous form and turn the Pride celebration into an anti-Israel circus – on city money.
Here is the information to sign up for a deputation. Use the email directly below.
From: Executive Committee [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:58 AM
To: Frances Pritchard
Subject: Executive Committee Meeting, May 24, 2011 – Item EX6.21 – Compliance with the City of Toronto’s Anti-Discrimination Policy – Pride Toronto
Please note that Item EX6.21 – Compliance with the City of Toronto’s Anti-Discrimination Policy – Pride Toronto has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on May 24, 2011 in Committee Room 1, or as soon as possible after. The item will not be considered prior to that time.
If you had already registered to speak at the April 20 meeting of the Executive Committee, you have been automatically added to the speakers list for the May 24 meeting, unless you have advised us to remove you from the list. If you registered after April 20, you have been added to the speakers list for the upcoming meeting.
If you wish to write to the Executive Committee please submit it to the Committee at email@example.com . If you want a copy of the Item EX6.21, it is available on the City’s website.
Manager, Community Councils and Committees
Here is the actual City Manager’s report
You only have 5 minutes – be to the point. Main points:
We support Pride as a city celebration but not as a hate fest
The city needs to revisit its anti-discrimination code if this group is not considered hateful
The City Manager’s Report should be rejected
City should not be funding until AFTER the parade to ensure there is no repeat of last year
Topics to consider/share with the councillors and the Mayor:
Why the singling out of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic –especially in a gay rights parade
How thousands do not feel welcome at a city celebration
Using public money to promote intolerance in the public square is not a good use of taxpayers’ money and hurts our city
Pride is about gay rights not demonizing Israel
The elected reps are responsible to set the values of the City
How the messaging of QUAIA is false
What happens if other groups use Pride for a city funded battleground?
Every not for profit is responsible to govern its content – why not Pride?
QUAIA is about delegitimizing Israel, not about Palestinian gay rights
The silence and the hypocrisy about what is happening in Syria, Libya, Yemen etc. –
Yes Pride is an economic boom for the city – but the importance of making a moral decision over a business decision
That the City set the values for its funding – the unelected and unaccountable panel to be set up by Pride at an indeterminate time does not determine city funding and policy. The voters are looking to our elected representatives.
Important to note FYI that Ward 27 Councillor Wong-Tam will rally for “Free speech”, that “Pride is Political” and “Queers won’t be censored”. Important to note she does not represent the Jewish Community and much of the gay community who do not live in her ward, and the many gays in the CAP report who were against QUAIA being part of Pride. She has never been to Israel. She financed the QUAIA web site for 14 months and there is an enormous apprehension of bias accordingly. She describes herself as a “lone progressive” on council, but we would especially like her to act as an elected representative and to appreciate how hurtful and harmful these lies are to the Jewish Community at large, gay and straight. See the letter of her predecessor Kyle Rae who got it right. Council may look to her for direction and these points should be emphasized.
Visit – www.reclaimingourpride.ca for articles and more information.
A public service announcement by BCF.