A scene from Hevron's Peace House
A scene from Hevron's Peace HouseRefael Ovadia / Boltshauser Images

In a harshly worded letter, the Toronto Zionist Council (TZC) said it was "appalled" by the forcible and violent eviction of the residents and supporters of Peace House in Hevron last week. The organization called for the

The letter's authors "demand that Mr. Barak cease and desist from his war against the settlers...."

removal of Defense Minister Ehud Barak from power, and an end to what it termed the "persecution and abuse" of Jews in Hevron. The TZC's presiding officers warned they would call for an end to financial support for the Israeli government, and direct support for the Hevron community and its supporters, if the leadership continues in its current Hevron policies.

The letter was sent December 5, the day after the evictions in Hevron, to Israel's Ambassador to Canada, Miriam Ziv, and to Amir R. Gissin, Israel's Consul General in Toronto. The authors, TZC President Yossi Winter and TZC Vice President Izzy Kaplan, asked: "How dare Mr. Barak allow the forces under his command to use stun grenades and tear gas against Jews - men, women and children - who were living peacefully and legally in a building in the Jewish homeland!  How dare he have the audacity to say that the state must enforce the High Court decision to evict them, when he knows very well that the High Court issued no such ruling!"

They called for Barak to be "stripped of his position" as a result of "his illegal and immoral actions against our brethren in Beit HaShalom. With Jewish blood being spilled like water in Mumbai at the hands of the very same terrorist murderers who threaten our brethren in the State of Israel every single day - and while Hamas missiles continue to terrorize southern Israel, it is hard to believe that Mr. Barak can waste precious Israeli soldiers and Israeli police - that are needed to safeguard the population everywhere - and sending them instead to Hevron to evict Jews who posed no threat anyone...."

The letter's authors "demand that Mr. Barak cease and desist from his war against the settlers in general, and the residents of Beit HaShalom in particular!"

Winter and Kaplan then proceeded to remind the Israeli diplomats of "the lethal ambush which resulted in the massacre of 12 Israeli soldiers - that the Arab friends of Barak perpetrated not that long ago - on the very same road, 'Worshiper's Way', where Beit HaShalom is located, and how pleased the IDF was when it was disclosed that the building was finally in Jewish hands, thus making easier their task of protecting the visitors going to Machpela Cave, the burial place of our Patriarchs."

Calling the government's treatment of Jews in Judea, Samaria and Gaza "selective oppression," the TZC heads wrote, "We will not stand idly by and watch the government of the State of Israel treat our brethren like this." Saying that government policies such as were evidenced in Hevron "alienate" Zionist Jews, they go on to warn, "If this persecution and abuse of our brethren won't stop, we will start a campaign to withhold all monetary support while this government is in power. Instead we will advise everyone to channel that money to help our brethren who are being made to suffer by Ehud Barak." Winter and Kaplan then pleaded with the ambassador and consul general, "Please use your positions to influence the few decent people still left in the government that this should not happen!"

The TZC said it was the driving force behind two "Israel Malls" in Toronto during the worst period of the Oslo War that began in 2000. "Israel Malls" were organized booths selling Israeli products in North American cities in an effort to support Israeli vendors at a time when sales and tourism in Israel were down due to a wave of Arab terrorism.