A full page ad published in the Winnipeg Free Press in the wake of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, signed by the Winnipeg Jewish Federation and two dozen local community organizations, has come under fire by members of the Jewish community for referring to the “Palestinian Territories” and failing to explicitly mention Hamas and Islamic jihad.
TheJ.ca reported that retired Winnipeg lawyer Bill Narvey sent a letter of concern to Federation leaders and the head of the Israeli Canadian Council.
“You failed to explicitly say it was Hamas and Islamic Jihad that started and continued this war… Of far more concern, is your first sentence ‘Over eleven days, our community watched with great concern as violence consumed Israel and the Palestinian Territories,’” Narvey wrote.
Narvey listed examples of anti-Israel and BDS activists who exploit such language by the Jewish community to validate their viewpoint.
“Your using the phrase ‘Palestinian Territories’ in your Winnipeg Free Press ad is an outright concessionary gift of credibility to all the aforesaid anti-Israel-antisemitic factions and organizations that accuse Israel of being in illegal occupation of Palestinian lands including East Jerusalem.”
Narvey added, “Don’t be surprised if anti-Israel anti-Semitic organizations make a point of quoting your words back at you.”
Narvey also learned from concerned community members responding to his call to take action that Federation officials were warned not to refer to Gaza as part of “the Palestinian Territories."
According to the TheJ.ca, they were instead told in a letter to use the term “disputed territories” as “using ‘Palestinian Territories’ is as objectionable as “occupied territories. If you mean Gaza you should say so.”
Navy told the publication that many Jews he heard back from in the community agreed with his frustration with the lack of the Federation advocacy on behalf of Jews and Israel.
“To our collective frustrated dismay, our Federation’s activism is usually in the form of facebook/emailed communiques to our community that are typically cautiously politically correct inspiring few if any to speak out publicly against Jew-Israel hatred, avoiding challenging the Jew-Israel haters directly in print or by public rallies and invariably their activism is almost always seen as inadequate, weak or totally ineffective,” he said.