Israel's Grassroots Defenders

Barbara Kay: "Countering anti-Israel propaganda is a top priority for Betar-Tagar. The group's message ithat democratic Israel's existential battle for survival within a hostile Islamic world is a preview and warning for Western democracies. Good on you, Betar-Tagar."

Jewish students fight for dignity at York

By Orna Hollander
April 10, 2008

In an attempt to combat the one-sided rhetoric on campus, Zionist groups at York have been working to represent Jewish students.
Most recently, Hasbara Fellowships and Betar launched their “terror built this fence” campaign in order to challenge the false allegation that Israel’s security fence along its boundary with the West Bank acts as an apartheid wall.
To view the Hasbara and Betar "Drown Out the Hate" film on YouTube, click here.

York University Paper Justifies Jerusalem Terror Attack

March 20, 2008
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Solomon, on his blog Solomonia, provides a good analysis:
Honest Reporting Canada reports on a vile op-ed that appeared in the student paper at York University, justifying the massacre at Mercaz Harav: Excalibur Writer Justifies Seminary Terror Attack. Author Lama Aggad says it was no surprise as, after all, the institution was both Jewish and Zionist. Imagine. Its students would also grow up to serve in the IDF which, says Aggad, is committing a "Holocaust," and desires an Israel from "the Euphrates to the Nile" -- typical Middle-Eastern conspiracy theorizing.

College papers are no strangers to printing outrageous pieces calculated for effect, though they do usually have some scruples (one would think a Canadian paper especially so) against printing blatantly anti-Semitic applause for child murder.

I did think it worth swatting one fake in Aggad's piece, a supposed quote from Menachem Begin:
...Let's not forget the famous quote from the former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin in his speech to the Knesset on June 25, 1982: "[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs."

This is typical stuff -- fabricating a statement from an Israeli leader in order to justify murder. I had never heard this one before -- there are so many of these fake quotes floating around it's hard to keep up -- so I went looking. Fortunately, CAMERA illuminated the reality of Begin's statement years ago (while debunking Robert Fisk's use of the same "quote"...

Update: HonestReporting Canada reports the following:

We condemned the publication of a column endorsing the murder of innocent children, and asked the paper to issue a formal apology in the next edition. Our members from across Canada responded to our alert, sending hundreds of letters voicing their concerns over several inaccuracies contained in the op-ed contributor Lama Aggad.

Today, the Excalibur printed this apology and removed the op-ed from their website.

HonestReporting Canada would like to commend the Excalibur for publishing this necessary apology and thank our members, including students and community leaders, for their support and prompt action.

We would also like to acknowledge those organizations that received our alert and mobilized their members to follow up with the Excalibur. They include: Hasbara Fellowships, Betar Tagar, Media Action Group, B'nai Brith Canada, and Hillel (click here to read Hillel's excellent letter to the editor published in today's Excalibur).

Israel Apartheid Week gains momentum

By Sheri Shefa
February 7, 2008

Orna Hollander, executive director of Betar Canada, said the fact that IAW is gaining momentum shows that the Jewish community can’t afford to ignore it.

"The strategy has been… from an organized community end, to not lend credibility, to be quiet about it, not bring press around it… Four years later, I think we definitely learned that we can keep our heads in the sand, but it’s going to go on with or without us. [IAW organizers] very much control the PR and rhetoric on campus, and its time to stand up and take responsibility," Hollander said.

Taking Back the Campus

By Barbara Kay
November 28, 2007

The coming milestone of Israel's 60th anniversary next spring is ratcheting up anti-Zionist organizations' zeal for greater impact during the 2007-08 academic year. Like most such initiatives -- Israeli Apartheid Week is an American import -- their new projects will soon make their way to Canadian campuses.

Canadian students protest Ahmadinejad NY visit

by By Dave Gordon, Special to The CJN
Canadian students protest Ahmadinejad NY visit

"We were hoping that Iran’s dictator would ultimately not be welcomed to New York. As soon as we realized the speeches were a reality, we took students. This is a perfect example of how we need to get involved. It's important to be on top of these things."
said Orna Hollander, director of Betar Toronto, the Zionist campus group that organized the trip.
"Ben Feferman, the Hasbara Fellowships campus co-ordinator for Canada, said the group from Betar was the only Canadian organization to attend."

Betar Canada joins protest of Ahmadinejad at Columbia The Jewish Tribune - October 4, 2007 – 7

NEW YORK – With Israeli and American flags and a sea of signs reading "Shame on Columbia" and "Hitler lives," students representing Betar Canada stood at the gates of Columbia University to protest the visit and invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A pro-Zionist organization active on many Canadian university campuses, Betar Canada understood that protesting Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia University was a cause worth the long drive.
Originally, when the students of Betar Canada heard that the Iranian president was planning to address the UN they began to plan a trip to NY to join in those protests. However, when it was announced that Ahmadinejad had been invited and in fact would be speaking at Columbia, they pulled out all the stops and arranged to join in the last minute protest there. The only Canadian student group present was Betar Canada.
Josh Rosenblum, former president of Betar at the University of Toronto and the founder and co-president of Betar Montreal, was invited to the podium to speak. Articulating how vital it was for Betar to participate in such an event Rosenblum noted that "opportunities like this bring us together; I am proud to be here, but ashamed of the reason."