NEWS FROM CANADA: Harassment of Religious Anti-Boycott Activist

December 3, 2013, Toronto — Jewish Human Rights organization, B’nai Brith Canada, has condemned the latest protest calling for a boycott of Israeli products. The anti-Israel protest, which took place today outside a Canadian Tire store in downtown Toronto, targeted SodaStream, a popular Israeli kitchen gadget that carbonates beverages, now sold across Canada. It is one of a number of Israeli companies presently being targeted by the United Church and other groups.

“For hundreds of Palestinians, Sodastream is not just another Israeli company; it’s their employer and family lifeline,” said Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada. “The company employs 500 Palestinians as well as 400 additional Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem at its Ma’ale Adumim manufacturing facility alone. If individuals and groups, such as the United Church, who promote boycotts of Israeli products would only take the time to examine the facts, they would realize who they really are hurting.

“At today’s Canadian Tire protest the National Vice President for B’nai Brith Canada, a visible Jew, was unduly harassed as he attempted to enter the store and was summarily accused of being a religious fanatic, suggesting what we fear may be at the base of it all — Antisemitism. Adding harassment to the protesters’ ever present litany of unqualified accusations makes it all too clear that these same groups’ efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel speak directly to their truest intentions. Is this the so-called legitimate voice of anti-Israel groups ‘striving to bring peace and justice’ to the Holy Land?”

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For more information please contact: Sam Eskenasi, Communications Officer at (647) 780-8490 or communications@bnaibrith.ca

B’nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community’s foremost human rights agency.

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