Wolfe Erlichman
Wolfe Erlichman
Wolfe Erlichman is a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada. In a public statement, he criticizes the way the Holocaust has been used to promote a commitment to Israel instead of promoting universal human rights. He calls on Jewish Canadians to stand up for Palestinians whose human rights are being violated by Israel. Erlichman has also written a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star titled “Where are the Palestinian voices in the mainstream media?”, which can be read here.

I am Jewish. My family was murdered by the Nazis. I think it is important to remember the Holocaust and Mr. Rubenstein who was on your program Tuesday morning seems to be doing good work in that regard but I think that he is not living up to the claims that he made when he was interviewed. He claimed a number of times that the Holocaust should inform us about all forms of racism, human rights, social justice and not just antisemitism. He said we should learn a universal lesson about any kind of intolerance and racism. He said that it is a very, very obvious fact that no human is more human than any other human. He talked about Romeo Delaire looking into the eyes of a child and realizing that all children are the same. But Mr. Rubenstein does not really believe this. He believes that all children are the same except for Palestinian children. Like a lot of jewish people, he is progressive except for Palestine.

It seems to me that Jewish Canadians have a special reponsibility to speak up for Palestinian human rights. Firstly, because Israel is trampling on their human rights in our name and, also, the Jewish establishment is overwhelmingly supportive of Israel’s crimes against humanity. Secondly, the government of Canada is also suppporting Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians even though Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and two prominent Israeli human rights NGOs (B’Tselem and Yesh Din) have issued authoritative reports which condemn Israel’s racism. This makes all Canadians accomplices to Israel’s crimes. Mr. Rubenstein seems to approve Israel’s disturbing actions. He is quoted in Wikipedia as saying that “…students (who go on trips to the concentration camps) felt a heightened commitment to their Jewish identity and Israel after the trip, illustrating that a commitment to Israel and to human rights are mutually compatible values”. It would interesting to know if he has any examples of Jewish students who go on to  campaign for Palestinian human rights after going on one of his trips. I don’t think he could find one.

It is really unfortunate that the creation of Israel has perverted Judaism and made the concept of antisemitism meaningless. Matt Galloway highlighted this when he mentioned the “huge increase” of antisemitism around the world. Without realizing it, he was using the “new” meaningless definition of antisemitism: the criticism of Israel. There is a “huge increase in antisemitism” because more and more people are discovering what is really going on in Israel. When they speak up, they are labeled as “antisemites”. This is the new way that Israel and its supporters try to shut down criticism of Israel.

Holocaust education is important but it stops being education and becomes weaponized propaganda for Israel when “educators” like Mr. Rubenstein use it to promote a “heightened commitment to their Jewish identity and Israel” despite their claims that they are promoting universal human rights.

Wolfe Erlichman
Member, Independent Jewish Voices

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