Written by –Wednesday, 03 February 2010 TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada has called for everyone to re-dedicate themselves to fighting antisemitism on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which takes place annually on Jan. 27, the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz. This year, marks the 65th anniversary of that liberation. “As we mark 65 years since Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz, the death camp where over one million people were mercilessly slaughtered, we must make sure that the history and lessons of the Holocaust are remembered and that the memory of the victims is honoured,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “This cannot just be a matter of words – there must be action too. “This year, as we witness antisemitism reaching levels not seen in decades, it is especially important that we ensure that the lessons and memory of the Holocaust are not forgotten. What started as a campaign of marginalization and discrimination ended, a few short years later, in an unprecedented blood-fest: the attempted annihilation of the Jewish people. But Hitler’s rise to power and the Holocaust did not happen in an instant. The world could have acted when the warning bells started going off, or subsequently as they became louder and louder, but instead chose to dismiss them as the ‘ravings’ of a mad man. “As frightening as it is to admit, in 2010, we must again ensure that society does not sit by complacently as we witness the ugly face of antisemitism rising again, with Der Sturmer-type propaganda appearing even here in Canada, and a new madman overseas promising the destruction of the Jewish state.” “On the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we witness antisemitism at disturbing levels across the globe, while the forces of Islamist terrorism – which currently espouses the most radical antisemitism – holds the world hostage in its grip. In light of this, let this be a day when we re-dedicate ourselves to the fight against hatred, and demand from our leaders a commitment to stand up against bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms.” • • • The letter below is a response to a press release issued by B’nai Brith Canada (see above) that quoted CEO?Frank Dimant on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Duel loyalty charged In 1994 I travelled to Poland with your wife, your sister-in-law and your mother-in-law Eva Kupfert, Z”L. We visited Auschwitz together where Eva lit a yahrzeit candle for her murdered sister in the ruined crematorium. Now I have the distinct displeasure of reading your January 26th press release on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Your hateful words prove that you have learned absolutely nothing from Eva’s experiences. You, sir, have learned no lessons from the Second World War Nazi Holocaust. You, sir, are a hate-monger yourself. What rise in anti-Semitism are you detecting? I see none. For years, I have increased my religious observance without hindrance. As Jews, my family members and I are denied access to absolutely no avenue, interest, service or industry in our society. Quite the contrary: we have every opportunity and advantage available to us easily, such as our parents and grandparents could not imagine in Canada, in the USA, in Europe. Your reference to Islamic terrorism is despicable. That you tar people of one of the world’s major faith systems – and our Biblical cousins – as terrorists, well, you, sir, are a hate-monger. Terrorism – whether perpetrated by persons born to Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist parentage – is mere criminality, like all other criminality. Yet you – the leader of a ‘human rights’ group – would brand that with a religious mark. I am sickened by your statement. You fail to acknowledge (and how could you?) that there are seeds of hatred implanted deeply in your blind support of a foreign power, the State of Israel. Israel’s attack on Gaza last year was an act of militaristic race-based hatred that your organization – were you honest – would condemn just as you would condemn genuine anti-Semitism and functioning racism. Yet you won’t because you, sir, and your organization are not really interested in participating as citizens in Canadian democracy. You are, as you well know, an agent of the Zionist state and a traitor to the lessons of the Holocaust that dear Eva Kupfert knew so well. Get off your phony moral high horse. Because you, sir, have bet you tuches on the wrong horse. Emanuel Paltiel Lowi Montreal, QB • • • Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, responds to the letter on the left Lessons of history Your email sent to me on the day that we mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz leves me incredulous. You evoke the memory of my mother-in-law and her lighting the candle in memory of her murdered sister. Would my father-in-law have been alive, he too could have walked through Auschwitz, recalling the horrors as he had served as an inmate there. Similarly, my father could equally have pointed out all of the horrors of Auschwitz and would gladly have shown you the number tattooed on his arm. My mother, of blessed memory, would have been prepared to tell you about her experiences in Gestapo headquarters in her city, and her experiences in Dachau and labour camps. I write this to you to tell you that I need no lesson from you regarding the Holocaust. Sadly, you have missed the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust. Neither my in-laws, or parents, or others like them would have been in such hellholes as Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, or Buchenwald – if there had been a Jewish state. Your poisonous feelings about the modern state of Israel are horrendous to comprehend when one thinks of the precious jewel and gift that the Jewish people have once again inherited as their rightful possession. Imagine if there had been an Israel that would have welcomed the Jews that Hitler wanted out of Europe. Imagine if there had been an Israel that welcomed those who were travelling on the St. Louis. Imagine a world today where those six million Jews would have survived and the contributions that they could have made to the entire world. Imagine what one and a half million children who were tortured and murdered could have given to this world. The contributions that the tiny state of Israel makes today in technology, medicine, philosophy and the arts is astronomical. What great things could have come had we not lost a third of our population. Sir, do not preach to me about Israel defending its citizens. Do not give me your left-wing rhetoric on disproportionate force used against the terrorists. Do not for one second lecture me on the values of Radical Islam that wants to destroy the remnant of the Jewish people who are living in Israel. You speak of being a Jew who is a practising Jew. Quite frankly, I think you are being less than honest. For no practising Jew, no Jew who cares, no Jew who understands the intrinsic message of the Holocaust, could possibly write the horrific damnation of Israel that you have done. Your hideous remarks challenging my loyalty to Canada and questioning my concern for this country are such a reminder of the canard of the charges of dual loyalty used against the Jews by antisemites throughout history. Sadly I know you are not alone, that there are thousands of other Jews who subscribe to your views. I can only hope and pray that the state of Israel becomes stronger, that the commitment of the Zionists becomes greater, and that your poison does not continue to spread to your children and grandchildren. And I trust and pray that B’nai Brith will continue to ensure that the fight against antisemitism is victorious and that we are not misdirected by individuals like you.