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Independent Jewish Voices Canada establishes new chapter in Victoria

August 24, 2011

New branch is part of growing human rights movement in Jewish communities across Canada and internationally

VICTORIA, BC -- Independent Jewish Voices–Canada is pleased to announce the establishment of IJV-Victoria, the ninth and newest Chapter in its growing national network. The organisation already has chapters in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

"The growth of IJV-Canada shows that not all Canadian Jews accept the bellicose, hard-right policies of the Israeli government," said IJV-Canada spokesperson, Sid Shniad, speaking in Vancouver. "We welcome the new Victoria Chapter to the ongoing struggle for peace and justice in the Middle East, in which Israelis, Palestinians, and people of good will from the nations across the region are actively involved."

Victoria Chapter co-ordinator Stuart Hertzog believes that his group will empower moderate and progressive-minded Jews as well as non-Jewish supporters in the Victoria region to express their views on the repressive and militaristic policies of successive Israeli governments, without fear of being sanctioned for doing so.

"Being Jewish does not mean reflexively endorsing Israeli government policies and actions,” explained Hertzog. “Contrary to what some of Israel's supporters would have people believe, religious fundamentalism and political repression are not problems confined to the Arab world. People of conscience must stand up to militarism, political repression and religious fundamentalism wherever they appear, whether this is in Saudi Arabia or in Israel,” he continued.

"The promotion of democracy requires constant vigilance -- in Canada, in Israel, and throughout the world. Israel cannot be treated as an exception to this. It must be held to the same standards of international law that is applied to all countries," Hertzog concluded.

The Victoria chapter is planning a series of meetings and events starting this Fall, including a lecture tour in October by authors Zalman Amit and Daphna Levit, who are promoting their new book, Israeli Rejectionism: A Hidden Agenda in the Middle East Peace Process, which exposes the history of how Israel has played an active role in preventing peace in the Middle East.

IJV–Canada promotes a just resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties.

For more information contact:
Stuart Hertzog
Victoria Co-ordinator
Independent Jewish Voices -- Canada
Phone: (250) 384-6507

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