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Who speaks for Jews when it comes to civil liberties and human rights?

May 14, 2013

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) Canada strongly condemns the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) for sponsoring a Daniel Pipes lecture May 13.

“Pipes has made a career of bashing Muslims,” explained Larry Haiven, an IJV spokesperson. “He is notorious for his Islamophobic views, for his support of internment of Americans and Canadians of Japanese descent, and for his bellicose support for Israel attacking Iran.”

CIJA’s corporate backers apparently agree with these views, since they are sponsoring Pipes’ lecture. IJV, in contrast, opposes Islamophobia and supports human rights and civil liberties for all. Which viewpoint speaks to Canada’s Jews?

“Pipes has called mosques in the United States “breeding grounds for militants” and has repeatedly said the presence of Muslims in Western countries should be perceived as an internal threat,” said Haiven. “He has argued that Muslims in government and military positions in the United States should be considered security risks, and he is a vocal advocate for racial profiling of those who he considers potential threats — namely, dark-skinned individuals suspected of being Muslim.”
For Pipes, North America’s “strategic interests” trump civil rights of Muslim citizens.

Pipes recently advocated for Western intervention in Syria through supporting the Assad regime. He even went so far as to argue in favour of the civil war continuing indefinitely, since “we are best off strategically when they [Syrians] are focused on each other… let them go at it and let us help them to continue to fight it.”

While CIJA claims to act “on behalf of the vibrant and varied Jewish community across Canada,” it has not consulted Canadian Jews about this (or any other) issue. IJV Canada is strongly opposed to the racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims, and the very problematic statements that Pipes has made regarding Muslim communities around the world.

It is also troubling that Pipes founded Campus Watch, which spies on American academics who are critical of Israeli government policy.

“Such McCarthyist behaviour fosters an intimidating climate which aims to stifle criticism of Israel’s systematic crimes towards the Palestinians,” said Haiven. “IJV, by contrast, strongly supports free speech and encourages thoughtful discussion about Israel and Palestine.”


For more information contact:
Larry Haiven
Steering Committee Member
Independent Jewish Voices
Phone: 902-240-2782

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