Independent Jewish Voices Canada, the Palestinian Youth Movement, and Ground UP Waterloo Region invite Waterloo Region school board students, teachers, staff, parents, and trustees to our webinar.
Moderators: Fitsum Areguy (Independent Journalist), Greg Bird (Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University), and Jasmin Zine (Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University).
Panellists: Sheryl Nestel (Independent Jewish Voices Canada), Mark Ayyash (Professor, Mount Royal University), Shatha AbuAhmad (Palestinian Youth Movement), Rima Berns-McGowan (Independent Jewish Voices Canada, former NDP Ontario MPP) and Melissa Pang (Independent Jewish Voices Canada)
On December 12, the Waterloo Regional District School Board (WRDSB) will vote on Trustees Mike Ramsay and Cindy Watson’s motion to adopt the controversial and divisive International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA).
Our webinar will explain why the WRDSB should reject the IHRA definition. It undermines the fight against antisemitism. Instead of targeting the primary sources of antisemitism in our society (far-right, Neo-Nazi movements), it is being used as a shield to protect the state of Israel from being criticized for its treatment of Palestinians. The IHRA definition is also used by proponents to silence Palestinians, censor how Palestinians express their shared history, restrict academic freedom, and repress expressions of Palestinian solidarity. In short, the IHRA definition is used to implement systemic Anti-Palestinian Racism in our society.
If adopted, the IHRA definition will create a toxic environment in the WRDSB. It will undermine the Board’s mandate to provide a safe climate for all students, teachers and staff. Palestinian community members and their supporters have a right to participate in our institutions without being subjected to Anti-Palestinian Racism.