Hillel rally condemns anti-Semitic acts
SPHR supports peace message
By Sarvenaz Kermanshahi
WE ARE SAYING... IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. An anti-Semitism
rally was held yesterday on the Conrete Beach.
Western students gathered on the Concrete Beach yesterday
to condemn the recent wave of anti-Semitic acts in the Greater
The rally, organized by Western Hillel, saw a considerable
turnout despite wet weather conditions.
“We have come out to recognize the anti-Jewish incidents
going on, and to show London and the campus community how important
it is for us to stand up against racism,” said first-year
honours business administration student Mat Abramsky, Hillel’s
“People recognize how wrong it is. They can’t
believe that things like this happen in these times,” he
added. “It’s not just about anti-Semitism; it’s
discrimination of all types. We have to come together as Canadians
to fight this.”
According to Abramsky, the acts occurred only one week after
B’nai Brith reported a 27 per cent increase in the number
of anti-Semitic acts in its annual “Audit of Anti-Semitic
“What amazes me is that the perpetrators presume that
the Canadian community will be silent,” Canadian Jewish
Congress member Arieh Rosenblum told the crowd. “As Canadians,
we will not be silent. We will engage in civil society, as
we have done for many years, with our brothers and sisters
of other ethnicities.”
He commended the crowd for speaking out against the acts.
He also encouraged them to be vigilant against all forms of
discrimination and to communicate with all levels of government. “We
have laws to mitigate acts of discrimination.”
The crowd was also addressed by Archie Kenyon from the Campus
Crusade for Christ. “If I was asked to speak against
hatred against any group, be it Muslim or Jew, black or white,
homosexual or heterosexual, I would,” he said.
SIGN, EVERYWHERE A SIGN. Participants at yesterday’s
anti-Semitism rally fashioned many Cutline_.htmlsigns
to show their support of the cause.
“I am very proud of the huge turnout,” said Gary
Diamond, president of Western Hillel. “There is no way
in which to condemn these attacks enough. The Jewish residents
in Toronto have built a vibrant community.
“We will not stand for hate. We won’t make accusations,
we will not seek revenge. We will behave in a manner in which
we expect others to treat us,” he added.
Western’s Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights was
also present to show support for the rally. “We have
come out because we don’t like racism. We have always
been a human rights group and we gladly stand in solidarity
with any group speaking against racism,” said Randa B.
Mouammar, campaign manager for SPHR.
“The events in Toronto were disturbing and there is
no excuse for it,” added SPHR member Natalie Tabar.
“I’m here to support the people organizing this
event and the Jewish community,” said Eric Hrivnak, a
participant in the rally. “The message here is one of
peace and tolerance and that’s a big part of what this
country is about.”