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Canadian LeadNow organization denies participation in Hamas-supporter David Heap’s anti-Harper event… but facts and pics show otherwise…
UPDATE, Oct 7/15: A source has sent Israel Truth Week a copy of minutes for a January 2015 meeting attended by David Heap, Council of Canadians, NDP candidate for London North Centre German Gutierez and… two LeadNow organizers. Keep this in mind as you’re reading the denial of involvement by LeadNow’s Eastern Field Organizer below.
Israel Truth Week is pleased to say that our effort in having an anti-Harper rally in London, Ontario relocated off the grounds of the Western Fair District (WFD) Farmer’s Market not only resulted in a pitifully small display of anti-Harper venom due to a lack of traffic from market visitors, but also attracted the attention of the large, U.S.-funded (in part) Canadian leftist activist organization LeadNow (leadnow.ca).
LeadNow is actively engaged in strategic vote-splitting campaigns in various Conservative ridings across Canada, including London North Centre where Susan Truppe is the sitting MP — where the Heap rally was being held.
LeadNow was very disturbed about their organization being mentioned in ITW’s last article that exposed how David Heap and company misled the WFD about their rally being non-partisan, and our success in having it moved off WFD grounds. Their ‘Eastern Field Organizer’ Corrigan Hammond sent ITW founder Mark Vandermaas an email asking him to correct “a number of factual inaccuracies.”
They claimed they had nothing to do with the event and so, they couldn’t understand why they they were even included in the story. You can read LeadNow’s email and Mark’s replies below, but here’s the picture that exposes that lie:
(ITW founder Mark Vandermaas replies in red)
From: Mark Vandermaas – Israel Truth Week <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sun 27/09/2015 1:38 AM
Thanks for the polite letter. Seriously.
Although I oppose your position(s), I do take care to be accurate. This isn’t my first rodeo; I spent 6+ years working full time fighting racial policing in Caledonia where we went up against some vicious lying bullies led by a guy out of York U, and we had to work with media. We had a reputation for telling the truth. I’m aggressive, but I try to be careful and factual in what I write, and I apologize when I’m wrong (doesn’t happen often).
I’ve reviewed my story and I found one error that you didn’t mention that I’ve fixed, and I’ve included some quotes from your email regarding your key point. I’ll address your points 1 by 1 in red below…
Israel Truth Week is pleased to announce it played a key role – after being tipped off by a supporter – in shutting down a planned anti-Conservative rally set for this Saturday, Sept 26 at London (Ontario)’s Western Fair District Farmer’s Market, a public-private partnership that has 3 London councillors on the board of advisors for programming.
The rally was organized by David Heap and ‘hosted’ by the Council of Canadians. Heap is a Western University professor who was one of the so-called ‘delegates’ on-board the failed (but no less shameful) 2011 ‘Boat to Gaza’ which was trying to break Israel’s blockade of weapons to the Jew-murdering Hamas terrorists.
The event was set to take place between 12-2pm. We were very concerned about this venue being used for partisan politics and wanted to ensure that the WFD knew what was planned and had given their permission. They hadn’t.
“When the market operators were made aware of the information you provided they stated that they do not support or endorse any political party and would speak with the organizer to shut the event down.”
2. Israel Truth Week is moving into the next phase of its development. After producing three very successful conferences since our first in 2012, we are about to focus on a very special project (more below) while maintaining what Israel Truth Week was always intended to be: a unified ‘brand’ name and event listing service for people holding events held to counter the hateful Israel Apartheid Week.
Our vision was that people all over the world would hold their own events as part of Israel Truth Week, use our logo to identify their participation, and list their events on the site.
As of 2015 we will no longer produce annual conferences. We will focus on supporting others AND producing specialized training events where needed. Here’s the what and why:
a. It was always our plan to do this.
b. We prefer to fill critical needs that are not well-served and/or support others doing good work rather than replace or compete with them.
c. We believe, given the dire state of Israel’s reputation, that we need to focus on what we think is the most critical initiative, one that is virtually ignored by most pro-Israel advocates: destroying the false ‘occupation’ narrative and promoting a moratorium on all peace initiatives and land give-aways via our ‘NO PEACE WITHOUT TRUTH’ campaign. We believe that doing so is the only way to restore Israel’s reputation, and we see this as a critically underserved endeavour.
To that end…
So far, there are 2 great(!) upcoming events listed for 2015 Israel Truth Week (Feb 22 and March 15 in Toronto); be sure to check them out here. If you have an event of your own you want listed, check out this page..
3. Israel Truth Week really needs your support to keep the project going. We’re grateful for whatever you can afford. You can donate via PayPal or via cheque mailed to: Israel Truth Week, 102-341 Talbot St., London, Ontario, Canada N6A 2R5.
4. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported Israel Truth Week in the past; I am excited about what we will do in the future together.
With Warm Regards,
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Israel Truth Week
Israel Truth Week is honoured to have been asked by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) to be a “participating organization” in a Candlelight March and gathering in Toronto this Wed, Aug 20/14, beginning at 8pm:
Hope to see you walking with us!
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Israel Truth Week
On Sunday, August 10, 2014 the voices of freedom were loud and they were united:
Thank you to Jewish Defence League
After the day was over I sent the following email to the leadership of the JDL:
I am just home from Toronto. I’m going to write about this tomorrow & post pics after some sleep, but couldn’t go to bed without telling you what a great job you did today! I and others very proud of you. Wow. Thanks for asking me to speak and getting Rev El Shafie to come. What an honour. I’ve already heard from his admin person who “heard it was quite the rally today.” (One Free World Int’l is holding a Standing With Israel Solidarity event at a church, date to be verified).
JDL helped me coordinate the ‘walk’ down to the Christian rally at Queen’s Park (as did Canadians For Israel) for Iraqi Christians who really appreciated our presence. I think we had about 125 or more walk down. Wow. Some young JDL guys helped me and they really did you proud with their professionalism and willingness to help made it happen for me/us.
Got a great shot of Zaza and gang in JDL shirts holding a sign supporting the Iraqi Christians. They had an agreement w/QP security not to display any flags, so was very rewarding when everyone (not just JDL) respected their urgent request that we not bring in flags & signs. They were very grateful for that. We were there to support them, and it was great to see my Jewish friends, especially JDL, making their event a success and a time to build relationships.
JDL organized the sound, the security. JDL supported the Canadians For Israel flashmob with security & generator. Wow.
I’m so impressed by what you guys did today, and what you worked so hard to help others accomplish.
I have always believed in you, and have always seen you as being leaders in the struggle against evil. You showed great leadership today. Take a bow—you deserve it. Honoured to know all of you.
Event #1. 10:30-12:30: CIJR Colloquium: Israel, Hamas and the Third Gazan War. I was only able to attend the first half in order to be able to participate in event #2, but the two speakers I heard were worth the 2.5 hour drive from my home in London alone:
SPEAKER 1: Prof. Renan Levine from the U of Toronto spoke about what the polls were saying about the Gaza war:
The voices of freedom are coming alive! People and organizations are holding educational events and taking to the streets this weekend to defend freedom and justice: for Israel and for the horribly persecuted of Iraq.
Contact: Canadian Kurdish Federation FOR SECOND RELEASE
Ezidi (Yezidi) Massacre in Iraqi Kurdistan
Toronto (Dundas Square)- On Saturday, August 9 from 12-3pm, Kurds in the Toronto area will be gathering at Dundas Square to raise awareness of the genocide taking place against Ezidi Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan and to urge the Canadian government to take immediate action to provide assistance. […]
Wish I could be there, but I have another important commitment. If the Canadian Forces can be used to unintentionally install Sharia law in Libya, we can use them to save Yezidis, Christians and others from ISIS monsters.
2. TORONTO, Sunday, August 10/14, 10:30-12:30, Lodzer Synagogue, 12 Heaton St., Toronto (North York): CIJR (Canadian Institute For Jewish Research) Colloquium: Israel, Hamas and the Third Gazan War. Refreshments Served. Donations voluntary; Students free.
3. TORONTO, Sunday, August 10/14, 2:00pm, Israel Consulate, 180 Bloor Street W. (at University/Queen’s Park & Avenue Rd) [MAP]; RALLY FOR ISRAEL. Organized by Jewish Defence League.
This is the big one! The Jewish Defence League has called for a counter-protest vs. a planned ‘All Out For Gaza’ rally by the pro-Hamas side that seems determined to try to justify the killing of Jewish civilians. There are estimates that thousands of pro-Hamas demonstrators could be there.
In support of our persecuted brothers and sisters, who have been forced to flee the city of Mosul, we will rally in solidarity. After fleeing and surrendering their belongings to the terrorist group, ISIS, the persecuted Christians of Iraq left their homes with only the clothes on their backs. Our goal in this protest …is to inform the Canadian public and government of the atrocities in Mosul and hope for aid.The Eastern Churches in Canada are inviting all those against the brutalities to participate in the peaceful demonstration, which will take place in the city of Toronto on August 10th, 2014. It will be concluded by submitting a letter to the Iraqi and Canadian governments, asking for the protection of Christians or an opportunity to seek refuge outside their war-stricken country.
5. TORONTO, Sunday, August 10/14, Time & Places Secret: FLASHMOBS FOR ISRAEL.
Purpose: to show how Israelis only have 15 seconds to save their lives from Hamas rockets. Organized by Canadians For Israel.
A small group of people showed up to stand with us for an Israel Truth Week vigil at the London, Ontario Ribfest today where, for the second day in a row, anti-Israel Hamas supporters were working their propaganda machine to falsely accuse the Jewish state of “mass murder” and “genocide” and the deliberate bombing of civilians.
According to a Facebook page set up by David Heap, they were “invited” to have a booth for free. This turned to be only partly true.
I regarded it as shameful that those who support terrorists during an ongoing war would use a family festival as a propaganda vehicle, and I had no wish to be part of it, but it simply could not go un-opposed.
We were a small group, but we were not alone–thanks to you
I unsuccessfully tried to reach the organizers, but with time being of the essence I issued an ITW Action Alert asking people–with barely 2 hours notice–to show up in London for a vigil near the booth today at 4pm, or to write and/or call the organizers and London’s politicians if they couldn’t come.
On this most holy of Jewish observances–Tisha B’av, when Jews will mourn for their First and Second Temples in Jerusalem that were destroyed on this day–I am asking you, especially fellow Gentiles, to join me today from 4:00pm till dark to protest at the London Ribfest where an anti-Israel booth has been set up accusing her of “bombing innocent civilians” and “Mass Murder.” According to a Facebook event page set up by David Heap and an email sent out by KAIROS in support this booth was set up at the invitation of Ribfest organizers.
friends, we have an extraordinary opportunity to spread the message about Israeli aggression in Gaza: following Saturday’s vigil, we have been invited by Ribfest (!) to staff an ‘official’ information table (free of charge), Sunday and Monday Aug. 3-4, for information and discussion about Gaza. WOW! Will be working on the needed information between now and tomorrow, and will post the location of our table as soon as we know it for sure. Meantime, if you can spare a couple of hours or more between 11 am and 11 pm (either day, or both) then please message Sahar Ataya with your availability.
(bold emphasis added)
It is a terrible lack of judgement that at a time of rising hatred and rhetoric over a war in the Middle East that is claiming both Jewish & Arab lives, and which was begun by Hamas rockets against the Jewish people, that the organizers of a family festival like Ribfest would allow such a repugnant booth for children to see in the first place. However, having made that decision, to not take steps to ensure that the Jewish/pro-Israel side was offered an equal opportunity to share their perspective is outrageous.
Please join me for a peaceful vigil within site of the booth. Bring Israel flags. Will begin at 3:30pm until dark. The booth is located at the North end of Victoria Park near Central Avenue which runs between Wellington and Richmond. MAP .
Help me send a message that family festivals are no places to amp up hatred against the state of the Jewish people with one-sided propaganda.
BACKGROUND: I have sent an email (see below) to the organizers, left a telephone message, and visited the event headquarters where staff told me that the anti-Israel side was invited because “they were holding a march.” I asked if the Jewish/pro-Israel crowd was invited, to which the response was, “Were you holding a march, too?” I asked that a senior organizer call me. As of 2:26pm none has responded to my call, email or visit.
One member of the Jewish media has contacted me and wants to be kept up to date.
Action Item #2: If you can’t come, you can leave messages for Ribfest organizers here:
Action Item #3: Please contact London’s politicians to tell them that family festivals are not places to amp up hatred against the state of the Jewish people with one-sided propaganda.
Hope to see you there.
Mark Vandermaas, Founder