Canadian Jewish News re Israel Truth Week Sodastream vigil:
As part his overall mission, Vandermaas wants to get the message out that Israel isn’t an occupier, but an owner of the land, thanks to a land title deed given to the Jewish People under international law that created the “two-state solution” in 1922. That’s when the League of Nations ratified the 1920 San Remo Resolution dividing the planned Jewish state of Palestine into two: one for Jews (now Israel) and one for Arabs (now Jordan), he said.“ Our mandate is to protest with dignity and protest with resolve. I see no more important project… than making sure the Jewish community understands San Remo,” Vandermaas said. “There is an iron-clad title deed founded in the bedrock of international law. This is not generally known, even among Jews.” “If you are going to give away a huge portion of your birthright, you better at least understand you are doing so as owners and not as monstrous occupiers. More than that, the world needs to understand.”[…]
“We follow the ways of Martin Luther King, who raised black people up instead of putting white people down, “ he said. “Why don’t they raise up the Arabs instead of tearing down the Jews?”
- Canadian Jewish News, Sept 23/13: Abigail Cukier–Counter-protesters buy $600 worth of product
(UPDATED Oct 09/13): Yesterday’s (Sept 21) Israel Truth vigil at Canadian Tire, organized in response to planned anti-Sodastream picketing by the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War (HCSW), Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME); and the Palestinian Association of Hamilton (PAH) was a wonderful success, and the rain that poured down on us only made what was to become a great victory even more sweet.
Community leaders and their supporters — Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu (and a few atheists) — from London, Hamilton and Toronto came to stand for Israel against the intimidation of Sodastream, an Israeli company that manufactures carbonation appliances in Judea-Samaria that has saved billions of cans and bottles from landfills around the world. Participants included:
- David Freeman, former Toronto Chair, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.
- Salomon Benzimra, co-founder of Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights; author of The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel, ITW 2013 speaker.
- Tahir Gora, author, TV host, founder of Progressive Muslims Institute Canada; ITW 2013 speaker.
- Shobie Kapoor, founder, Canadian Patriotic Society.
- Ilana Schneider, Exec. Director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association.
- Gary McHale, Exec. Director of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality; ITW 2012 & 2014 speaker; author of upcoming book, Victory In The No-Go Zone: Winning The Fight Against Two-Tier Policing (to be released November 9, 2013 at the Freedom Press Symposium; reserve tickets now).
- Members of Hamilton’s Never Again Group. (co-organizers of 2013 Israel Truth Week conference; they prefer to maintain a truly virtual presence by not being online).
- Pastor David Cummings, Hamilton Christian Fellowship (he hosted a screening of Precious Life during Israel Truth Week 2013, a movie about an Israeli doctor who saves the life of a Gazan baby whose mother later talks about him being a suicide bomber.)
- Al Gretzky, Freedom Party candidate; 2012 ITW speaker.
- Monica Di Francesco, speaker at ITW 2013 on behalf of Return Ministries, with her daughter: Baptism by Wind, Rain And Fire: Riding Under Missiles From Gaza for ALL The Children of ALYN Hospital — Jewish, Christian And Arab.
THE DAY IN VIDEO
Appearances – in order – by: Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War (leaving early after being ordered off the property); Mark Vandermaas, Israel Truth Week; Vardit Feldman, Israel activist; Gary McHale, Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality; Tahir & Halima Gorah, Progressive Muslims Institute Canada; Shobie Kapoor, Canadian Patriotic Society; Salomon Benzimra, Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights; Steve Scheffer, Never Again Group. Produced by Jeff Parkinson, CanACEHD:
THE DAY IN PICTURES (all photos by Christine McHale)
About the pictures…
1. Pro-Israel forces arrive and set up HQ in the rain on public road allowance near the west entrance of Canadian Tire on Nash Road in Stoney Creek. I first took a few minutes to introduce myself to the store manager and the onsite security they had hired. I explained that we would not protest on their private property nor interfere with their business. I also had staff put away 2 Sodastream machines for us to buy at the end of the protest. We kept our word, staying on public land near one of the main driveway entrance roads.
2. Monica DiFrancesco (speaker at 2013 ITW conference) and Vardit Feldman from Toronto keep dry and use Israel Truth Week signs to send a message to passers-by that there’s another side to this issue.
3. Shobie Kapoor, founder of Canadian Patriotic Society, discusses issues with other vigil supporters.
4. Anti-Israel forces take up positions in front of Canadian Tire entrance. In contrast to our approach of not interfering with the business of CAnadian Tire, the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War (HSCW), on the other hand, marched straight up to the front door, harassing bystanders and impeding customers.
5. These two Muslim women send their message: We hate Sodastream and the jobs they provide for our fellow Arabs!
6. Hamilton Police tell remaining anti-Israel stragglers to get off private property after Gary McHale (not seen in this photo) tells security that if Canadian Tire is consenting to a protest on their property, he will advise the pro-Israel side so they, too, can relocate to the entrance area. The security folks make it clear that no protesters have permission to be on the property, so they had to relocate. Since we had already occupied the best location on public property near the entrance closest to the store (with a very nice tree for shelter from the non-stop rain) they had nowhere else to go but the other entrance which is a long way from the store, on the main thoroughfare. One of our supporters reported that they looked quite forlorn standing in the rain with no shelter, no protest and no audience. They left shortly afterwards.
7. As the anti-Israel side walks away to the far-away north entrance from Queenston Road after being told to leave, one wants to know, ‘why are we leaving already?’ Gary McHale can be seen in the background smiling as their protest ends before it really gets started — thanks to his firm intervention to ensure both sides were treated equally.
8. (L-R): David Freeman, former Chair of Toronto Chapter of CIJR, and I proudly display our new Sodastream purchases with Salomon Benzimra, author of The Jewish Peoples’ Rights To The Land Of Israel; Vardit Feldman from Toronto; and Steve Scheffer of Hamilton’s Never Again Group, co-organizer of the 2013 Israel Truth Week conference.
9. (L-R): Pastor David Cummings of the Hamilton Christian Fellowship – who hosted an ITW 2013 screening of the movie Precious Life that raised nearly $1000 for ALYN children’s hospital in Jerusalem – accepts my Sodastream as a donation to his church, the Hamilton Christian Fellowship. David Freeman’s Sodastream will be donated to a Toronto synagogue.
10. Pro-Israel forces gather at their temporary HQ in the rain to hear my final words of thanks and a recap of the day’s many accomplishments before heading home to dry out.
11. The Sodastream carbonation appliance — buy one for yourself!
Other important people (all photos by Christine McHale)
Supporting Sodastream…and Israel’s ‘San Remo/League of Nations Two State Solution Land Title Deed’
We were there to use the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War event to support Sodastream, and to expose the public to the inconvenient truth that Israel is an owner, not an occupier thanks to a ‘land title deed’ given to the Jewish people under international law that created the original and still-legal ‘two state solution’ in 1922 when the League of Nations ratified the 1920 San Remo Resolution and the dividing the planned Jewish state of Palestine into two: one for Jews (now Israel) and one for Arabs (now Jordan), and it ended the nearly 2,000 year long colonization of Jewish land by foreigners. Unfortunately, Israel’s two-state solution land title deed has been consistently violated by the Muslims who refuse to accept the reconstituted Jewish state in their midst.
- Israel Truth Week Factsheet: Sodastream Carbonation Appliance [PDF]
- Matthew M. Hausman, BA, JD: Legal and Historical Precedents for Israeli Claims to Judea and Samaria [PDF, 4P].
- Salomon Benzimra, P.Eng., Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights (CILR.org): Introduction to ‘The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel‘ [PDF, 5P]
- Renanah Goldhar-Gemeiner: ‘Petition to the House of Commons of Canada for the Reaffirmation of Jewish Legal Rights to the Land of Israel…‘ (drafted by land rights scholar, Attorney Howard Grief, an excellent summary of events and legal developments) [PDF, 4p]
NOTE: While Israel Truth Week has been very active in educating the public and pro-Israel activists about San Remo Resolution and the League of Nations ratification, and planned to focus even more efforts on this area, the idea of building a pro-Israel marketing strategy around the ‘original two-state solution’ was inspired by Pamela Geller’s speech during her Sept 18/13 visit to Toronto in which she outlined what would be her response to misleading ads run by anti-Israel groups.
Supporting Palestinian Arabs and the environment
We also came to show our support for the hundreds of Palestinian Arabs who would lose their jobs of anti-Israel groups were successful in their quest to shut down an employer that feeds the families of approximately 500 Arabs in just one plant alone. As one of our supporters said, ‘Why are the Israel-haters trying to keep Palestinians poor, un-employed, and filled with hate? Because it serves their cause of destroying the Jewish state, the only capitalist, democratic country in the Middle East.’ (Indeed, what other agenda could one ascribe to people who are demonizing a company who provides great benefit to the very people they claim to care about?)
Also, let us not forget about those billions of bottles and cans that are not being dumped in landfills thanks to Sodastream; it appears that the radical left doesn’t really care much about the environment when it’s being protected by Jewish businesses.
Sodastream: please send a thank you to the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War
When we went into Canadian Tire to pay for our Sodastream machines I checked the shelf: out of 4 machines priced at $99, and two priced at $129 when I first arrived, there was only a single $129 unit left. Thanks to the HCSW, Sodastream and Canadian Tire sold 5 machines plus at least two flavour kits at 11.99 each for a total of $548.98 before tax — just from our group, at one store alone. But…there’s more: I received an email from Joni Bartolome from Friends of Jesus Christ saying that she hadn’t been able to come, but had bought a Sodastream machine today for her church in solidarity with the Israel Truth vigil. That brings known sales related to our vigil to nearly $648.
Many thanks to the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War! I can only hope that they hold more unintended promotional events for Israeli products in the future.
What we accomplished
Here are the list of accomplishments that I enumerated for our vigil supporters:
1. Before I left home I was cc’d on an email discussion between two vigil participants (Salomon Benzimra and David Freeman) and a Jewish leader which discussed the planned Israel Truth Week vigil, and stressed the need for Salomon to share his expertise on Israel’s legal rights, and for the Jewish community to be more active in opposing anti-Israel propaganda. In other words, Israel Truth Week is sparking important conversations about how to win the propaganda war for truth.
2. As you can see by the partial list of attendees, Israel Truth Week is uniting people of all faiths to help ‘stand the watch’ against Israel’s enemies, especially when our Jewish friends are observing sacred obligations.
3. We helped sell some Israeli products and, hopefully, made Canadian Tire feel better about stocking them. At the least, the handouts I left for the owner gave enough information about the pro-Israeli side for them to decide to continue to stock Sodastream.
4. A Toronto shul and a Hamilton church now have donated Sodastream machines.
5. We were able to use the other side’s event to deny them an uncontested media victory while getting a great pro-Israel message out to a large, mainly non-Jewish audience throughout the Hamilton-Burlington area that would never have otherwise heard it via the Hamilton Spectator who interviewed a number of people in our group. Just as importantly, three of the largest Jewish media outlets in Canada have published stories:
- Hamilton Spectator, Sept 21/13: Israel, Palestinian groups protest at Canadian Tire over controversial inventory
- Canadian Jewish News, Sept 23/13: Abigail Cukier–Counter-protesters buy $600 worth of product
- Jewish Tribune, Sept 24/13: Joanne Hill–Pro-Israel shoppers foil boycott at Canadian Tire store
- Shalom Toronto, Oct 03/13: Doris Strub-Epstein–Jews, Muslims, Christians and Hindus Rally to Protest Israel Sodastream Boycott [see p32; p5 of PDF; ITW download (full copy) PDF; ITW download, p32 only PDF]
Blog/Social media mentions:
- Canada-Israel Friendship Committee, Sept 21/13: facebook [LINK]
- Eye On A Crazy Planet, Sept 22/13: Another anti-Israel boycott fail — groups rally against terror supporters in deceptively named “Canadians For Peace and Justice in the Middle East”
- Blazing Cat Fur, Sept 23/13: Sodastream vigil brings Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews together…
We sent a strong message to the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War that they will not go unopposed when they use lies and intimidation against retailers of Israeli products; that we will take every opportunity, as we did today:
- To sell more of the Israeli products they seek to demonize;
- To get our message out that Israel is an ‘owner’ not an ‘occupier’ under international law by virtue of its 3,000 year old connection to Judea & Samaria and its Two-State Solution Land Title Deed from San Remo and the League of Nations.
In summary: the lesson is the same one we applied in Caledonia to turn the tide of public opinion against government appeasement of violent native militants: ordinary people must ‘take to the street’ in dignified protests in newsworthy events in order to change the public message.
Thank you to everyone who came to stand in the rain to stand for truth and justice. Thank you to those who couldn’t come but send good thoughts and prayers, and helped spread the word. Thank you to those who brought new faces (great to meet you!). Thank you to those who bought Sodastream machines at the vigil or elsewhere in solidarity. And, thank you to videographer Jeff Parkinson, and Christine McHale, both of CanACE, who captured the day on film in between raindrops.
More to come…
More pictures and video footage to come in the next few days.
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Israel Truth Week