Shalom Toronto: ‘Fighting For Israel: Israel Truth Week’

140313 Shalom Toronto cover Fighting For Israel: Israel Truth WeekShalom Toronto front page story about the upcoming 2014 Israel Truth Week Conference in Toronto on March 23. Reprinted with permission.



by Doris Strub Epstein

“It’s time the truth was told. It’s time to stand together . It’s time to stop being afraid.” Mark Vandermaas, founder Israel Truth Week

A stellar array of speakers will take part in the third annual Israel Truth Week Conference, Sunday March 23 at the Lodzer Synagogue. This year the focus will be on the legality of Israel’s existence. Titled “Truth Before Solutions – Safeguarding the Honour of the Jewish People”, it will honour the late Howard Grief: attorney, legal scholar, author and champion of Israel’s land rights under international law.

Grief dedicated 25 years of his life to documenting and disseminating to the public at large, that modern Palestine was created, via the 1920 San Remo Conference and the subsequent l922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, specifically to reconstitute the “national home” of the Jewish people. That land promised to Jews east of the Jordan River was given instead to Arabs in what is now Jordan.

“Israel is an owner not an occupier,” declared Mark Vandermaas, founder of ITW. He will be delivering practical advice and strategies on pro-active responses to anti -Israel propaganda.

Mark grew up hearing about the plight of Jews under the Nazis from his Dutch born parents who had survived the Nazi occupation of Holland. Later, as a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, he served with a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Middle East. But it was his experience with the violence and breakdown of law and order by ” the racially biased” police against the residents of Caledonia that galvanized him to action of behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

Speakers will include Israel land rights expert, Salomon Benzimra, Richard Bass, author of Israel in World Relations and Jonathan Halevi, retired IDF career intelligence officer who specialized in Palestinian affairs, now senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Editor of Shalom Toronto.

The ITW concept was created by Mark Vandermaas after Jewish students at Western University in London were intimidated while campus police refused to intervene The mission of ITW is to radically alter negative public opinion about Israel through education and activism. “Our approach is to promote a peaceful, determined, reasoned, unified response to anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism on and off campus,” he states. ITW seeks to unite grassroots Jewish and non Jewish organizations and individuals.

The Israel Truth Week conference will be held on Sunday , March 23d, at the Lodzer Synagogue, 12 Heaton St., from 10 am to 6 pm. A light kosher lunch in included. Admission is free but voluntary donations of $10.00 and more (tax deductable) will go to Canadian Magen David Adom For Israel.

Registration and complete event information at

Contacts; Mark Vandermaas, 519 457 0709,; Ilana Shneider, Coordinator ITW, Ilana Shneider,



Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Israel Truth Week