- Canadian Jewish News, Aug 13/14: Canadian Jewish News, Aug 13/14: London, Ont., foodfest attracts pro- and anti-Israel protesters
- Doris Strub Epstein, Israel Activist Alliance, Aug 6/14: Israel Advocacy Group Steals The Show From London Pro Hamas Propagandists
- (see also)–Israel Truth Week, July 27/14: London anti-Hamas vigil: 13 Christians & Jews vs. 300 Hamas supporters…and NO police
Please everyone…stop contacting the organizers of Ribfest: Our message was heard loud and clear. The organizers will not allow this to happen again: Israel Truth Week and the Jewish/Israel side WILL have a booth next year…for free.
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.
And you answered the call! Oh boy, did you answer the call. And on the most somber of Jewish observances–Tisha B’av, no less.
We were a small, but progressively growing group as the afternoon wore into evening, but we had a huge presence and impact today thanks to you. Emails and phone calls to the organizers; postings on Facebook; tweets, and emails to Israel Truth Week. My inbox is overflowing and I thank you for your kind messages. And I thank those who helped spread the word.
Once again, we stole the show from the Israel haters; showed them we would not be intimidated; made more friends who want to keep in touch; and scored a great victory…
- Israel Truth Week video, Aug 4/14 (ITW vigil vs. Gaza Ribfest): “YOU DAMN ZIONIST!” Victory in London”
The video tells the story, but let me give you the happy ending right now:
The organizers were not knowingly trying to take sides against Israel.
- They were bullied into giving the Israel-haters a free booth in order to keep them from disrupting the festival. Part of the problem is that they made a decision to try to appease the bullies rather than insist that the law be enforced. This is, of course, still unacceptable, so it was good that we made our position clearly known and it resulted in a commitment from them:
- They will not allow this to happen again: Israel Truth Week and the Jewish/Israel side WILL have a booth next year…for free.
Well done, everyone!
A sad, but telling note…
Some from the ‘other’ side came, quite pleasantly actually, to talk. I talked about how, when I spoke to the 2,000 people at last Sunday’s rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto, I called for 1 minute of silence for both the Jewish AND Arab victims of Hamas. I talked about being a UN peacekeeper with an obligation to speak out for both sets of victims caused by Arab terrorists. I talked about Golda Meir’s sad observance:
When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Golda Meir, 1969
But, it was like talking to a wall. A very pleasant wall, but a wall nevertheless. One that has written on it: we don’t care how many Jewish civilians die or are traumatized. It’s all about us. We have the right to rain rockets on you. We have the right to murder your children, but you have no right to defend yours.
Not one of them could bring themselves to admit that Hamas was killing their children. Not one could bring themselves to offer any empathy for Israel’s children.
Sad, but telling.
Mark Vandermaas, Founder
Israel Truth Week