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LETTER: York school board must adopt IHRA antisemitism definition

'Antisemitism is a very serious problem in Ontario's schools, with at least three teachers forfeiting their licences in the last 12 months for making hateful remarks,' says letter writer
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York Region District School Board headquarters in Aurora.

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On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the York Region School District School Board will vote whether to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. 

The IHRA represents 35 national governments, including Canada, and the working definition has been officially adopted or supported by the governments of Canada, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. It is the internationally and nationally recognized definition of antisemitism.

A noisy fringe movement complains that it censors criticism of Israel, but that is not true. Denouncing Israeli government policies or actions is not antisemitic.
Saying that Israelis are like Nazis is antisemitic or asking Jews who support Israel whether they are 'apartheid enablers' is antisemitic. It's that simple.

Antisemitism is a very serious problem in Ontario's schools, with at least three teachers forfeiting their licences in the last 12 months for making hateful remarks, including outright Holocaust denial, in and out of the classroom against Jews and other minorities. 

It is essential that the York Region District School Board pass this very important resolution.

Michael Teper, board member, Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation