Frequently Asked Questions
On what is the CPCCA based?
- The CPCCA emerged from the London Conference to Combating Antisemitism which was the first event of its kind to gather international parliamentarians for the purpose of developing a collaborative response to an international conference.
- The Conference resulted in the London Declaration, which among other things called upon“national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.”
- The Conference was organized by the Interparliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, and the UK based Parliamentary Coalition Against Antisemitism. The structure and function of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism is based on the UK model.
- More information can be obtained at www.thepcaa.org & www.antisem.org
Why is it necessary for Canada to conduct an inquiry into antisemitism?
- The extent and severity of antisemitism is widely regarded as at its worst level since the end of the Second World War.
- The problem is increasingly widespread affecting societies and individuals around the world.
- Antisemitism is being manifested in a manner which has never been dealt with before.
- It is key that we gain insight into the problem of antisemitism locally, before we convene and find solutions globally.
What is the ‘new antisemitism’?
- Antisemitism is an age-old phenomenon, yet it is always re-invented and manifested in different ways. For example, while accusations of blood libel are still being made against the Jewish people, instead they are being directed against the State of Israel, such that anti-Zionism is being used as a cover for antisemitism.
- This problem is especially prevalent on campuses where Jewish students are ridiculed and intimidated for any deemed support for the “Nazi” and “apartheid” State of Israel, which is claimed to have no right to exist.
- The problem is also exemplified by individuals and governments who call for the destruction of the State of Israel and its inhabitants.
Is the Canadian Parliamentary Committee for Combating Antisemitism really about limiting legitimate criticism of the State of Israel?
- No. The issue of antisemitism is a domestic and international human rights issue that affects people and states around the world. The need to defend fundamental freedoms of consciousness and belief, expression and association, our constitutionally engrained rights, are generally not a matter of political controversy. As stated in the London Declaration “We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations – in rhetoric and political action – against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel.”
- However, dissent and opposition to individual actions of the Israeli government are both permitted and encouraged in and outside of Israel, just as political dissent is permitted and encouraged with respect to any democratic nation.
- As stated in the London Declaration, calls for the destruction of the State of Israel are inherently antisemitic.
What is the goal of the inquiry?
- We hope to gain insight into the problem of antisemitism in Canada and develop meaningful suggestions on how to combat it both locally and globally.
How will the inquiry work?
- The first phase began on June 2nd2009 with a call for written submissions on the subject of antisemitism in Canada. Any individual, group or organization was welcome to make a submission, of a maximum of 2000 words. The Inquiry Panel received and reviewed over 150 submissions.
- The Second phase will consist of witnesses testimony at a number of oral hearings. The hearings will be open to the public. For more information.
- The Third phase will be the drafting of a report based on the committees findings which will be submitted to the Government of Canada.
Who is paying for/supporting the Inquiry?
- The CPCCA is independent of the Government of Canada, and NGOs or Jewish Community Organizations.
- Funding will only be accepted for the inquiry and conference if it will not compromise the terms of reference and the mandate of the CPCCA.
- We will voluntarily disclose all sources of funding.
What will happen to the inquiry if there is an election?
- The problem of antisemitism goes beyond politics, and we have put safeguards in place so that if there is an election the work of the committee will be able to continue.
- The Steering Committee and Inquiry Panel Chairs (Scott Reid & Mario Silva respectively) have been empowered to work on behalf of the committee during the writ period.