Saturday, October 16, 2010

What Toronto’s Jewish voters should know about George Smitherman

Over the last few days, you may have received an e-mail that pointedly questions George Smitherman's position on issues of concern to Jewish voters.

  We are writing you to assure you that there is no truth whatsoever to anything of substance contained in that e-mail.

This e-mail originated from an extremist blogger who has long been active in supporting Rob Ford's campaign. Since earlier this year this individual has thrown just about every accusation one can imagine at George and his supporters, including disparaging – and frankly disgusting – remarks about George's sexual orientation including a recent posting that asked: "Would it be terribly wrong of me to hope that George Smitherman gets AIDS?"

His latest blog entry claims George Smitherman 'boasted' of an 'endorsement' by the Canadian Arab Federation, and that George refused to speak out against the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) protest group.

Both allegations are completely false and have been referred by the campaign to legal counsel.

The truth is the Canadian Arab Federation has not endorsed a candidate for mayor.

  The only reference we could find to the CAF stating an opinion about Toronto's municipal election, were online comments from Ali Mallah, a CAF Vice-President, saying nice things about Joe Pantalone, disparaging things about Rob Ford's views on immigration and other character issues but answered "none of the above" when asked who he thought deserved to be mayor.

  With no actual endorsement to back his anti-Smitherman smears, the author instead tries to distort a report card released on October 4th by the Colour of Poverty Campaign-Colour of Change Network (COP/C) grading Toronto mayoral candidates on issues that align with its priorities, including the expansion of affordable housing, support for employment equity programs and access to city programs and services for racial minorities. COP/C is an umbrella organization representing 13 groups including the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Chapter, the African Canadian Legal Clinic, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, Midaynta Community Services, the Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services and the Canadian Arab Federation.

 COP/C gave George Smitherman a B+ and Rob Ford an F (for failing to meet with the group). There was no endorsement offered by the umbrella organization.

  They explained that George received a slightly higher grade than Joe Pantalone because his employment equity platform is more comprehensive.

On the issue of George Smitherman's position on Israel, QuAIA and the treatment of newcomers, no candidate has been as outspoken as George.

George Smitherman believes in the right of an independent Israel as the state for the Jewish people to live in peace and security with its Arab neighbours. Any indication to the contrary is spurious and it is wrong.

When QuAIA again insisted on politicizing this year's Pride Parade by using the parade to demonize Israel, George Smitherman spoke out, telling the Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy: "We know what this group is going to say, they said it last year. It's time for the Pride committee to act, prevent their participation and in so doing protect this amazing institution that celebrates tolerance, that many have laboured to create." (April 28, 2010).

As a gay man, George understands better than anybody that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where gay rights are protected by law. To show his support, George instructed his supporters to march in support of Kulanu, the Jewish Gay Pride group.

George's team was the largest delegation of all the mayoral candidates.

When Rob Ford repeated his intention to make Toronto a refugee-free zone, George spoke out again, noting it was Canada's policy of "none is too many" and turning away the St. Louis that cost many Jewish refugees their lives in the lead up to and during the Second World War.

He has supported institutions important to the community including Mt. Sinai hospital during his time as Health Minister. For all of these reasons, George Smitherman has attracted hundreds of Jewish supporters to his campaign. We appreciate his ongoing care and outspokenness on issues of concern to Jewish voters.

  We also support his championing of Toronto's motto: "Diversity Our Strength."

With about a week to go before Election Day on October 25th, we expect to see more vitriol and outright lies being circulated about George. This is the worst kind of politics, but we thought it was important you knew the truth about George. For more information about George and his ideas to build on Toronto's strengths, We encourage you to visit his website:

GeorgeSmitherman.ca

Thank you,

Hershell Ezrin

Jack Siegel

Michael Levitt

Howard Brown

James Morton

27 comments:

Cherniak_WTF said...

Typical...

Marla Waltman said...

Thanks for posting this James. These kinds of scurrilous statements need to be countered with fact and reason.

Adam Goodman said...

Thanks James. I have been curiously following this "extremism" for a month or two and am glad the truth is getting out there.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

He added that councillor Joe Mihev (Ward 21) – who initially supported Mr. Pantalone's candidacy - is a caring guy who defends social programs and community issues. Now in an effort to stop the Rob Ford juggernaut, Mr. Mihev is endorsing Mr. Smitherman.

Mr. Mallah trumpeted this strategy because he said, “Rob Ford in no way deserves to be Mayor of Toronto.

Hmmm

http://www.thecanadiancharger.com/page.php?id=5&a=623

Anonymous said...

So does Smitherman approve of Harper's strong support of Israel, particularly in the UN?

Blazing Cat Fur said...

The Canadian Arab Federation did endorse Smitherman. They endorsed his stance on "racial justice" in their role as member group of the the Colour of Poverty Campaign:

An advocacy group whose focus is “racial equity, human dignity and social justice” gave George Smitherman the top grade, B+, and Rob Ford a failing F in its “racial justice report card” on Toronto’s mayoral candidates.

"The group, the Colour of Poverty Campaign-Colour of Change Network (COP/C), gave Joe Pantalone a B and Rocco Rossi a C+. It is composed of 13 community organizations, including the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, the African Canadian Legal Clinic, the Canadian Arab Federation, the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants."



http://tinyurl.com/25lg7e8

Pete Charnie said...

Frankly whether or not CAF endorsed Smitherman is NOT the issue. I love the spin by Blazingcatfur though shows real desperation.

The issue is this extremist blogger claims that Smitherman publicly embraced and welcomed the CAF endorsement. That seems to be a lie unless someone can show me differently.

Pete Charnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Maybe we're getting bogged down in semantics, but I'd say that Tweeting about the endorsement and making it the lead headline on the website could reasonably be construed as "boasting".

CAF VP Ali Mallah certainly DID endorse Smitherman. He did so in the magazine the Canadian Charger (which also formally endorsed him), founded by Mohamed Elmasry who said that all Israelis over 18 were legitimate targets for murder.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Pete the author of this post made the following misinformed statements;


"The only reference we could find to the CAF stating an opinion about Toronto's municipal election, were online comments from Ali Mallah, a CAF Vice-President, saying nice things about Joe Pantalone, disparaging things about Rob Ford's views on immigration and other character issues but answered "none of the above" when asked who he thought deserved to be mayor.

"The truth is the Canadian Arab Federation has not endorsed a candidate for mayor."

That simply isn't so as I pointed out.

CAF did endorse Smitherman in their capacity as a member group of the Colour of Poverty Campaign. You can about their endorsment here - http://tinyurl.com/25lg7e8


Ali Mallah is a Vice President of CAF, Ali Mallah is also on record as endorsing a strategy of voting for Smitherman in order to stop Ford;

"Now in an effort to stop the Rob Ford juggernaut, Mr. Mihev is endorsing Mr. Smitherman.

Mr. Mallah trumpeted this strategy because he said, “Rob Ford in no way deserves to be Mayor of Toronto."

You can read about that here http://tinyurl.com/3ayjqvf

Those are facts not spin Petey and facts are never desperate.

Anonymous said...

http://social.georgesmitherman.ca/georgesmitherman/7b4c89a6-a20a-4eb3-a8c5-84222c0201fa/Ford-given--F--in-racial-justice-report-card?utm_campaign=%253Cdata%253E%250D%250A%2520%2520%253CCreatedByUser%253ESandy%2520Gibson%253C%252FCreatedByUser%253E%250D%250A%253C%252Fdata%253E&utm_content=connectedn-twitter&utm_medium=cnct.in-twitter&utm_source=twitter.com

Here it is featured on Smitherman's website. Read his @teamsmitherman tweet from October 5th. It says he's "proud" of the report card.

They can say it's not an "endorsement" but that's semantic. Why give someone a top grade and publish a report and solicit media coverage if not to try to influence an election?

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Here's another innaccurate statement made by the author of this post;

"...and that George refused to speak out against the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) protest group."


The blogger in question made no such statement. He did state that Smitherman refused to join Ford and Rossi in calling for Pride to be defunded by the city if QuAIA were allowed to particiapte.

Here's the bloggers actual statement;


"While candidates Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi stated that city funding should be revoked if this group is again permitted to participate, Mr. Smitherman refused to join in this call."

That's a completely different kettle of fish to the claim made by the author of this piece.

At no time did the blogger state Smitherman did not speak out against QuAIA, he did claim Smitherman refused to call for defunding Pride should QuAIA participate in the parade.

Here's the link, you can read it yourself - http://tinyurl.com/232q2w6


I love that tag "extremist blogger" I assume "extremist" means anyone the author disagrees with;)

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Oh a liberal Party Candidate, I get it;)

http://tinyurl.com/28p66us


http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=91393230465#!/group.php?gid=91393230465&v=wall

bigcitylib said...

Just in case Mr. Smitherman wants to sue him, his name is Arnie Lemaire and I'm afraid George will have to get in line.

Blazing Cat Fur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blazing Cat Fur said...

BigCity Idiot I suggest you read the article as is usual you are wrong.

bigcitylib said...

Not you? The wifey then?

Blazing Cat Fur said...

BigCity why don't you ask someone who can read to give you a hand.

bigcitylib said...

I prefer this way.

I see no linked to the extremist material.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

You really can't read can you, thank God you're a Liberal.

bigcitylib said...

Can read enough to know what defamation law is and isn't. Have you had to sell your house yet?

Skinny Dipper said...

Whatever one thinks of the QuAIA contingent in the parade, the supporters of the Kulanu contingent in the Toronto Pride parade seemed to be parading more in support for Israel and not so much for Kulanu or gay rights for Jews. This part of the parade looked like a "March for Israel" walk and little like a gay rights march.

Yes, gays have rights in Israel. However, Palestinian gays cannot seek refuge in Israel because Israel will not support giving refuge to Palestinians.

As for QuAIA demonizing Israel, QuAIA is an advocacy group like many other groups and political parties who seek to influence public opinion. QuAIA can demonize Israel as much as opponents of political parties and public figures can demonize these entities.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

At this stage I am sorely tempted to publish an e-mail I received from the Canadian Arab Federation on behalf of an anti-Ford advocacy group, a group which is as bizarre a coalition of craven "bien pensant" groupthink as one can imagine. However I made a promise not to publish to someone who has earned my respect and I am waiting for a specific organization to have its name removed from the group's site. I am assured the group's name will be removed, sparing a huge potential embarassment to the gravy train loving members of one of Toronto's official communities. I am appalled that this organization would ally itself against Ford with some of the "characters" involved. I'm certain many members of the community would be equally incensed.

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Rob Ford but this doesn't stop me from telling anyone who cares that the original blogger claiming that Smitherman openly boasted about an endorsement from CAF is twisting the truth to suit his agenda. And as a pro Forder that makes me ill and Im sure Rob feels the same way.

Smitherman (for those who can read) got high marks from a whole coalition of lib-lefty hankie-sniffers for his support of "diversity", woo-hoo!!

And ya the anti-Israel CAF were part of the group, so F'ing what?? That doesnt mean that CAF endorses Smitherman on all his policies. Ans who cares what that dipstick Ali Malla says?

Smitherman crowed about the good marks he got on being a big supporter of muticulturalism.That will probably lose him votes. He didnt boast about being endorsed by CAF.

Hey Ford people, Rob doesn't need this kind of help from friends. Ya in fact with friends like these Rob don't need no enemies.

Anonymous said...

Here's a response to the lies and distortions contained in this article and a clarification of Smitherman's support from anti-Israel and anti-Jewish groups
http://radiofreecanada.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/follow-up-on-george-smitherman-and-the-jewish-community/

Anonymous said...

That's suppose to be a response? This is Amature hour folks!

Radio Free Canada made an allegation that claimed Smitherman boasted publicly about a supposed endorsement he received from CAF. The endorsement as it turns out is nothing more than a "report card" decided by dozens of lefty groups marking mayoralty candidates on their position on diversity...and CAF was amongst the dozens of lefty groups. That's it people. hardly an endorsement.

So what this is is more an attempt to embrass Rob Ford. Why do I say that? Well because these are Rob Ford supporters making these stupid unverified allegations. It makes them look like the dunces they are and people then think hell if these are the people supporting Ford I want nothing to do with either.

Fred from BC said...

Skinny Dipper said...


Yes, gays have rights in Israel. However, Palestinian gays cannot seek refuge in Israel because Israel will not support giving refuge to Palestinians.


'Palestinians'? Oh, you mean those people who have sworn to kill all the jews and wipe Israel from the map? Unfortunately they can't be trusted not to strap bombs to terrified 14-year-old retarded kids and aim them at the nearest Israelis. Too bad their own people would KILL THEM if they ever identified them as being gay. These are the people that the NDP support, right?