Black Nova Scotians and allies rallied outside the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission offices on Spring Garden Road. The NSHRC is reluctant to pursue race-based human rights violations while its employees often lack a lived understanding of racism, protesters say. And the commission isn’t listening.
Judy and I and our two sons have fought our entire lives against all forms of discrimination, racial and anti-Semitic. And we have paid for it. During one incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan in Toronto where we organized resistance, somebody broke into our apartment and painted anti-Jewish slogans on the walls. My bruises from confronting white supremacists have healed. But, even in my 70s, I am still willing to challenge hatred and bigotry wherever I find it. Disappointingly, several of the attacks have come from the institutional Jewish organizations that felt uncomfortable with our criticism of Israeli policies and actions.
Press release: “An EKOS survey commissioned by IJV Canada in 2018 shows that the Canadian Jewish community is significantly split on the issue of Israel and antisemitism. It reveals, for example, that 60% of Canadian Jews agree with the statement “Accusations of antisemitism are often used to silence legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies.”
Some 40 people rallied this afternoon in downtown Hlaifax in support of Rana Zaman, a tireless activist whose human rights award was abruptly taken away on Wednesday by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC), a mere 10 days after it was awarded.
“Rabbi Jonah Rank, who was associated with Halifax’s Shaar Shalom synagogue until recently, wrote an impassioned defence of Ms. Zaman to Human Rights Commission CEO Christine Hanson calling Zaman “a friend to the Jews, a courageous changemaker.” He cites Ms. Zaman’s efforts in establishing a peace-seeking group of Halifax Jewish and Muslim women called “Salaam-Shalom.” From a press release issued by Independent Jewish Voices, condemning the rescinding of Rana;s Human Rights Award.
A cowardly Human Rights Commission has rescinded the award Rana Zaman received last week after it was aleged that she is antisemitic. Rana is rightly critical of Israeli policies towards Palestine, but antisemitic she isn’t.
Who really started the current campaign to demonize Rana Zaman? It was none other than the NDP., writes Judy Haiven. The NDP’s slander about her being unacceptable and an anti-semite was picked up by the Jewish establishment. I think the NDP has a lot of explaining to do, she writes.
Judy Haiven asks a good question: How can it be that an officially nominated federal candidate gets dragged through the mud; is accused of writing anti-semitic tweets; is then turfed from being a candidate for the NDP – yet wins the most prestigious Human Rights Award in Nova Scotia?
Compensation awarded to the complainants in a human rights enquiry may sound generous, but it is peanuts when you take into account the decades the three were institutionalized, away from community and their loved ones, and subjected to a regime that allows almost no space for making your own decisions.
We speak with Mayann Francis, former lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, about an incident at the Dartnouth General Hospital that caused her to file a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.