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City manager releases report on 'Israeli apartheid'


City manager releases report on 'Israeli apartheid'

Term does not violate Toronto's anti-discrimination policy
In an April 12 report to the executive committee of Toronto city council, city manager Joseph Pannachetti wrote, "City staff have determined that the phrase ‘Israeli apartheid’ in and of itself does not violate the City’s Anti-discrimination policy.”

Read the report for yourself below and check out Hate speech rhetoric threatens Pride Toronto.

The long-awaited report comes in the wake of a July 7, 2010, motion before Toronto city council. The motion, originally intended to claw back city money from Pride Toronto for not kicking the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA) out of the 2010 Pride parade, was put forward by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti.

Mammoliti’s motion passed but was heavily amended prior to the vote. Read all about it here.

Pennachetti's report puts to rest an almost two-year saga of political hot-potato passing and deflection on the part of city officials, compounded by the choices made by former Pride Toronto managers and board members. Read all about it in Pride Toronto censorship: How it came to this. Pennachetti's report does not necessarily mean that city council won't still vote to cut support for Pride Toronto in 2011 or 2012.

To follow this story as it unfolded from the very outset, don't miss Pride Toronto 2010-2011: All coverage in one place.

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Lotsa reasons to defund Pride
Get those e-mails going to your Mayor Ford and your councillors now, addresses at toronto.ca, and tell them (a) a festival whose 'free speech' will continue to vilify Jews and Israel is not one that presents equal services and benefits to all, contrary to the City Manager's Report, regardless of the lack of a 'hate speech' prosecution; (b) targetting Jews and Israel to demonize them is antisemitic regardless of one's opinion on Israeli politics and is irrelevant to Pride's tourism and cultural mandate; (c) there are human grounds to prohibit Pride Toronto's and QuAIA's continued and documented creation of harassing and poisoned climates on grounds of ethnicity, religion, creed, conscience, and national origin, all of which are present in Pride Toronto's support for QuAIA's participation; (c) the City of Toronto has other economic priorities and the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED authority to choose which projects it will fund to represent the City for tourism, business, and other purposes, (d) just do what PM Harper did and say you have other priorities and hear the lefties whine 'homophobia' 'collective punishment', (d) tell them about the bullying you've experienced at Pride from QUAIA and the Pride Coalition for Free Speech; (e) remind them that even Ontario Human Rights Commish Barbara Hall suggests the Ont Human Rights Tribunal has no jurisdiction on hate speech, but recommends DEFUNDING and LETTER CAMPAIGNS against groups perceived as promoting hate speech. LGBT Pride and QUAIA folk, there is no obligation for the city to fund your pathetic expensive 'free speech'. When you clean up your mess and become a community worth investing in, give us a call. Until then, pay for it yourself. And thanks Xtra for all the helpful suggestions - I just advised the Mayor and Council on suitable grounds to defund Pride and helped them draft a workable resolution. Buh bye. Ciao, losers.
Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid
The recent report from the city manager that use of the phrase 'Israeli Apartheid' does not constitute hate speech vindicates what those of us in QuAIA have been saying all along. There is nothing hateful about criticizing Israeli state policy or policy of any other state. Our view is that Israeli state policy, taken as a whole, constitutes apartheid. This is most apparent in the West Bank where Israeli Jews are privileged with greater access to natural resources (including water from Palestinian land), Jewish-only housing and a sleek modern road system that Palestinians are not allowed to use. Palestinians meanwhile are subject to house demolitions and land confiscation, military checkpoints on a substandard road system, and are subject to arbitrary administrative detention and commonplace abuse and torture under that system. The reason that Israel's allies use censorship to end the discussion on 'Israeli apartheid' is that they cannot win a rational debate on the merits of the use of the phrase. The further use of LGBT rights in Israel as an excuse to pinkwash Israel's human rights abuses is unacceptable; that is why Queers Against Israeli Apartheid exists.
Kiss my grits Rob Ford
This decision will send Rob Ford and Lawyer Gladstone into fits of hysteria. Shame on those people for trying to stop sponsor funding and city goodwill over a legal non-issue. Doesn't that fat man have other things to do?
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