Toronto land rights activist Renanah Gemeiner had an amazing idea: why don't we have signs and a banner printed up so we can share Israel Truth Week's message with the many thousands of participants at Toronto's 'Walk With Israel' event? The message, of course, is that the world has not honoured its promises to Jewish people contained in their land title deed from the ORIGINAL two-state solution: the Mandate For Palestine. So we did!
Before we go further, I should say we were not part of the event. Our 'cheerleading' station was not officially sanctioned by the United Jewish Appeal, nor did we ask them to do so. We stayed on public property the whole time, other than when I bought some event t-shirts for the team so people who saw us didn't think we were protesting against them. More on that later!
An anonymous donor paid for the materials, and so we were able to set up a 'cheerleading' station right before the finish line where approximately (according to one estimate) 15-18,000 pro-Israel people passed by us. [photo below by Ted Harlson]
Here, Renanah, husband Joe and sister Heather cheer on walkers:
'Tell your kids they're owners, not occupiers!
As the walkers passed by we thanked and congratulated them, and told them not to let their kids grow up to believe their people stole land.
We got many thumbs up and smiles. Some people wanted their picture taken with us.
At the end of the day, some Israel-haters showed up near the Princes' Gates of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds to harass the walkers, so we moved our banner to where the ever-on-guard Jewish Defence League had set up across the street from them. [photo below by Marvin Goldberg]
Some important firsts, and a sad observation...
What is remarkable about Renanah's idea for this event is that it's never been done before. It's the first time any pro-Israel group has set up a 'cheerleading' booth (unofficially!) to reach out to walkers at the Walk For Israel, let alone expose so many people to the truth about israel's land rights in one day.
Our message was so foreign to some Jews that, despite our clear signs saying 'JEWS ARE OWNERS, NOT OCCUPIERS!' they actually thought we were anti-Israel! One man started arguing with me and stormed off in anger not realizing that we were on his side, the side of Jewish people and on the side of Israel. It's sad how the 'occupation' lie has been so inculcated into the minds of Jewish people that some can look at a strongly-supportive message, yet their brains see only 'Jews' and 'Occupiers.'
I'm pleased to report that the man came back to apologize along with his wonderful daughter who had attended one of my live training sessions.
The sadder fact is that out of nearly 500 Zionists I have personally trained, only about 2% of them had ever read the magnificent words of Israel's land title deed, the Mandate For Palestine. Israel's land rights are not taught in Israeli schools, nor are they promoted or advocated-for by the vast majority of pro-Israel NGOs. It's no wonder, therefore, that so many Jews and non-Jews have bought into the 'occupation' lie!
Which brings me to my 'commercial' message:
Liberating Israel from the 'occupation' myth
You have a unique opportunity to know more than 99% of the world's population about israel's land rights and why Jews truly have been falsely accused of stealing land by taking my free 'Liberating Israel' training program here: www.IsraelTruthWeek.org/#deed. Watch the videos and download my training handbook.
Then...take the time to read the speech I wrote for Bibi to demonstrate the strategic use of a moral argument to destroy the 'occupation' lie.
If you think it all makes sense, share it with your favourite NGO, politician, religious leader or journalist.
Journalist Doris Epstein's article about our demonstration was picked up by three different publications:
- Never Again Canada: Group demonstrates for Israel's legal land rights at March For Israel
- Canadian Investigative Group: [LINK]
- Centre for Research of Radicalism and National Security [LINK]
Many thanks to everyone who helped organize this event, showed up to support it, provided funds to make it possible and shared it with others. Thanks also to the thousands of Walk With Israel participants and the United Jewish Appeal (UJA Federation of Greater Toronto) for putting on a great event.
Thank you also, and especially, to those of you who crowded into Renanah and Joe Gemeiner's apartment later that evening for a dinner party to see Debbie and me off to our new live in New Brunswick. I was profoundly touched by the kind words. I'm not leaving the fight; I'll just be doing it from another place. I'm just a plane ride away if someone wants me to do some training!
Last Sunday once again confirmed my belief that when we ask why there is so much evil in the world, we are asking the wrong question. We should be asking, Why is there so much good. 'Good' was very much on display last Sunday before, during and after the Walk With Israel.
POSTED BY: Mark Vandermaas, Israel Truth Week, firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos, except where noted, by Mark Vandermaas