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Home arrow Censorship arrow "Three Wishes" Denied
"Three Wishes" Denied PDF Print E-mail
Mar 31, 2006 at 12:33 AM

Palestinian boy with word ‘censored’ taped across his mouth.Initiatives to censor expressions of “unacceptable” thoughts are an important feature of the work of Canadian advocates of Israeli state policies. This includes efforts to silence even children. 

In 2006 the Canadian Jewish Congress is waging a campaign to prevent Ontario school school children from reading the words of Palestinian and Jewish Israeli children presented in the book Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli children speak, by award-winning Ontario author Deborah Ellis. The Toronto Star reported on this censorship campaign on March 2. Another article March 15 documents the spreading campaign, and a March 16 Toronto Star editorial compares this with other current censorship issues. The book had been recommended by the Ontario Library Association as one of those eligible for their prestigious Silver Birch Award, winners chosen by the votes of school children who read the eligible books.

Nine year old Evie Freedman, a grade four student in Ontario told the Toronto Star she was upset by the effort to ban this book. She has already read Three Wishes and told the Toronto Star reporter: “I don’t usually enjoy non-fiction books, but I enjoyed it. It had the voices of real children. It was actually real-life things that kids in other countries are going through and I’m really interested in that.”

Groundwood Books, PEN Canada, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and The Association of Canadian Publishers have responded and continue responding to censorship of Three Wishes.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association also has urged the Canadian Jewish Congress to reconsider its efforts to stop Ontario school kids reading the words of Palestinian and Jewish Israeli school kids.

Letters should be sent to the Ontario Library Association and its executive director Larry Moore, stating your opposition to censorship of their recommendations for the Silver Birch Award, and congratulating them on their integrity and courage in opposing the pressures of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The address is: info@accessola.com

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Independent Jewish Voices Condemns Israel's Gaza Massacre

December 28, 2008

The Israeli military has unleashed its most vicious air assault against the people of Gaza in decades, killing over 280 Gazans and wounding over 700. Despite claims by the Israeli leadership that they are trying to avoid civilians the attacks have been concentrated on Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli television reports that Israeli troops are massing on the border "in preparation for a supplementary ground offensive".

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) condemns this murderous escalation of violence by the Israeli government. Diana Ralph, IJV Coordinator calls this assault "completely disproportionate to the unsupportable firing of Qassam rockets by Hamas fighters which killed one Israeli. It's important to put this into the context of the deadly siege of Gaza by the Israeli forces, which continued in violation of the terms of the recent six month truce between Israel and Gaza. In the ethics of violent conflicts, it is the responsibility of the force wielding power - the Israeli government in this case - to create the conditions for a just peace."

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