Airline says seating changes for religious reasons are very rare
By Susan Bradley, CBC News Posted: Jul 29, 2015 8:04 AM AT Last Updated: Jul 29, 2015 11:32 AM AT
A federal judge got creative with a decision on a deportation case that dealt with international law and the nature of poker, referencing part of a verse and chorus from Kenny Rogers’ 1978 hit, “The Gambler.”
Fedeal Court Justice Sean Harrington referenced the hit song “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, above, in a ruling involving an Israeli citizen ordered to leave Canada by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada because of a gambling website he had set up.
As federal court decisions go, Justice Sean Harrington knows that if you’re gonna play the game, you better learn to play it right.
The federal judge got creative with a decision on a deportation case that dealt with international law and the nature of poker, referencing part of a verse and chorus from Kenny Rogers’ 1978 hit, “The Gambler.”
The case revolved around Ofer Cohen, an Israeli citizen who visited a friend in Canada in 2013 but was ordered to leave by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada because of a gambling website he had set up.
The website, which ran from July to September 2009, was run by Cohen along with two other men in Israel, Sharon Alaluf and Uri Luzon. After Luzon was arrested for unrelated drug charges, both men were charged with running prohibited games. An arrest warrant was issued for Cohen, but he had already left Israel.
The Immigration and Refugee Board, in its decision to deport Cohen, said because they believed setting up the website was a criminal offence in Israel, it made Cohen inadmissible to Canada.
But Harrington said that was not conclusively proved, despite the arrest warrant, because under Israeli law, a prohibited game depends “more on chance than on understanding or ability,” and certain forms of poker may be games of skill rather than luck.
“If more a game of skill, the deportation order issued . . . against Mr. Cohen was unreasonable and must be set aside,” Harrington said in his decision.
The Syrian refugee crisis has struck a personal note with Catherine Pinhas Mulcair.
Mulcair, the daughter of Turkish Holocaust survivors whose ancestors were Sephardic Jews thrown out of Spain during the 15th century, described being moved by the ongoing flood of people in search of a better life in Europe.
“It does bring emotions,” the wife of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said in a recent phone interview. “The emotions are of another dimension, because my family went through a lot and couldn’t even talk about it, so it was always there.”
Canadians in general should feel a similar connection to the plight of refugees fleeing the conflict in the Middle East and feel compelled to help, she added.
“Everybody has to be aware of what is happening and we cannot turn our backs on those people,” she said.
By Susan Bradley, CBC News Posted: Jul 29, 2015 8:04 AM AT Last Updated: Jul 29, 2015 11:32 AM AT
Woman questions airline seat move request 2:00
A former Halifax chef wants an apology from Porter Airlines, alleging she was asked to move from her seat to accommodate a man who did not want to sit beside a woman for religious reasons.
Christine Flynn, 31, said she was buckled in and waiting for Porter Airlines Flight 121 from Newark, N.J. to Toronto to take off early on Monday morning when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man approached.
Christine Flynn believes she was asked to move from her assigned seat on a Porter Airlines flight because the man sitting next to her, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, did not want to sit next to a woman. She said the man did not speak to her directly or make eye contact. (CBC)
“He came down the aisle, he didn’t actually look at me … or make eye contact. He turned to the gentleman across the aisle and said, ‘Change.’”
Flynn said she was confused at first, wondering why the man was speaking to the other passenger and gesturing toward her. The man didn’t speak to her directly, but Flynn said it’s clear to her that he didn’t want to sit next to her because she’s a woman.
TORONTO — The Toronto Police Service’s hate crimes unit has opened an investigation into a newsletter delivered in the Beach and East York neighbourhoods of Toronto that residents say is anti-Semitic.
Police are acting on a complaint from a member of the public who received the May edition of Your Ward News in their mailbox, said Det.-Const. Kiren Bisla.
“We’re looking at it to see if it violates any hate laws,” Bisla told The CJN.
Complaints about the publication were first raised by a Jewish postal worker who objected to delivering the newsletter, which claims it is delivered to 48,000 homes and has 200,000 readers.
The May edition of the publication features on its cover photo-shopped images of a purportedly Jewish postal worker, with a beard, kippah and payot (sidelocks), a bagel by his side and spraying bagel crumbs from his mouth, saying “It’s the Holocaust all over again.” Next to that image is a pictures of two stereotypical Jewish lawyers, with long noses, seeking to determine whether a past issue of the magazine promoted hate.
Inside the magazine, you’ll find references to Jews and Israel that paints them as powerful, manipulative and invariably in a negative light. There is a claim that the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris was “a staged false-flag operation likely perpetrated by the Israeli Mossad and the American CIA (the same two groups that dragged us into wars for Israel, by destroying the Twin Towers and created the fake ‘ISIS’ threat.)”
Much of the material aimed at Jews was also employed by notorious anti-Semitic propagandists Jim Keegstra and Ernst Zundel: references to “ZioMarxist-controlled mainstream media;” a claim that “Marxist Jews in the Soviet Union” were responsible for killing 50 million Orthodox Christians; suggestions that the Holocaust “supposedly happened to your people;” that Jews have “an inherent supremacist attitude;” the claim that Ashkenazi Jews are really descendants of Turkish Khazars; and that Jews perpetrate massacres. A novel twist is the assertion that Jews were behind the Armenian genocide.
When Rabbi Zushe Silberstein heard that the Jewish inmate standing before him in a Montreal jail was due to be released in just three days, he didn’t hesitate.
“My daughter is getting married this weekend,” he said. “I would be honoured if you could attend the wedding.”
The prisoner stared at him with unbelieving eyes, certain he had misheard. A rabbi inviting a newly released prisoner to a family wedding? It seemed impossible. But in the next breath, Rabbi Silberstein was offering to help arrange a suit if needed. It was clear his invitation came from the heart.
The conversation between the two men occurred two years ago, and that weekend, the ex-convict did indeed attend the wedding.
“No one knew where he came from, and at the wedding he danced with presidents of synagogues, family and friends, just like anyone else,” Rabbi Silberstein recalls. “At one point he approached me, clearly emotional, asking what kind of gift he could give the bride and groom. I told him, “The gift you’ll give will be a promise that never again will you go back to jail.’ He gave that gift and he’s leading a straight life now.”
The encounter was nothing extraordinary for Rabbi Silberstein, who heads Chabad Chabanel in Montreal and regularly visits Jewish inmates in Quebec jails. “We bring them food and sandwiches, we daven, put on tfillin with them and celebrate Jewish holidays with them,” he says. There’s a seder at Pesach, a Megillah reading on Purim, menorahs on Chanukah and services on Rosh Hashanah.
But it’s not just about pushing spirituality, he insists.
“My main thrust has always been to tell these marginalized Jews, ‘You’re not alone, you’re not forgotten. There’s someone out there who cares about you.’ We’re there to comfort, to advise them and to show them the Jewish community cares about them… Chabad is at the forefront of this care, here and everywhere else,” Rabbi Silberstein says.
Posted on 26 April 2015.
By Rabbi Dow Marmur
Rabbi Dow Marmur
JERUSALEM — Ideology, which was the backbone of Zionism before the State of Israel was established and decades thereafter, is said to be yielding to economics. A growing number of Israelis are allegedly more concerned about how to make ends meet and how to afford to buy a home than about national aspirations or the future of Jews and Judaism.
That’s why some expect great things from the new party Kulanu that has been assured a place in the next government and whose leader is to concentrate on improving the economic conditions for the country’s poorer citizens. The religious needs of the ultra-Orthodox and the nationalist aspirations of the right-wing politicians will have to yield at least a little to the financial needs of ordinary folk, particularly the young.
Naor Narkis purports to speak for many of them. Like most of his generation, after the end of his army service last year, he went abroad “to see the world,” first to Paris and then to Berlin. In Berlin he discovered that food and accommodation are considerably cheaper than in Israel. He wrote about it on Facebook by showing that the same Milky chocolate pudding snack cost much less in Berlin than in Tel Aviv. The response from his readers was massive and more young people sought to go to Berlin.
He has now turned his observation into something of a mission and is currently urging young Israelis to join him in Berlin because it’s cheaper to live there. To make it more dramatic he now also argues in favour of leaving Israel because of growing nationalism and too much religion in the country. Germany’s Nazi past that once deterred Israelis from even visiting has ceased to be a hurdle for even living there.
Though no doubt Narkis will encourage some to leave – he has now extended his mission also to Canada and Australia – nationalism and religion are two of the main reasons that continue to bring many Jews – from Germany, Canada and Australia and other countries – to Israel. The influx of young Jews to the Jewish state is infinitely greater than the outflow. Though there’s by now a sizeable community of young Israelis in Berlin and elsewhere in Europe and beyond, they’re said to constitute less than one percent of the young who’ve stayed put.