(Ottawa, Canada – 1/11/2004) – Three prominent national Muslim and Arab
organizations today called on the B’nai Brith to repudiate and clarify
comments made by its spokesperson that Israel’s “terror” against
Palestinian civilians is acceptable.
The comments, on the October 19, 2004 Michael Coren Show, were made by Adam
Aptowitzer, Ontario chairperson of B’nai Brith’s Institute for
International Affairs. The episode was entitled, “What is a Terrorist?”
In one statement, Mr. Aptowitzer notes that “terror is means to an end”:
Aptowitzer: When Israel uses terror to go and, I say, uses terror to
destroy a home and convince people to be terrified of what the possible
consequences are, I’d say that’s acceptable use to terrify someone.
Coren: Is it?
Aptowitzer: I’d say so.
Later in the show, the following exchange occurs:
Coren: When you fire into a building and you’re not sure who will be there
and people die, that’s an act of terrorism.
Aptowitzer: It would depend on the specific facts… I’ll agree with you
and say Israel does make use of, I know I’ll be misquoted, but the truth is
that terror is an option to be used by states in order to prevent deaths of
their own citizens and of others. Acts that take place in Gaza and West
Bank, you might want to classify them as terrorists sponsored by the state.
But when that is being done to prevent deaths, are we going to say that
that is wrong?
In a statement released today, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) and the National
Council on Canada Arab Relations (NCCAR) wrote:
“Acceptance and promotion of terror tactics against a civilian population –
especially one suffering under a 37-year illegal occupation – have no place
“The comments by Mr. Aptowitzer legitimizing Israel’s terror tactics
against civilians are a violation both of the most basic Canadian human
values and international law.
“We have every confidence that fair-minded Canadians will repudiate these
views in keeping with the universal principles of justice. The use of
violence against innocent civilians is unacceptable, regardless of the
“We call on the B’nai Brith to unequivocally repudiate Mr. Aptowitzer’s
comments and to condemn Israel’s use of terror against Palestinian
Recently, all three organizations issued statements and repudiated comments
made on the same show regarding the targeting of Israeli citizens over 18
years of age.
Contacts: Riad Saloojee, Executive Director, CAIR-CAN at 254-9704
Audrey Jamal, Executive Director, CAF at 416-493-8635 x23
Mazen Chouaib, Executive Director, NCCAR