Toronto nixes anti-Israel term

Toronto’s municipal council has passed a motion to rewrite and update its anti-discrimination policy so “Israeli apartheid” and other terms would violate city standards.

The June 15 vote came just weeks after the city’s executive committee voted to permit the funding of the Toronto Gay Pride Parade despite the participation of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. That decision followed a report by the city manager, who ruled in a review the term “Israeli apartheid” does not violate Toronto’s anti-discrimination policies.

City Council members now want a review of the city manager’s report to ensure that events funded by the city or which take place on municipal property uphold “respect, tolerance and diversity.”

The issue is “the greatest challenge facing Toronto Jewry,” said James Pasternak, a Jewish city councilman who introduced the motion for the review. “It is vital that we amend the policy.” — jta