What is the National Community Security Program?
At CIJA, the security of our community is our top priority. The National Community Security Program (NCSP), in partnership with the Jewish Federations of Canada, provides dedicated, responsive, and sustained security leadership and capacity, and serves as the national security representative of the organized Canadian Jewish Community.
What is the Community Security Advisory?
The NCSP is launching the Community Security Advisory as a monthly email update to examine developments with security implications. Our goal is to foster dialogue and enhancing collective situational awareness that contributes to enhanced community security.
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Item 1: Developments in Israel
Israel has come under increasingly intense scrutiny from the international community based on the confluence of several events, including the US announcement to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, the prominence of Israel’s voice in the international debate on the future of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the Israeli response to protest and violence emanating from Gaza.
Antisemitic groups may seek to exploit or co-opt negative sentiment to increase influence, seek legitimacy and progress fringe agendas in the mainstream. This also raises the concern of the Jewish community’s voice being marginalized from productive discourse on key issues.
Item 2. Islamist Antisemitism
In May, media reported that Tarek Ramadan received a letter of commendation from the BC Premier for his community service work. Ramadan is an Imam with a history of delivering violent, inflammatory antisemitic sermons at a Vancouver-based mosque reportedly operated by the Muslim Association of Canada, a Mississauga-based organization that was investigated by the RCMP in 2015 for making significant donations to a Hamas-linked charity, IRFAN-Canada. Media coverage of the incident described Ramadan’s portrayal of the letter on his personal Facebook account as a personal vindication.
CIJA engaged with officials in the BC Government and confirmed a breakdown in the administrative process used to determine how the letters are issued. The Premier has since rescinded the letter and acknowledged a lack of awareness regarding Ramadan’s background.
Documented cases in other Western countries, borne out in court findings, demonstrate the disproportional ability of dedicated extremists to foster hatred and even violence, as seen in the examples of Abu Hamza and Anjem Choudary in the UK. Even without an immediate threat of violence, a significant concern remains for malign influences to target the Canadian Jewish community, with Tarek Ramadan serving as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of ignorance and complacency.
Item 3. Do you know what to do with a suspicious package?
Explosive devices are one of the most damaging, terrifying, and brutal tactics employed by terrorists. The advent of the internet has made the knowledge to make improvised explosive devices easily accessible. This knowledge has had tragic consequences in other countries.
Preparation and knowledge is the best defence. The National Community Security Program recently conducted a training session on the topic of Explosives Awareness. The half-day course brought together a cross-section of the Jewish community, and friends of the community, to learn practical lessons that can be applied at a grassroots level to contribute to the safety of family, friends and fellow community members.
The National Community Security Program offers a range of free services to ensure that Jewish institutions, their staff, and members are protected, including site security assessment, security training, security planning and coordination, and liaison with local Law Enforcement Agencies.