Canada, It’s Time To Get Tough on Sophia Tesfamariam

Canada, It’s Time To Get Tough on Sophia Tesfamariam

What's funny about Tesfamariam's March 2013 seminar is she will speak about Human Rights and Development. Indeed it's a mockery of genuine fighters of human rights violations.

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By Aaron Berhane
March 2013

A notorious anti-Semitic speaker, Sophia Tesfamariam, is coming to Canada to deliver her usual hate-mongering speech in Vancouver at a public seminar and fundraising event organized by the Eritrean Cultural Center of Greater Vancouver, a satellite group affiliated with the Eritrean consulate in Toronto and the Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice.

Ms. Tesfamariam is an Eritrean American with a designated office at the Eritrean Embassy in Washington, D.C., which is affiliated with the Eritrean government.

Tesfamariam spoke at a public seminar and fundraising event sponsored by the Eritrean Community of Winnipeg on October 2, 2010. In her speech she referred to Israel as an example of a terrorist state, advising the audience not be evil like the Jews. “Don’t be evil like them (Jews). Don’t blow up people. Don’t do things that are evil”. She portrayed the Jewish community as enemies of Eritrea who must be avoided.

“The October 2010 speech of Ms. Tesfamariam,” said David Matas, Senior Honorary Counsel for B’nai Brith Canada in their press release, “by referring to Jews as evil as well as its other components, fits within the prohibitions against incitement to hatred in the Canadian Criminal Code and incitement to terrorism in the United Nations Security Council resolution. Having once violated those standards, Ms. Tesfamariam should be barred entry to Canada to prevent further violations. Canada needs to protect itself against incitement to hatred and violence.”

The hate-mongering speech of Ms. Tesfamariam didn’t stop with Jews but also applied to Eritrean-Canadians who actively expose human rights violations in Eritrea. Tesfamariam urged the audience to isolate activists and not attend their weddings or funerals. Ms. Tesfamariam is also in the business of character assassination of anyone who criticizes the Eritrean government. She has played a huge role in destroying the unity of the Eritrean-Canadian community all over the country during her regular visits for fundraising events organized by the satellite organizations of the Eritrean Consulate in Toronto.

How can we possibly ignore the notorious activities of people like Sophia Tesfamariam? How long are we going to be patient while she repeatedly breaks our Canadian laws?

What’s funny about Tesfamariam’s March 2013 seminar is she will speak about Human Rights and Development. Indeed it’s a mockery of genuine fighters of human rights violations. She has been defending the Eritrean regime that is well known for its gross human rights violations in the country, a regime that’s actively involved in human trafficking and one that’s been criticized by organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and many well-respected human rights organizations for decades.

Now is the time for the Canadian government to take very serious action. We don’t really know what kind of hate she will plant in our community or against the Jewish community in her March 5, 2013 speech. We shouldn’t allow our laws to be abused.

I don’t see any point in spending time implementing laws to protect Canadian citizens if we don’t apply them to people like Tesfamariam. What’s the point of stating we have a zero-tolerance policy against anti-Semitism if we don’t apply it to the infamous Ms.Tesfamariam?

The Canadian government must bar Sophia Tesfamariam from ever entering Canada. Canada must protect itself against incitement to hatred and violence. We demand that the zero-tolerance policy for anti-Semitism be applied. We mustn’t allow the likes of Tesfamariam to make a mockery of our laws.

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