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BPC Bulletin December 10, 2023

BPC Bulletin: B'nai Brith Canada, the Toronto Reference Library and Norman Finkelstein

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

The Toronto Reference Library hosted a public discussion titled “I’ll Burn That Bridge When I Get to It” on December 5, 2023. The discussion focused on the freedom of unpopular academic authors to express their ideas.

Controversial authors Norman Finkelstein, the author of The Holocaust Industry, and Christian Parenti, an investigative journalist and professor of economics, talked about the backlashes against their work.

B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish organization, James Pasternak, a Toronto city councillor, and others urged the library to cancel the discussion because they disapprove of Finkelstein’s views about the Holocaust and Israel. Their efforts failed.


Staff members of the National Post report:

Toronto Library criticized for hosting author with 'antisemitic' views | National Post

In the Toronto Star, Raju Mudhar reports:

Councillor asks library to disinvite controversial author (

Joshua Freeman of CTV News reports: 

Councillor calls on Toronto Public Library to cancel Norman Finkelstein talk | CTV News


In the National Post, Chris Selley comments:

Chris Selley: You can't beat cancel culture with cancel culture | National Post

Andria Spindel of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation and Vickery Bowles of the Toronto Public Library exchange email: 

CAEF Letter to City Librarian at TPL re hosting of antiZionist pro-BDS Norm Finkelstein & responses

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.

BPC Bulletin
December 10, 2023
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