“If you would like to honour Salomon, learn about your land title deed, then share it with your family, your children, so they do not have to go a single day more believing that Jewish people stole someone else’s land.”
I was honoured to be asked to say a few words about Salomon Benzimra, author of The Jewish People’s Rights To The Land Of Israel, at his funeral
Mark Vandermaas eulogy for Salomon Benzimra, March 17/16
In 2012 some Jewish students were intimidated at Western University while campus police stood by and watched. So I created Israel Truth Week and held my first conference. I’m a former peacekeeper who served in the Middle East, and I always believed that Israel’s modern rebirth came about because of the 1947 UN Partition vote. There was a fellow in the audience for the conference named Salomon Benzimra who set me straight, very nicely, and shared the remarkable history of your country’s land title deed with me. I realized immediately how powerful a weapon it could be.
I used to call him ‘Le Professeur’ because he was just like one; he could answer any question and do it with such grace. One day, I attended a presentation organized by a Muslim friend who had spoken at one of my conferences. Salomon was asked to speak to a group of his Muslim friends who asked him—very politely—some VERY tough questions. He answered every one of them like he was a university professor with great patience and knowledge. He told me he didn’t want to be called an ‘expert,’ but he was, so I did it anyway.
I used to joke with Salomon and Goldi that the reason they were shorter than me was because they were carrying me on their shoulders so much. Everything I know about the Mandate For Palestine and the San Remo Conference and the Balfour Declaration is because of Salomon and CILR. When I share the good news about Israel’s land title deed, it is only because Salomon made it possible.
Today, Israel Truth Week’s mission is to liberate Israel from the lies, hate, violence and political intimidation associated with the false ‘occupation’ narrative, and that is what I now focus on.
Last year I was asked to appear on the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem show ‘Inside Israel’ as a panelist which I did four times. I shared the good news about Israel’s land deed to a Christian audience. Last Monday, our Bible study showed the videos. There was new lady there for the first time; I did not know her. I found out later she had to leave early to care for an elderly relative. Before she left, she slipped me a note:
“Thank you so much Mark for revealing God’s TRUTH. I was blessed to be here tonight. I love Israel! Shalom and Hatikvah, J.XXXXX.”
The first time I did training for a group of Zionists, I received a letter from a lady with us today named Renanah Goldhar-Gemeiner who said:
“All my life I never had a copy of my country’s land title deed until you put one in my hands. Your support, understanding, vision and belief in us gave me the courage to stand up as a proud Jew.”
Renanah Gemeiner, land rights activist; Board Member, Toronto Zionist Council; Co-founder of Canadian Jews and Friends for Yezidis.
A Christian and a Jew, both deeply affected by Salomon’s work in my work. Imagine if we could recreate those experiences for millions of Israel’s friends throughout the world!
Salomon was a warrior for the dignity and the honour of the Jewish people. One day Israel’s leaders will find the courage to stand, hold up their country’s land title deed—the 1922 League of Nations Mandate For Palestine—and demand that the world acknowledge and respect its obligations to the Jewish people. I believe that day will change everything for your people, and it will have been made possible, in no small part, due to the efforts of Salomon Benzimra and Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights.
I’m an activist, so I always like to leave people with a ‘takeaway,’ and I think he would approve of this one: please…go to CILR.org, order a copy of Salomon’s book and read it. It’s available on Amazon as an ebook, and in Hebrew for free as a PDF download at CILR.
Go to IsraelTruthWeek.org and watch the video of Salomon at our 2014 conference explaining the remarkable history of your land title deed. That video was created specifically for training purposes and we worked hard to get the audio just right. While you’re there, download our training booklet and read your land title deed for yourselves. [HOLD UP BOOKLET].
If you would like to honour Salomon, learn about your land title deed, then share it with your family, your children, so they do not have to go a single day more believing that Jewish people stole someone else’s land.
-Salomon Benzimra (x2): David Strutt. Used with permission.
-Cover of ‘The Jewish Peoples’ Rights To The Land Of Israel’: Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights (CILR.org). Used with permission.