I followed ck’s link to the stupid anti-israel site that I stopped visiting a long time ago and discovered a story about Toronto where a few strident individuals publicly challenged Heather Reisman, owner of Indigo and Chapters book stores in Canada, for being involved in Heseg, a foundation to support soldiers in Israel who wish to pursue academic opportunities after their army service. Although the English site doesn’t indicate it, the support appears to be focused on “lone soldiers” whose families live outside of Israel.
A biased, one-sided article by Glenn Wheeler in in Toronto’s Now publication tells us that in a “provocative move” Reisman and her financier husband, Gerry Schwartz, have opened this foundation and in so doing have provided a target for anti-Israel activists.
According to a video shot by activists during a disruption of an Indigo public event featuring Ralph Nader last month, she said, “I won’t engage in a debate on this subject” and “the facts that they [the protesters] are giving you are not correct.”
As Nader asked for a “tip of the hat” to Israeli reservists who have refused to serve, Reisman departed, leaving her guest alone at the front the crowd.
Indigo spokesperson Sorya Gaulin likewise says she has no comment on the Heseg controversy and protests. “It has nothing to do with us [Indigo-Chapters],” she says, but rather involves activities of the Indigo boss in her private life.
Gaulin says she’s had media calls on the story but has seen no effect on sales at Indigo or Chapters.
Here is a video of the disruption.
There is nothing “provocative” about opening this foundation. Heather Reisman should be commended. It’s not as if Israel lives in a friendly neighborhood and soldiers provide safety not only for Israel as a state, but to the primary target of Israel’s enemies, Israeli civilians.
Now Heather, I’m fairly certain, is doing just fine financially, so no need to worry about her. However, the vast majority of Chapters and Indigo employees have no particular interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict and they come from all walks of life including different faiths. They should not be penalized for some groups’ anti-Israel views and if sales are affected, they might be. It’s unfortunate that Chapters and Indigo are being dragged into this because people disagree with the private interests of its owners. These are superb book stores (truly) and it’s important to ensure that their sales aren’t hurt.
Also, if you’re like me, you might just wish to ensure that Heather Reisman has only positive feelings about her generous contributions to soldiers who have taken years from their lives and given them in defense of Israel. As such, I urge you, if you’re in Canada or visiting Canada, to please make it a point to visit one of their bookstores to buy books or their other products. Bring a friend to do the same. And please feel free to circulate this post as an email.