Posted by: L | May 27, 2007

B’nai Brith Shuts Down Peace Activists in Canada

My earlier post, reworked as an article at Dissident Voice:
Chris Cook of the University of Victoria Gorilla Radio (GO-rilla, as in, our furry friends… or cousins…..or descendants, depending on your evolutionary perspective and level of optimism about the human race) writes:

“For American readers who value and feel protected by the 1st Amendment (right to free speech), it may seem strange that a country would enshrine in law the opposite condition; but Hate Crime legislation in this country is widely supported. Canada is an ethnically, and politically diverse country, consisting of minority populations from the world over, and it was deemed fair-minded to ensure all are protected from the “tyranny of the majority.” But it’s a double-edged sword, making possible an abuse of the statutes, allowing an equally odious tyranny, the stifling of dissent and criticism by a dedicated minority.”

Cook’s problem is that one edge of this sword just fell on a web-site he edits, the Peace, Earth & Justice News (PEJ.org), “a non-profit, all-volunteer, non-hierarchical media organization” based in Victoria whose mission (as described in its Constitution) is to report on “climate change and other environmental issues, war and peace in the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and human rights and other matters of social justice.”

PEJ has been operating since 1996 and is owned by the small (annual budget of a few hundred dollars and volunteer staff), non-profit Prometheus Institute, British Columbia, where Cook was a senior editor until February this year.

On May 17 PEJ publisher Alan Rycroft received a letter from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, signed by the deputy secretary general Richard Tardiff, claiming that PEJ had violated Canadian law by posting anti-Semitic material, according to a complaint filed with its legal department by Harry Abrams, a Victoria businessman and British Columbia representative for the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith, Canada, which joins him in the complaint.

PEJ publishes materials from activists around the world, including some who have published on American websites like Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, and Lew Rockwell. It is an alternative paper that by definition carries news not covered in the mainstream press and those stories are naturally controversial, often criticizing the actions of powerful entities, including governments. Naturally, that includes the Canadian government. And naturally, also, the Israeli government.

As soon as PEJ received the letter, it removed from its web-site the eighteen articles that Harry Abrams alleges were anti-Semitic.

PEJ did this as a matter of courtesy to Abrams and to show goodwill, according to Joan Russow, one of the directors, pending the outcome of an inquiry by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. PEJ does not endorse articles or comments published on it, to begin with. But, PEJ is, in addition, expressly non-discriminatory. As Dr. Russow, said in a letter to Mr. Abrams on December 31, 2006:

“Anti-Semitism and other prejudicial materials are not allowed on our site – after all PEJ News exists to promote equality and freedom for all – we are the Peace, Earth & Justice News. To the best of our knowledge no anti-Semitic or hate material is on PEJ.org.”

Indeed, it was she who invited Mr. Abrams (in December 2006) to inspect the articles on the site and see if anything was anti-Semitic, including comments from the public.

The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) whose “General Expectations of Canada” (as posted on the web, “CJC Brief to DFAIT on UN Human Rights Commission,” Feb 19, 2004 ) is not nearly as objective or non-discriminatory.

The CJC tells Canada’s Jewish citizens to take “constructive interventions against resolutions or motions” made in Canada that:

1.blame only Israel and its policies for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

2. indict Israel’s legitimate counter-terrorism measures with no reference to or condemnation of Palestinian terrorism.

3. deny or undermine Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East (my emphasis).

4. employ existentially threatening language such as referring to Israel as a “racist” or “apartheid” state and apply terms such as [“genocide”(?)], or “ethnic cleansing” to the conflict.

5. are based upon inaccurate media information or Palestinian Authority propaganda.

6. predetermine the outcome of direct, bilateral negotiations in keeping with UN Resolution 242 and 338 or circumvent such a process.

At the same time, Canada’s delegates must support and encourage efforts at the UNCHR that:

1. will ensure a comprehensive accounting of international human rights situations such that grievous international human rights issues are not ignored or soft-pedalled [sic] as a result of a politicized, anti-Israel agenda.

2. highlight the crippling impact of continuing Palestinian terrorism – which has been explicitly legitimized in the CHR resolutions – on the peace process and on attempts to establish a true human rights regime in the Middle East.

3. draw attention to the deficiencies within the Palestinian Authority regarding human rights and the building of a viable civil society for the Palestinian people.”

And B’nai Brith’s positions are even more partisan than this.

Thus it is that Anita Bromberg, in-house legal counsel for B’nai Brith, Canada, has joined Mr. Abrams in the complaint against PEJ’s peace activism, because, she says, the articles “are virulently anti-Israel to the point that they meet the criteria of crossing the line of legitimate criticism of the state straight into anti-Semitism.”

What, according to the complaint, is anti-Semitic?

“The idea that Israel has no right to exist or that Israel is an apartheid state,” says Mr. Abrams. Also, any comparison of Zionists to Nazis.

Were there such articles? In the context of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Lebanon, several pieces did compare Israeli policy with Nazi persecution of Jews. One, by Chris Cook, “We Should Nuke Israel,” for instance, was a parody of a column in The Toronto Sun proposing a tactical strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Cook simply replaced the word “Iran” with “Israel,” “Amadinejad” with “Olmert,” “Muslim” with “Jew” and tagged the following paragraph at the end, ironically recommending that the article be acted upon by the Human Rights Commission:

“This amazingly ignorant, hateful, and frankly criminal article has been redacted. “Israel” appears where the murderous and racist author, Michael Coren originally wrote “Iran.” Likewise other slight alterations have been performed. There is, in what remains of this country Canada, hate crime legislation. Unlike Mr. Coren’s, and his Toronto Sun publisher’s heroes in the United States, Canadian media is expected to live up to certain standards. Promoting hatred and proposing the destruction of human life fail miserably to live up to the expected, and legislated, mandates for publishers. I recommend those offended by Mr. Coren’s modest proposal write the Sun, Coren, and the CRTC. Mr. Coren can be reached here”

Now, that’s strong language admittedly. But why, we wonder, does the Canadian Human Rights Commission not also write a letter to the columnist in Toronto Sun, which proposed a real nuclear hit on Iran with a straight face. Why instead attack a column written in transparent satire in response to the former? Are the human rights of Iranians – or of Palestinians – less worthy of attention than the human rights of Israelis?

By the way, in the US, words such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” have been applied to the torture at Abu Ghraib in academic and law journals, such as Gonzaga University 10 Gonz. J. Int’l L. 370 (2007). If torture of prisoners in Iraq can be described in this way without American human rights activists objecting, it’s hard to see why the killing and dispossession of the civilian population in Palestine shouldn’t be called ethnic cleansing or genocide.

And, would the CHRC also rush so zealously to investigate on behalf of an organization that claimed Canada – or the U.S. – was a Christian country?

After the letter was received at PEJ and the offending articles removed, Ingmar Lee, one of PEJ’s editors posted a piece by a scholar, Shaheed Alam, one that just appeared in Counter Punch and other sites, and makes a scholarly criticism of Jewish exceptionalism as “inseparable from Israeli exceptionalism and Israeli history” (“Chosenness and Israeli Exceptionalism”) in a manner no different from and more measured that any number of dissections of American exceptionalism and some forms of Christian fundamentalism, which PEJ has also published.

The fact that it has shows clearly that PEJ was, in this instance, simply following its mission of attacking injustice wherever it finds it and defending human rights, no matter whose. Its criticism of Israel as a race-based state was simply part of its universal secular defense of human rights.

But defending universal secular human rights, which by the way, is policy in the State Department, turns out now to be the promotion of “ongoing hatred affecting persons identifiable as Jews and/or as citizens of Israel,” for in his complaint, Harry Abrams and B’nai Brith state that Abrams has “reasonable grounds for believing that I have been discriminated against.”‘
The only trouble with that statement is that the criticism in the articles is directed at the policies of the state of Israel, not at Mr. Abrams personally.

Should we conclude that Mr. Abrams sees himself as indistinguishable from the Israeli government? Or that B’nai Brith’s interest in human rights is indistinguishable from the vested interests of the Israeli government?

So far, Canada’s Globe and Mail, which published the story on May 24, has also published PEJ’s vigorous characterization of the charges as “calumnies.” But for how long?

Yesterday, Ingmar Lee was forced to resign as editor of PEJ for the bad judgment of publishing Alam’s article after the complaint was received, because the article is “slanderous to all Jews,” uses the word Zionist as a “slander,” like Nazi, and may be a “hate crime” under Canadian law (in the words of PEJ publisher, Rycroft).

A semantic question: Is it also a slander to refer to Nazis as “Nazis”?

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Responses

  1. I wish I could say this is unbelievable, but unfortunately the U.S. Human Rights Commission has been used in the same way by those with anti-Palestinian and fascistic politics. Someone should be documenting how human rights commissions in the West are being targeted by these people to stop debate about Israeli policy, and that documentation must include the silence and complicity of “liberals” and “leftists” who are permitting this new McCarthyism to occur.

  2. Well, B’nai Brith is to be emulated in this regard: its willingness to speak out (and act) in support of those for whom it speaks.

    We give people power over us by our own lack of plain- speaking. Whom then should we blame but ourselves?

  3. This post seemed to have got a lot of comments at DV..
    1.

    gerald spezio said on May 28th, 2007 at 8:28 am #

    Lila, you know better than most; if we can’t end the Israeli lobby and propaganda machine’s control, then the murder in Irak will continue. Cook’s simple satire and the glaringly stupid response tells us what a propaganda machine we are up against. Chris Cook’s expose of mad dog murderer, Coren, couldn’t be more illustrative. More murder in Iran in the name of Jewish exceptionalism.
    2.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 28th, 2007 at 10:35 am #

    Hi –

    It’s difficult not to feel dismayed, of course, but I do also think that we shouldn’t dehumanize anyone with the language we use, not Coren, not Jewish exceptionalists, nor Muslim nor anyone else.

    I also think we shouldn’t conflate fundamentalism or even exceptionalism (all cultures have exceptionalist narratives) with actions that are unethical or criminal – and would be so even if they came from complete egalitarians.

    There are many who might think they are superior for one reason or other but would be able to recognize the rights of others to co-exist with them peacefully. No need to attack them.

    LR
    3.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 28th, 2007 at 10:48 am #

    And, thanks very much for your response.

    LR
    4.

    George said on May 28th, 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    REVOLUTION IS THE SOLUTION!!!
    5.

    Doug@usa.com said on May 28th, 2007 at 1:20 pm #

    This is the natural result of criminalizing thought. The people promoting the law aren’t going to tell you how they intend to use it to destroy liberty, you have to just fgure that anyone who wants to punish thoughts is an evil person with evil intent.
    6.

    Jhoffa_ said on May 28th, 2007 at 5:59 pm #

    I’ve always considered it odd that the Israeli’s put so much stock in multiculturalism and combating “racism” abroad when they press for nothing less than racial & religious homogeneity in their own state and enforce it at gunpoint.

    Perhaps it’s because they’re nothing but a bunch of shrieking hypocrites?
    7.

    bob henderson said on May 28th, 2007 at 6:31 pm #

    Freedom of speech is disappearing rapidly in Canada. The sad fact is that so few people know about it. Even fewer yet watch the increasing encroachment on our freedoms,as I do.

    In Ontario,first the government started wishing everyone “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. In the last year or two,the government took down Christmas trees from some of its buildings because of intolerant people filing complaints. Looking forward,I fully believe that within a decade or two it will be ILLEGAL to put a Christmas tree on public display.

    Wake up people! Tolerance shouldn’t be a one way street.
    8.

    FlipZeppelin said on May 28th, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    ‘Is it also a slander to refer to Nazis as “Nazis”?’

    Actually, yes. ‘Nazi’ it is a derogatory term never used by National Socialists themselves and is best compared to ‘Bolshie’ (for Bolshevik). Certainly, as a National Socialist I would prefer to be called National Socialist. However, I admit the term is rather long and ‘Nazi’ is destined to endure because it’s shorter.
    9.

    cobaltandjessie said on May 28th, 2007 at 7:08 pm #

    i love this part:
    “B’nai Brith, however, receives its instructions from the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) whose “General Expectations of Canada” (as posted on the web, “CJC Brief to DFAIT on UN Human Rights Commission,” Feb 19, 2004 ) are not nearly as objective or non-discriminatory. ”

    Anyone who knows anything about Bnai Brith and CJC know that they hate each other.

    I agreed with the artcile until this. Now I wonder if other errors exist
    10.

    8Man said on May 28th, 2007 at 9:51 pm #

    cobaltandjessie said on May 28th, 2007 at 7:08 pm #
    “Anyone who knows anything about Bnai Brith and CJC know that they hate each other.”

    They may have occasional policy disputes, but they have no hesitation sitting together as co-intervenors at CHRT hearings. The CJC lawyer says they agree with the submissions of the BnaiBrith lawyer and vice-versa. From personal observation of both groups lawyers at tribunal sessions, the above article is essentially correct- and neither group ‘hates’ the other one.
    11.

    pasi arasola said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:00 am #

    First, thanx LR, the anti this and that crowed would do well by watching their language. Often we are our own worst enemy, and the adjectives we choose show more about us then we realise. We can hardly expect an objective response from Zionists, if we portray them as pure evil and ourselves as pure good. It does not matter if the term ’self hating jew’ is based on reality or not, the rasist emotional drivel often present in antizionist or anti Israeli articles (not here though) and comments shows how carefull we should be, to not become what we hate.

    to my point…
    A series of articles should be made, in pairs, otherwise identical, but one pointing to Israel, and one at “the axis of evil”. Not unlike the contrast cook created by rewriting this article.
    If 30+ pairs were created, responses could be organized into a series of statistics, that would be hard to refute.
    Proably such an analysis could be done from exsisting news archives, if a universal criteria on what constitutes a hate crime could be defined. Similar analysis should be made on Israeli and Iranian news coveredge on each other.
    I have a hunch that clear trends would emerge.
    12.

    Carl Wernerhoff said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:15 am #

    ‘As soon as PEJ received the letter, it removed from its web-site the eighteen articles that Harry Abrams alleges were anti-Semitic. PEJ did this as a matter of courtesy to Abrams and to show goodwill …’

    No, this is kowtowing to tyranny plain and simple.

    And, in any case, intolerant Jewish organisations like the B’nai B’rith and the Southern Law Poverty Center, seem never to reciprocate gestures of goodwill. Trying to appease them is futile.
    13.

    Daveg said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:29 am #

    3. deny or undermine Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East (my emphasis).

    I just don’t see how this can be considered anti-Semitic. You can be against sectarian states without being agains jews or judiasm.

    It is really a stretch to try to fit that into the category of anti-Semitism.

    And for those on the left, you might want to hesitate the next time you hear someone on the right labeled anti-semitic, as you can now see this word is used to quickly and too loosely to silence legit critics of Israel and other policies of the self-described leaders of the Jewish community.
    14.

    ElizabethJ said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:47 am #

    Trust someone who works for one of the two organizations they hate each other!
    15.

    Mannstein said on May 29th, 2007 at 12:58 pm #

    I venture to say ex President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter would be hauled in front of the Kommissars at the CHRC for his latest book had he been living in the True North Strong and Free.

    Expressing what may be uncomfortable for others to hear is the price of liberty. Anything else is censorship in the tradition of the USSR.
    16.

    Krash said on May 29th, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    Truth needs no law to protect it.

    I have seen, in America, very little true anti-Semitism. Aside from a handful of skinheads, I’m not aware of having met anyone who truly “hates the Jews” for being Jewish. In fact, every single time I’ve heard the phrase “anti-Semitic” used, it is used to describe someone who is critical of the illegitimate state of Israel, or its policies.

    I say “illegitimate” because the people who formed the state of Israel had no legitimate right to take the land. The people who had been living there for thousands of years (Palestinians) were removed at gunpoint or the threat thereof, by a bunch of white guys (the British) who controlled the land due to their own racist imperialistic agenda. The people who moved in to the stolen land (Ashkenazi Jews, who incidentally have absolutely no common ancestry whatsoever with the Sephardic Jews that are described in the Bible) then proceeded to embark on a campaign to abuse the people whose land they stole. The conduct of the assholes in Jerusalem (I don’t care what color they are, what religion they have, or where there ancestors came from, their actions classify them as hateful bilious assholes) is ONLY deserving of international scorn. For critics of Israel to be labeled as anti-Semitic solely on the basis of criticizing Israel belittles the term.
    17.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 29th, 2007 at 4:56 pm #

    Hi –

    About B’nai Brith and CJC hating each other. I think that might be right
    but they could still take work together quite closely. I’ve seen it with others.

    But, as a matter of fact, I did not look at it that closely but followed Chris Cook in his account of it, in a letter he sent me informing me of the story. I will try to double check and will correct if necessary.

    Thanks all for the information. Now, let’s see what the tenure committees for Churchill and Finkelstein will do..
    LR
    18.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 29th, 2007 at 5:21 pm #

    Update:

    Yes, I think formerly the CJC was the voice for the Canadian Jewish community and communal organizations and still officially styles itself as such (on its website, which is what I went by). But B’nai Brith does speaks from a more extreme position — which actually makes the argument stronger.

    Anyway, I will ask Kim to make the correction. I was in haste to get this out asap to help Chris and PEJ, which has served as the forum for so many voices.

    Thanks, Flip Zeppelin, you have educated me – I had not idea about Nazi.

    And thanks to DV for helping on this.

    LR
    19.

    Eric Vaughan said on May 29th, 2007 at 7:27 pm #

    If it squirms up on innocent prey like an octupus, if it it has its grimy tentacles all over everything like an octopus, if it jettisons ink when it is critized like an octopus, then don’t you dare call it an octopus because then it is a mere step away from being called sushi and that’s what it refers to its food (the gentile and Muslim worlds) as.

    As for the CJC and B’nai Brith being a house divided, has either been infiltrated by the children of another Father? I think we would’ve heard about goyim joining up to something like that in the most demeaning possible terms.
    20.

    Public Restrooms of Vancouver said on May 29th, 2007 at 7:31 pm #

    Sometimes you come across what looks like careful adherence to a secret script, given different people at different times saying the same thing, especially as a way of shutting down or ridiculing a line of inquiry. This nonsense about groups hating eachother, how can they possibly work together, after written evidence for cooperation has already been mentioned, is one of those moments. (Another is the way all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, all anti-Semitism is “virulent,” and not a single thing ever written by any Nazis is correct in any way about anything, even though the Nazis invented the television and the rocketry precursors to the ICBM and our space program.) I have seen this “oh, it’s preposterous to say they’re in it together, they hate eachother” nonsense used in many other places, but only where Jews are involved. Ted Rall quotes an Afghani warlord toasting his colleagues at a feast where they are resolving to expel the Soviets: (paraphrased) for the time being we’ll kill Russians, then we’ll go back to killing eachother. Nobody says, “It’s a conspiracy theory to say Afghani warlords expelled the Soviets, after all, they hate eachother a whole hell of a lot [more than any Jew ever hated any other Jew].” But a Jewish communist who stands threatened by local anti-Semitism cannot possibly even for a minute be speculated to be in some passing tribal sympathy with a Jewish capitalist in the exact same situation, whatever the ideologies, and furthermore that’s anti-Semitic to say so. Let alone two different groups formed by wealthy Jews to protect their interests, and later to use “human rights” as a way of defending Zionism (the B’nai Bris was formed long before Zionism was effectively a unified, significant force, but is today in the mindset of ben Gurion to sacrifice Jews to Zionism!); it is very hard to believe that their mutual hatred is much different from the famous professional animus between law enforcement, intelligence and military agencies — healthy competition to be the first in getting the job done!
    21.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 30th, 2007 at 3:26 am #

    Well –

    Just a last word. Respectfully, I do want to say that I would avoid thinking and speaking in those terms. I think if we show self restraint in how we discuss other people and be aware that objectifying anyone is never a good idea, then perhaps others too would not feel threatened.

    Jews are a very small group. Muslims and Christians are over a billion. It is natural if they have a certain amount of inherent fear of either group – given history.

    Which is why I am individualist…the more we think in terms of group rights and identity politics, the more we exacerbate racial and religious tensions. By giving race and religion their proper space but focusing our legal structures on the individual, we neither suppress nor overindulge either of those categories.

    But there has been a good deal of historical revisionism, yes.

    LR
    22.

    Bl4ckP0pe said on May 30th, 2007 at 10:04 am #

    A very Misleading Title … … if writer more honest, it should be …

    “Gutless so-called ‘dissidents’ apologise and roll-over for a shafting at first sight of Large Electric Dildo”

    !! Jeezis H. Born-Again-Christ-on-a-Bike !! — These cowardly PEJ fools practise automatic self-censorship and even sack their own staff (wrongful dismissal suit) rather than face the enemy in a fight, fair or otherwise.

    What more can B’nai Brith and other enemies of free-speech ask for ??

    PEJ has demonstrated its utter contemptibile weakness, and will now in all probability proceed to pre-emptively and voluntarily wipe itself out, obviously “as a matter of courtesy and to show goodwill” (may the inventor of that slimy phrase grow a goddamned spine one day!), thus saving B’nai Brith from dirtying a fingernail.

    Bravo !! What a shining example of the Shiteing Spirit !! Bow down and kiss the Whip, MurthaFuckahs !! — what a disgusting spectacle of capitulation, losers!

    ——–

    On the other hand, however, my sincere congratulations to Ingmar Lee, Chris Cook and anybody else who fearlessly contributed to the clarification of the issue here. – Well done, and thanks for showing good example !

    ——————————————————————————-
    Ever Onwards – Unity and Victory to the Heroic Iraqi Resistance !!
    Everyone has a part to play, Rome wasn’t burnt in a Day !!
    ——————————————————————————-

    ( PS: see jolly cartoon at link if you need cheering up – http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/129470 )
    23.

    Me said on May 30th, 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    To Jhoffa, only 80% of Israel is Jewish. That’s less than the number of christians in the U.S. or most countries. Or muslims in any muslim country that’s not Lebanon. They have 100% equal rights. Unfortunately that can’t be said for other countries.
    24.

    Me said on May 30th, 2007 at 11:23 pm #

    Also, 40% of Israeli Jews are Mizrahi, that means Jews from Israeli lands. They’re from the 900,000 Jews who were kicked out of Arab countries in the 40s. But noone ever heas about them.
    25.

    Kim Petersen said on May 31st, 2007 at 12:23 am #

    Your facts and numbers are very disputable, Me. Mizrahi Jews are much fewer in number than Ashkenazi (about 50-60%) and Sephardi (probably 20-30%). What you write is baffling. How can one be an Israeli Jew and be kicked out from Arab lands? As for being forced out, some Mizrahi Jews claim that bombings in synagogues in Iraq, for example, were false flag operations.

  4. 1.

    gerald spezio said on May 28th, 2007 at 8:28 am #

    Lila, you know better than most; if we can’t end the Israeli lobby and propaganda machine’s control, then the murder in Irak will continue. Cook’s simple satire and the glaringly stupid response tells us what a propaganda machine we are up against. Chris Cook’s expose of mad dog murderer, Coren, couldn’t be more illustrative. More murder in Iran in the name of Jewish exceptionalism.
    2.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 28th, 2007 at 10:35 am #

    Hi –

    It’s difficult not to feel dismayed, of course, but I do also think that we shouldn’t dehumanize anyone with the language we use, not Coren, not Jewish exceptionalists, nor Muslim nor anyone else.

    I also think we shouldn’t conflate fundamentalism or even exceptionalism (all cultures have exceptionalist narratives) with actions that are unethical or criminal – and would be so even if they came from complete egalitarians.

    There are many who might think they are superior for one reason or other but would be able to recognize the rights of others to co-exist with them peacefully. No need to attack them.

    LR
    3.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 28th, 2007 at 10:48 am #

    And, thanks very much for your response.

    LR
    4.

    George said on May 28th, 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    REVOLUTION IS THE SOLUTION!!!
    5.

    Doug@usa.com said on May 28th, 2007 at 1:20 pm #

    This is the natural result of criminalizing thought. The people promoting the law aren’t going to tell you how they intend to use it to destroy liberty, you have to just fgure that anyone who wants to punish thoughts is an evil person with evil intent.
    6.

    Jhoffa_ said on May 28th, 2007 at 5:59 pm #

    I’ve always considered it odd that the Israeli’s put so much stock in multiculturalism and combating “racism” abroad when they press for nothing less than racial & religious homogeneity in their own state and enforce it at gunpoint.

    Perhaps it’s because they’re nothing but a bunch of shrieking hypocrites?
    7.

    bob henderson said on May 28th, 2007 at 6:31 pm #

    Freedom of speech is disappearing rapidly in Canada. The sad fact is that so few people know about it. Even fewer yet watch the increasing encroachment on our freedoms,as I do.

    In Ontario,first the government started wishing everyone “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. In the last year or two,the government took down Christmas trees from some of its buildings because of intolerant people filing complaints. Looking forward,I fully believe that within a decade or two it will be ILLEGAL to put a Christmas tree on public display.

    Wake up people! Tolerance shouldn’t be a one way street.
    8.

    FlipZeppelin said on May 28th, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    ‘Is it also a slander to refer to Nazis as “Nazis”?’

    Actually, yes. ‘Nazi’ it is a derogatory term never used by National Socialists themselves and is best compared to ‘Bolshie’ (for Bolshevik). Certainly, as a National Socialist I would prefer to be called National Socialist. However, I admit the term is rather long and ‘Nazi’ is destined to endure because it’s shorter.
    9.

    cobaltandjessie said on May 28th, 2007 at 7:08 pm #

    i love this part:
    “B’nai Brith, however, receives its instructions from the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) whose “General Expectations of Canada” (as posted on the web, “CJC Brief to DFAIT on UN Human Rights Commission,” Feb 19, 2004 ) are not nearly as objective or non-discriminatory. ”

    Anyone who knows anything about Bnai Brith and CJC know that they hate each other.

    I agreed with the artcile until this. Now I wonder if other errors exist
    10.

    8Man said on May 28th, 2007 at 9:51 pm #

    cobaltandjessie said on May 28th, 2007 at 7:08 pm #
    “Anyone who knows anything about Bnai Brith and CJC know that they hate each other.”

    They may have occasional policy disputes, but they have no hesitation sitting together as co-intervenors at CHRT hearings. The CJC lawyer says they agree with the submissions of the BnaiBrith lawyer and vice-versa. From personal observation of both groups lawyers at tribunal sessions, the above article is essentially correct- and neither group ‘hates’ the other one.
    11.

    pasi arasola said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:00 am #

    First, thanx LR, the anti this and that crowed would do well by watching their language. Often we are our own worst enemy, and the adjectives we choose show more about us then we realise. We can hardly expect an objective response from Zionists, if we portray them as pure evil and ourselves as pure good. It does not matter if the term ’self hating jew’ is based on reality or not, the rasist emotional drivel often present in antizionist or anti Israeli articles (not here though) and comments shows how carefull we should be, to not become what we hate.

    to my point…
    A series of articles should be made, in pairs, otherwise identical, but one pointing to Israel, and one at “the axis of evil”. Not unlike the contrast cook created by rewriting this article.
    If 30+ pairs were created, responses could be organized into a series of statistics, that would be hard to refute.
    Proably such an analysis could be done from exsisting news archives, if a universal criteria on what constitutes a hate crime could be defined. Similar analysis should be made on Israeli and Iranian news coveredge on each other.
    I have a hunch that clear trends would emerge.
    12.

    Carl Wernerhoff said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:15 am #

    ‘As soon as PEJ received the letter, it removed from its web-site the eighteen articles that Harry Abrams alleges were anti-Semitic. PEJ did this as a matter of courtesy to Abrams and to show goodwill …’

    No, this is kowtowing to tyranny plain and simple.

    And, in any case, intolerant Jewish organisations like the B’nai B’rith and the Southern Law Poverty Center, seem never to reciprocate gestures of goodwill. Trying to appease them is futile.
    13.

    Daveg said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:29 am #

    3. deny or undermine Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East (my emphasis).

    I just don’t see how this can be considered anti-Semitic. You can be against sectarian states without being agains jews or judiasm.

    It is really a stretch to try to fit that into the category of anti-Semitism.

    And for those on the left, you might want to hesitate the next time you hear someone on the right labeled anti-semitic, as you can now see this word is used to quickly and too loosely to silence legit critics of Israel and other policies of the self-described leaders of the Jewish community.
    14.

    ElizabethJ said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:47 am #

    Trust someone who works for one of the two organizations they hate each other!
    15.

    Mannstein said on May 29th, 2007 at 12:58 pm #

    I venture to say ex President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter would be hauled in front of the Kommissars at the CHRC for his latest book had he been living in the True North Strong and Free.

    Expressing what may be uncomfortable for others to hear is the price of liberty. Anything else is censorship in the tradition of the USSR.
    16.

    Krash said on May 29th, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    Truth needs no law to protect it.

    I have seen, in America, very little true anti-Semitism. Aside from a handful of skinheads, I’m not aware of having met anyone who truly “hates the Jews” for being Jewish. In fact, every single time I’ve heard the phrase “anti-Semitic” used, it is used to describe someone who is critical of the illegitimate state of Israel, or its policies.

    I say “illegitimate” because the people who formed the state of Israel had no legitimate right to take the land. The people who had been living there for thousands of years (Palestinians) were removed at gunpoint or the threat thereof, by a bunch of white guys (the British) who controlled the land due to their own racist imperialistic agenda. The people who moved in to the stolen land (Ashkenazi Jews, who incidentally have absolutely no common ancestry whatsoever with the Sephardic Jews that are described in the Bible) then proceeded to embark on a campaign to abuse the people whose land they stole. The conduct of the assholes in Jerusalem (I don’t care what color they are, what religion they have, or where there ancestors came from, their actions classify them as hateful bilious assholes) is ONLY deserving of international scorn. For critics of Israel to be labeled as anti-Semitic solely on the basis of criticizing Israel belittles the term.
    17.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 29th, 2007 at 4:56 pm #

    Hi –

    About B’nai Brith and CJC hating each other. I think that might be right
    but they could still take work together quite closely. I’ve seen it with others.

    But, as a matter of fact, I did not look at it that closely but followed Chris Cook in his account of it, in a letter he sent me informing me of the story. I will try to double check and will correct if necessary.

    Thanks all for the information. Now, let’s see what the tenure committees for Churchill and Finkelstein will do..
    LR
    18.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 29th, 2007 at 5:21 pm #

    Update:

    Yes, I think formerly the CJC was the voice for the Canadian Jewish community and communal organizations and still officially styles itself as such (on its website, which is what I went by). But B’nai Brith does speaks from a more extreme position — which actually makes the argument stronger.

    Anyway, I will ask Kim to make the correction. I was in haste to get this out asap to help Chris and PEJ, which has served as the forum for so many voices.

    Thanks, Flip Zeppelin, you have educated me – I had not idea about Nazi.

    And thanks to DV for helping on this.

    LR
    19.

    Eric Vaughan said on May 29th, 2007 at 7:27 pm #

    If it squirms up on innocent prey like an octupus, if it it has its grimy tentacles all over everything like an octopus, if it jettisons ink when it is critized like an octopus, then don’t you dare call it an octopus because then it is a mere step away from being called sushi and that’s what it refers to its food (the gentile and Muslim worlds) as.

    As for the CJC and B’nai Brith being a house divided, has either been infiltrated by the children of another Father? I think we would’ve heard about goyim joining up to something like that in the most demeaning possible terms.
    20.

    Public Restrooms of Vancouver said on May 29th, 2007 at 7:31 pm #

    Sometimes you come across what looks like careful adherence to a secret script, given different people at different times saying the same thing, especially as a way of shutting down or ridiculing a line of inquiry. This nonsense about groups hating eachother, how can they possibly work together, after written evidence for cooperation has already been mentioned, is one of those moments. (Another is the way all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, all anti-Semitism is “virulent,” and not a single thing ever written by any Nazis is correct in any way about anything, even though the Nazis invented the television and the rocketry precursors to the ICBM and our space program.) I have seen this “oh, it’s preposterous to say they’re in it together, they hate eachother” nonsense used in many other places, but only where Jews are involved. Ted Rall quotes an Afghani warlord toasting his colleagues at a feast where they are resolving to expel the Soviets: (paraphrased) for the time being we’ll kill Russians, then we’ll go back to killing eachother. Nobody says, “It’s a conspiracy theory to say Afghani warlords expelled the Soviets, after all, they hate eachother a whole hell of a lot [more than any Jew ever hated any other Jew].” But a Jewish communist who stands threatened by local anti-Semitism cannot possibly even for a minute be speculated to be in some passing tribal sympathy with a Jewish capitalist in the exact same situation, whatever the ideologies, and furthermore that’s anti-Semitic to say so. Let alone two different groups formed by wealthy Jews to protect their interests, and later to use “human rights” as a way of defending Zionism (the B’nai Bris was formed long before Zionism was effectively a unified, significant force, but is today in the mindset of ben Gurion to sacrifice Jews to Zionism!); it is very hard to believe that their mutual hatred is much different from the famous professional animus between law enforcement, intelligence and military agencies — healthy competition to be the first in getting the job done!
    21.

    Lila Rajiva said on May 30th, 2007 at 3:26 am #

    Well –

    Just a last word. Respectfully, I do want to say that I would avoid thinking and speaking in those terms. I think if we show self restraint in how we discuss other people and be aware that objectifying anyone is never a good idea, then perhaps others too would not feel threatened.

    Jews are a very small group. Muslims and Christians are over a billion. It is natural if they have a certain amount of inherent fear of either group – given history.

    Which is why I am individualist…the more we think in terms of group rights and identity politics, the more we exacerbate racial and religious tensions. By giving race and religion their proper space but focusing our legal structures on the individual, we neither suppress nor overindulge either of those categories.

    But there has been a good deal of historical revisionism, yes.

    LR
    22.

    Bl4ckP0pe said on May 30th, 2007 at 10:04 am #

    A very Misleading Title … … if writer more honest, it should be …

    “Gutless so-called ‘dissidents’ apologise and roll-over for a shafting at first sight of Large Electric Dildo”

    !! Jeezis H. Born-Again-Christ-on-a-Bike !! — These cowardly PEJ fools practise automatic self-censorship and even sack their own staff (wrongful dismissal suit) rather than face the enemy in a fight, fair or otherwise.

    What more can B’nai Brith and other enemies of free-speech ask for ??

    PEJ has demonstrated its utter contemptibile weakness, and will now in all probability proceed to pre-emptively and voluntarily wipe itself out, obviously “as a matter of courtesy and to show goodwill” (may the inventor of that slimy phrase grow a goddamned spine one day!), thus saving B’nai Brith from dirtying a fingernail.

    Bravo !! What a shining example of the Shiteing Spirit !! Bow down and kiss the Whip, MurthaFuckahs !! — what a disgusting spectacle of capitulation, losers!

    ——–

    On the other hand, however, my sincere congratulations to Ingmar Lee, Chris Cook and anybody else who fearlessly contributed to the clarification of the issue here. – Well done, and thanks for showing good example !

    ——————————————————————————-
    Ever Onwards – Unity and Victory to the Heroic Iraqi Resistance !!
    Everyone has a part to play, Rome wasn’t burnt in a Day !!
    ——————————————————————————-

    ( PS: see jolly cartoon at link if you need cheering up – http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/129470 )
    23.

    Me said on May 30th, 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    To Jhoffa, only 80% of Israel is Jewish. That’s less than the number of christians in the U.S. or most countries. Or muslims in any muslim country that’s not Lebanon. They have 100% equal rights. Unfortunately that can’t be said for other countries.
    24.

    Me said on May 30th, 2007 at 11:23 pm #

    Also, 40% of Israeli Jews are Mizrahi, that means Jews from Israeli lands. They’re from the 900,000 Jews who were kicked out of Arab countries in the 40s. But noone ever heas about them.
    25.

    Kim Petersen said on May 31st, 2007 at 12:23 am #

    Your facts and numbers are very disputable, Me. Mizrahi Jews are much fewer in number than Ashkenazi (about 50-60%) and Sephardi (probably 20-30%). What you write is baffling. How can one be an Israeli Jew and be kicked out from Arab lands? As for being forced out, some Mizrahi Jews claim that bombings in synagogues in Iraq, for example, were false flag operations.


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