Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Canadian policy on Israel - It's a small, small, small world

It's so small it seems to fit entirely inside the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism held in Israel in December. Speaking and chairing panels at that conference were ImmigrationMin Jason Kenney, Israeli NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg, and Senior Legal Counsel to B'nai Brith Canada and new Rights and Democracy board member - David Matas.

It was from that conference that Jason Kenney announced the funding cut to KAIROS in his speech about combating antisemitism in Canada. Back home in Canada his office sited the rightwing Israeli thinktank NGO Monitor as disapproving of KAIROS when asked for an explanation of the cuts. As it happens, NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg was chairing a panel on Trends in the Delegitimization of Israel at the same conference.

Steinberg has been staging what he calls a Name and Shame campaign against a number of mideast human rights groups including KAIROS - and Oxfam! - since 2004. UNRWA, the UN's Palestinian refugee agency, was also on that hit list and in January it had its Canadian funding restricted to food aide only. Steinberg crowed about it in the Jerusalem Post and has promised to name names to our own Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism .

Most recently the Cons have blown up the Montreal human rights organization Rights and Democracy by stacking the board with pro-Israel hawks. Ex-VP of B'nai Brith and current R&D Chairman Aurel Braun invited NGO Monitor Gerald Steinberg to speak at R&D - you can watch Braun gracelessly slag previous R&D Chair Ed Broadbent at the CTV link below.
New R&D appointee David Matas co-chaired a panel on Antisemitism in Cyberspace at the Israel conference this December. Matas favours an enlarged definition of what constitutes "new anti-semitism". Matas :

"If you accuse Israel of crimes against humanity and Israel has committed crimes against humanity, then it is a legitimate criticism. If Israel has committed no such crimes, then it is antisemitism.

In my book Aftershock: Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism published by Dundurn Press, I have written chapter after chapter detailing criminal accusation after criminal accusation against Israel, and showing that all these accusations have no foundation either in fact or in law. The mere fact that the criticism would be legitimate if the accusations were warranted, does not save these accusations from the charge of antisemitism."

Paul Wells and Dr. Dawg have both done excellent coverage of the whole Rights and Democracy debacle and Kudos to CTV for their surprise coverage also.

Did I mention the next Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, parent of our own Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, is expected to be held in Canada this year? You can read their London Declaration from last year's conference here.


Anonymous said...

CBC last night: Is Harper Canada's most pro-Israel PM?
Silly question but Mesley allowed Dimant to display his true colours and disgust everyone in the comments below the online version.

wendell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wendell said...

"Did I mention the next Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism is expected to be held in Canada this year?"

Where did you find this out? Where will it be? When?

Alison said...

Wendell : Argghh. Meant to say Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism - ICCA, parent of our own CPCCA. Typo fixed.

Ok to your question - it's in the link above:
"35. Delegates should reconvene for the next ICCA Conference in Canada in 2010."

That's all I know.

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