Friday, July 17, 2009

On combating anti-Semitism

In February, Bernie Farber CEO of the CJC, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and 10 other Lib and Con MPs attended the London Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism.

"Of all the strategies and tactics reviewed, one stood out for broader emulation. It was the development of all-party enquiries into the state of anti-Semitism in individual countries. Such a committee establishes a clear focus and accountabilities, a specific timeline for co-ordinated action by government ministries, agencies and law enforcement groups and a political check against any attempts at appeasement.

It ensures that the fight against anti-Semitism becomes validated by all parties, and avoids anti-Semitism serving as a wedge issue among politicians. It puts the onus for leadership of the battle on non-Jews who have the most credibility in pushing this agenda within civil society. "

The coalition will conduct a national inquiry into antisemitism in Canada
Today’s announcement is intended to signal that in this country, legislators of all parties are deeply concerned about what seems to be a rising international tide of renewed antisemitism, on a scale not seen in my lifetime.

(h/t Dr. Dawg - Go)

Farber further notes in his column "the rise of new forms of anti-Semitism" such as "the linkage of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism"

Perhaps as practised by the Prime Minister of Canada?

Mike Souza, Canwest News May 09 2008

Some of the criticism brewing in Canada against the state of Israel, including from some members of Parliament, is similar to the attitude of Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned yesterday.

"I guess my fear is what I see happening in some circles is (an) anti-Israeli sentiment, really just as a thinly disguised veil for good old-fashioned anti-Semitism, which I think is completely unacceptable," Harper said in an interview with CJAD radio.
"We learned in the Second World War that those who would hate and destroy the Jewish people would ultimately hate and destroy the rest of us as well, and the same holds today."

Many thanks for the obligaTory Godwin moment, Steve.

Farber also relates, apparently without irony or noting the significance himself, that :
"The U.K. Community Security Trust (CST), which co-hosted the London conference, has developed one of the leading evidentiary methodologies for tracking and understanding anti-Semitic incidents. Last week, it noted that a decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in 2008 (for the second year running) was totally overshadowed by an unprecedented rise during and after the Gaza operations."
Odd coincidence, that.
You know, if you guys would knock off conflating criticism of Israel's actions in Gaza with anti-Semitism yourselves, it would go a good distance towards combating the anti-Semitism you complain of.
Critics of Israel know anti-Semitism exists; we stand by legitimate attempts to combat it.
What we do not support is the weasely conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism/criticism of Israel in the underhanded attempt to muzzle all criticism of Israel, like this ridiculous attempt by Farber here and Jason Kenney's recent success in barring George Galloway from entering Canada.
Unfortunately I fear that whatever McCarthyite machinations are brewed up by the new privately-funded Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism will only serve to further blur that line.


Anonymous said...

He didn't notice the connection between Gaza and a rise in anti-semitism? What a putz!
Now this, this is alarming :

"a clear focus and accountabilities, a specific timeline for co-ordinated action by government ministries, agencies and law enforcement groups and a political check against any attempts at appeasement."

Are you now or have you ever been...


Lindsay Stewart said...

If only there were speechers to protect us... Ezra, where are you, you puffy bloviating man of air made warm? But golly gosh, it is a committee made up of douche bags from all parties. Phew, nothing to worry about then... move along.

thwap said...

It's quite simple really. When combating anti-Semitism was tough, when it involved going up against the world's most powerful nations and the wealthy and powerful within Western societies, it was the LEFT that was clearly in the forefront against it.

Now that genuine anti-Semitism in Western society consists mainly of some losers with spray-cans, we find fearless right-wingers joining the fray.

The fact that "anti-Semitism" has been expanded to mean criticizing Israeli imperialism, makes right-wingers even more happy, because they get to take the side of a bully and imagine that they're fighting a worthy cause at the same time.

It's kinda like how US repugnican youth imagine they're fighting for "democracy" against "Islamo-fascism" by writing blog-posts at home while their overstretched armed forces are murdering civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pathetic Loserdom to the nth degree.

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