By: Hanna Kawas
It seems that the Canadian Zionists are not satisfied with the results of their pro-Israel “advocacy”, “rebranding”, “public affairs” and “hasbara” work. The Zionist paper, The Canadian Jewish News, recently reported the following: – “A sea (of) change is about to occur in the way Canadian Jewish community advocacy is conducted on both a regional and a national level. According to Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the change is being led by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), which is seeking to centralize control of the host of Jewish (read Israel – ed.) advocacy agencies it administers … and create a ‘single Jewish public affairs organization encompassing the national and regional level.’ The new entity would also work ‘in close co-operation with’ and ‘operate under’ the UIA (United Israel Appeal) Federations Canada system.” (1)
Since its founding in January 2004, CIJA “oversees and coordinates the advocacy work of Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), Canada-Israel Committee (CIC), Quebec-Israel Committee (QIC), National Jewish Campus Life (NJCL) and University Outreach Committee (UOC)”, effectively controlling all these groups both politically and financially. Its declared objective is to “ensure our voice is heard where it counts – in government, media and on campus.” (2)
It is a sad fact that Canadian Zionists have always been successful in not just being heard by various levels of Canadian government and media but also using these institutions as forums to protect Israel (a foreign power) and it colonialist apartheid project. So CIJA is not worried about the provincial and federal governments nor the main stream media (our website is full of examples of their defence of, and complicity in, Israeli atrocities and war crimes). However, what they are really worried about is their faltering image on campuses and among the Canadian public at large; hence, the “sea (of) change” to “centralize control” for Israel advocacy in Canada.
Four recent examples show the moral bankruptcy of the Zionists and their stooges.
• The CJC response (3) to KAIROS Palestine’s policy paper “A Moment of Truth” (4) is callous, inhumane, supremacist and full of historic distortions and fallacies. It is also a slap in the face of all Christians who support peace with justice, especially the Palestinian Christians (the first Christians and the Guardians of the holy places), who are trying to reach out to the world with their cry of hope, justice and peace.
• On Nov. 7, 2010, the so-called “Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism” held the Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism. Shockingly, the invitations were issued as well “On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism” and stated that the conference was “working in cooperation with the Canadian Government”. Not shockingly, they were signed by Jason Kenney and Irwin Cotler. The Governor General of Canada, the Prime Minster and the Liberal leader all rushed to both attend and address this conference. The objective of the conference was to shield Israel from criticism and accordingly limit freedom of speech in Canada and elsewhere, and was trying to set the stage to criminalize criticism of Israel. If and when these objectives are not met, then the “Anti-Semitism” card is being used to try to scare pro-Palestinian activists and silence their solidarity work by harassing and threatening them. In his speech to the conference Stephen Harper used the same words set out by leading Israeli propagandists(5), when he stated “Demonization, double standards, delegitimization, the three D’s, it is the responsibility of us all to stand up to them”. The PM also showed his true face by showing the extent to which he will go to support Israel right or wrong: “But, as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost (my emphasis-ed.)” (6). Because of this fanatical and unconditional support for Israel, Canada lost a seat at the UN Security Council and a free military base on UAE soil (that should not have been there in the first place). We did not see Israel offering a free base for the Canadian military instead. Clearly, the PM and his government are showing a clear disregard for decency, humanity and the strategic interests of the Canadian people. Which national anthem are they singing: O Canada or O Israel??
• At the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, the Israel Awareness Club (IAC) and their “friends” tried to block a humanitarian donation of $700 by the Social Justice Centre of UBC (SJC) to the Canadian Boat to Gaza, a project trying to lift the crippling Israeli siege against the 1.5 million Palestinians. The Israeli blockade goes on in spite of a recent call by 21 international human rights organizations calling for an immediate end to the Gaza siege (7). In contrast to IAC’s self-serving action, Palestinian fire fighters recently participated in controlling the massive forest fire near Haifa as a humanitarian gesture. Meanwhile, at UBC, despite losing the vote on the donation at student council, Zionist intimidation and scare tactics continue, including an outlandish “terrorist” smear campaign, targeting students during the most stressful exam period. How low can you go?
• And most recently, in a new depth of abuse of legislative process, on December 7, 2010, some members of the Ontario Legislature condemned an MA thesis written by Jenny Peto, a granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, entitled “The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education” (8). This was not the first time the Ontario Legislature came to the defence of Israel; earlier this year, some of the same MPPs led an attack on the student activity Israeli Apartheid Week held across the country(9). On Dec 8, 2010, the Toronto Star reported that “Ontario citizenship and immigration minister Eric Hoskins said that he was ‘greatly disturbed and in fact disgusted’… Hoskins was responding to Progressive Conservative MPP Steve Clark, who called the thesis ‘disgusting.’ PC MPP Peter Shurman, whose Thornhill riding includes a large Jewish population, said the thesis was a hateful, poorly researched ‘piece of garbage.’” (10) The National Post also quoted Shurman as saying “‘I’m not sure Ontario is an appropriate place for preaching hate.’ He hasn’t read the paper, but nonetheless owes it to his largely Jewish constituents to defend Israel on their behalf, he said.” (11) Mr. Shurman alleges to be concerned for the feelings of his Jewish constituents, but not the Jewish daughter of a holocaust survivor, simply because she is not a Zionist. It is interesting that this representative of the Ontario people feels free to pass academic and moral judgment on a university thesis without admittedly even reading the paper. It seems it is enough for him to get his marching orders from the Zionist establishment. Perhaps he also has a hotline to the Israeli ambassador, like other Canadian politicians!!
No wonder the Zionists and their (way more than three) stooges are going bust and bankrupt. CIJA is wasting more than 11 million dollars on advocacy for Israel and one million of it reportedly goes to Canadian campuses. Small wonder CIJA is “seeking to centralize control”. However, their re-branding and their three D’s will not change the facts on the ground; rather, their desperate attempts are based on three other D’s – Diversion, Distortion of the truth and the message and Defamation of the messenger, all of which are being exposed daily by people with common sense.
In 1896, Theodor Herzl wrote in his book “The Jewish State”: “In Palestine…we shall be for Europe a part of the wall against Asia, we shall serve as a vanguard of civilization against barbarism.” After 114 years, it seems many in the Canadian main stream media and all levels of government still believe in the supremacist ideology of Zionist settler colonialism.
On Dec. 12, 2010, Jonathan Kay wrote in the National Post under the title: “Jonathan Kay: The Jenny Peto scandal shows that it’s time to clean house at OISE”, and demanded that the University of Toronto’s teacher’s college (OISE) be cleansed from any anti-Israel criticism. He stated: “Surely, the higher-ups at UToronto know about this sort of thing. Will the Peto scandal give them the excuse they need to clean house?” (12) We ask the people of Canada: Isn’t it now the time to clean house in the main stream media, provincial and federal government offices from those whose main concern is self-interest and the interest of a foreign government, and not the interest of the Canadian people?
We are certain that the Palestinian people will finally enjoy equality, justice, peace and dignity.
(7) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11868589 or http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/OPT_Gaza-paper_2010-11-30_EN_OK.pdf
(8) http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24619 or https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/24619/1/Peto_Jennifer_201006_MA_thesis.pdf
(9) https://cpavancouver.org/Dinovo.doc , https://cpavancouver.org/response%20to%20Shurman.doc , https://cpavancouver.org/Open%20Letter%20to%20Premier%20Dalton%20McGuinty%20and%20Ontario%20MPPs.doc