Friday, January 25, 2008

Canadian politics: increasingly polarized by antisemitism

Charles sent me this link yesterday: CCD applauds Harper government for withdrawal of support for UN 'anti-racism' conference
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, 23 January, 2008

Ottawa, Canada - The Stephen Harper government has withdrawn its support for a UN anti-racism conference scheduled to take place next year in South Africa, according to a media release today from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity, said today that the conference, like its predecessor in 2001, "has gone completely off the rails... Canada is interested in combating racism, not promoting it. We'll attend any conference that is opposed to racism and intolerance, not those that actually promote racism and intolerance".

"Canadians are shocked when they hear the clear and simple expression of reality by their leaders," said Alastair Gordon, president of the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD). "We are used to hearing double-speak from our politicians -- fantasies that are at odds with the reality that most Canadians see and the values that they hold."

The last UN anti-racism conference held in Durban in 2001 degenerated into a hate-fest of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel vitriol, while the most egregious human rights violators escaped criticism. The Toronto Star today reported that "all of the non-governmental organizations invited to the first conference have been invited back to the second, including those that were at the 'forefront of the hatred', some of which posted pro-Hitler posters at the 2001 gathering."

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is in charge of planning for the conference, an entity that has directed 93% of its resolutions on human rights violations at just one nation - Israel. Iran is a member of the organizing committee, despite its government's open call to wipe the Jewish homeland off the face of the earth.

"The Stephen Harper government has again demonstrated that Canada can project power as a moral leader in international affairs," added Gordon. "A nation does not need a massive military to provide the moral leadership and clarity that denies legitimacy to Orwellian UN agencies that hijack the language of human rights to promote Jew-hatred.

"Stephen Harper has signaled that Canada will act on principle, regardless of UN consensus. This is the stuff of global leadership."
This news drew a reply from Khaled Mouammar, Canadian Arab Federation National President, as noted by Kate at Small Dead Animals. Mouammar states:
Canada's outright rejection of the [UN anti-racism] conference sends a clear message to the Canadian public that the current government is disinterested in promoting human rights and anti-racism. The very fact that Israel was "attacked" at the previous conference indicates that the international community and human rights organizations are in agreement that the occupation of Arab lands, the mistreatment and killing of Palestinians, and the denial of the right of Palestinian refugees to return is in violation of international law and will be condemned and no longer accepted.


"We would also like to remind Jason Kenney that he is a Minister of the Canadian government, not the racist Israeli government; still, CAF is not surprised with Minister Kenney's position given his outright contempt for the Arab and Muslim communities in Canada and his condoning of Islamophobia. This is the same man who attacked a Muslim organization for lodging a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission against Maclean's Magazine for publishing an inflammatory and bigoted article, and who slandered Canadian NGO's at an OSCE Conference in front of the international community"
Kate then goes on to note that Mouammar gained notoriety by circulating a flyer at the last leadership convention of the Liberal Party of Canada, denouncing leading leadership candidate, Bob Rae, for his Jewish connections. As we reported, there was apparently a campaign of slander at the convention, directed at the fact that Bob Rae's wife is Jewish and an official with the Canadian Jewish Congress; and this campaign seems to have led to support for the successful candidacy of the current Liberal leader, Stephane Dion, who, according to Kate, has yet to comment on, or to denounce, this convention vileness.

Anyway, I recently saw the name Khaled Mouammar attached to a comment on the Globe and Mail online article by the four law students taking Mark Steyn and Maclean's to the "human rights" tribunals:
Khaled Mouammar from Richmond Hill, Canada writes: Jewish American writer, Isidore Feinstein Stone, stated that 'Every war, every outburst of genocide, is prepared by propaganda which paints the vicitm, the Other, as less than human. This is the ultimate lesson of Auschwitz, he who treats his brother as less than human prepares the path to the furnace.' Mark Steyn's article in Maclean's Magazine, intentionally or unintentionally, appears to be spreading racism against Muslims by insinuating that the rising number of Muslims in Western societies is sinister and threatens to destroy western societies.

The presentation of the Muslim as a menace, a terrorist, a shadowy figure who operates outside of the accepted value system and is therfore to be feared and mistrusted has gone on for too long and is undermining the multicultural and tolerant fabric of Canada. This racist image of the Muslim is nothing more than the result of the tranference of the popular anti-Semitic animosity from a Jewish to a Muslim target.
There was then a thoughtful reply to this Mouammar from one George Brown - probably someone taking the name of the Globe's founding publisher, the pre-Confederation politician from Canada West.
' Khaled Mouammar from Richmond Hill, Canada writes: Jewish American writer, Isidore Feinstein Stone, stated that 'Every war, every outburst of genocide, is prepared by propaganda which paints the vicitm, the Other, as less than human.... This racist image of the Muslim is nothing more than the result of the tranference of the popular anti-Semitic animosity from a Jewish to a Muslim target.'

I hear this argument often now. It's not true. Judeophobia (strictly speaking there is no 'Semitic' race or religion) is a reaction to the people who claim to be first in covenant with the One God, those who don't give God a name (to be compared with other names in contests over the Greatest God) but who start a new historical era by defining God: 'I am what I am'.

Islamophobia is a reaction to the people who come relatively late to the world of monotheism and who base their claims, not to having the New New Testament, but to having the Koran, the eternal uncreated word of God, that the Jews and Christians who came before never knew entirely or have somehow forgotten or corrupted.

Racism is not racism is not racism. Jews are a race and a religion, Muslims are not. Jews, when hated, are hated for being 'first', for being religious discoverers, which in the hater's mind becomes something conspiratorial. It is an attack on the successful, something still widely allowed in commentary on Israel. Muslims, when hated, are hated for being outsiders with a righteous claim to overcome those who previously left them marginal.

I see no evidence Canadians are laying the ground for a Holocaust of Muslims. I, for one, want to defend your individual freedom to be whoever you want to be; and that means contesting certain group resentments and their claims on the state. A free society can only be based on individual rights, not group claims.
I'm stretching the metaphor, but Stephane Dion needs to take a lead from his great liberal party antecedent, "George Brown", not to mention from Stephen Harper, a man who consistently stands for what he knows is right, with regard to Israel and antisemitism, notwithstanding the political consequences it will have. In contrast, Dion seems willing to reap the rewards. Let's just hope Harper can find the support among Canadians for a majority government so that he can more actively oppose the untruths made in the name of "human rights" in this country.

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