"Independent Jewish Voices warn of the new McCarthyism"

By Kahina
November 12, 2010


OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has the bruises to prove Canada’s unwavering support for Israel in the face of growing anti-Israeli sentiment, an apparent reference to the country’s lost bid a seat on the UN Security Council.

“Whether it is at the United Nation or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric,” Harper told an interparliamentary conference on combating anti-Semitism.

“As long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take a stand whatever the cost,” he said.

Portugal and Germany won the coveted seats.

Harper’s position was in a sharp contrast to his government’s initial explanation for its lost bid, when it pointed the finger of blame at Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

Ignatieff scoffed at Harper’s latest explanation.

“To claim a defeat as a moral victory seems to me to be a mistake. To have lost the seat on the Security Council of the United Nations is a defeat,” Ignatieff said.

He said it made far more sense for Canada to defend Israel from the Security Council than from the sidelines.

Ignatieff told the gathering anti-Semitism is more than just a threat to Jews, “it is a threat to every one of us, all of humanity.”

Harper warned that if evil is left unchecked there will most assuredly be another Holocaust, citing what he called growing anti-Semitism around the world. Some 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

“Let us not forget that even now, there are those who choose evil, and would launch another Holocaust if left unchecked,” Harper said.

He said Jews increasingly are subjected to vandalism, threats, slurs and “just plain, old-fashioned lies.”

This allegation of increased attacks on Jews has been challenged by the group Independent Jewish Voices, which argues that to question Israel’s position in the Middle East does not make one an anti-Semite.

Harper raised concerns about the anti-Israeli movement even at universities.

Harper said while steps have been taken at home to combat anti-Semitism, the fight must taken offshore. “We must be relentless in exposing this anti-Semitism for what it is,” he said.

Michael Keefer, a University of Guelph English professor and author of Anti-Semitism Real and Imagined, told reporters later that claims of rising anti-Semitism in Canada and elsewhere are not supported in fact.

Keefer said the attempts by the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat anti-Semitism and others to suppress any kind of dissent with respect to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is little more than an attack on freedom of speech.

Diana Ralph of Independent Jewish Voices said just as Jews are sensitive to their place in the world because of the Holocaust, they should be just as sympathetic when others are being persecuted.

“The fact the Holocaust was a terrible crime and terrible tragedy . . . it has absolutely nothing to do with justifying similar — not similar in the sense of the same scope — violations of human rights and of the people of Palestine,” she said.

Ralph claims real threat is from the new McCarthyism, and not from so-called new anti-Semitism.

“We believe that it is legitimate and ethically necessary for Canadians of conscience to criticize Israeli human rights abuses and to support non-violent remedies,” she stated.



Fri, 11/12/2010 - 10:26

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2 points

'“We believe that it is legitimate and ethically necessary for Canadians of conscience to criticize Israeli human rights abuses and to support non-violent remedies,” she stated.'

Singling out one democratic country under a 60 year existential threat above all others when such egregious human rights abuses are perpetrated by all its enemies and go virtually ignored or are blamed on that same country IS anti-Semitic.

When Canadians or anyone else are as sensitive to crimes in Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Russia, Turkey, Gaza, China, etc etc, then such 'criticism' will not be anti-Semitic.

Implying the Holocaust is being used as cover to perpetrate 'similar' crimes IS anti-Semitic.

No fig-leaf of 'similar' can hide the fact that such comparisons are obnoxious and anti-Semitic.

Invoking McCarthy to imply that criticism of Israel is being stifled by Jews with an agenda, i.e., a vociferous 'Jewish lobby' is also anti-Semitic because it is clearly untrue. I presume that Keefer and Ralph have not been hauled before a committee to deny they are 'anti-Zionists'.

Ralph actually uses anti-Semitic tropes that she claims are fictitious by claiming them to be so using the language she denies is anti-Semitic.

jose (not verified)

Fri, 11/12/2010 - 12:26

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"Diana Ralph of Independent Jewish Voices said just as Jews are sensitive to their place in the world because of the Holocaust, they should be just as sympathetic when others are being persecuted."

She is right: Jews are mostly sympathetic when others are persecuted. Unfortunately the Arabs of 'Palestine' voted democratically for those who persecute them: HAMAS (an acronym for Hide Behind Mosques And Schools). Should we be sympathetic to the Germans who voted for Hitler in 1933 ? I don't think we should, and I am certainly not. Voting for haters brings logically disaster. Diana Ralph should stop treating the Arabs of 'Palestine' as political babies. That IS racist too.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 13:25

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2 points

I am sick and tired of hearing that the Arab-Israel conflict causes anti-Semitism. It's nonsense.

Anti-Semites do not need an excuse to hate Jews. They just need the right political climate to be open about it.

yankeeuxb (not verified)

Fri, 11/12/2010 - 14:51

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-1 points

Two common mistakes:

That there is a correlation between criticism of the occupation of the Palestinians (incl. the siege of Gaza) and anti Semitism.
People, including Israelis, support the rights of Palestinians because the Palestinians are occupied and ethnically cleansed and subject to all the other horrors that go with a military occupation.
They support Palestinian rights, simple as that.

Secondly, the supporters of war criminals in Israel ought to think about the persecution that Muslims are suffering, not only in the West but in their own countries at the hands of invading armies. Persecution is not a uniquely Jewish experience. Though self pity seems to be.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 14:58

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You antisemitic clown - the Arabs are the ones who present themselves as victims.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 15:03

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"The Palestinians are occupied and ethnically cleansed"

Just the usual antisemitic lie from the usual antisemitic poster.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 15:42

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Jew hating lies from yankeeuxb, the obsessive Jew hater.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 15:43

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two common mistakes:

1. yankeeuxb's ill-informed hatred

2. His platform on the JC.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 15:46

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Ralph's assertion that the Palestinians are suffering as Jews did in the Holocaust (apparently only "scope" is different - so Jews are putting Palestinians in gas chambers, but fewer of them) reveals a moral and intellectual paucity of staggering proportions.

What a disgusting woman.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 17:34

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Thankfully the Canadian Government has the guts to stand up to these anti-semitic idiots.
As they did when they banned "Geogeous" George Galloway from entering the Country on a planned anti-semitic hate fest.
GG is still persona non grata in Canada, it's only a pity the UK Government doesn't view him the same way.


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 17:52

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-1 points

Amber: You're right of course, but it's kinda funny in some ways isn't it? Like me saying I stubbed my toe getting out the shower this morning. Therefore I too am suffering just like the Jews did during the Holocaust, only in a different "scope".

Pity me!

These people are just... like... thick! Aren't they?


Fri, 11/12/2010 - 18:07

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-1 points

matt, you got that right!


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