Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh Those Anti-Semetic Jews

h/t to all the other bloggers that have already posted this.

Having opposed the Israel invasion of Gaza, I know all too well how quickly one becomes branded as an anti-semite. So, are these 150 Jews now anti-semites too?

Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of Israel


This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (as an op-ed). Please help this important statement get into broad circulation - pass it on to your networks (faculty, community, MPs, university presidents, unions etc.). You may also wish to write to the Star and Globe and express your dismay that they have chosen not to publish it.

Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within Canada. The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick. *

The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel’s accountability for what many have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.

They strongly state that they are against all expressions of racism. While firmly committed to resisting any form of prejudice against Jewish people, their statement explicitly states that these spurious allegations of anti-Semitism bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind.

The statement underlines the immeasurable suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people due to the severe poverty, daily humiliations, and military invasions inflicted by the State of Israel.

James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.

Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of Israel

We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy "Never again" means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel. We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper, B’nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because "anti-Semitic hate fests" were being allowed on campuses. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating posters, and infringing on free speech.

We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December 2008, Israel’s siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there, with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel’s accountability to the international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.

We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate criticism of the State of Israel.


Abigail Bakan, Adam Balsam, Sharon Baltman, Julia Barnett, Lainie Basman, Jody Berland, Sam Blatt, Geri Blinik, Anita Block, Elizabeth Block, Sheila Block, Hannah Briemberg, Mark Brill, Stephen Brot, Meyer Brownstone, Eliza Burroughs, Smadar Carmon, Gyda Chud, Charles P. Cohen, Nathalie Cohen, David Copeland, Natalie Zemon Davis, Eliza Deutsch, James Deutsch, Judith Deutsch, Abbe Edelson, Jack Etkin, Elle Flanders, Danielle Frank, Ursula Franklin, Dan Freeman-Maloy, Miriam Garfinkle, Alisa Gayle, Jack Gegenberg, Mark Golden, Brenda Goldstein, Sue Goldstein, Cy Gonick, Marnina Gonick, Rachel Gotthilf, Amy Gottleib, Kevin A. Gould, Daina Green, Lisa Frances Greenspoon, Ricardo Grinspun, Cathy Gulkin, Rachel Gurofsky, Deboran Guterman, Yesse Gutman, Freda Guttman, Judy Haiven, Michael Hanna-Fein, Jean Hanson, Jan Heynen, Maria Heynen, Adam Hofmann, Jake Javanshir, Jeannie Kamins, Marylin Kanee, Howard S. Kaplan, Gilda Katz. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Mira Khazzam, Bonnie Sher Klein, Mark Klein, Martin Klein, Naomi Klein, Joshua Katz-Rosene, Ryan Katz-Rosene, Judy Koch, Anton Kuerti, Jason Kunin, Aaron Lakoff, Michael Lambek, Natalie LaRoche, Richard Borshay Lee, Andy Lehrer, Gabriel Levin, Gabriel Levine, Joel Lexchin, Kim Linekin, Abby Lippman, Lee Lorch, Martin Lukacs, Audrey Macklin, Elise Maltin, Richard Marcuse, Wayne Mark, Gabor Mate, Arthur Milner, Anna Miransky, Dorit Naaman, Joanne Naiman, Neil Naiman, Michael Neumann, David-Marc Newman, David Noble, Clare O’Connor, Robin Ostow, Andre W. Payant, Jenny Peto, Simone Powell, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Fabienne Presentey, Yacov Rabkin, Diana Ralph, Naomi Rankin, Judy Rebick, Ester Reiter, Jillian Rogin, Richard Roman, Joseph Rosen, Herman Rosenfeld, Martha Roth, Marty Roth, Ruben Roth, E.Natalie Rothman, B. Sack, Ben Saifer, Miriam Sampaio, Jacob Scheir, Fred Schloessinger, Alan Sears, Shlomit Segal, Edward H. Shaffer, Noa Shaindlinger, Ray Shankman, Eva Sharell, Elliot Shek, Sid Shniad, Max Silverman, Samuel Singer, Elizabeth Solloway, Susan Starkman, Greg Starr, Jonathan Sterne, Jeremy Stolow, Rhonda Sussman, Vera Szoke, Joe Tannenbaum, Howard Tessler, Marion Traub-Werner, Ceyda Turan, Sandra Tychsen, Cheryl Wagner, Jon McPhedran Waitzer, David Wall, Naomi Binder Wall, Kathy Wazana, Karen Weisberg, Barry Weisleder, Paul Weinberg, Judith Weisman, Suzanne Weiss, Abraham Weizfeld, Ernie Yacub, B.H. Yael, Yedida Zalik, Melvin Zimmerman



C-Nuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C-Nuck said...

C-Nuck said...
The answer is yes, they are Jews against the Jewish State.

They are way outside the mainstream of the Jewish Community.

Abie Weizfeld and Freda Guttman for instance have long protested alongside Hamas and Hizbollah supporters against Israel.

Many of these people (I do not know them all) would not be allowed to participate in the activities of J-Street)

J-Street is a left-wing peace group, but they are Zionists and proud supporters of Israel. Abie and Freda (and others on your list) are not.

There is no Jewish or Israel group that funds or supports this group or a few others like it. They are way out of the mainstream. They have no office, no organization, no synagogue or other recognizable institution within the Jewish Community that they have built, maintained or supported. They were (I assume) born Jewish. Those that I know in the list have not found any expression of their Jewishness other than to critique the State of Israel for years on end.

Align yourself with this group if you want. Just don't call yourself a supporter of Israel anymore because those people are not.

James Curran said...

I see. So, these Jews aren't Jews.

I'm familiar with J-Street. I'm an online member.

C-Nuck said...

I never said they are not Jews.
They do not identify or embrace any of the Jewish Community's institutions, organizations or synagogues.

And, as I stated, it may not be all of them as I cannot be sure of each signatory. However several notable and longtime anti-Zionist activists are among those who signed.

J- Street, of which you are an online member, is a Zionist organization. They celebrate Israel Independance Day and proudly wave Israel's Flag.

Abie Weizfeld and others who signed that letter would never attend an event that celebrates Israel but would rather wave the flag (and have) of Hamas.

Beijing York said...

So the State of Israel is an institution now? Perhaps there is another solution that we never even contemplated. Designate part of Jerusalem as a Jewish Vatican City and create a modern state that is a vibrant and diverse democracy that gives equal rights to all religions and cultures.

C-Nuck said...


Wow what an original a novel suggestion to make Jerusalem a "neutral" city - NOT !!

The Partition plan of 1947 had Jerusalem as an International City.

Jordan seized the City and no Jew was allowed at the Western Wall (Judaism Holiest site) from 1947-1967. And no one in the International Community cared or raised their voice in protest. Not one single UN Resolution calling on Jews to be allowed to pray at their most important site.

Been there done that, no thanks Beijing.

Jerusalem has never been more open then under Israeli rule.

There is only one spot in Jerusalem tha does not maintain equality. On the Waqf (Muslim Religious Authority) Temple Mount, Jews and Christians are barred from entering the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque.

Beijing York said...

You read me wrong. The model would make the State of Israel and occupied Palestinian territories into one secular and diverse state while an enclave in Jerusalem would be designated a Jewish equivalent of the Catholic Vatican City.

C-Nuck said...

So what you propose is the so-called "One State Solution" which in effect means abolishing the Jewish State of Israel. It is Hamas' preferred option. Demographics will allow Hamas to create an Islamic State within in a generation in a one-State solution.

Why is it, that reasonable people, such as yourself, cannot fathom the idea that just one country in the world can be for the Jewish people. One country, that runs its affairs according to Jewish tradition and customs. One country that celebrates the new year according to the lunar calendar and not the gregorian calendar. One country that has Passover as a legal holiday and not Good Friday and Easter Monday, One country that's common pause day is Saturday and not Sunday (or Friday as in Muslim countries). One country where a Jewish Star is displayed on the national flag and not a cross (Britain, Quebec, Switzerland) or a Crescent of Islam. One country thats official language is the ancient language of its Aboriginal peoples. One country that maintains national sovereignty of its people's most treasured ancient and historic beginings.

J-Street, as a Zionist organizations supports all that.
Those who want to abolish the State of Israel, like the 150 who signed the letter, ultimately call for one State.

Helli said...


Some israelis soldiers are questioning the "morality" of some interventions and orders they received during the war in Gaza.

Demosthenes said...

They are way out of the mainstream. They have no office, no organization, no synagogue or other recognizable institution within the Jewish Community that they have built, maintained or supported.

I wasn't aware that all this was necessary to have an opinion worth listening to.

And, certainly, this comment is just offensive:

There is no Jewish or Israel group that funds or supports this group or a few others like it. They are way out of the mainstream.

Are you seriously trying to argue that the validity of the opinions of a group of Jewish people is dependent on whether they have a "Jewish or Israel group that funds or supports" them? Or whether they're "mainstream"?

I can see disagreeing with them. I'm not terribly fond of the one-state solution and don't necessarily think it's workable either. But to sum up this discussion as "money talks" does everybody a grave disservice, and reinforces both their claims of suppression and the the more alarmist (and unwarranted) claims of real anti-semites.