Desperation: Canadian newspaper likens Naomi Klein to…. Goebbels

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Canada’s National Post has singled out Naomi Klein, sponsor of the Toronto Declaration, for a vicious hit job based on a piece she wrote when she was 19. A lot of Klein’s piece is pretty good; it’s about Jewish identity. But look how Hillel Neuer, the hatchetman, characterizes it:

Klein has nurtured a strange rage against her own people, faith and national cause, from a remarkably young age…. Interestingly, all this Goebbelslike venom — Israel as wicked, racist and depraved in its essence — as well as the article’s hysteria, rage and paranoia, are erased from Klein’s later accounts.

I can’t wait for Klein to embrace her youthful writings and expand on them, explain them. They’re excerpted by Neuer in a way I find unreliable. For now we’ve gotten this note from her:

"The wacky stalker article is riddled with errors, too many to respond to, even if I wanted to. I will say this: the article in question was  written when I was in first year university. I look forward to the follow up exposé revealing that, in that very same year, I wrote college essays about books I had not actually read."

Also, this just in, the the mayor of Tel Aviv just confirmed in an interview with a Canadian paper that film festival is part of Brand Israel campaign:"He said that while the City to City program was initiated by the festival, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs was involved as part of its Brand Israel media and advertising campaign, which was launched last year."

That lines up with this piece, which focuses on a letter critical of the film festival that raised the issue of donors‘ influence over the festival’s purposes. Obvious, I know, but:

The open letter points out that in 2008, “the Israeli government and Canadian partners Sidney Greenberg of Astral Media, David Asper of Canwest Global Communications and Joel Reitman of MIJO Corporation launched ‘Brand Israel,’ a million dollar media and advertising campaign aimed at changing Canadian perceptions of Israel.”

An August 28, 2008, article in the Canadian Jewish News, the protest letter explains, “quotes Israeli consul general Amir Gissin as saying that Toronto would be the test city for a promotion that could then be deployed around the world. According to Gissin, the culmination of the campaign would be a major Israeli presence at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.”

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