Canadian Jewish paper censors piece defending Zionism because it mentions Blumenthal debate

Israel/Palestine
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Mira Sucharov, a liberal Zionist writer who teaches political science at Carleton University, is set to debate Goliath author Max Blumenthal tomorrow night at the University of Ottawa. The question:

Can Israel exist as both Jewish and democratic?

Braintwister!

In the meantime, Sucharov has published a piece in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin calling for an open debate between Zionists and their critics. It is titled, “Values, Ethics, Community: ‘I am concerned that a chill factor is setting into our communities’”. Excerpt:

[W]hile I am frequently critical of Israeli policies, I still believe Israel can be saved from itself…. I believe helping Israel end the occupation is therefore a moral imperative for the Diaspora Jewish community.

Unlike those on the far left, though, I believe that, without prejudicing the lives of citizens within a given state, every country has the right to define its identity as it sees fit. And, as a Jew who was raised with Zionist narratives and feels a deep emotional connection to Israel, I admit a certain subjective attachment to the idea of maintaining a Jewish and democratic state.

If we cannot engage in dialogue with those we disagree with politically – assuming basic standards of decency are being respected (meaning no hate, no racism, no Islamophobia and no anti-Semitism) – then what do we, as human beings, have left?

Just one chilly little problem. The Ottawa Jewish Bulletin apparently didn’t want to mention Sucharov’s debate with Max Blumenthal because the event is sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices, which supports boycott. Blumenthal also supports BDS.

And Sucharov went along with the censorship, she says in tweeting the piece:

Poster for tomorrow night's debate

Poster for tomorrow night’s debate

Sucharov also tweets thatShul won’t let me put up a poster,” for the debate– though she took the photograph from the street that runs atop this post. 

Some day 20 years from now people will read this and not believe it actually happened. The most educated, privileged, affluent group on the continent, and its official bodies stoppered their ears.

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20 Responses

  1. ritzl
    May 21, 2014, 8:38 pm

    This should be a good debate. Pity the Ottawa Jewish Journal doesn’t see it that way. I hope it gets covered here.

  2. eljay
    May 21, 2014, 9:20 pm

    >> Can Israel exist as both Jewish and democratic?

    Sure. Here are a couple of options:
    – Expel or kill all non-Jewish Israelis, or force them to undergo a religious conversion to Judaism.
    – Make Jewish the bureaucratic nationality of all citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from Israel.

    Voilà! You have a Jewish and democratic state. :-)

    But what if you don’t want to do these things. What if you just want Israel to be a “Jewish State” with minorities in it. Can it still be Jewish and democratic? Sure, if your definition of democracy includes preferential laws for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

  3. pabelmont
    May 21, 2014, 9:50 pm

    “Some day 20 years from now people will read this and not believe it actually happened. The most educated, privileged, affluent group on the continent, and its official bodies stoppered their ears.”

    Well, no. Not “their ears”.

    They tried to stop the ears of their members, of the Jewish community. Maybe of a wider community that might have learned of the debate had the advertisements and article not been denied a place. (BTW, did you know that people with these attitudes have actually tried to prevent “sex education” in schools lest the children learn accurately about sex in school — instead of from their loving but often straight-laced parents and from their don’t-know-much friends.)

  4. Philip Munger
    May 21, 2014, 11:52 pm

    This whole experience may end up being an eye-opener for Prof. Sucharov. Good luck, Max. Hope it gets up on the web in video format. Once again – wish I could be there.

  5. eGuard
    May 22, 2014, 12:32 am

    A liberal Zionist writer crying? So what. A “liberal Zionist” is someone who does not shoot Palestinians themselves. Wrapped in endless talking.

    She writes a chill factor is setting into our communities. That is: Jewish communities only. She does not spend a single word on those she that are on the receiving end of her “political science”: Palestinians. Are Palestinians to wait until Jewish communities have talked a solution?

    Mira Sucharov, in “political science”, writes These Israel critics believe … . They believe, instead [sic], that … They also believe … Neither [sic] do they believe that … (Read this again. Utter nonsense). A political statement is a “belief”? She is not a “teacher” in “political science”. She is a politician.

    • ziusudra
      May 22, 2014, 12:48 pm

      Greetings eGuard,
      you don’t understand :
      She sits before you to stand behind you eying you from the side telling you something, she knows absolutely nothing about.

      …. if we cannot engage in dialogue with someone we disagree with politically…..
      We’ll talk them into kingdom come & long after de cows come home.
      WTF, the 30yrs war only took 4 yrs (within de 30) to get 5 peace treaties.
      Have guns, can wait!
      ziusudra

  6. MRW
    May 22, 2014, 8:29 am

    Max, if you’re reading this: Lock and load.

  7. John Salisbury
    May 22, 2014, 8:52 am

    Wish I could be there too.I’m down here in Melbourne Australia.Last night I went to a talk by Ari Shavit at Monash Uni.Don’t think he has thought the issues through at all clearly.

  8. James Canning
    May 22, 2014, 7:27 pm

    Yes, help Israel “end the occupation”. Sooner rather than later.

  9. Memphis
    May 22, 2014, 8:26 pm

    I’m so upset I didn’t know about this!!!

    I live in Ottawa and Miri Sucharov was a professor of mine for two classes. A fourth year International Relations seminar and 3rd year class on the Israel Palestine conflict. I challenged her in that class about the 1ss or 2ss. Guess that explains why I got a C. HAHA

    And I really have wanted to see Max speak since I read Goliath.

    I would so have been there. So upset!!! Why didn’t I know about this!!!!

    Can anyone inquire about finding a video or a transcript or detailed synopsis. Curious about how this went.

  10. jon s
    May 23, 2014, 4:54 am

    20 years from now people will not believe that there were Jews who called for the boycott of their fellow Jews – and then complained when when some in the community wanted to boycott them.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 23, 2014, 10:13 am

      Isn’t it amazing how often statements from our man supposedly from the Israeli “left” — jon s — sounds, upon replacing “Jews” with “Aryans,” like it plausably could be an excerpt from Mein Kampf??

      “20 years from now people will not believe that there were Aryans who called for the boycott of their fellow Aryans – and then complained when when some in the community wanted to boycott them.”

      But I guess in Israel, the “left” considers one’s primary obligation not on morality to be based on not universally applicable principles of human and individual rights, but on Blut und Rasse.

    • eljay
      May 23, 2014, 1:18 pm

      >> 20 years from now…

      …one can only hope that Zio-supremacism and Zio-supremacists will finally and thoroughly have been discredited, and that an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” will no longer exist.

  11. piotr
    May 23, 2014, 7:23 am

    “Those familiar with my writing know that, while I am frequently critical of Israeli policies, I still believe Israel can be saved from itself. Ending the occupation and enacting legal reform to address disparities between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens will enable Israel to retain its core identity of being both Jewish and democratic.”

    Unfortunately, I am not familiar with her writing. In principle, the goal to save Israel from itself is OK with me, but once stated, either it is a dreamy excuse “right now it may look bad, but it can be much better if we repeat it more often, ‘Oh, save from itself, our dear Israel'”, or it is combined with the advocacy of a serious pressure, basically, BDS.

  12. Walid
    May 23, 2014, 7:38 am

    “and then complained when when some in the community wanted to boycott them.”

    You’re wasting your time trying to spook your fellow Jews, jon; 20 years from now these Jews of good will will be holding their heads high for having contributed in helping the Palestinians while your group of Jewish oppressors will be holding down their heads in shame at what was done to fellow human beings, somewhat akin to what the Nazis felt 20 years after their crime. For now, there are more of the good Jews in Canada than of the other kind that you are rooting for.

    • piotr
      May 23, 2014, 3:40 pm

      There is no more thankless task that “saving X from itself”.

  13. jon s
    May 23, 2014, 11:01 am

    Walid,
    I recently posted a comment objecting to any idea of banning Jewish Anti-Zionists from the discussion in the community:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/palestinians-reporter-flashes.html#comment-667024

    It simply strikes me as hypocritical to support bds and then complain about censorship, objecting to a boycott of the boycotters. I think that my position is on
    much firmer moral ground.
    As you probably know, if you’ve read my comments, I support the two state solution, oppose the occupation and consider myself a sincere friend of the Palestinian people, and have tried make my small contribution towards realizing that goal.

  14. hophmi
    May 23, 2014, 2:50 pm

    “Some day 20 years from now people will read this and not believe it actually happened. The most educated, privileged, affluent group on the continent, and its official bodies stoppered their ears.”

    I think people will read this blog (assuming anyone cares by then) and realize exactly why Jewish newspapers were squeamish about giving credence to those associated with it.

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