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Stephen Harper’s Criticizing-Israel-Is-Anti-Semitic screed is exploded on CBC

Israel/Palestine
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Blockbuster Interview on Canadian National Radio

Stephen Harper’s cringe-provoking performance of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” at an Israeli state dinner last week  (he plays piano better than he sings) received enormous media attention, certainly up here in Canada.

More germane to current debates were his comments about “the new anti-Semitism” before an august gathering of the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem — the first-ever address by a Canadian Prime Minister.

“We have witnessed, in recent years , the mutation of the old disease of anti-Semitism and the emergence of a new strain,” Canada’s 54 year-old Conservative Party leader — a staunch Zionist — told the rapt crowd. “We all know about the old anti-Semitism. It was crude and ignorant, and it led to the horrors of the death camps.”

“Of course,” Harper went on, “in many dark corners, it is still with us. But, in much of the western world, the old hatred has been translated into more sophisticated language for use in polite society. People who would never say they hate the Jews for their own failings or the problems of the world, instead declare their hatred of Israel and blame the only Jewish state for the problems of the Middle East.

“As once Jewish businesses were boycotted, some civil-society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel. On some campuses, intellectualized arguments against Israeli policies thinly mask the underlying realities, such as the shunning of Israeli academics and the harassment of Jewish students. Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state … It is nothing short of sickening.”

Well, this past Friday morning, Stephen Harper’s Criticizing-Israel-Is-Anti-Semitic screed came up for close scrutiny on CBC Radio’s flagship current affairs program, The Current.

A radio journalist and loyal CBC Radio listener myself, I was most amazed to hear Friday morning’s exchange between Joseph Ben-Ami, a former Stephen Harper aide, and Rima Berns-McGown, who teaches diaspora studies at the University of Toronto (“Muslim by choice, Jewish by descent,” her Twitter feed declares).

Trenchant analysis of what’s going on in Israel-Palestine is not something I’m accustomed to hearing on CBC Radio. Some of the most insightful commentary on Israeli behavior can certainly be heard on programs like The Sunday Edition and The Current, but reports on Israel’s occupation and growing Palestinian non-violent resistance are virtually absent from CBC’s half-hour evening news. The subject seems to be taboo.

Indeed, at the close of her Friday morning interview with Ben-Ami and Berns-McGown, The Current‘s stand-in host Pia Chatapati speaks of letting “the conversation begin.”

Berns-McGown’s comments about the criticism-of-Israel taboo are as full-throated a call for telling the truth as one can imagine. Her voice trembling at times, she had things to say I don’t recall ever being articulated over Canadian airwaves (time codes in brackets):

[5:24] “I think it’s really problematic to equate the [state of Israel] with the Jewish people. I think that’s a really problematic and, one could argue, deeply antisemitic stand.”

[11:00] “If you’re critiquing the fact that Israel privileges one ethno-religious group, and discriminates against and actively, in some cases, oppresses another ethno-religious group (notably Palestinians, but not only Palestinians), and has used and continues to use expulsion and occupation and institutional marginalization to achieve those goals, those are very legitimate observations.”

[13:16] “[Israeli government] policies are fundamentally un-Judaic, because a central tenet of Judaism is that you do not do unto others what you do not want to have done to you. And many Jews, and a growing number particularly of young Jews, are separating themselves from self-identifying with being Jewish because they don’t want to be associated with this, precisely because establishment organizations conflate the idea of being Jewish with these policies.”

[19:12] “We desperately need to have a conversation about this. It’s only when you talk about these issues, and you’re not afraid to talk about them for fear of being smeared as a racist that you can actually talk it all out. Not talking about it is not doing Israel or Jews any favours. We need to lift the taboo and we need to stop exempting Israel from criticism.”

In response to the central argument of Israel supporters that everyone else commits horrid crimes, and that Israel gets singled out (anti-Semitically), Berns-McGown articulates the counter-position in succinct and compelling fashion:

[16:31] “Of course there are lots of states that do nasty things. But Israel purports to be a Western democracy. If you want to be in the club of Western democracies, you are going to be held accountable and expected to hold the standards that Western democracies hold, and criticism is not only fair game, but it’s essential … Israel behaves in ways, again, that many Jews and many Israelis see as un-Judaic and really problematic and not true to the core of what it means to be Jewish … Israel is actually being singled out for exemption from criticism by remarks like the Prime Minister’s.”

Go straight to the audio here.

 

 

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About David Kattenburg

David Kattenburg is a Winnipeg-based radio/web broadcaster and science educator.

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35 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    January 26, 2014, 5:18 pm

    This man is not right in the head.

    Too bad elections in canada is so far away..

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      January 27, 2014, 10:03 pm

      One can only hope that the turn-out is greater then it was last time around– there was a lot of political apathy before the harper cons got the majority government they wanted.

  2. MRW
    MRW
    January 26, 2014, 5:44 pm

    The Current audio is good. You’d never hear this on NPR; the announcer would cut the guests off. Joseph Ben-Ami is doing pilpul, and he has the balls to say that Israel does not privilege Jews?

  3. jayn0t
    jayn0t
    January 26, 2014, 7:16 pm

    “Israel behaves in ways, again, that many Jews and many Israelis see as un-Judaic and really problematic and not true to the core of what it means to be Jewish”.

    This article is not so much a critique of Israel as an attempt to separate Israelis and the world’s Jewish community from responsibility for the Jewish state.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      January 26, 2014, 11:45 pm

      “This article is…an attempt to separate Israelis and the world’s Jewish community from responsibility for the Jewish state.”

      Which shouldn’t be done when a vast majority of Jews provide some kind of material support towards the occupier Israel or defend the occupier and its expanding apartheid crime with an avalanche of propaganda. Zionists are Jewish even though some “Christians” identify with Zionism.

      The primary reason why the Jewish community shouldn’t be separated from Israel and its actions is because, IMO, only Jews will be able to bring justice for the Palestinians, and it is their responsibility and moral obligation to do so ASAP by demanding justice and rights for the Palestinians!

      Jews should quit pretending that this is not being done on their behalf; it is whether they like it or not, reject it or not or have the guts to speak out against it or not.

      The Jewish community’s complicity and even their silence will encourage idiots like Harper to censor and silence everyone else trying to take up a moral obligation that Jews should be leading to speak out against this crime against humanity happening in a so-called democratic state designated a state for all Jews that exists on the misery of the occupied Palestinians.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      January 27, 2014, 9:31 am

      The CBC program suggests that Israel behaves badly, not like a western democracy. So it is at least to that extent a “critique” of Israel.

      But, yes, it chiefly says that Jews should not be lumped with Israel (made responsible for Israeli crimes by others), and Jews should not lump themselves with Israel, and warns that young Jews are walking off the field of Judaism because they find no content anymore in the plastic, non-recyclable, pseudo Judaism broadcast by the so-called leaders of organized Jewry other than identification with and support for Israel and defense of Israel despite its crimes, all of which are increasingly unsavory.

      So, yes, it would be better if Jews took responsibility for correcting Israel (and America and Canada, etc., they’re all broken), but they should stop supporting Israel where it is insupportable.

      IMO it is antisemitic to lump “all Jews” in almost any sentence and certainly antisemitic to blame all Jews for Israel’s crimes.

    • annie
      annie
      January 27, 2014, 9:36 am

      This article is not so much a critique of Israel as an attempt to separate Israelis and the world’s Jewish community from responsibility for the Jewish state.

      how so? maybe you missed this:

      many Jews, and a growing number particularly of young Jews, are separating themselves from self-identifying with being Jewish because they don’t want to be associated with this, precisely because establishment organizations conflate the idea of being Jewish with these policies.

      “many Jews, and a growing number particularly of young Jews” is not the same as “Israelis and the world’s Jewish community”.

      someone born jewish, as Berns-McGown was, has no more obligation to take on the burden of responsibility for the crimes of Israel than I am or anyone else is, if they are not complicit.

      if “many Jews, and a growing number particularly of young Jews” want to separate from responsibility for the Jewish state, that is their prerogative and more power to them. i hope they do it loudly and clearly but that is not what this article is about.

      and after watching that entire cringe inducing video up there, watching the prime minister of canada get on his knees in front of the world stage and perform submissive favors in front of the knesset, and then watch the lounging netanyahu leaning back with his self satisfied grin as his arm is casually slung over the back of a chair, as if watching one of many court jesters– did you see that before reading? the MK stomps out after yelling at the speaker?

      this article was not a “critique of Israel”, that was not the purpose of it. it was about the culture of canada and canadians and how they must have felt listening to that, and how a person such as Berns-McGown (a canadian national treasure, i’ve been following her on twitter for a long time) spoke the truth on national radio! (that is how it struck me anyway, that is all i could think of.poor canadians how terribly embarrassing)

      you do think it’s the truth don’t you? and that “many Jews, and a growing number particularly of young Jews” is not the same as what you said. and the “world’s Jewish community“, whomever they are, (not to be confused with “establishment organizations” and those who support them, a distinction Berns-McGown makes), is not who is responsible for israel’s crimes anymore than those who bend over backwards to serve their masters the way harper is doing it above, the way kerry is doing it here: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/israeli-netanyahu-washington.html

      besides you can’t blame “the world’s Jewish community” without even defining what that means.

      your take away about the ‘attempts of the article’ which is none other than a critique of the writer, whom we’re so lucky to have informed us of this horrendous speech (and watch as the arab MK yells out at harper and stomps out of the knesset!), is shallow and insulting. imho. maybe you should watch the video and and read the article again.

  4. American
    American
    January 26, 2014, 7:44 pm

    [19:12] “We desperately need to have a conversation about this. It’s only when you talk about these issues, and you’re not afraid to talk about them for fear of being smeared as a racist that you can actually talk it all out.””

    Not to be rude- –because I agree with most of what she says —-but how long does this conversation go on?
    The facts on Israel are there for anyone who cares to look. How long does it take to look at the facts?
    I dont think anyone has time left for a conversation that ‘talks it out’…whatever that means.
    The clock is ticking.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      January 26, 2014, 11:54 pm

      “but how long does this conversation go on?”

      Indeed.

    • annie
      annie
      January 27, 2014, 10:29 am

      with all due respect american, the conversation has not even begun in the mainstream press. where have you heard a conversation like the one on CBC on NPR?

      • American
        American
        January 27, 2014, 11:22 am

        Annie Robbins says:
        January 27, 2014 at 10:29 am
        with all due respect american, the conversation has not even begun in the mainstream press. >>>>>

        True, however for the 11 years I have been watching this fubar, that is how long it has taken for the word AIPAC to even be spoken in the msm.
        So I still have to ask….how much longer for the conversation to ‘get there’— then how much longer for that conversation to affect the US politicians— then how much longer for them to act on it?
        Seems to me it would be a long time.
        No, I dont have a solution—but I still have to ask how much longer for the Palestines.

        ‘fierce urgency’

      • annie
        annie
        January 27, 2014, 12:52 pm

        of course i can’t answer how long. but i do know the boycott of south africa was over 30 years, and didn’t pick up til after 25 of them. since the advent of the internet things are moving along at a much faster pace. the exposure from things like the recent superbowl/SS/scarlett exposure (which i got an email tips today “Christian science monitor, AP, NBC News, E-Online, etc. etc. major mainstream news sites talked about it over the weekend, making Scarlett’s name trend this morning at no 6 on yahoo home page!”) the ASA boycott, stuff like that, are all indications there’s been an escalation of awareness.

        tipping pts don’t occur gradually, they happen fast and it’s generally unpredictable when they occur (for example when the nation rose up after the CW attack in syria and the news reports said we might bomb syria, that was an ah ha moment about the mindframe of the american public). but this is not the time to back down or lose hope. it’s always darkest before the dawn, or so they say. it may seem completely exasperating, but we are making progress and there’s no way this will be dragging on for decades like it did last century before the internet. so hang in there.

      • American
        American
        January 27, 2014, 3:37 pm

        ‘tipping pts don’t occur gradually, they happen fast and it’s generally unpredictable when they occur ‘……..annie

        True also. I read a study on revolutions done by experts in the field in conjunction with the UN long ago that showed most revolutions arent organized in advance .
        That the first “outbreaks’ of revolution occur spontaneously over some ‘incident’ , often just a small incident, a last straw thing that becomes the tipping point.

        Either Netanyahu’s mouth and US I-Firstdom could ‘accumlate’ to give us a tipping point or we need a incident to tip it.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        January 28, 2014, 12:23 am

        Annie: “the boycott of south africa was over 30 years, and didn’t pick up til after 25 of them”. The obvious question is why the boycott of South Africa caught on in the West so early, compared to the proposed boycott of Israel. Australia started boycotting South African sport as early as 1971. Israel is still supported to the hilt by all the Western countries. This contrast falsifies the leftist and media view that racism in the West is primarly white gentile racism.

  5. just
    just
    January 26, 2014, 8:32 pm

    “Berns-McGown’s comments about the criticism-of-Israel taboo are as full-throated a call for telling the truth as one can imagine.”

    Coincidentally, Rabbi Melissa Weintraub tackled another “red hot potato”, forbidden subject wrt “dual loyalty” last month.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/loyalty-question-community.html

    Will it finally be women who break the unholy silence once and for all?

    Good for CBC. Many thanks, David.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 26, 2014, 8:39 pm

    RE: “As once Jewish businesses were boycotted, some civil-society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel. On some campuses, intellectualized arguments against Israeli policies thinly mask the underlying realities…” ~ Stephen Harper

    MY COMMENT: I wonder if Uri Avnery would refer to Canada’s Prime Minister as “Harper the Terrible”. I see a lot of similarities to “Gunter the Terrible”*.

    * SEE: “Gunter the Terrible”, By Uri Avnery, The Palestine Chronicle, 4/13/12

    [EXCERPT] Stop me if I have told you this joke before:
    Somewhere in the US, a demonstration takes place. The police arrive and beat the protesters mercilessly.
    “Don’t hit me,” someone shouts, “I am an anti-communist!”
    “I couldn’t give a damn what kind of a communist you are!” a policeman answers as he raises his baton.
    The first time I told this joke was when a German group visited the Knesset and met with German-born members, including me.
    They went out of their way to praise Israel, lauding everything we had been doing, condemning every bit of criticism, however harmless it might be. It became downright embarrassing
    , since some of us in the Knesset were very critical of our government’s policy in the occupied territories.
    For me, this extreme kind of pro-Semitism is just disguised anti-Semitism. Both have a basic belief in common: that Jews – and therefore Israel – are something apart, not to be measured by the standards applied to everybody else. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.palestinechronicle.com/gunter-the-terrible/#.UpTfHMSsh8E

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 27, 2014, 8:07 am

      Avnery: For me, this extreme kind of pro-Semitism is just disguised anti-Semitism. Both have a basic belief in common: that Jews – and therefore Israel – are something apart, not to be measured by the standards applied to everybody else.

      Accepting this ludicrous logic would mean that G-d was the first antisemite in disguise.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        January 27, 2014, 9:38 am

        Talkback, I have the same feeling of uneasiness as Avnery when I encounter a specific type of philosemitism, or over the top idealization. It’s pretty much the same feeling I have concerning flatterers or sycophants, by the way. They make me feel absolutely uncomfortable.

        You can leave G-d out of this, maybe approach it in the context of basic human laws? Consider the more general context of love-hate relationships. Think: divorce battles. “Love” can turn into “hate”.

        I even found a couple of historical examples, that seemed to support my uneasiness confronted with something that feels somewhat artificial: historical “philo-Semites” that turned into antisemites. In any case it feels somewhat unstable.

        In Avnery’s specific example, he confronts German philo-Semitic ritualization with Israeli expectations. And that is what makes the article interesting. My point would be what could be covered up beneath these at least partially empty rituals?

        This is the most interesting part of Avnery’s article about “Gunter the Terrible”:

        If they could, our leaders would brag about our nuclear might from the rooftops. It’s the US that insists on opaqueness, so as not to be obliged to do something about it.

  7. Clif Brown
    Clif Brown
    January 26, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Israel’s government refuses to define Israelis precisely because it equates the State with all Jews worldwide, who either live in Israel or should be living in Israel.

    So Israel says it is the voice of all Jewry, an instrument of Judaism. It is in the political interest of Israel to make Jews and Israel one and the same. That’s why Ben-Ami is unable to answer the question: “where to you draw the line – how do you distinguish between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Israel?” Israel has created a situation, for its benefit, where you logically can’t draw the line if you accept the State’s assertion that it and Jewry are one.

    Don’t see Palestinians being beaten by Israel border police, instead see valiant Jews in uniform preventing the return of Auschwitz. Don’t see Israel exclusively holding nuclear arms that allow it to act with impunity against its neighboring states at any time and in any way it chooses, imagine Jews with power to protect their shops from another Kristallnacht.

    This claim of the identity of state and people, I am convinced from listening to the many voices that convey it, is not some masterful creation of scheming politicians, it is a solid construct in the minds of many people such as Ben-Ami, who cannot see through the illusion that comforts them and justifies their support of the state.

    It is the ultimate red herring, deflecting all criticism. We can disregard the mock-earnest line that “some criticism of the state is justified” because we know that it is the speaker’s decision alone on where that line falls, and that means essentially no criticism is allowed. Ben-Ami typically tells us to look elsewhere for worse treatment of the Palestinians even when nothing more is said than that Israel oppresses them.

    Those who conflate Israel and all Jews will hold the view until they are gone to their reward. We shouldn’t get too bothered by it as that long arc of justice is bending, we can see it happening.

  8. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 26, 2014, 10:00 pm

    “If you want to know who your rulers are, look to whom you cannot criticize in public.”

    Israel Firsters get special favorable treatment; this is commonly known in political circles as the “special relationship,” the other side of that literal coin is, “why single out Israel” for special criticism?

    Yes, and there’s the folkism about “having your cake and eating it too.”

    Eventually, the peasants will revolt, and it won’t be pretty. After that, things will recycle like plastic bottles. There’s a reason why 200 Years Together has yet to be fully published in English translation anywhere, given the literary credentials of its author.

  9. hungrydave
    hungrydave
    January 27, 2014, 12:14 am

    Harper tells the same old lie

    “Abbas: no jews in a future palestinian state”

    What Abbas actually said was “no Israelis”, specifically referring to soldiers and settlers.

    If they want to live in palestine, they will be palestinian-jews and their nationality will be Palestinian not Israeli

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      January 27, 2014, 10:14 pm

      They’re all trumpeting that one all over the place, despite the fact that, as you said, that’s not what Abbas said, even.

      It is an example of the disconnect in the minds of pro-Israelis– they say, repeatedly, that the Palestinians ought to consider themselves “lucky” or “grateful” that they’re not all dead or totally ethnically cleansed, and that “they can understand” Jews despising and not wanting to live around “dirty, terrorist” Palestinians.

      But Abbas says “no IDF or “settlers” or anyone else claiming “this is Israeli land” will be allowed into the Palestinian state, and all of the pro-Israelis start shrieking and screaming and throwing around that ancient accusation that they’re ever so fond of.

  10. Patrick
    Patrick
    January 27, 2014, 1:39 am

    Looking forward to when this sort of discussion appears on The National (CBC television’s nightly news program). Probably won’t happen before Peter Mansbridge heads off into retirement.

  11. seafoid
    seafoid
    January 27, 2014, 1:55 am

    Harper is another Murdoch cloned right wing blowhard who would be very at home in Likud.

    • Patrick
      Patrick
      January 27, 2014, 12:57 pm

      Seafroid: “Harper is another Murdoch cloned right wing blowhard”

      You got that right, and it’s not just with regard to Israel. On climate change, Harper ranted against the Kyoto Accord to which Canada was a signatory. In a 2002 fund-raising letter to party members, he wrote:

      “Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”

      At the time, Harper was the leader of the official opposition in Parliament. After he became Prime Minister, Canada became the first country to withdraw from the Kyoto Accord.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 27, 2014, 4:48 pm

        Tar sands. I thought even right wing blowhards had kids.
        It’s all nuts.

  12. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 27, 2014, 5:18 am

    Y Christian Zionists R Not a factor in US foreign policy & some handfuls of super rich Jews hold all the cards there: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=855aabd7ccd7a77e987004677&id=eb43a523b2&e=4c25168940

    • annie
      annie
      January 27, 2014, 10:53 am

      mj is wrong:

      Yes, millions and millions of fundamentalists may “support” Israel (not Jews, mind you, who they rightly consider to be dangerously secular) but their support, such as it is, is meaningless.

      if christian zionist support was meaningless millions wouldn’t be spent to curry favor with them. the text of the bible wouldn’t be morphing over the decades either. think of all the tv and radio programs the CZ’s have. how does that not shape american minds into accepting this strange configuration of israel and the US being united on all fronts. the idea it is ‘american’ to support israel for example. this idea that is prevalent throughout our culture that we’re joined at the hip, this idea wasn’t around when i was growing up, at all. so where does it spread, it’s strongly spread thru christian communities, by design.

      Christian fundamentalists do not vote based on Israel. As you can see on any of their websites….Even more significantly, they do not give money to candidates based on Israel.

      why and how they vote is irrelevant. when the senate votes 99-0 for israel it only makes sense if a huge portion of the american populace is supportive of israel. how do you make that happen? there’s simply no reason to court the CZ community if they were irrelevant. none.

      In 15 years on Capitol Hill, I never once was visited by anyone other than Jews on matters related to Israel. Not once. Nor did I ever hear any Congressional aide say, “my boss has to vote for that awful anti-Palestinian resolution. The pastors in our district are up in arms.”

      Simply put, that never happens. On Israel, only Jews matter. Not Christians. Certainly not Muslims.

      well, just because he wasn’t there doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, see: ‘You live or die based on your support of Israel’ — Christian Zionists are no nightflowers! http://mondoweiss.net/2013/02/christian-zionists-nightflowers.html

      While the leading Israel lobby group AIPAC has maintained that it is neutral on Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of Defense, 400 of CUFI’s Christian leaders and some rabbis, too, from 46 states descended on Capitol Hill, “swarming Senate offices” in fierce opposition to Hagel. (Read Ron Kampeas’s report here.)

      ……

      as the Weekly Standard reminds us:

      “CUFI opposes the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary. While we admire his past service to our country, his record concerning Iran and Hezbollah indicates an unacceptable blindness to the greatest security threat of our day.”

      According to a CUFI bio in ’07, The Forward  listed Brog in its “Forward 50” most influential Jews in America. He also happens to be Ehud Barak’s cousin. Talk about access!

      now explain to me why one of the most influential jews in america would be embedded within the CZ community, a powerful community for the purpose of “uniting with israel”, the very title of the org, if that support didn’t matter?

      more from that link, the transcript from the video which ran on their tv show:

      The Jewish leaders from all over America wrote me and said it was a historic day because you brought God’s presence to AIPAC and they said it was the turning of the tide for the Jewish community in America realized it was a new day where Christians truly were standing up for the Jewish people without a hidden agenda, without trying to get something for it. And it is a new day as people go to these 70 ‘Nights to honor Israel’ that we’ve had all over the nation. As pastors across the nation join Christians United for Israel and if you are a pastor watching this telecast and you want to become a part of Christians United for Israel I want you to go on line to CUFI.org or call me tomorrow and tell me who you are. I want to know your name because we have now 80,000 spiritual leaders in this nation and some of those spiritual leaders have a million and a million and a half names on their mailing list and email and we are talking to twenty eight to thirty eight, twenty eight to thirty million people every Monday morning in the intelligence report that I send out all over the nation. And when we go to Washington July 21, 22, 23 we are going before the government, just like Esther went before the government.

      those numbers matter.

    • annie
      annie
      January 27, 2014, 11:07 am

      and another thing, and i have made this point over and over..it’s very common for many jews to believe, when i comes to policy decisions, that only jews matter, that we have to change the jewish community. we’ve heard it from phil, mj, slater, that guy who wrote about contacting your congresspeople and identifying yourself as jews, it goes on and on. and what a strange thing it is to hear arguments that claiming ‘jews run congress’ is anti semitic, and we have all these people who must effectively believe it if they truly believe as mj writes, that support from CZ’s or non jews wrt foreign policy re israel “ is meaningless…. only Jews matter.

      it’s a lie, we matter. which is why the boggieman accusation for criticism of israel, is charges of anti semitism, to shut us up. because what we say does matter. do not drink the koolaide, the masses matter.

      • American
        American
        January 27, 2014, 11:55 am

        @ annie

        Two things.
        mj is actually right about CZs.
        CZ have no political power– except within their own voting districts–by electing people like Gohmert—however if Gohmert were pro abortion for instance they would not vote him despite his Israel loyalty.
        The CZ “Group” that raises money thru ‘religious orgs’ and churches gives no money to national politics, Hagee, Roberson, ect. send the money they raise to Israel for settlements and other Israel projects.
        The CZ group has a bigger conference than AIPAC in Washington every few years—no party heads or congressional leaders or the Prez or VP ever show up…best they can get is a congressman like Gohmert or similar.
        Their political power is only the CZs elected to congress from certain districts and there arent many real CZ in congress.

        But I agree with you on the second part about the faulty thinking that only Jewish opinion and voices matter—but that is also the faulty thinking of our politicians—and the biggest But is….Jewish voices alone wont be the ones do something about Israel, it will take American voices to do that. It will take something like the American public’s objection/response to the bombing Syria plan.
        If the Wag the Tail bill gets passed and ever gets triggered we may see the public do just that…put a lid on Israel and the lobby.

  13. January 27, 2014, 8:52 am

    Very good point made by Averny. Damned by outrageous praise. It can perhaps be a type of embarrassed rave and could be rather patronizing. We sometimes use this effusive adulation with young children. Could be based on guilt and remorse because of how others abused the Jews during the holocaust. Not necessarily sincere. Perhaps a trope where Jews are categorized with the over-the -top Jewish mother who is the traditional butt of jokes by Jewish comedians. Certainly the response to Harper in Israel was often over the top. But in my opinion he was motivated by his Christian education and his pandering to rich political contributors in Canada. So it could be other than it appears. After all, this is politics we are talking about.

  14. Memphis
    Memphis
    January 27, 2014, 5:17 pm

    If one is criticizing Israeli policy, such as the occupation, and all the horrors that come with it, such as, house demolitions, checkpoints, extrajudicial executions and like, and one is called anti-Semitic, then the accuser is bizarre. In order for those criticisms to be anti- Semitic the accuser has to accept those violations of international law as inherent characteristics of Jewry. So who is being anti-Semitic here?

  15. calm
    calm
    January 27, 2014, 7:56 pm

    I’m not trying to be a stickler or whatever, but just wanted to give the correct spelling of the host of the CBC program.

    Piya Chattopadhyay

    Calm

  16. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    January 29, 2014, 3:16 pm

    When I read on Haaretz that “Canadian PM wows the Netanyahus with ‘Hey Jude'”, I was really confused. That’s because “Hey Jude” is German for “Hi Jew”.

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