Monday, September 7, 2009

Keeping track of the empire’s crimes by William Blum

Keeping track of the empire’s crimes

If you catch the CIA with its hand in the cookie jar and the Agency admits the obvious — what your eyes can plainly see — that its hand is indeed in the cookie jar, it means one of two things: a) the CIA’s hand is in several other cookie jars at the same time which you don’t know about and they hope that by confessing to the one instance they can keep the others covered up; or b) its hand is not really in the cookie jar — it’s an illusion to throw you off the right scent — but they want you to believe it.

There have been numerous news stories in recent months about secret CIA programs, hidden from Congress, inspired by former vice-president Dick Cheney, in operation since the September 11 terrorist attacks, involving assassination of al Qaeda operatives or other non-believers-in-the-Empire abroad without the knowledge of their governments. The Agency admits to some sort of program having existed, but insists that it was canceled; and if it was an assassination program it was canceled before anyone was actually assassinated. Another report has the US military, not the CIA, putting the plan — or was it a different plan? — into operation, carrying out several assassinations including one in Kenya that proved to be a severe embarrassment and helped lead to the quashing of the program.1

All of this can be confusing to those following the news. And rather irrelevant. We already know that the United States has been assassinating non-believers, or suspected non-believers, with regularity, and impunity, in recent years, using unmanned planes (drones) firing missiles, in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, if not elsewhere. (Even more victims have been produced from amongst those who happened to be in the same house, car, wedding party, or funeral as the non-believer.) These murders apparently don’t qualify as “assassinations”, for somehow killing “terrorists” from 2000 feet is morally and legally superior to doing so from two feet away.

But whatever the real story is behind the current rash of speculation, we should not fall into the media’s practice of at times intimating that multiple or routine CIA assassination attempts would be something shocking or at least very unusual.

I’ve compiled a list of CIA assassination attempts, successful and unsuccessful, against prominent foreign political figures, from 1949 through 2003, which, depending on how you count it, can run into the hundreds (targeting Fidel Castro alone totals 634 according to Cuban intelligence)2; the list can be updated by adding the allegedly al Qaeda leaders among the drone attack victims of recent years. Assassination and torture are the two things governments are most loath to admit to, and try their best to cover up. It’s thus rare to find a government document or recorded statement mentioning a particular plan to assassinate someone. There is, however, an abundance of compelling circumstantial evidence to work with. The list can be found here.

For those of you who collect lists about splendid US foreign policy post-World War II, here are a few more that, lacking anything better to do, I’ve put together: Attempts to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which had been democratically-elected.

After his June 4 Cairo speech, President Obama was much praised for mentioning the 1953 CIA overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh. But in his talk in Ghana on July 11 he failed to mention the CIA coup that ousted Ghanian president Kwame Nkrumah in 19663, referring to him only as a “giant” among African leaders. The Mossadegh coup is one of the most well-known CIA covert actions. Obama could not easily get away without mentioning it in a talk in the Middle East looking to mend fences. But the Nkrumah ouster is one of the least known; indeed, not a single print or broadcast news report in the American mainstream media saw fit to mention it at the time of the president’s talk. Like it never happened.

And the next time you hear that Africa can’t produce good leaders, people who are committed to the welfare of the masses of their people, think of Nkrumah and his fate. And think of Patrice Lumumba, overthrown in the Congo 1960-61 with the help of the United States; Agostinho Neto of Angola, against whom Washington waged war in the 1970s, making it impossible for him to institute progressive changes; Samora Machel of Mozambique against whom the CIA supported a counter-revolution in the 1970s-80s period; and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (now married to Machel’s widow), who spent 28 years in prison thanks to the CIA.4

The Myths of Afghanistan, past and present

On the Fourth of July, Senator Patrick Leahy declared he was optimistic that, unlike the Soviet forces that were driven from Afghanistan 20 years ago, US forces could succeed there. The Democrat from Vermont stated:

“The Russians were sent running as they should have been. We helped send them running. But they were there to conquer the country. We’ve made it very clear, and everybody I talk to within Afghanistan feels the same way: they know we’re there to help and we’re going to leave. We’ve made it very clear we are going to leave. And it’s going to be turned back to them. The ones that made the mistakes in the past are those that tried to conquer them.”7

Leahy is a long-time liberal on foreign-policy issues, a champion of withholding US counter-narcotics assistance to foreign military units guilty of serious human-rights violations, and an outspoken critic of robbing terrorist suspects of their human and legal rights. Yet he is willing to send countless young Americans to a living hell, or horrible death, or maimed survival.

And for what? Every point he made in his statement is simply wrong.

The Russians were not in Afghanistan to conquer it. The Soviet Union had existed next door to the country for more than 60 years without any kind of invasion. It was only when the United States intervened in Afghanistan to replace a government friendly to Moscow with one militantly anti-communist that the Russians invaded to do battle with the US-supported Islamic jihadists; precisely what the United States would have done to prevent a communist government in Canada or Mexico.

It’s also rather difficult for the United States to claim that it’s in Afghanistan to help the people there when it’s killed tens of thousands of simply for resisting the American invasion and occupation or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; not a single one of the victims has been identified as having had any kind of connection to the terrorist attack in the US of September 11, 2001, the event usually cited by Washington as justification for the military intervention. Moreover, Afghanistan is now permeated with depleted uranium, cluster bombs-cum-landmines, white phosphorous, a witch’s brew of other charming chemicals, and a population, after 30 years of almost non-stop warfare, of physically and mentally mutilated human beings, exceedingly susceptible to the promise of paradise, or at least relief, sold by the Taliban.

As to the US leaving … utterly meaningless propaganda until it happens. Ask the people of South Korea — 56 years of American occupation and still counting; ask the people of Japan — 64 years. And Iraq? Would you want to wager your life’s savings on which decade it will be that the last American soldier and military contractor leaves?

It’s not even precise to say that the Russians were sent running. That was essentially Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev’s decision, and it was more of a political decision than a military one. Gorbachev’s fondest ambition was to turn the Soviet Union into a West-European style social democracy, and he fervently wished for the approval of those European leaders, virtually all of whom were cold-war anti-communists and opposed the Soviet intervention into Afghanistan.

There has been as much of the same “causes” for wars that did not happen as for wars that did.

Henry Allingham died in Britain on July 18 at age 113, believed to have been the world’s oldest man. A veteran of World War I, he spent his final years reminding the British people about their service members killed during the war, which came to about a million: “I want everyone to know,” he said during an interview in November. “They died for us.”8

The whole million? Each one died for Britain? In the most useless imperialist war of the 20th century? No, let me correct that — the most useless imperialist war of any century. The British Empire, the French Empire, the Russian Empire, and the wannabe American Empire joined in battle against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire as youthful bodies and spirits sank endlessly into the wretched mud of Belgium and Germany, the pools of blood of Russia and France. The wondrous nobility of it all is enough to make you swallow hard, fight back the tears, light a few candles, and throw up. Imagine, by the middle of this century Vietnam veterans in their 90s and 100s will be speaking of how each of their 58,000 war buddies died for America. By 2075 we’ll be hearing the same stirring message from ancient vets of Iraq and Afghanistan. How many will remember that there was a large protest movement against their glorious, holy crusades, particularly Vietnam and Iraq?

Supreme nonsense

Senate hearings to question a nominee for the Supreme Court are a supreme bore. The sine qua non for President Obama choosing Sonia Sotomayor appears to be that she’s a woman with a Hispanic background. A LATINA! How often that word was used by her supporters. She would be the first LATINA on the Supreme Court! Dios mio!

Who gives a damn? All anyone should care about are her social and political opinions. Justice Clarence Thomas is a black man. A BLACK MAN! And he’s as conservative as they come.

Supreme Court nominees, of all political stripes, typically feel obliged to pretend that their social and political leanings don’t enter into their judicial opinions. But everyone knows this is rubbish. During her Senate hearing, Sotomayor declared: “It’s not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It’s the law.”

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Charles Evan Hughes, would not agree with her. “At the constitutional level where we work,” he said, “ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.”9

By Sotomayor’s own account, which echos news reports, she was not asked about her position on abortion by either President Obama or his staff. But what if she is actually anti-abortion? What if she turns out to be the swing vote that overturns Roe vs. Wade?

What if she’s a proud admirer of the American Empire and its perpetual wars? American dissidents, civilian and military, may depend on her vote for their freedom from imprisonment.

What does she think about the “War on Terror”? The civil liberties and freedom from torture of various Americans and foreigners may depend on her attitude. In his 2007 trial, Jose Padilla, an American citizen, was found guilty of aiding terrorists. “The jury did seem to be an oddly cohesive group,” the Washington Post reported. “On the last day of trial before the Fourth of July holiday, jurors arranged to dress in outfits so that each row in the jury box was its own patriotic color — red, white or blue.”10 No one dared to question this blatant display of patriotism in the courtroom; neither the defense attorney, nor the prosecutor, nor the judge. How can we continue to pretend that people’s legal positions exist independently of their political sentiments?

In the 2000 Supreme Court decision stopping the presidential electoral count in Florida, giving the election to George W. Bush, did the politics of the five most conservative justices play a role in the 5 to 4 decision? Of course. Judges are essentially politicians in black robes. But should we care? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Sonia Sotomayor is a LATINA!

Given the large Democratic majority in the Senate, Sotomayor was in very little danger of being rejected. She could have openly and proudly expressed her social and political positions — whatever they may be — and the Democratic senators could have done the same. How refreshing, maybe even educational if a discussion ensued. Instead it was just another political appointment by a president determined to not offend anyone if he can help it, and another tiresome ritual hearing. The Republican senators were much less shy about revealing how they actually felt about important issues.

It didn’t have to be that way. As Rabbi Michael Lerner of pointed out during the hearings: “Democratic Senators could use their time to ask questions and make statements that explain why a liberal or progressive worldview is precisely what is needed on the Supreme Court.”

NATO and Eastern Europe resource

No one chronicles the rise of the supra-government called NATO like Rick Rozoff in his “Stop NATO” mailings. NATO has become an ever-expanding behemoth, making war and interfering in political controversies all over Europe and beyond. The United States is not the world’s only superpower; NATO is another, as it surrounds Russia and the Caspian Sea oil reserves; although the distinction between the two superpowers is little more than a facade. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the NATO/US 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. On April 23, 1999 missiles slammed into Radio Television Serbia (RTS) in downtown Belgrade, killing 16 employees. The station, NATO claimed, was a legitimate military target because it broadcast propaganda. (Certainly a novel form of censorship; not to mention the fact that NATO could simply have taken out the station’s transmitter.) What apparently bothered the Western powers was that RTS was reporting the horrendous effects of NATO’s bombing as well as passing footage of the destruction to Western media.

To mark the anniversary, Amnesty International recently issued a demand that NATO be held accountable for the 16 deaths. Amnesty asserts that the bombing was a deliberate attack on a civilian object (one of many during the 78 days) and as such constitutes a war crime, and called upon NATO to launch a war crimes probe into the attack to ensure full accountability and redress for victims and their families.

Readers might consider signing up for the “Stop NATO” mailing list. Just write to: rwrozoff [at] Rozoff scours the East European press each day and comes up with numerous gems ignored by the mainstream media. But a warning: The amount of material you’ll receive is often considerable. You’ll have to learn to pick and choose. You can get an idea of this by reading previous reports at


  1. The Guardian (London) July 13, 2009 ?
  2. Fabian Escalante, “Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro” (Ocean Press, 2006) ?
  3. William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 32?
  4. William Blum, Rogue State, chapter 23 ?
  5. Ibid., chapter 18 ?
  6. Rogue State, chapter 17, intermixed with other types of US interventions ?
  7. Vermont TV station WCAX, July 4, 2009, ?
  8. Washington Post, July 19, 2009 ?
  9. William O. Douglas, The Court Years, 1939-1975 (1980), p.8 ?
  10. Washington Post, August 17, 2007 ?

William Blum is the author of:

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2

Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower

West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir

Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at

Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at this website at “essays”.

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission. I’d appreciate it if the website were mentioned.


U.S. Government Assassination Plots by William Blum

Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War by William Blum

Afghanistan on Dandelion Salad

South Asia, Latin America: Pentagon’s 21st Century Counterinsurgency Wars by Rick Rozoff



from the archives:

638 Ways To Kill Castro (video)


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Is Your Government Breeding Bolsheviks?

B’nai Brith’s brazen attempt

to hardwire Hatred and Censorship

into the Canadian Psyche

By Arthur Topham

August 7, 2009

In his 2006 book, The Synagogue of Satan, the British writer Andrew C. Hitchcock has a lot to say about the house of Rothschild. In fact his book is a revelation of our times; the chronology of a crime syndicate that began in 1760 when Mayer Amschel Bauer took over his father’s money lending business in Frankfurt, Germany and changed his name from Bauer to Rothschild, a German word meaning “Red Shield” and hung the symbolic hexagram that now adorns the Israeli flag above his door.

The last 250 years is basically a record of the Rothschild’s devastating effects upon the people and the planet; one that has now brought our 20th Century civilization to the brink of either global disaster, or, should we awake in time to this imminent end and act accordingly, the final dismantling and dissolution of this infamous house of hell that’s been the root cause of humanity’s discontent for the past two and a half centuries.

Andrew Hitchcock’s book[1] in some respects parallel’s the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion in that it too is a road map like the Protocols only one that can lead us out of the wasteland of the present times rather than further into a gloomy and foreboding Big Brother future such as the Protocols reveal.

While Hitchcock’s first and foremost purpose is to document the accomplished deeds of this Rothschild house of horror as they pertain to global finance, politics and media, his particular expose of the secret masonic society of B’nai Brith, one of the many Rothschild enterprises designed to assist in its agenda for world domination, should be of special interest to Canadians; especially those Canadians who have managed to break free to some degree from the mind-numbing influence of the Rothschild~controlled mainstream media and are relatively able to view, somewhat objectively, the ongoing machinations of this organization; one initially set up and funded in order to present to the world a viewpoint fundamentally Talmudic, cabalistic and atheistic in scope, nature and purpose.

Prime Minister attends the B’nai Brith Canada 2006 Award of Merit Dinner

In the USA when Americans think of B’nai Brith they automatically think of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) the now powerful, aggressive arm of B’nai Brith International originally formed in 1913 by the Rothschild Jews in reaction to a Jewish business man who was convicted of raping and murdering one of his young employees and actually put in jail for his crime.*

This was considered an outrage by the then nascent Zionists and so they conspired to come up with an organization that would eventually become the Goliath of gutter journalism, spewing forth volumes of vituperative slander and malignant lies upon any individual, group or organization that ever dared to challenge the tendentious tenets of the Rothschild empire.

Noam Chomsky,"The ADL is one of the ugliest, most powerful pressure groups in the U.S."

I believe Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, put it rather succinctly when he once described the ADL as “…one of the ugliest, most powerful pressure groups in the U.S…. Its primary commitment is to use any technique, however dishonest and disgraceful, in order to defame and silence and destroy anybody who dares to criticize the Holy State (’Israel’).”

But of course here in Canada, we being the more genteel, tea drinking members of the British colonies, were presented with yet another apparently benign version of this same organization operating under the simple title of B’nai Brith Canada. Projecting the face of an honorable, distinguished, responsible and worthy service-oriented organization their website discreetly states:

B’nai Brith Canada is the independent voice of the Jewish community, representing its interests nationwide to government, NGO’s and the wider Canadian public.

Since 1875, it has been respected for its groundbreaking work on matters relating to antisemitism, racism and human rights, its strong advocacy on the pressing issues of the day, and the important social services it provides.

The organization is maintained through the generosity of grassroots Canadians who value its independence and integrity, as well as its non-partisan, inclusive approach. [all bold is mine. A.T.]

A sampling of B’nai Brith’s agencies and programs “designed to assist the community and foster goodwill and understanding amongst all Canadians” consists of the following:

* League for Human Rights [the agency which filed the current section 13 “hate crime” complaint against A.T.]

* Anti-Hate Desk

* Annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents

* Institute for International Affairs

* Canadian Israel Public Affairs Committee (CIPAC)

* Government Relations Office

* Communications Department

* Legal Desk

* Campus Outreach Program

* Young Leadership Development Groups

* Network of B’nai Brith Lodges

* Jewish Canada Information Service

Meanwhile, back at the ranch though, this well-concealed Rothschild front organization is mainly focused, as one can see from its list of agencies and objectives, on fulfilling the very same mandate as its American cousin, the ADL; that is, stifling and smothering any and all criticism of the Rothschild agenda for silence and slavery of the masses under its profound and poignant program for global hegemony in all matters related to the human experience.

In the case of Canada, we’re now witnessing both the long term machinations and the desired effects of this organization in the current battle building between the forces for Internet repression and anti-free speech and the counter forces slowly beginning to realize the ultimate aim of Canada’s mendacious desire to sustain the shocking, repulsive piece of human rights legislation known as Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

It is becoming abundantly clear to more and more Canadians who spend time online and in the blogosphere, B’nai Brith Canada’s open agenda as a Rothschild sentinel and watchdog is to heavily influence our federal government’s position with respect to the racist state policies of Israel and it’s program for genocide of the Palestinian people of the Middle East which also includes stealing more and more Arab territory for its own people and purpose.

As such, B’nai Brith Canada has been instrumental in forcing into the lives of all free Canadians what those of us in the fight for free speech now recognize as the one primary tool being used to silence critical debate of either the actions of the state of Israel or any other relevant discussions concerning the nature of the Rothschild cabal and its political ideology known as Zionism.

This current repressive law de jour is known amongst those in the free speech movement as section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act and in typical Zionist style, i.e. using deception of the general public as its Mossadic modus operandi.

B’nai Brith Canada has been instrumental in working the crowds of politicians and law makers and using their influential power of the purse combined with their sycophantic lackeys and supporters in the Zionist media to slowly and surely entrench into Canadian culture the stereotypical, fundamental precepts that eventually lead to a nation of mind-controlled morons who ultimately cannot distinguish truth from deception or freedom from slavery.

As the former writer, journalist and founder of Greenpeace International Robert Hunter once remarked in his profound and prophetic book, The Storming of the Mind, we’ve been conditioned to live in “comfortable concentration camps” and think of ourselves as free, independent human beings.

Of course B’nai Brith Canada with all the candour of a condor will automatically begin to shriek and hiss and bear its fangs accusing this writer of being “anti-Semitic” and a “hater of Jews and citizens of Israel” and whatever other epithet that they can dredge out from their mindless, memorized plethora of programmed slander they’re so adept at adopting whenever someone calls them on their ongoing commission of crimes against the majority of the gentile population of Canada.

But before listening and falling prey to their endless anagrams of hex-like hatred I would caution Canadians to pause and consider what Mr. Hitchcock has to say about how B’nai Brith concocted their plan to instill these false beliefs into the minds of young and old Canadians alike.

Referring to Andrew Hitchcock’s chronology for the year 1988 he tells us:

“The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), initiate a nationwide competition for law students to draft anti-hate legislation designed to protect minority groups. [read Zionist Jews. A.T.]

That competition is won by a man named, Joseph Ribakoff, whose proposals stipulate that not only must hate motivated violence be banned, but any words which stimulate: suspicion; friction; hate; and possible violence, must also be criminalized.

This ADL prize-winning paper suggests that not only should state-agencies [ read Canada’s Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals. A.T.] monitor and restrict free speech in general, but they should also censor all films that criticize identifiable groups [unless of course they happen to be the popular ones the Jews hate the most like the Germans (Nazis) and the Muslims and the Christians. A.T.]

Furthermore, even if the person making the statement can justify it, for example Christians criticizing homosexuality because the Bible expressly forbids it, Ribakoff asserts that the truth is to be no defense in court.

The only proof a court will need in order to secure a conviction of hate speech is that something has been said, and a minority group or member of such group has felt emotionally damaged as a result of such criticism.

[This is practically verbatim the text contained in the Canadian Human Rights Act, section 13. and currently being used by Harry Abrams and the BBC to charge me and with “hate” crimes. A.T.]

Therefore, under these proposals which the ADL will have forced into law all over the world less than 15 years later, through their bought and paid for politicians and media, Jesus Christ would have been arrested as a hate criminal.

This law is designed to protect the Rothschild conspiracy from being revealed in that if you criticize the Rothschild’s criminal cabal, you will be targeted as anti-Semitic, and thus risk imprisonment [and/or steep fines and a loss of your website and a reputation as a hatemonger. A.T.].

It is also interesting to note say, for example, a Rabbi torches his synagogue to collect insurance money because it is in need of repair, as opposed to someone else perpetrating the crime who was found to have an interest in anti-establishment media, the later would receive a stiffer sentence for the same act.”

To conclude I will only say that as one can easily see the ADL’s plans have taken firm root in the collective mind of Canadians thanks to decades of collaborating between the mainstream Rothschild media and the politicians who, due to their own brainwashing, have lent their ignorant albeit earnest support to the Zionist effort to instill in us all these false concepts of “hatred” and “contempt”.

The final result of all of this shady, unscrupulous sabotage of Canada’s civic and federal laws is, of course, a burgeoning bureaucracy of Zionist created Bolsheviks who’ve been placidly and surreptitiously placed in these ‘quasi-judicial” entities known to us as “human rights” commissions and tribunals.

Their primary purpose is to enforce the agenda of the Rothschild’s synogogue of satan upon an unwary and uniformed public; one misinformed for so long that they are for all intents of purpose unable now to grasp the full import of what is happening to their former legal right to the fundamental freedoms all Canadians once trusted in and enjoyed.


* He was originally sentenced to be hung but that was reduced to life in prison thanks to the efforts of influential Jews of the time. The outrage of the non-Jewish community was so great that one of the gentle Gentiles managed to infiltrate the prison and perform the dastardly deed thus satisfying justice.

[1] Andrew Carrington Hitchcock invites you to contact him at: or go to his website:


Arthur Topham is the Publisher and Editor of He is currently involved in a free speech battle with the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada.

He is also in extremely dire need of financial support to sustain this battle with the forces of repression and censorship as he is not able to work during this period of intense litigation with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the CHR Tribunal. Any donations therefore would be most welcome.

Please see the following url on the Home Page (upper right hand corner) regarding donations. Also there is a “DONATE” button there for Paypal or here at . Feel free to use any of them if you can help out. Thanks.

Arthur welcomes all feedback to his articles and can be reached at .

For the Full Monty on the complaint case involving and B’nai Brith Canada please see:

Thanks to Snippits and Snappits where I first read this post. Check her out!
Source: Snippits and Snappits
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Here is a copy of the Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) submission to the
Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism. It is well worth reading and should be distributed widely.
See note below also regarding how to make a submission to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism. See:
Objections to criminalizing the CPCCA definition of anti-Semitism

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)
submission to the Canadian Parliamentary
to Combat Anti-Semitism

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) represents Canadian Jews who share a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. We especially promote justice, ethics, and humanity in Israel and Palestine, as well as in Canada.

IJV offers a range of Jewish perspectives which differ from those of the Canadian Jewish Congress, B’nai Brith, the Canada-Israel Committee, and the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, all of which encourage the view that Judaism and uncritical support for Israeli policies and practices are synonymous.

IJV has chapters in seven cities across Canada (Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver) and members in many other Canadian cities.

As Jews, we take true anti-Semitism ~ that is, discrimination and attacks on Jews and Judaism ~ very seriously. However, we reject the false assumptions on which the CPCCA and its efforts are based:

Despite protestations to the contrary, the CPCCA conflates legitimate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism: The CPCCA claims that its purpose is not "really about limiting legitimate criticism of the State of Israel." However its web site says that "calls for the destruction of the State of Israel are inherently antisemitic."

IJV believes that this statement is part of an organized attempt on the part of partisans of Israel to conflate the call for the dismantling of repressive Israeli institutions and ending repressive Israeli practices regarding Palestinians with the physical destruction of the Jewish population of Israel.

The London Declaration states "We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations ~ in rhetoric and political action ~ against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel." This is another conflation of criticism of Israel with prejudice against Jews. Our organization is actively involved in the former, while we are adamantly opposed to the latter. There is a fundamental difference between the two.

Independent Jewish Voices includes a broad spectrum of opinion on this issue, ranging from strongly Zionist to strongly anti-Zionist. This diversity of views enriches and deepens our understanding.

As Jews, we hold that free speech includes the right of all people to openly discuss their views on all matters related to the political reality in Israel, including whether or not they should support an ethnocratic state which privileges Jews by imposing brutal discrimination and deploys indiscriminate violence against its indigenous population as well as against its neighbours.

The CPCCA asserts without foundation that "the extent and severity of antisemitism is widely regarded as at its worst level since the end of the Second World War

." There is no evidence of any significant rise in anti-Semitism in Canada or elsewhere. In fact, as Globe and Mail columnist Michael Valpy reported in March 2004, an extensive survey on anti-Semitic attitudes by the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy found very low levels of anti-Semitism.

We find it very revealing that the CJC chose not to publish this survey and put off our requests for copies of the results. Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League’s 2002 survey of U.S. anti-Semitic attitudes found an almost steady decline in the proportion of Americans who are anti-Semitic from 29% in 1964, to 20% in 1992, to 12% in 1998, with a slight rise to 17% in 2002 ~ just after the massacre that Israeli forces carried out at the Palestinian city of Jenin.

The 2002 ADL survey found that the majority of Americans hold highly positive attitudes toward Jews, and that it was concerns over Israeli war crimes that were generating anti-Semitic attitudes.1

Even these studies are flawed, however, because they confuse individual prejudice with institutionally oppressive anti-Semitism. As Jason Kunin points out, "it's important to distinguish between prejudice and oppression. Prejudice is simply an opinion based on limited information or stereotypes. Everyone has prejudices.

We all have some opinions based on incomplete information….Prejudice can exist at both an ideological level (e.g. "white people are ignorant and mean") and at an individual level (e.g. "I won't vote for that white politician"), but unless that prejudice can also translate into institutional practices that marginalize or exclude, then that prejudice is not oppression but merely a prejudice.

Given the current reality of global white supremacy, neither of the examples I have given above have the potential to oppress." On that basis, he concludes, "Anti-Semitism, pervasive and deadly only a couple generations ago, is no longer a form of oppression."2

What is unprecedented is not the level of anti-Semitism in the world, but rather the rising level of international outrage over Israel’s actions. To reiterate, this is not anti-Semitism, but rather a legitimate, growing expression of concern and moral outrage.

According to the drafters of this initiative, there is a pressing need to respond to what they characterize as the "new anti-Semitism," in which "anti-Zionism is being used as a cover for anti-Semitism." IJV believes that it is legitimate for critics of Israel’s behaviour to describe it as a system of apartheid and to deny the legitimacy of any state that engages in such practices. This is not anti-Semitism of any kind, new or old.

The CPCCA alleges that Canadian Jewish students are particularly ridiculed and intimidated for being Jewish

. For example, its press release claims "Jewish students are being threatened and intimidated to the point that they are not able to express themselves, or are even fearful to wear a Jewish skull cap or star around their necks."

IJV has co-sponsored and participated in a broad range of activities critical of Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights, including Israel Apartheid Week events, tours conducted by the Palestinian Human Rights organization Al Haq, locally-based tours of the Palestinian town of Bi’lin, and demonstrations against the horrific Israeli assault on the people of Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.

In all those events, pro-Israeli Jewish students as well as Jews generally were welcomed and their comments treated respectfully. By contrast, YouTube has captured a number of incidents in which pro-Israel students barged into demonstrations critical of Israel or mounted provocative counter demonstrations, using the heated arguments with Palestinians and their supporters that their interventions generated as evidence that they were being "intimidated and threatened."3

These were not cases of Jews being attacked for their Judaism, but Palestinians and their supporters arguing back forcefully against belligerent Zionist students trying to suppress their freedom of speech.

Unlike those organizations which seek to stifle open debate about this and related subjects by labelling those who oppose their views as anti-Semitic and seek to punish them for expressing them, IJV actively promotes the rights of all individuals to express themselves freely and without threat of sanction.

By launching such an inquiry, the CPCCA implies that existing human rights mechanisms are not sufficient to address actual incidents of anti-Semitism in Canada.

The Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith have been trying for years to broaden the definition of "hate crimes" to include criticism of Israel. So far, thankfully, they have been unsuccessful.

The CPCCA is just the latest in this attempt to attack free speech and silence criticism of the Israeli government’s oppressive and illegal policies. It is our view that Canada’s existing human rights commissions and criminal code are more than sufficient to deal with actual incidents of anti-Semitism.

The CPCCA implies that those critical of Israeli policies are calling for "the destruction of the State of Israel and its inhabitants."

This tendentious position holds that because of the Holocaust, Jews must have a Jewish state in order to be secure, and that anyone who is critical of the Jewish state and its behaviour must therefore support the destruction of the Jewish people. This is nothing more than classic fear-mongering, designed to divert attention from illegal and unethical policies carried out by the Israeli government. Thankfully, it is carrying less and less weight over time, thanks to its overuse by apologists for Israel.

To be critical of Israeli policies or even to challenge the legitimacy of the existence of a Jewish state is not equivalent to calling for the physical destruction of the State, or advocating genocide against Israeli citizens.

By far the strongest military power in the region, Israel is in no danger of physical destruction. All of its neighbours, with the exception of Iraq, have recognized the state of Israel, and the two main Palestinian political factions, Fatah and Hamas have also recognized the state of Israel Fatah explicitly and Hamas implicitly.

Contrary to the Coalition’s contention that there is a new, virulent form of anti-Semitism spreading across the world, what is new is the unprecedented level of organizing, particularly on campuses, in response to Israel and its actions.

Of particular importance with respect to this issue has been the rise of the organization known as the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, which engages in the kinds of activities that the members of the CPCCA appear determined to stamp out. CAIA’s purpose is to focus attention on the plight of Palestinians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to generate action to combat what it characterizes as the system of apartheid that exists there.

Discussion about and disagreement over the appropriateness of the term "apartheid" as a descriptor for Israel and the regime that it has created in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is completely legitimate. Our organization has endorsed CAIA and has members who have actively participated in it.

We categorically reject any attempt to describe the activities of CAIA as anti-Semitic and draw the Coalition’s attention to CAIA’s basis of unity, which contains the explicit statement that "We oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism."

The CPCCA ignores the far greater incidence of hate crimes and discrimination imposed on racialized people in Canada and particularly the racial profiling policies, as well as discrimination against and stereotyping of Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians that is being actively promoted by the governments of Canada, Israel and other western countries in the name of national security.

In Canada, Muslims and Arabs have been subjected to official no fly lists, intrusive surveillance, extraordinary rendition and torture when they travel abroad, and imprisoned without charges under Security Certificates at home.

As the case of Suaad Hagi Mohamud demonstrates, the Canadian government treats our Muslim citizens in a clearly discriminatory manner, often failing to provide them with the same kinds of protections that other Canadians expect as a matter of course when they are abroad.

Largely as a result of the grotesquely ill-conceived "war on terror," racist abuse of and discrimination against Canadian Muslims and Arabs is increasing dramatically. An extensive inquiry into the experiences of Muslim students conducted by the Canadian Federation of Students in 2007 found that many had experienced serious and frequent harassment and abuse both on and off campus.4 There is no similar evidence for the CPCCA’s claim that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada.

In summary, it is our view that what is really involved here despite repeated disavowals is an attempt to label criticism of Israel and its behaviour as well as organized efforts to change them as anti-Semitism and to criminalize both.

This Coalition is an illegitimate endeavour. We condemn it for what it is: an effort to whitewash Israeli behaviour and to protect it from both scrutiny and organized opposition.


Diana Ralph

Sid Shniad


Please consider sending a submission to the committee to help ensure that it will not be used to try to silence support for the Palestinians. The deadline is the end of August. Coalition members emails are below.

To Mario Silva, Chair Committee of Inquiry

and to Scott Reid, M.P. and Chair

The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism
440-C Centre Block, House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Phone: 613-947-2277 Fax: 613-947-2278 Email: 613-947-2277

Chair: Mario Silva
Vice- Chair Scott Reid
Hon Carolyn Bennett
Lois Brown
Hon Ken Dryden
Raymonde Folco
Hon Hedy Fry
Randy Hoback
Hon Peter Kent
Pat Martin
Joyce Murray
Hon Anita Neville
Éve-Mary Thaï Thi Lac
Tim Uppal
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson

Thanks to Snippits and Snappits where we first read this post. Check out her Blog below.


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