Barak: When I was PM we built much more in West Bank
Gaza blockade over? Not according to the UN
Detainees (held by Israelis and the PA)
(New York) – Jordanian authorities should fully investigate and publicly condemn the recent refusal by the owner of an Aqaba restaurant to serve Israeli Jews, Human Rights Watch said today.
The restaurant owner told Human Rights Watch that the people she turned away in late November 2010 had gone on to file a complaint with the police, but that the police told her they did not intend to pursue the incident. Jordan is bound by its international obligations to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in any place intended for use by the general public, such as a restaurant, Human Rights Watch said.
“When it comes to restaurants, there’s an obligation even on private businesses not to discriminate based on nationality or religion,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch.
<<We have one great ally in Iran. The Iranian people. I don’t believe in military. I’m against it. Of course Israelis have to have it on the table, always. But it would be counterproductive.>>
He went on to say the West could do much more to “give heart” to Iranian dissidents. Lubrani was applauded; he has stature, even in this group. Today the conference will bring in some warmongers and their toadies in Congress. You won’t hear Brad Sherman or Mark Kirk allude to the counterproductiveness of military force–as they seek to legislate the United States on a glide path to war. But Lubrani tried to set at least a small barrier in their way.
Another thing about the conference–this I learned from Senator Kirk this morning– is that the big guns from the entire world capitalist economy are investing and trading with Iran. Kirk read a list of companies in violation of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. It was global and impressive. It includes Total of France, ENI of Italy, Norsk Hydro of Norway, Gazprom of Russia, Lukoil of Russia, China National Petroleum Company, Impex of Jampan, Petrobas of Brazil. . . and went on like this for about a page. The idea that this (or any) administration is going to “sanction” all these companies is amusing.
Mr. Steve Clark: My question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Jewish groups are criticizing the University of Toronto for accepting a shockingly anti-Semitic master’s thesis. The Holocaust is a horrible chapter in human history that claimed the lives of six million Jews, yet this disgusting paper attacks educational programs working to ensure such evil is never repeated.
Minister, this House unanimously passed a resolution from the member from Thornhill condemning Israeli Apartheid Week. What are you doing as Minister of Citizenship to stop the rising tide of anti-Semitism?
Hon. Eric Hoskins: I deeply appreciate the member opposite raising this. I too was greatly disturbed and, in fact, disgusted when I read the media reports. I want to say first and foremost that this government remains absolutely committed to fighting discrimination in all its forms. I want to add as well that the McGuinty government denounces all acts of anti-Semitism, which we believe are a particularly vile and pernicious form of discrimination, and we will continue our work to protect the human rights of our Jewish community and of all Ontarians.
I was proud that earlier this year, this Legislature in fact came together to condemn anti-Semitism on our university campuses, and we will continue our hard work on behalf of all Ontarians, including our Jewish community. . . .
Mr. Peter Shurman: I wish I could say that this hateful and poorly researched paper attacking programs that use the horrors of the Holocaust to somehow show the dangers of discrimination and racism by Jews was an isolated incident. Unfortunately, it’s only the latest example that we’ve seen. There are too many other cases, including this summer, where anti-Semitic material was found at the Scott Library, not to mention an attack on the Jewish student association. Minister, will you today speak up on behalf of Jewish groups who have been so deeply hurt by this piece of garbage and condemn it, not as an academic paper but for the hate it actually is?
Hon. Eric Hoskins: Again, I appreciate the question from the member opposite. I join them in condemning this attack on Ontario’s Jewish community.
I want to reiterate that, as I mentioned, I was very proud earlier this year when the Legislature came together to condemn anti-Semitism on our campuses and in other fora.
What happened is that a right-wing blogger dug up her thesis, and wrote a shrill undergraduate-style hit piece about it, which was picked up by the comment site of Canada’s most right wing national newspaper. The story was followed up both in that paper, The National Post, and Canada’s most liberal daily, The Toronto Star, and voila – suddenly Ontario parliamentarians are falling over each other to denounce it, while at least one of them has admitted that he hasn’t even read it.
So what does this episode tell us about the “rising tide of anti-Semitism” in Canada?
Well, there is actually no such thing, according to the conservative Zionist who is the opinion editor of The National Post. Jonathan Kay, who couldn’t resist his own contribution to the Peto party, told me in an interview what he has written before – that “Canada is the least anti-Semitic country in the entire world, including Israel.”
So I asked Scott Reid, Conservative politician and Chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism if there is a spike in the kind of hate his Coalition was formed to address. He said, “No, no, no. Absolutely not. It’s funny – I’ve heard people who have criticized us saying that we think this, but there is absolutely no spike in the kinds of anti-Semitic incidents that appall us.”
Ok, so what exactly is going on here?
Well, first of all, Canada has been ruled for the last five years by a hard right Conservative government that is now widely recognized as Israel’s most fervent supporter on the world stage. In the same period, the BDS movement has been growing stronger in Canada, along with Israeli Apartheid Week – which launched in Toronto in 2005 and is now in more than 60 cities around the world.
Amir Gissin, Israel’s Consul General in Toronto, says in the documentary that Canada has emerged as “the most important arena in the world…for this new battlefield that on one hand has all those who want to delegitimize Israel and on the other all those who want to represent it in all its colors.”
So Canada is the site of a vigorous proxy battle in the Israel-Palestine debate, the government of Israel is watching very closely, and the government of Canada has abandoned its traditional pretense of being neutral and is energetically backing one side – including slashing funding to organizations that are critical of Israeli policies, and hosting an international conference on combating anti-Semitism.
While the savvier players will not even attempt to argue that Canada is in the grips of a renaissance of Jew-hatred, a climate has been created in which growing criticism of Israel’s actions is easily conflated with anti-Semitism, and mainstream media outlets report enthusiastically about each supposed hatefest.
Peto’s thesis is just the latest fuel for this fire.
Avi Lewis is a documentary filmmaker and host of the Al Jazeera English show Fault Lines. Lewis is the former host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) current-affairs program On the Map.
I know these three very well. I call all of them my friends. I was shocked to hear they had been approached by the FBI. All three of them have been active members of the Chicago community to bring a human rights-based solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have never heard any of them espouse radical or harmful beliefs. They merely ask for Palestinians and Israelis to be held to the same rights and standards. The work they are doing is not even remotely close to advocating terrorism.
Please, help my friends! This charge is completely baseless, and they are at risk of having their lives ruined for promoting peace between Israel and Palestine. The best thing you can do is call US attorney Patrick Fitzgerald! Call 312-353-5300, dial 0 for operator, and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk (paralegal). Please don’t allow the FBI to get away with this. Tell them how you feel about the intimidation of activists.
Registration is open for an international conference, titled “Fifty Years of the Special US-Israel Relationship (1962-2012): Walt-Mearsheimer in Perspective,” scheduled for January 16 to 18, 2011 in Miami. Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami will host the event at the Conrad Miami Hotel, 1395 Brickell Avenue. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis, and Canadian Member of Parliament and past Justice Minister, the Honorable Irwin Cotler have been announced as headliners.
The focus will be on examining the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel over the last 50 years…