January 2010 Archives
UPDATE: See correction at bottom
On Friday, when Stephen Harper appointed five new Senators, my Liberal frenemy, Jason Cherniak, wrote the strangest thing:
waiting for expressions of disappointment that Harper is not appointing Senators active in the Jewish community
Cherniak, readers will recall, is one of the last 100 Jews in the Liberal Party.
Well, it’s true that in those five Senatorial appointments, none were active in the Jewish community – or at least none were Jewish. But Harper has already appointed three Jews to the Senate, all of whom are very active in the Jewish community and philanthropy: Linda Frum, Judith Seidman and Irving Gerstein. Add to that Harper’s appointment of a Jew to the Supreme Court, and you’d think the man was trying to start a synagogue on Parliament Hill. And, to the chagrin of anti-Semites like the Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui, Harper has appointed a Jew as the chairman of the GONGO Rights and Democracy, and a Jew-loving Gentile as its new president. (That’s really what all the opposition hullabaloo is about: R&D is no longer going to be allowed to send cheques to Palestinian terrorists.)
I pointed out some of this to Cherniak, who responded by listing a number of great Jews in the Liberal Party, most of whom are now in their 70s and 80s, and some of whom have actually been dead for quite some time.
In other words, the golden age of Jews in the Liberal Party – if it ever existed – is long past.
(I dispute that it ever existed; it was the Liberal government during the Second World War that turned back ships of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, with the motto “none is too many.” Liberals have mythologized and sanitized their party’s anti-Semitic past, the same way modern U.S. Democrats have willfully forgotten that theirs is the party of the KKK (including the lovely Senator Robert Byrd) and that the Republicans are the party of Abe Lincoln.)
But that’s the past. What’s the future? In my own travels, I find that on most Canadian campuses, the Hillel or Jewish students clubs are overwhelmingly Conservative. That’s the future.
Cherniak asked me: who is “the Jewish Senator” in the Conservatives, and I actually replied. But that’s a mistake. Even accepting the concept of “the Jewish Senator” is to agree to the ghettoization of Jews and to relegate being pro-Israel to the level of an ethnopolitical hand-out, not a function of a principled foreign policy. More than that, it accepts that a Jew's only place must be on "Jewish issues". The Liberals have so conditioned Cherniak into thinking that being pro-Israel is a ghetto issue, that he believes it: he thinks his place is to have one token in Parliament. Maybe he thinks it’ll be him, if he really serves the party loyally.
This also makes the false assumption that any one Jew can speak for the community – a fallacy proved every day by the “Official Jews” who run the Liberal-sympathetic Canadian Jewish Congress.
I’d rather have a government run by principled Gentiles like Jason Kenney, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper, to name just three, who are pro-Israel for reasons of conservative principle, than a government stacked with either the “Jews of Silence” as Izzy Asper called the Official Jews, or worse. And by worse, I mean that according to Cherniak’s litmus test, a party dominated by Naomi Klein, Judy Rebick and Noam Chomsky (the NDP, I guess) would be the bee’s knees, but a party run by Israel-loving Christians wouldn’t.
There are plenty of Jews active in the Conservative Party. Much more importantly, there are people in the Tories, Jewish and non-Jewish, who for reasons of principle, not ethnicity, support democracy and liberty, be it in Israel or Taiwan or Iran.
But let me close with a little bit of research that I did, on a whim.
Cherniak is upset that Harper has only appointed three Jewish senators. Jews, of course, make up about 1% of Canada’s population, but Harper has made them 9% of his 33 appointees.
How about Jean Chretien? How did he do?
In ten years as prime minister, unless I'm missing someone, he didn’t appoint a single one.
And Paul Martin? Unless I’m missing someone, the only Jew he could find to appoint was a Conservative named Hugh Segal, Brian Mulroney’s former chief of staff.
I say again, simply counting Jews isn’t the right way to measure a party’s commitment to Jews or Jewish issues. But even on that basis, Chreniak’s desperate apology for his increasingly Jew-free party fails.
UPDATE: A correspondent points out that the Senate website to which I have linked to do my count only lists Senators who are currently sitting, so it excludes Jewish Senators who were appointed but have since retired. So, for example, a seventy-year-old named Yoine Goldstein was appointed for a short term by Paul Martin -- a little token for a little token.
Here's the full list of all Senators appointed by Paul Martin -- it's just Segal and Goldstein.
And here's the full list of all Senators appointed by Jean Chretien. It includes a three-year stint for Sheila Finestone, and that's it.
Seriously in ten years as prime minister, with 75 appointments, he chose one Jew for three years. That's Jason Cherniak's Jew-loving party for you.
I'm also advised of the hilarity that ensued when "Goldstein's seat" -- or as Liberals would say, "the Jewish seat" -- came open. The Official Jews around the country all busied themselves campaigning for "their" Official Jew -- they're power broker, their choice for "the seat".
Imagine the gnashing of the teeth when Harper ignored their official choices and picked his own. I can't tell you how happy I am that none of Harper's Jewish picks have the CJC hechsher.
Which is more surprising?
That Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the Liberal MP from Etobicoke Centre, called up the Globe and Mail to trash Jason Kenney's visit to Auschwitz, demanding Kenney come back to Canada and calling that somber trip a "jaunt";
Or that the Liberal Party's house Jew, Irwin Cotler, is as silent as a churchmouse, just as he was when Michael Ignatieff himself called Israel a war criminal in its fight against Hezbollah?
Answer: neither is surprising. Just depressing.
I’ve spotted two Haiti-oriented NGOs that readers should stay away from, for reasons of corruption. Simply put, not enough money given to these NGOs actually winds up helping Haitians – too much is spent on lavish luxuries for NGO staff and managers.
The first is Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti foundation. Jean is a Haitian-American pop singer, most famous for his work with the band The Fugees. May I recommend his song by the same name as his NGO, Yele. Here’s the heart-breaking and heart-warming video:
That fortress in the video, by the way, is the Citadelle Laferrière, the largest citadel in the Americas.
I love Wyclef Jean’s sound, but I wouldn’t give a cent to his charity. Jean has been ubiquitous these past weeks raising money for Haiti, and no doubt his tears are real. But financial records from Yele Haiti show that Jean has made sure the first person to get paid from Yele Haiti events was himself – including a staggering $100,000 fee for him to perform at one of his own events (that benefit was cancelled because of his demands) and other gigs that poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into companies he controlled. Here’s one where he took nearly $100,000 out of $150,000 raised. Even if Jean’s fading star could still fetch that on the open market (he can’t – here’s a contract showing he performs for a fraction of that), it’s still outrageous that people donating to Yele Haiti are told the money is going to help Haitians, when the poor Haitian benefiting the most is Wyclef himself.
Best to take Jean for who he is – a talented musician who has helped spread the Haitian creole sound around the world – but put your trust (and money) into accredited charities that take only a modest sum for administration and overhead. The Red Cross is probably your best bet.
Rights and Democracy
Another corrupt NGO that donors should stay away from is Rights and Democracy (R&D), the ironically-named Canadian government-funded NGO that has recently been rocked by scandal for donating money to a Palestinian terrorist.
R&D has a Haiti program, but like Yele Haiti, an inordinate amount of money received by R&D is spent on their own jet-setting staff. Here's a 22-page internal audit memo from just two years ago, for example, that looks into a raft of corruption allegations – and unfortunately finds many of them to be true. The review, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Foreign Affairs found “weak internal controls” over money.
For example, on a junket to Cairo, R&D staff racked up over $5,000 in expenses like booze, mini-bar booze, and booze at the pool. The review actually had all three of those categories of booze (see page 7). Page 11 of the review shows that board members funneled money to their pet organizations and that large contracts are being handed out without public tender, in violation of the "rules". And the president of R&D billed for 46 nights in Paris – not bad considering R&D didn’t have any business there. For comparison, he only spent 42 nights in Ottawa.
Page 13 outlines widespread labour-management strife and low morale, going back years; page 16 notes more than a dozen staff fired and 65 labour union grievances; page 18 refers to harassment of staff by management. Bitchiness alone isn’t a reason not to donate to an NGO; but lavish expenses and a lack of financial controls is. This broken corporate culture has been going on for years, but has only recently received media coverage, largely due to the staff's rebellion against a new, anti-corruption-oriented board.
Conclusion: if you’re an individual donor and want to help Haiti, don’t give your money to Yele Haiti. And if you’re a government shoveling $11 million out the door each year to a sullen staff who think that taking boozy trips to Cairo or Paris counts as “international development”, you may wish to direct your funds elsewhere, too.
Last week I wrote about a scandal at a taxpayer-funded organization called "Rights and Democracy" (R&D), set up in the 1980s by Brian Mulroney to help fund fledgling democracy groups around the world.
Canadian taxpayers give $11 million each year to R&D, which is overseen by a board of directors appointed by the federal government. The scandal is that several newly appointed board members caught R&D staff red-handed giving thousands of dollars to extremists, including a $10,000 grant to a group called Al Haq, run by a member of the terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
If you're not familiar with the PFLP, here's an Amnesty International report that describes some of their activities. Let me highlight one sentence:
The PFLP has claimed several other attacks, including... a suicide bombing in a pizzeria in Karnei Shomron, Israel on 16 February 2002, killing three civilians - Keren Shatzki, 14; Rachel Theler 16; and Nehemia Amar.
There has been some reportage about the scandal in the mainstream media, but it has mainly been cast as a debate between warring factions of R&D's board, or between the board and the staff. That's mildly interesting, but it falls into the Parliamentary Press Gallery rut of reporting about personalities and gossip, instead of policy substance.
Of course personal and political feuds are part of the story, and they can be interesting. But surely that is less important than the substance they're fighting over, which is: "what priorities should that $11 million be spent on?" and "is money being properly accounted for"?
A more specific formulation of the first question might be: Is a member of the terrorist PFLP really that interested in either "rights" or "democracy"? I think most Canadians would want their board to ask that.
And the second question -- proper accounting -- is equally urgent, especially after recent revelations that staff and managers had used R&D as a personal piggy bank. Just to pick one example from an internal government audit, R&D's former boss, Jean-Louis Roy, expensed 46 nights in lovely Paris -- even though R&D has no programs there. Other expenses that were foisted on taxpayers included "laundry", "mini-bar" and "food and alcohol by the pool". Seriously -- you should read this horrendous report by the National Post's Graeme Hamilton.
That was the corporate culture at R&D before Stephen Harper started making his appointments to the board. What was meant as a fund for freedom fighters around the world had become a slush fund for corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, and a source of free money for their left-wing fellow travellers -- and even terrorists.
No wonder R&D didn't like the new scrutiny being brought by the board.
I know the new chairman a little bit -- his name is Aurel Braun, and he's a universally well-respected professor at the University of Toronto. His personal style couldn't be more opposite that of the louche spendthrifts who have been using R&D as their personal ATM. I don't think Braun would take it as an insult if I called him rather anal about things. He's a stickler; a rules-follower; if he weren't a professor, he'd probably be an accountant. He's an inordinately conscientious man who saw his appointment to R&D not as an opportunity for lavish travel and other perks, but as a chance to actually promote R&D's idealistic mission. It was inevitable that he would clash with the staff who had become accustomed to the sloppy grift that was "normal" under previous administrations. Braun was simply relentless in his questions about where the money was going; that Anglo style of accountability was called "harassment" by R&D's Montreal workforce that was used to, for example, having gourmet meals paid for from funds that were supposed to go to freedom fighters overseas.
Ed Broadbent, Mulroney's bizarre choice for the first chairman of R&D, has condemned the new board and its scrutiny of R&D spending. So has the Toronto Star's house anti-Israel propagandist, Haroon Siddiqui. And the Liberal Party jumped into the fray, clearly siding with the staff. But the most grotesque comments have been those of the four past chairmen of R&D (including Broadbent), who insinuated that Harper's appointees were actually responsible for the death of R&D's president this month. (Remy Beauregard, who himself was appointed by Harper, had a heart attack after leaving a board meeting.)
Beauregard's death has been used as a political weapon by R&D's staff and their leftist allies, which shows their lack of any publicly saleable arguments. And how's this for a measure of their morality: they actually took down Braun's message of condolence from R&D's website, and replaced it with one from Shawan Jabarin, the PFLP terrorist to whom they gave a grant.
Is there someone who can get to the bottom of this? I think there is. He's a two-time Liberal candidate for office named David Matas. He's a distinguished human rights lawyer, going back to his fight against Apartheid. And he knows and loves R&D well -- Jean Chretien appointed him to a term on R&D's board, from 1997 to 2003.
Harper re-appointed him two months ago -- clearly a non-partisan appointment based on Matas's experience and expertise.
Tonight I received a copy of a 5,000-word essay Matas wrote about the shenanigans at R&D. For those who care about this issue -- and other than R&D's staff, it might only be me and Paul Wells -- I commend it to you.
Not only is it very well written and meticulously documented (see footnotes in the Word file I link to), it's also clearly written by someone who doesn't have a partisan allegiance to either the "red Tories" or "blue Tories", that some MSM reporters are casting as the fault-line here. Matas is neither, and he clearly has an affinity for the organization, having served it for six years before.
Awan's jihad: lawfare
Awan is the shakedown artist who targeted Mark Steyn and Maclean’s magazine with three human rights complaints in 2008, for Steyn's political offence of criticizing radical Islam. Awan lost those suits, and his demand to censor Maclean's was rejected, but he still managed to waste a lot of Maclean’s money – and even more taxpayers’ money, too.
That’s Awan’s strategy: abuse our courts to bully his opponents. It’s a shocking thing for a lawyer to admit to, but Awan isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. As he told an anti-Semitic meeting in British Columbia a while back, he was proud to have “cost Maclean’s two million dollars in legal expenses and lost circulation.” Awan’s friend, the notorious anti-Semite Greg Felton, approvingly quotes Awan saying “we attained out strategic objective—to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material”.
So it’s not about justice. It’s not about “human rights”. It’s about abusing our legal system to punish his enemies.
Mark Steyn and Maclean’s magazine were first. And now I’m next in line.
This is the soft jihad of “lawfare”, the strategy where anti-Western radicals use our own laws to attack us, rather than pantybombs or shoebombs.
It’s Awan’s little jihad. And because I’ve criticized him (and the human rights commissions he hijacked), he’s coming for me now.
What kind of people are Awan and the CIC?
I won’t go through Awan’s entire history again; if you’re interested, I’d encourage you to read my biography of him when he first threatened me, last summer. But here are a few highlights.
Awan was the president of the CIC’s youth wing, loyally standing by the CIC’s president, Mohammed Elmasry, when he declared on national TV that every adult Israeli was a legitimate target for a terrorist attack.
You can watch that clip here, courtesy of SDA Matt:
Elmasry's the kind of guy who puts the KKK in klassy.
For years Awan was Elmasry’s mini-me. But he moved out from under Elmasry’s shadow when he became the PR front man for the CIC’s human rights nuisance suits against Steyn and Maclean’s.
Awan was not actually the complainant in those complaints. He was one of Elmasry’s sock puppets, a ventriloquist dummy for Elmasry’s attack on the Canadian values of freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Elmasry needed puppets, because he had damaged his own reputation so badly with his televised comments. But here’s an interview where Elmasry boasts that Awan was little more than Elmasry’s stooge. And Awan was only too happy to comply.
Elmasry was smart enough not to sue in real court. Not Awan.
But even Elmasry wasn’t stupid enough to sue Maclean’s in defamation court, where truth is a defence. And though he whined when I wrote this about him, he was smart enough not to sue.
Which is why I’m looking forward so much to Awan’s trial. He isn't smart enough not to sue.
Khurrum Awan and Mohamed Elmasry hurt their reputations by attacking Maclean’s – and the Canadian value of freedom. They were almost universally denounced.
They lost their human rights complaints, but they weren’t stuck with Maclean’s legal bills as they would have been in real court. And they never really underwent any true scrutiny – unlike in real courts, they escaped any meaningful examination of their own foul conduct.
Awan is about to find out that real courts are a lot more even-handed than the kangaroo courts he manipulated.
Another junk lawsuit
Let’s take a quick look through his nuisance lawsuit together.
The first thing to note are the dates. Awan is suing me for my in-the-courthouse reports on the CIC’s human rights complaints, back in June of 2008. But he didn’t bother to serve a libel notice on me until July of 2009, more than a year later. And then it took him nearly another six months to serve the suit itself, which my lawyer received over Christmas.
That’s 18 months after I wrote what I wrote. Which shows Awan’s strategy: this isn’t about correcting the record in a timely manner. It’s about punishing a political opponent.
The next interesting thing in the suit is that Awan describes himself as a lawyer. But a quick glance at the Law Society’s website shows that he is not in fact registered to practice law. I wonder why that is. After all, he was articling at Lerner’s, the same firm as Faisal Joseph, the lead CIC lawyer suing Maclean’s. Why didn’t Joseph keep him on? Competence? Politics? Not enough business? I’m quite curious. Aren’t you? I’m excited that I'll learn about it in open court.
Awan’s lawyer in this lawsuit is Brian Shiller, the same lawyer representing Richard Warman and Warren Kinsella in their nuisance lawsuits against me (and many others they've targeted for silencing, including Kathy Shaidle, Kate McMillan and Free Dominion). Awan, Warman and Kinsella are all part of the same censorship cabal.
I’ve pointed out some of Shiller’s hilarious legal drafting errors in the past, and this lawsuit is no different. See paragraph 4: he manages to misspell the word Maclean’s (he writes it with a capital l) and to write the plural of Muslim as “Muslim’s” – with an apostrophe. Those aren’t important errors, of course. But they go to the sloppiness of Shiller’s work. But when you’re filing nuisance suits, it’s good enough.
Khurrum Awan is a serial liar
The main thrust of Awan’s suit is that I call him a liar. Well, he is a liar – and it was all revealed that day in court, when I wrote about it. Awan and his fellow sock puppets had repeatedly told the public that they had asked Maclean’s to publish a lengthy pro-Muslim essay, to rebut an article by Steyn, and that the rebuttal would be written by a “mutually acceptable” author. But under cross-examination by Maclean’s lawyer, Julian Porter, Awan admitted he had never asked Maclean’s to run a “mutually acceptable” article – he had demanded that they run a piece written by someone solely of the CIC’s choosing. The "mutually acceptable" thing was a lie told to the media, designed to make Awan and the CIC look more reasonable to the public. Here’s what I wrote when that lie was exposed on June 3, 2008. It’s a blog entry called Khurrum Awan is a serial liar:
Julian Porter himself was at the meeting where Khurrum Awan and his junior Al Sharptons tried to shake down Ken Whyte and Maclean's for cash and a cover story.
Porter asked Awan point blank if the CIC's proposed "counter-article" was to be "mutually acceptable" to Whyte or of the CIC's own choosing.
After obfuscating for a few rounds, Awan acknowledged that he never in fact offered a "mutually acceptable" article -- that was simply an after-the-fact lie, a little bit of taqqiya that Awan et al. has told the press.
Awan admitted that he made no such offer of a mutually acceptable author. It was to be the CIC's own choice.
For an example of just how often Awan told that lie, let me recommend to you Colby Cosh’s notes on the subject.
That’s the bulk of Awan’s case. But let me point out one other little quirk: at paragraph 26, Awan claims that he “has been shunned by former friends” because of my blogging. That’s fascinating. I can hardly wait to learn the details about those friends – who they are, what they thought of Awan before they read my blog, how they decided to “shun” Awan afterwards, and what exactly it was that caused the change: Awan's actions, or my blogging about his actions. (Do you think he’ll actually name names, or do you think he’ll mumble and crumble, like he did under Porter’s cross-examination in 2008?)
Awan’s lawsuit is for $50,000 plus costs. It’s not an enormous amount of money, but it will probably cost me $50,000 just to defend against it, plus a week at trial in another city.
Let's go on the offensive. (They hate that!)
But here’s a question that has me pretty excited: can we turn lemons into lemonade here? By that I mean, instead of just fighting this lawsuit passively, what if I could use it to go on the offensive, and really root around inside the Canadian Islamic Congress, and expose their anti-Semitic, anti-Canadian ways? The trial will be partly about what I’ve written -- no problem. But it will equally be about Awan’s reputation, and that of the CIC. It will give me a chance to ask Awan questions he’s never been asked before, and to see documents he’s never had to disclose before.
I’ll be able to expose the CIC for the venomous outfit that it is. I can picture spending at least an hour talking with Awan about his organization’s call for the decriminalization of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.
My friends, I don’t like being sued. But I have to tell you, of all the junk lawsuits thrown at me because of my campaign for free speech – and there have been plenty – this one is in some ways the most important. If I handle this one right, I can expose the true nature of the CIC and the radical Islamist, pro-terrorist groups in Canada with whom Awan has consorted.
Let me quote a Jew now, just because it will irritate Awan. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote nearly 100 years ago, “publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” I'm going to bring some klieg lights to trial on this one.
I believe that nothing will disinfect our public square better than scrutiny and publicity of how illiberal Islamic fascists are waging war against our values. I hope that the lasting impact of this trial will be the complete and final detonation of the CIC’s credibility.
Bring it on.
Can you help me, please?
As I mentioned, this lawsuit will probably cost me $50,000 to fight. And it’s just one of many suits and complaints that the same cabal has hit me with, again and again.
Over the past two years I’ve been hit with three human rights complaints, over twenty complaints to the law society and this is the fifth defamation suit. That's 28 suits and complaints. And they’re all junk lawsuits – SLAPP suits designed to shut me up.
I won the three human rights cases, and the first twenty law society complaints have all been dismissed. So far I have a perfect track record: 23 out of 23. Unfortunately, even if you win these sorts of nuisance complaints, you don’t get your legal costs back, so it’s been expensive.
If you’d like to help me, I’d appreciate it. It's expensive fighting two dozen legal fights, even if they are junk. I think that a "normal" person would try to get out of a lawsuit like this – make a settlement, withdraw from the public square, and don't criticize radical Islam or censorship anymore. But I don’t want to submit like that – I want to use this lawsuit to expose the truth about Awan and the CIC. And I certainly don’t want this suit to change what I say or do in my life, especially my ability to criticize radical Islam and its politically correct allies.
If you believe in fighting back against these bullies, please help me out. You can chip in by PayPal, by clicking on the button below. If you’d prefer to send in a cheque by snail mail, that’s great. Please make cheques payable to my lawyer:
“Christopher Ashby in Trust”
Attn: Ezra Levant defence fund
Suite 1013, 8 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1B5
Thank you very much. I promise to fight this battle all the way to the end.
"I am not a registered non-profit organization. Donations are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes."
It was September 10, 2008, just three days after the federal election writ was dropped.
Political staff in Ottawa were taking leaves of absence to campaign. MPs were in their ridings. Nobody in Ottawa was paying attention to anything other than the election.
If you're the pro-U.N., anti-Israel staff of the government NGO called Rights and Democracy (R&D) what do you do to capitalize on that lack of adult supervision?
You quickly cut a cheque for $144,000 to the United Nations.
You just go and do it.
R&D was set up during the cold war by Brian Mulroney’s government to help promote freedom around the world. It was supposed to be the kind of organization that would do things like smuggle in photocopiers to the Polish democracy group, Solidarity. You know: help the good guys, the little guys.
Twenty years later, it’s cutting cheques to the United Nations.
And not just any part of the U.N, but the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights. That’s the bureaucracy that serves the bigoted U.N. Human Rights Council, the dysfunctional committee where the likes of Iran and China hurl invective at the U.S. and Israel, to the gleeful applause of dozens of third world tyrants.
It’s like the Thunderdome in Mad Max, but with worse dentistry.
For R&D, a group mandated to support fledgling freedom movements around the world, to send $144,000 to the U.N. isn’t just a grotesque violation of their mandate and an unseemly waste of taxpayers money. It’s also a deliberate slap in the face to the Conservative government, which has placed an emphasis on bringing our foreign policy into line with our national values of freedom, democracy, fighting terrorism and standing by our allies.
Under the previous Liberal government, Canada traditionally voted with the herd at the U.N., even if that meant throwing a fellow democracy like Israel to the wolves. Under Harper, our voting pattern changed noticeably. At the U.N. Human Rights Council, Canada is often the lone dissenting vote now when the rabid Jew-haters are in high dudgeon.
So R&D’s largesse was not random. It was designed as a deliberate and flagrant contradiction to Canada’s foreign policy. Now, that’s fine if R&D raised its own money. But like other anti-Semitic NGOs, like KAIROS, R&D depends on the government forking over taxpayers’ money -- $11 million/year, in the case of R&D.
Sorry, I used the word NGO to describe R&D. It’s not really a Non-Governmental Organization when the government set it up and funds it, is it? It’s a GONGO – a Government-Organized Non-Governmental Organization. So you’ve got Canadian bureaucrats giving money to U.N. bureaucrats.
And it wasn’t the first time.
But even more outrageous is what R&D does with money that it doesn’t send to the U.N. Take these three cheques totalling $30,000 that R&D hustled out the door without board approval.
None of them are for democracy building or freedom-fighting. True, some of the money went to Gaza, a theocratic, fascist failed statelet run by the Hamas terrorist organization. But the money didn’t go to help liberal Palestinians resist the terrorist gangs there, or to rebuild any semblance of civil society.
The money went to support anti-Israel propaganda campaigns.
Seriously. Read the cover letters that accompanied the money – your money.
It was to document Israeli “war crimes” during Israel’s war against Hamas.
So now you know why Michael Ignatieff has taken such a strong public stand in favour of R&D, and against Harper’s new appointments to the board of R&D, who are trying to reign in the rogue agency.
In 2006, Ignatieff called Israel a war criminal for its military actions against Hamas in Gaza.
In 2009, R&D send tens of thousands of dollars to anti-Israel groups to “prove” that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza.
Of course, the Liberal house Jew Irwin Cotler is silent on the subject – he’s proved many times that he can sit in silence while his party defames Israel.
But it gets worse.
Who is one of the groups that R&D has shoveled Canadian taxpayers’ money to?
Who are they? They’re a radical anti-Israel group run by Shawan Jabarin.
And who’s he?
He’s a member of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Here’s the PFLP’s English-language propaganda page. You can see why Ignatieff and Cotler might support R&D’s decision to give Al Haq our tax money.
And here’s a detail of Jabarin’s signature on an R&D contract, indicating his receipt of $10,000 of Canadian taxpayers’ money.
Not all Liberals support R&D’s un-Canadian behavior. David Matas, a two-time Liberal candidate, is on R&D’s board. He joined with his Conservative colleagues in penning a damning Op-Ed in today’s National Post in which even more of R&D’s outrageous behavior is disclosed.
What should be done with R&D?
The majority of its board is doing the right thing: trying to rein in out-of-control, off-mandate spending – and not just to terrorist supporters.
But that’s clearly not enough. R&D managers continue to disobey the board, sometimes on trivial matters, sometimes on important matters. Many of them signed a “work to rule” letter, demanding that the board resign for daring to ask for financial controls.
I like that chutzpah -- trying to fire their bosses.
That final act, that mass challenge to the board, and indirectly to the Conservative government, is reminiscent of the illegal strike by U.S. air traffic controllers early in Ronald Reagan’s first term. It was a test of his seriousness: would he really allow air traffic in the U.S. to grind to a halt, or would he pay off a union in an illegal strike?
Reagan coolly ordered them back to work. And those that didn’t return were immediately fired, with U.S. military personnel filling in where needed. No-one doubted Reagan’s resolve again.
R&D is out of control, financially. And its mandate has been twisted. The Cold War is over, but the need for support for democracy has never been greater – in the Arab world, in Latin America, in China and even in Russia itself. Only a bigoted, rotten organization would focus its venom on Israel, and give its money to the U.N.'s perverted human rights apparatus.
The real answer is the Reagan answer: just shut the damned thing down. Let those anti-Israel bigots raise their own money, like KAIROS has to do now.
It comes down to this one question: who sets Canadian foreign policy, and directs the spending of Canadian taxes?
Stephen Harper thinks he does. R&D's rogue staff thinks they do. Only one of them can be right.
I've criticized B'nai Brith before for their on-again, off-again support for Canada's human rights commissions and their censorship laws. Here's an example. Such support is odd, especially considering the fact that B'nai Brith itself was the target of a five-year censorship vendetta by Manitoba's Human Rights Commission, spurred by a radical Muslim complainant.
Well last week, to my surprise, I was contacted by B'nai Brith to help them assess the propaganda "fatwa against terrorism" issued by a handful of Canadian Muslim clerics, including Calgary's Syed Soharwardy.
I was happy to help reveal the true nature of Soharwrady. I documented for them not only Soharwardy's public statements (his call for sharia law to be imposed in Canada; his slanderous allegation that Christian relief workers in the 2005 tsunami were kidnapping Muslim children) but also his virulently hateful websites. I pointed them to where Soharwardy repeated blood libels against the Jewish talmud, called for the annihilation of Israel, compared Israel to Nazis perpetrating a Holocaust and other statements. Besides having sifted through so much of Soharwardy's crap on my own, I had also saved the vilest of Soharwardy's website comments to my hard drive, knowing that my scrutiny would cause him to go back and scrub his sites of the most anti-Semitic material.
Anyways, to my delight, the B'nai Brith issued two press releases on the subject last Friday (here's the first, here's the second). Here is the text of them in full:
B’nai Brith Canada concerned about sincerity of Islamic fatwa against terrorism
TORONTO, January 15, 2010 – B’nai Brith Canada questions the wording and intent behind a fatwa against terrorism that was undersigned by a group of North American imams. The recently-issued fatwa, which states that “any attack on Canada and the United States is an attack on the freedom of Canadian and American Muslims. Any attack on Canada and the United States is an attack on thousands of mosques across North America,” was spearheaded by Syed Soharwardy, the president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC).
Soharwardy and his organization have a track record of disseminating antisemitic and anti-Western sentiment. Although a lot of the disturbing material has been removed from the ISCC’s website, thanks to the probing efforts of Ezra Levant, B’nai Brith was able to acquire archived copies of the offending articles and statements.
“The fact that this fatwa limits itself to terrorism in North America and predicates its anti-terror positions on the damaging effects of terrorism only on the Islamic community is quite concerning,” said Frank Dimant, B’nai Brith Canada’s Executive Vice President. “Is the fatwa implicitly saying that terrorism directed against India, Spain, the U.K., Israel, and Canadian forces in Afghanistan is somehow permissible?
“Syed Soharwardy is the imam whose complaint dragged Ezra Levant through the Alberta Human Rights Commission for publishing the Danish Mohammad cartoons in the Western Standard. We were disgusted when we read some of the virulent antisemitic and anti-Western ravings that were posted to his organization’s website – some trivialized the Holocaust, others prophesized the extinction of the Christian faith, and still others went so far as to speak of a ‘slaughter’ and ‘annihilation’ of Jews.
“What Canadians would truly like to see is for reputable imams within the Islamic community to stand up and denounce all acts of terrorism irrespective of where they occur and who the targets are. And if Imam Soharwardy wants his fatwa to be taken seriously, he needs to publicly reconcile it with the anti-Christian and antisemitic ravings that have appeared on his organization’s website.”
For more information, please contact, Dan Rabkin, Communications Officer:
416-633-6224 X 140 / cell: 416-312-9173
B’nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community’s foremost human rights agency
and here's the other:
Danish Mohammad Cartoon Syndrome infects Canadian media
TORONTO, January 15, 2010 – In light of the media’s relative inaction over the publication in a Canadian Islamic community newspaper of an article accusing Jews of killing children in order to harvest their organs, B’nai Brith Canada is questioning the “media chill” it has witnessed when it comes to antisemitism and anti-Western sentiment emanating from within the Islamic community.
“A horrific blood libel against the Jewish people was published right here in Canada and most of the national print and electronic media have been silent,” said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada. “We are concerned by the fact that such hatred has been met with almost complete silence by the media. We can only assume journalists fear being labeled ‘Islamophobes.’
“Major media outlets undertook the time and effort to interview us when the story broke about Al-Ameen publishing that despicable story, but we later learned that those stories were pulled. We are certain that if such hatred was being disseminated by other religious or ethnic outlets, there would have been outcry in Canada.
“We have all witnessed a ‘legal chill’ in previous years where there were frivolous attempts through our human rights system to muzzle and sanction Maclean’s magazine, the Western Standard and Ezra Levant, and even B’nai Brith for purportedly ‘crossing a line.’ Even though those attempts were unsuccessful, the lasting effect of having to spend such time and resources defending against frivolous complaints has created a chill within our society against speaking out against radical Islam and its manifestations. We are disturbed to see this ‘chill’ expanding into the media, a pillar of society whose freedom to report on issues of concern must be protected.”
For more information, please contact, Dan Rabkin, Communications Officer:
416-633-6224 X 140 / cell: 416-312-9173
B’nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community’s foremost human rights agency
I'm glad that, after they inspected Soharwardy's record, B'nai Brith did the right thing, and exposed him as an anti-Semitic liar.
I regret that I cannot say the same thing for Calgary's Official Jews. They have see all the same material about Soharwardy that B'nai Brith has; I (and my father) have sent it to them continuously literally for years. Instead of denouncing Soharwardy's anti-Semitism, they actually sent him an official "thank you" letter last month, which you can read here.
Read it, unless you have a strong gag reflex. Calgary's OJs tell Soharwardy it is "comforting" to have him in the fight against anti-Semitism. They say he promotes "values of acceptance and diversity". Seriously -- the same guy who says the Jewish Talmud calls for Jews to kill non-Jews, and says Christians kidnap baby Muslims.
As longtime readers will know, there is a lawyer at the Canadian Human Rights Commission named Giacomo Vigna who is suing me for what I've written about him on this blog. Mr. Vigna has also filed more than a dozen complaints against me with the Law Society of Alberta.
Every one of his Law Society complaints has been dismissed so far (he has since filed a new one, which will surely be dismissed, too). And I am defending against his defamation suit vigorously, and I look forward to the trial.
That said, I'd like to make a factual correction.
My comments about Mr. Vigna were based on the public record, such as transcripts of his comments at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. In particular, on May 11, 2007, when Mr. Vigna claimed he could not proceed because he was not feeling "serene", he undertook to provide a medical certificate to the CHRT. You can read the transcript here where he makes that promise.
Six weeks later, on June 25, 2007, Mr. Vigna had still not complied with that undertaking, even though the CHRT insisted that he did. You can read that transcript here.
Mr. Vigna never appeared in that case again and based on that, I assumed that Mr. Vigna had never actually submitted his medical certificate.
Just this week I learned from Mr. Vigna that he eventually did provide a doctor's note to the Tribunal some four months after promising to do so.
In the interest of fairness, I thought it appropriate to publish this correction.
I'll keep you posted when we're closer to the trial.
Talk about burying the lede: you had to read all the way to the end of this Canadian Press story last week to find the true news out of Michael Ignatieff's press conference on Parliament Hill: he wants the House of Commons to resume quickly so his MPs can investigate "the conduct of our troops in the field".
Ignatieff didn't say he wants to investigate the conduct of politicians like Stephen Harper or Peter MacKay, or diplomats like Richard Colvin and his superiors. He didn't even say he wants to investigate the military brass, generals like Walter Natynczyk and Rick Hillier. No, he wants to investigate whether "our troops in the field" committed war crimes.
It wasn't a flippant comment. "This is really serious stuff," he said.
Not the recession, nor the deficit, nor Senate reform, nor justice bills -- none of these are his top priority. He wants Parliament back so he can publicly inquire as to whether or not Canadian Forces troops are criminals.
That is astounding.
But it is even more astounding how under-reported his calumny has been.
There is a pattern here: the Liberal Party slanders our troops, and the slander goes unexamined by the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
Is it a function of the gallery's own antipathy towards the military, and anything associated with the war on terror? Or is it just run-of-the-mill leniency for the Liberals, the partisan favourite of the gallery?
Take Suhana Meharchand's interview yesterday with John McCallum, the former Liberal Defence Minister:
That is amazing. A former defence minister says:
the fact they may have been committing war crimes, handing over detainees knowing that they were very likely to be tortured, that is a war crime. And the fact that they're covering it up, I think many Canadians do care about those things...
For someone who sometimes slurs his words, McCallum was being crystal clear. He said the phrase "war crimes" twice, "torture", "covering it up", etc.
Who is doing all of these atrocious things? Who is handing over Taliban terrorists to be tortured? Is Peter MacKay out there in the dust of Afghanistan, doing the hand-over? Is Stephen Harper? Of course not -- it is our rank and file Canadian Forces. There is no other possible interpretation to McCallum's words. They fit perfectly with Ignatieff's own from last Friday.
But instead of jumping on McCallum's outrageous accusations, Suhana Meharchand calls that a distraction:
I don't want to go there in this interview.
Well, isn't that lucky for McCallum! He quickly claims he meant the "government", not the troops, and that was enough for Meharchand. A quick scoff, and then he was off the hook:
Yeah, I'm having a hard time with that, but I don't want to go there right now.
When will be a good time for someone go there?
This isn't a gaffe, it's a strategy. The Liberals are using our troops as cannon fodder against the Conservatives. To score some partisan points, they're actually accusing our soldiers of being war criminals. Again and again.
Here's Ujjal Dosanjh specifically calling the Canadian Forces morally weak:
Here's Liberal spin-doctor Warren Kinsella on a panel late last year comparing things to Abu Ghraib:
And here's Kinsella disagreeing with Tory Tim Powers and CTV's Tom Clark, when they insist there's no comparison:
He actually said "we don't know that", twice. You can see the full transcript here. Liberals demand that terrorist like Omar Khadr be treated as innocent until proven guilty. No such courtesies for our Canadian troops.
I'm with Tom Flanagan on this one. There is no need for the Conservatives to run and hide from the detainee issue. Let the country watch Ignatieff make a name for himself, on the backs of Canadian troops both dead and alive. Give the Liberals and the NDP and the Bloc all the goddamned rope they want on this one. Let them stretch their legs a bit. We've heard "Abu Ghraib"; who will be the first to make a Nazi comparison? Kinsella? Dosanjh? That sounds more like something Mark Holland might do. Let 'er rip.
And while Ignatieff basks in the applause of the press gallery and his Facebook friends, let the rest of the country -- severely normal Canadians, Canadians who might actually know a soldier, or a soldier's family -- watch in disgust.
There was once a time, not very long ago, when being a proud Canadian and being a Liberal were pretty close to synonymous. The Liberals had co-opted all of the symbols of nationalism. And despite his many flaws, everyone knew that Stephane Dion loved Canada.
How different things are today. Out of power, the left has turned against Canada, showing themselves to be fair weather friends. They profess embarrassment about being Canadian, or more bluntly claim that the entire country is slipping away. It's Stephen Harper who now sounds the themes of patriotism and optimism, and the Liberals who look eager to put us down, denouncing Canada not just at home but abroad at forums like the Copenhagen conference, and positively cheering when China's dictator insults us. Instead of opposing Canada's government, they're starting to oppose Canada itself.
I think the Prime Minister's Office is shy about the detainees issue; perhaps they, too, are listening too much to the echo chamber of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
The issue of the economy is already owned by the Conservatives. If the Liberals want to make the moral conduct of our troops their issue, I say bring it on. In a sour, arrogant, fake, scowling, pompous absentee tourist named Michael Ignatieff, they couldn't find a more fitting spokesman for their anti-Canada message.
The Liberals think our soldiers are war criminals. The Conservatives think our soldiers are war heroes.
Which side are you on?
Four years ago, the Western Standard was one of the only media in Canada (or indeed North America) to show our readers the news of the season, namely the Danish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Those cartoons were newsworthy because they had "caused" rioting around the world that killed nearly 250 people in the month of February, 2006, alone.
You can see all the cartoons here. This one is probably the most famous, drawn by Kurt Westergaard:
Ross Rebagliati, the former Olympic snowboarder who is now the Liberal Party's candidate in the federal riding of Okanagan Coquihalla, gave a rather wobbly interview to Maclean's magazine. I blogged about my favourite out-takes here, especially his priceless answer to what he does to earn a living these days: "being Ross".
Since then, the man has obviously been attending his candidate media training: here's an absolutely brilliant interview he gave to the Telegraph of London. In the course of a few weeks, with the careful help of party spin-doctors, he has gone from a ditzy layabout to:
an ambitious, eloquent young politician, a veritable pillar of his vast, scattered British Columbia community; all-round nice guy, businessman, photogenic celebrity, assiduous charity fund-raiser and respected family man.
Wow, what a makeover! Too bad they can't vote for him over there in London. But London is too small a place for such an ambitious, eloquent young man. As he boasts,
The electioneering is going to be demanding in a constituency which, even though it has only about 100,000 voters, covers “roughly the size of England”.
How could someone who is -- what's the phrase? -- a veritable pillar of the community not have a clue about its size? A newspaper of the calibre of the Telegraph can be counted on for an answer as to how Rebagliati's mind might be a little bit fuzzy:
He will not hide his support for the legalisation of cannabis. “It’s going out on a limb for sure but I don’t have anything to lose,” he says. After all, he adds, surely winning the Olympics “proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can be part of a healthy lifestyle”.
And so does he still smoke pot? There is a pause before he says: “There are things, like not having been allowed into the US, which scare me about answering that question. But I think anyone with half a brain could probably answer that question without asking.”
Dude. Whoa. Like, after you get some doritos, maybe check the fourteen voice mails you haven't answered yet. I'm guessing they're all from Michael Ignatieff's office.
Post script: let me be clearer. I don't care if Rebagliati smokes pot, which he obviously does. And I don't even care if it inhibits him from thinking clearly or getting anything done in his life, which seems to be the case. That's his problem (and, regrettably, a problem for his wife and his newborn son). I don't think being a doped-up layabout should be a crime any more than being an alcoholic is a crime. (I don't want to ban booze, either.) I just wouldn't want an alcoholic MP, especially one who boasted about it and called it a "healthy lifestyle". Same goes for an obvious pot-head.
That's the difference between being a libertarian conservative, and just being a libertine. The first calls for maximum freedom under law, but relies on individuals to use personal discipline and morality to constrain themselves. Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it's right. Each of us has to exercise personal responsibility.
Rebagliati seems to be of the second variety: a hedonist who does whatever he can under law (and, in the case of marijuana, even the law won't stop him).
Hedonism isn't against the law, either -- let it be put on the ballot in the Okanagan and tested. But Rebagliati isn't even being honest about his "beliefs". Like in his Maclean's interview, he refuses to give a straightforward answer to whether or not he still uses pot. Why the shyness? He clearly favours its legalization, and he clearly believes it's part of a healthy lifestyle. Why won't he go the distance and just tell us what he's hinting at? Does he lack the courage of his convictions?
That's not particularly forthcoming for a would-be politician. It's too tricky by half. He should either disown his habit, or own it. Either he doesn't think it's wrong, or he does. Is he really trying to have it both ways -- to straddle the fence on this one?
It's a clip of him comparing Canada's transfer of Taliban prisoners to the Abu Ghraib atrocity:
And then doubling down when Tim Powers and CTV's Tom Clark say he's going too far:
You can read the transcript of the whole panel discussion here.
You can see why Kinsella was fired from Michael Ignatieff's war room: he lacks judgment. Which makes him an entertaining pundit on CTV but a liability to a Liberal Party actually trying to win votes.
But what's Ujjal Dosanjh's excuse? He's not a pundit, he's Ignatieff's defence critic -- which implies that Ignatieff thinks he's ready to become the defence minister, should the Liberals win an election. Here's quick clip of Dosanjh characterizing the testimony of Canadian Forces generals as "morally weak" and legally flimsy:
By allowing Dosanjh to make this statement with impunity, Ignatieff is acceding to his slander of our Canadian Forces as led by immoral generals.
I can understand why Kinsella gets away with it -- he's already been fired by Ignatieff, he can't be fired again. But what's Ignatieff's excuse for Dosanjh?
On Monday, I wrote an Op-Ed in the Toronto Star noting that the Liberal Party has accused the Canadian Forces of war crimes. In it, I quoted Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh, who had publicly called our military "morally weak" and had accused the Canadian Forces of engaging in a "cover-up". My thesis was that the Liberals had moved from criticizing politicians like Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay, which is fine, to criticizing our men and women in uniform, which isn't fine.
Dosanjh wrote a letter to the Star in reply, but he had the smarts not to deny the public record. He had indeed called the Canadian Forces "morally weak", so no point pretending he didn't.
In that same Op-Ed I also pointed out that Liberal spin-doctor Warren Kinsella compared the Canadian detainee issue with Abu Ghraib, the U.S.-run prison in Iraq synonymous with torture and other atrocities.
Like Dosanjh, Kinsella wrote a letter to the Star. Unlike Dosanjh, Kinsella is pretending he never said such a thing.
Well, here's the transcript of his November 20th appearance on CTV, discussing detainees. See for yourself.
Out of the blue, Kinsella says "in the United States when the Abu Ghraib stories were taking place it became a huge issue politically." He simply brought up that war crime, out of the blue.
The other panelist, Tim Powers, immediately pointed out the Canadian situation "is nowhere near Abu Ghraib". CTV host Tom Clark agreed with Powers, saying "we all know that." But Kinsella insisted "we don't know that" -- twice.
Abu Ghraib is synonymous with torture. Does Kinsella still believe that "we don't know" if our Canadian Forces are involved in Abu Ghraib-style war crimes?
When it comes to terrorists like Omar Khadr, the Liberals insist that they're innocent until proven guilty. Wouldn't it be nice if they took the same approach to our Canadian Forces -- instead of suggesting "we don't know" if they're war criminals?
Gerald Caplan, an old NDP hack, wrote two absolutely bizarre columns for the Globe and Mail's website last month, about Stephen Harper and the Jews. I was pleased to be able to respond today. Here is the link to my article on the Globe's website. They gave it the headline "Explaining Stephen Harper's 'bizarre embrace'", which I suppose gets to the point of it. Here's what I wrote:
Christmastime can make a Jew feel self-conscious, which might explain why last month Gerald Caplan shared with us, not once but twice, his personal thoughts on the “the Harper government's bizarre embrace of Canadian Jewry.”
Bizarre wasn't the only word he used. He also called Canada's pro-Israel position perverse, fanatical, mindless and unseemly. He was even rougher on Israel's government, calling it extremist, its prime minister a radical and its deputy prime minister a supporter of ethnic cleansing. The only thing Mr. Caplan didn't do was accuse Israel and its supporters of being Nazis.
Oh, wait, he did that too: in a grotesque twisting of the New Testament's Book of Revelation, Mr. Caplan said evangelical Christian supporters of Israel only do so to hasten the “final Holocaust of the Jewish people” and that they want a “Jew-free world – Hitler's demented goal finally realized.” If he said that about the Jewish Torah or the Muslim Koran, he'd be charged with hate speech.
Believe it or not, that is Mr. Caplan being polite. He once accused Israel of “routine beatings, torture, killings and harassment of Palestinians by Jews” – an accusation so false and defamatory it was gleefully seized upon by Holocaust revisionists like David Irving.
Putting aside his personal vendettas, Mr. Caplan does ask a valid question: why are the Conservatives focused on the Jews? As an old NDP organizer, he knows Jews make up just one per cent of Canada's population, so they're not an important voting bloc. And whatever leverage the Jews used to have when it came to party financing was eliminated when the $1,100 annual donation limit became law.
Mr. Caplan says he's “always happier when people aren't paying us so much attention. Thanks, Conservatives, but no thanks.” I agree with him, actually. But it's not because of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives that Jews are news.
Jews have plenty of enemies who wake up every morning with the goal of antagonizing them, either politically or violently. It was Islamic terrorists who sought out the Chabad House in Mumbai. It is the largest voting bloc at the United Nations – the Saudi-backed Organization of the Islamic Conference – that demonizes Israel through relentless resolutions. It is Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who promises to wipe out Israel. It is Hamas and Hezbollah who fire rockets at Israeli civilians. A lot of Jews would like a break from the news, but that's not likely to happen soon.
Mr. Harper's innovation is not that he takes positions on these issues. It's that he has brought Canada's foreign policy into line with our national values – freedom, peace and democracy. And, domestically, the Prime Minister has drawn a bright line between legitimate criticism of Israel and outright Jew-hatred.
All of this represents a pro-Israel political philosophy with which Mr. Caplan clearly disagrees. But while he is entitled to his own opinions, he is not entitled to his own facts. And Mr. Caplan has a few whoppers.
In his nearly 2,000 words on the subject, he studiously avoids mention of Islamic terrorism either overseas or at home, and goes so far as to list the culprits behind Canadian anti-Semitic incidents as “kids, crackpot white supremacists or marginalized thugs.”
Perhaps Mr. Caplan missed it when Yousef Sandouga, a Palestinian immigrant, firebombed Edmonton's Beth Shalom synagogue. The judge called it a terrorist act. Was Mr. Caplan out of the country when Montreal's United Talmud Torah school was firebombed by Sleiman Elmerhebi and his friends, leaving a note praising Hamas? Has Mr. Caplan not heard of the Toronto 18? And who has been marching in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, flying the flag of Hezbollah, the banned terrorist group? Those evangelical Christians again?
Mr. Caplan claims that Canada is an “anti-anti-Semitic championship,” where politicians try to out-bid each other for being pro-Jewish. His beloved NDP is a living refutation of that. Svend Robinson spoke for many in his party when he called Israel a “terrorist state”.
Both of Mr. Caplan's columns went to bat for a left-wing lobby group called Kairos that recently had a new $7-million funding request denied by the Conservative government. Here again, his facts need correcting.
He claims Kairos is “fighting injustice around the world.” Not really; they don't have a word of criticism for human rights disasters like China or Saudi Arabia. What they like to fight best – the only country for which they promote an economic boycott – is Israel. As for charitable acts, well, Kairos spent only 3.7 per cent of its budget last year on “anti-poverty grants.”
They're not a charity. They're a lobby group.
Mr. Caplan claims that Kairos never endorsed a boycott campaign against Israel, and he invites readers to check their website, claiming “they explicitly do not support such campaigns.” But Mr. Caplan has been duped: as soon as Kairos lost its funding, it engaged in an after-the-fact scrubbing of its website, deleting anti-Israel pages, and adding disclaimers to many anti-Israel links.
It's a shame that Jews and Israel are in the news so much. It would seem odd if Canadian political parties duked it out over the “New Zealand question” or their “Portugal policy.”
But as long as Israel and the Jews are targets, Canada's government will take a position on it. Lucky for us, it's the Conservatives taking those positions, not Mr. Caplan and his party that call democratic, liberal Israel a terrorist state.
I'd love your feedback in the comments.
A tech-savvy commenter to my previous blog entry has tracked down a key Facebook page and blog entry that KAIROS had recently deleted, in their panic to scrub their website of anti-Israel diatribes.
As I've noted in my series on the subject, KAIROS has deleted links to anti-Israel groups, added new disclaimers to other links, and outright scrubbed pages from their website and their Facebook page.
Trouble is, it's not as easy for KAIROS to delete a website as it is for them to shred confidential documents.
Here's a Facebook page that KAIROS recently deleted. It's interesting for three reasons:
1. It shows that KAIROS calls various anti-Israel groups their "partner" organizations. Since they were defunded, KAIROS has tried to pretend that they have nothing to do with these groups, even going so far as to add a new, fake disclaimer to their website.
2. It shows that instead of giving money to actual foreign aid, KAIROS spends its money on political junkets for its staff. Who wouldn't want to go to Israel to check things out? I would. But that's a key reason why KAIROS spends a meagre 3.7% of its budget on anti-poverty grants, according to its annual report.
3. It shows that KAIROS's political boss, Julie Graham, is a radical anti-Israel activist, with views so radical she set up a blog whose very name challenges Israel's right to exist: "Whose Holy Land?"
No wonder that Facebook entry and her blog were deleted in a hurry. It's one thing to be a principled anti-Israel bigot. It's another thing to miss out on $7 million in free money because of it!
Let's look a bit at that deleted blog. I'll let you read it for yourself and judge whether or not such a radical, anti-Israel viewpoint deserves $7 million tax dollars. I'm not saying anything in the blog is illegal, or even "hate speech" -- I don't believe in hate speech laws. I believe in KAIROS's right to be as anti-Israel and even as anti-Semitic as they want, and I don't think they should be charged with a crime for it.
I just don't want to have to pay for their crap -- they can ask the Saudis for the money, and I'm sure they'd get it.
Here are a few snippets:
1. KAIROS's campaign boss describes East Jerusalem -- the Arab neighbourhood with the most political freedom and the best social services in the Middle East -- and says: "I admit to feeling sick at this point, and the smell of burning garbage had nothing to do with it." Give that woman a grant!
2. It is a fact that Israeli Arabs can live anywhere in Israel. By contrast, Jews can live in very few places in the Arab world. And, paradoxically, several years ago the Israeli government forcibly removed Jews from Gaza and several West Bank towns as an act of appeasement to the PLO.
KAIROS tells a lie: that Israel is "building Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land." Sounds like ethnic cleansing, no? You wouldn't think, by reading that, that there are a million Arabs in Israel with all the rights of citizenship -- but without the obligation to serve in the army. You wouldn't know that there is an Arab on the Israeli Supreme Court, and that there are Arabs in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). If you believed KAIROS's anti-Israel propaganda -- wait, they said "Jewish-only"; can you really just call that anti-Israel, or can we please drop the pretense now, and call it like it is, and admit that KAIROS is anti-Semitic, too? -- you would think that Israel is an Arab-free zone, ethnically cleansed.
No wonder KAIROS deleted her blog.
3. Who commits the violence in Israel, according to KAIROS? Any mention of the relentless terrorist attacks? The waves of Intifadas? The Palestinian children's TV shows promoting hatred against Jews and casting suicide bombers as heroes and role models? Not that I've seen so far. But there are plenty of unsubstantiated accusations that Jews are the violent ones -- religious Jews, especially:
By "settlers", Bat Shalom means (in this instance)the religion- and ideology-driven extreme nationalists who build outposts on Palestinian fields or take over buildings in Palestinian towns. Some harass their Palestinian neighbours. Such settlers are convinced all of biblical Israel belongs only to Jews, are sometimes violent, and totally protected by the Israeli army. Hence the "soldiers and settlers" combination.
Those damned Jews, those harassing Jews, those violent Jews, those Jews who bully with impunity. Gee, why would Jason Kenney imply even indirectly that these folks are anti-Semites?
4. In one of her first blog entries, KAIROS's anti-Israel boss lists their "partners" who they fund. Those are now precisely the groups that have had a fake disclaimer slapped on them in KAIROS's detoxified website.
What a bunch of liars.
I ask again what I asked the other week: if KAIROS aren't a bunch of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bigots, then why have they scrubbed their website of this crap in the face of such allegations?
Don't shut KAIROS up. Let them shout their anti-Israel hostility with pride! I rather prefered their honest anti-Israel bigotry to their fake tolerance for Jews.
Just don't make me pay for it.
UPDATE: A computer savvy reader has dug up a cached version of the deleted files! See below.
KAIROS's Twitter page is eye-clawingly boring so it's no surprise that fewer than a hundred people follow it. That pitiful number in itself is a proof point that KAIROS doesn't really represent anybody other than their own staff -- certainly not the millions of Canadian Christians in whose names they claim to operate.
Almost all of KAIROS's Tweets this past month have been self-serving whines about how they really, really deserve $7 million from the taxpayer's trough. But if you go back a bit further, you'll find weird entries like this one, which reads:
We need to mobilize again to stop the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA). Once again, the Conservatives... http://bit.ly/3KvU7H
That link leads to KAIROS's Facebook page with a comment opposing a free trade agreement, which is being considered in a bill before Parliament.
Sorry, what does that have to do with being a Christian aid agency? That bill has nothing to do with aid; it has nothing to do with Christianity. It has everything to do with walking in lock-step with Hugo Chavez, Colombia's sworn enemy, who wants to isolate Colombia, and keep it poor.
Look: KAIROS is nothing more than the NDP at prayer. Good for them. But what is the Canadian taxpayer doing giving millions of dollars to an "aid" group that is so baldly political and partisan? Why is the government funding a lobby group to lobby the government?
Most of KAIROS's Tweets are partisan lobbying like that -- mainly about global warming, actually. That's odd, for a group allegedly fighting poverty overseas. Of course, as I pointed out before, after all their political spending was accounted for, KAIROS only had 3.7% of its budget left for anti-poverty grants. That's disgusting, and grounds for them to be cut off in itself.
But that's not all I found on their Twitter page. This Tweet caught my eye:
KAIROS staff Julie Graham (Education and Campaign Program Coordinator)and Maya Johnston (Middle East Partnerships... http://bit.ly/3x2LTm
That's all it said. KAIROS's campaign boss and their Middle East boss were up to something -- and to find out more, you had to click the link. So I clicked it. And it led to a Facebook website that had been deleted.
The Tweet was published on November 19th, just two weeks before their application for $7 million was turned down. The Facebook page was yanked shortly after that, as part of KAIROS's purge of its anti-Israel and anti-Semitic web pages.
It's the high-tech equivalent of shredding everything in the corporate filing cabinet before the auditor arrives.
You wouldn't know it, if you just looked at KAIROS's Facebook page today: there's just a gap between Nov. 18 and Nov. 20.
KAIROS's webmaster, Nik Beeson (pictured at left), posted a comment on this site the other day denying he was deleting incriminating pages. I proved him wrong, and asked him to disclose all the pages he had been asked to delete. Needless to say, I haven't heard back from him.
Nik, what was on that Facebook page you took down? Why did you take it down? When did you take it down? Who asked you to take it down? And why haven't you answered my question about what else you've taken down?
Nik, do you really think such unethical behaviour is appropriate?
Then again, why would Nik answer such tough questions? $7 million is at stake.
And as Nik says on his poetic personal website
I like it.
I don't need a lot.
But I do need a little, a lot.
Nik, whatever they're paying you to lie -- a little, a lot -- it isn't worth becoming the sort of person who bears false witness.
P.S. Nik, I've saved the Tweets and Facebook pages in question to my hard drive, so there's no point in deleting those ones.
UPDATE: Sorry, Nik. It's harder to delete a web page than to shred a piece of paper.
Here's a cache of the deleted Facebook page. It refers to KAIROS's campaign boss's blog, called "Whose Holy Land?"
And here's a cache of that blog, with anti-Israel entries as late as two weeks before KAIROS's defunding.
Gee! I wonder why they'd delete those!