Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Defence of Zionhass

An Al Jazeera opiner (with the Harlequin Romance-y sounding name of Jillian Kestler-D'Amours) bristles at a Canadian inquiry which pegged Zion-loathers as Zion-loathers. She claims in so doing Canada has signalled its intention to curtail free speech for the sake of Israel (which, come to think of it, is evidence of her Zionhass, no?):
In its final report, the CPCCA made about two dozen recommendations on how best to fight anti-Semitism in Canada. While the report states that "criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is wrong", it also found that "singling Israel out for selective condemnation and opprobrium … is discriminatory and hateful" and many of its recommendations deal with combating this "new anti-Semitism".
A major recommendation issued by the CPCCA was that the Canadian government should promote the working definition of anti-Semitism used by The European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). This definition categorizes "applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation" as anti-Semitic.
In other words, the CPCCA is supporting a definition whereby individuals who focus their attention on Israeli human rights violations, yet don't level an equal amount of condemnation on other states for their human rights violations, can be labeled as anti-Semitic. This is obviously problematic since Palestine solidarity activists - like any other people - have commitments that make it impossible to engage with every issue they are otherwise interested in. They shouldn't be labeled as anti-Semitic due to their inability to participate in every single human rights struggle happening around the world.
Another dangerous recommendation made by the CPCCA was that Canadian university administrators should condemn "discourse, events and speakers which are untrue, harmful, or not in the interest of academic discourse, including Israeli Apartheid Week". Even the use of the word "apartheid" in relation to Israel is anti-Semitic, the CPCCA found, since it amounts to the "denial of the Jewish people their right to self- determination ... by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor".
This clearly violates freedom of speech and an open exchange of ideas at Canadian universities, and also unfairly and inaccurate labels Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) as anti-Semitic. In reality, IAW has since 2005 brought together respected activists, academics, journalists and cultural figures from around the world, including Judith Butler, Ronnie Kasrils, Noam Chomsky and Ali Abunimah, among others, to openly discuss ideas related to Israel/Palestine.
The Zion-loathers who, after all, drape themselves in the mantle of "humanitariasm" and "social justice" and even, heaven help us, "tikkun olam," hate when you point out that their love for "Palestine"/loathing of Israel is excessive, obsessive and downright kooky. A great reason to keep it up, I think.

1 comment:

Paul said...

.... have you noticed that in both the NP item from Faculty 4 Palestine and this bit from Al JaZero, the official name of the report "The Ottawa Protocol" is NOT referenced.

Seems like The Ottawa Protocol is already having a desired effect of flushing out the rabid rats out of their infested darkened holes.

It would be interesting to know just who of the 450 faculty members are behind Faculty 4 Palestine though. No list is posted on their web site, cowards that they are.