Saturday, December 10, 2011

And Then There Were Two

When the Supreme Court considers next week whether to deliver the coup de grace to Section 13 (state censorship; the NatPo's Joseph Brean has a lengthy article on the upcoming deliberations, which he calls "an epic  hate speech case"), there will likely be one less Jewish "intervenor" in attendance:
Another major recent change to the landscape of this legal battle is the demise of the Canadian Jewish Congress, a long-time Section 13 advocate that was absorbed this year into the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a more conservative group that does not share the CJC’s enthusiasm for hate speech law. Shimon Fogel, CIJA’s CEO, said the organization will not participate in a “vigorous defence” of Section 13, but he declined to comment on the CJC, which technically still exists, and acted as an intervenor at the Whatcott case at the Supreme Court.
Next week, however, it appears the CJC may no longer be an active intervenor in Warman v. Lemire. Mr. Kurz, who was to argue jointly on behalf of the three Jewish groups, said he has no instructions from either the defunct CJC or the new CIJA. He said he will inform Judge Scott that his comments are only on behalf of B’nai Brith and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies...
I can understand why Wiesenthal is still on board; when the word "holocaust" is in your title, you tend to have a knee-jerk desire to want to stop hate speech at all cost, no matter how it might impact a free society. But B'nai Brith has been on the receiving end of a fatuous "human rights" "hate" complaint. What's its excuse?

Update: According to Brean, the BB and Wiesenthal will
support the arguments of the CHRC [the Canadian Human Rights Commission]...Their arguents will also focus on the seriousness of the harm posed by hate speech, and the minimal impairment Section 13 imposes on free speech.
Those arguments are so feeble they barely have a pulse. First off, the harm posed by hack bureaucrats set up to act as the gatekeepers of acceptable (and unacceptable) speech in the land is grievous, and threatens to put an end to free speech altogether. Second, the Jews have it completely backwards. The impairment caused by a scary swastika scrawled in a public loo is minimal. Whereas the impairment caused by, say, a Mark Steyn being banned for life from ever publishing in Canada (which could have happened had that B.C. kangaroo court ruled against him) is maximal.

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