Canada’s Effort to Criminalize Criticism of Israel
By Seriously Free Speech | February 11, 2010
Israel’s siege of Gaza has made it a “closed zone” – no access, no exit, cut off from the world. By attempting to shut down criticism of Israel’s practices, Canadian supporters of the government of Israel are creating another “closed zone” in Canada – in which criticism, open debate, and freedom of expression will not be allowed.
Who is doing this? Quietly, without authority from Parliament, an all-party group which calls itself the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA) has been formed to investigate antisemitism in Canada. Not antisemitism as it is traditionally understood: discrimination against or denial of the right of Jews to live as equal members of society. (Members of this Coalition are well aware that traditional antisemitism exists only among fringe groups in Canada.)
Instead, their focus is on something they label as the “new antisemitism” — which they define as criticism of the State of Israel!
WHAT IS THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENTARY COALITION TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM?
Whenever criticism of Israel increases, as it did in the wake of Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon and after the 2009 Gaza massacre, organizations supporting the State of Israel insist that this is a symptom of a “new antisemitism”. This argument is designed to deflect attention from Israel’s real crimes by smearing those who criticise Israel.
The CPCCA, which is integral to the effort to protect Israel from criticism, was formed in March, 2009. It is comprised of twenty-two Parliamentarians, including members of all four parties in the House of Commons. Jason Kenney, the Harper government’s Minister of Citizen, Immigration and Multi-Culturalism and the Conservative government’s point person on Israel, and Irwin Cotler, former Liberal Justice Minister and long time supporter of Israel, are ex-officio members. (For a full list of committee members and more details on this committee go to http://www.cpcca.ca)
The CPCCA was publicly launched on June 2, 2009 with a call for written submissions “to consider evidence on the nature of antisemitism….and consider further measures that might be usefully introduced”. It received more than 150 submissions. Contrary to commitments made by CPCCA’s executive director Monica Kugelnass, however, most of these submissions have not been posted on its website. Nor has the CPCCA fulfilled its commitment to reveal the source of its funding.
CREATING A CLOSED ZONE IN CANADA*
Seriously Free Speech Committee Honourary Members Include: Ali Abunimah Tariq Ali Dr. Federico Allodi The Rev. Robert Assaly Omar Barghouti Michael Byers Noam Chomsky Libby Davies VANCOUVER – In a direct attack on freedom of expression, media giant Canwest has launched an unprecedented civil lawsuit against Vancouver-area activists for “conspiring” to *Yani Goodman, The Closed Zone, animation on the seige of Gaza, http://www.closedzone.com
WHAT IS THE CPCCA UP TO?
The CPCCA began public hearings in Ottawa on Nov. 2, 2009. Almost without exception, none of the many organizations that submitted briefs critical of the CPCCA’s mandate or which criticized the notion of a “new antisemitism” were invited to make presentations to the inquiry panel. Meanwhile, representatives of organizations which did not submit briefs, including university presidents and representatives of police departments, were called as witnesses. Clearly the CPCCA anticipated that these submissions would support their preordained conclusion that the new antisemitism was a large and growing problem in urgent need of legislative response.
The CPCCA will issue a report at the conclusion of these hearings and “anticipates that the Government will respond to this report no later than the fall of 2010″. The Coalition’s stated objective is to include criticism of Israel in an expanded version of existing Hate Crimes legislation. In addition, consideration is being given to doing something similar with respect to Canadian Human Rights legislation. Canada, viewed by Israel as one of its strongest supporters, could then provide a model for similar legislative undertakings in other countries.
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
The essence of the “new antisemitism” campaign is an attempt to conflate discrimination against Jews – something which is as illegitimate as any other form of racism and discrimination and must be opposed – with criticism of the State of Israel, its actions, or its governing ideology, Zionism. It is the view of CPCCA ex-officio member Irwin Cotler, Israel is “the collective Jew among nations.” From this perspective, criticizing Israel is the same as discriminating against Jews.
At a time when racism and bigotry against many communities in Canada — First Nations, Muslims, South Asians and Chinese, Haitians among them – constitute a much greater problem than antisemitism, it is not clear why the Coalition has chosen to focus its attention solely on the latter.
The CPCCA accepts some criticism of Israel may be legitimate. But it also declares that criticism of Israel as a Jewish State – rather than a state where all citizens enjoy equal rights – is inherently antisemitic. That calling Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens apartheid is antisemitic. And that supporting the growing international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign by those determined to change Israel’s behaviour is antisemitic.
Ironically if this expanded definition of antisemitism becomes legislation, it will be possible to criticize the actions of the Canadian government but not those of the government of Israel. Just the fear of being prosecuted is likely to create a “chill” on both university campuses and in the media. But why should Israel be the one country in the world we are not allowed to criticize?
Moreover, branding those who criticise Israel as “antisemitic” is part of a campaign to help organizations such as the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and B’nai Brith — which provide uncritical support for Israel – put themselves forward as the only legitimate representatives of Canadian Jews. While there are many Jewish organizations and individuals, both within Israel and throughout the world, whose views on Israel differ dramatically from those of the CJC and B’nai Brith, the CPCCA is not interested in hearing from those voices.
The SFSC insists that criticizing Israel is not antisemitic and that restricting debate on the illegal occupation of Gaza and the apartheid nature of Israel society will only allow the continued oppression of the Palestinian people and make a mockery of political free expression in Canada. If we keep silent about the CPCCA, even a document like the one you are reading may ultimately be considered illegal.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
• Become informed. Go to seriouslyfreespeech.wordpress.com/cpcca/ to learn more about the CPCCA and read submissions by the Seriously Free Speech Committee and other organizations.
• Send us your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and be kept up-to-date.
• Contact your MP and tell them you are opposed to their parties participating in the CPCCA.
• Help us spread the word about the CPCCA. Invite us at email@example.com to speak to your union, community group or church.
CPCCA Working Group of the Seriously Free Speech Committee, PO Box 57112, RPO E. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V5K 1Z0
Website: www.seriouslyfreespeech.ca Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
53 Comments »
or go to
From the Archives
By James F. Tracy | Global Research | January 31, 2014
Today a good deal of what qualifies as propaganda is much more subtle than overt. When an entire civilization or way of life is to be significantly altered the tried-and-true method of “repeating a lie until it becomes truth” needs to be done over a period of many years and in a multitude of varying ways to take hold and change the very assumptions and beliefs of a people.
This process is especially vital for reaching a given society’s more elite demographic—the opinion leaders who perceive themselves as “smarter than the average bear” and thus impervious to simple appeals and indoctrination.
A case in point is the agenda backed by powerful global elites and recognizable under names such as “climate change” and “sustainability.” … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Final journal from Gaza September 17, 2014
- Israeli settlers attacked internationals and a Palestinian shepherd September 15, 2014
- Israel army cuts electricity to Kufr Qaddum, six villagers dependant on oxygen machines evacuated to hospital September 14, 2014
- Gaza beach massacre commemorated by child survivors September 10, 2014
- The arrest of Burin activist Ghassan Najjar September 10, 2014
- Ukraine Truce or Trojan Horse: Retreat, Re-Armament and Relaunch September 12, 2014
Looking for something?
TagsAfghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar American Civil Liberties Union American Israel Public Affairs Committee Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Britain Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia East Jerusalem Egypt European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Fukushima Gaza Germany Gilad Atzmon Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency International Middle East Media Center International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Ma'an Middle East National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian prisoners in Israel Police Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia South America Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela West Bank Zionism
Visits Since December 2009
- 1,869,517 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Indictment in case of US citizen beaten by Israeli soldiers an anomaly September 18, 2014
- Forget Pinkwashing; Israel Has a Lavender Scare September 18, 2014
- Occupy group abolishes nearly $4 million in student loan debt September 17, 2014
- Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes September 17, 2014
- Who’s Your Daddy, ISIS? September 17, 2014
- Obama’s Ebola military operation raises concern in Africa September 17, 2014
- Obama’s Lonely Climate Summit – world leaders are staying home September 17, 2014
- Who is Behind the Islamic State Beheadings? Probing the SITE Intelligence Group September 16, 2014
- Abbas’ spurious charges September 16, 2014
- Poll: Only 10 percent of Gazans would vote for Abbas in presidential election September 16, 2014
- PCHR: Gaza detainees underwent ‘torture’ in Israeli custody September 16, 2014
- Ukraine and EU ratify landmark Association Agreement September 16, 2014
- US-led military drill begins in western Ukraine September 15, 2014
- EU members purchased oil from ISIL: Official September 15, 2014
- Israeli settlers attack internationals and a Palestinian shepherd September 15, 2014
- Secret Law is Not Law September 15, 2014
- Johannesburg university issues ban on Israeli students and academics September 15, 2014
- TSA Not Sure If It Groped Man Before Flight, Demands To Grope Him After Flight Is Over September 15, 2014
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.