Tehran has rejected a recent ruling issued by Canada’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice against Iran, saying the verdict violates international law.
“This ruling contravenes the basic principles of the legal impunity of governments and their assets, and is unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday.
Justice Glenn Hainey ruled on February 8 that the Islamic Republic had to pay $300,000 in legal costs to those who claim to be victims of Iranian support for resistance groups.
The plaintiffs had sought compensation in the Ontario court under Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The verdict has given Iran 30 days to pay the sum.
Qassemi said the Islamic Republic has already conveyed its expression of formal protest to the Canadian government and reserved the right to take political and legal measures in that regard.
In June 2016, the same court ordered $13 million in non-diplomatic Iranian assets to be given to three groups of plaintiffs.
The decision was similar to US Supreme Court’s ruling in April 2016 to hand over $2 billion in Iran’s frozen assets to American families of those killed in the 1983 bombing of US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced at that time that the country had filed a lawsuit against the US with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
Earlier this month, Iran’s Presidential Office said in a statement that the lawsuit had been officially put in motion.
Washington’s seizure of Iran’s assets is against the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights which was signed by the two countries in August 1955 – referred to as the 1955 Treaty – and is “still effective,” the statement added.
A Canadian court has ruled that the government harmed thousands of indigenous children who were robbed of their cultural heritage when it took them from their families. Launched eight years ago, the lawsuit could cost the government US$1bn.
Ruling on the case on Tuesday, Justice Edward Belobaba said Canada breached its “duty of care” when the Ontario-led program forcibly removed 16,000 aboriginal children from their families and relocated them to non-indigenous homes between 1965 and 1984.
The federal initiative, which aimed to educate children on Euro-Canadian and Christian values, became known as the ‘Sixties Scoop’. An investigation into the program produced the Kimelman Report, which described it as “cultural genocide.”
“The uncontroverted evidence of the plaintiff’s experts is that the loss of their Aboriginal identity left the children fundamentally disoriented, with a reduced ability to lead healthy and fulfilling lives,” Belobaba said, as quoted by CBC.
“The loss of Aboriginal identity resulted in psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, unemployment, violence and numerous suicides.”
“There is … no dispute that great harm was done,” the judge added.
The case had stuttered for several years until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power, fulfilling an election promise that it would be revived to better the country’s relationship with its indigenous population. Tuesday’s ruling is expected to have an impact on a number of similar cases across the country.
Damages have yet to be decided upon.
National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde welcomed the decision, telling Reuters: “Children have the right to speak their language and stay connected to their heritage. Today’s decision is a step towards reconciliation.”
Marcia Brown Martel, who was taken from her native family aged four, began the class-action lawsuit against the federal government when she began searching for her roots. No information had been provided to Martel’s adoptive family on her original home, leaving her to try tracing her past from her limited memories.
Reacting to the ruling, Colleen Cardinal, who was also taken as part of the program when she was just two years old, said she was surprised with the ruling but is now confident that similar lawsuits will go the same way.
“I think the rest of the country has been waiting for this class action to be resolved, and I’m pretty sure that the rest will follow suit,” she told CBC.
Cardinal said this was a “monetary victory” but that those taken still needed support to help them heal.
A number of children taken during the program were adopted by US families, including Sydney Dion, who was denied entry to Canada when he attempted to return home as he did not have a Canadian birth certificate. He was eventually allowed to enter the country after border patrol acknowledged he was a minor when taken to the US and did not consent to becoming a US citizen.
The media is unfair to the military, according to the Chief of Defence Staff. During a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last week General Jonathan Vance slammed “very toxic narratives” in reporting on the Canadian Forces.
“If you’re paying attention to the news today, there are some very toxic narratives about the armed forces,” Vance said. “The narrative that seems to prevail right now is if you join the armed forces, you are going to be sexually assaulted, raped or you’re going to suffer from PTSD at some point and may commit suicide.”
Reporting the truth is toxic?
With the largest PR machine in the country, the CF aggressively always protects its image and promotes its worldview. As I detail in my latest book A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation, the military runs a slew of journalistic, academic and cultural initiatives. The military produces dozens of publications and its numerous websites make articles, speeches, reports and other types of information easily accessible to the public. The Canadian Forces also employs YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to promote its positions and recruit new members.
In 2010-11 the Canadian Forces admitted to spending $354 million on public relations and related military commemorations. Six hundred and sixty-one staff members worked on this effort. According to another 2011 report, the Department of National Defence’s Public Affairs department had 286 staff. Public Affairs Officers’ write press releases, organize press conferences, monitor the news, brief journalists, befriend reporters and editors, or perform various other media-related activities. A large proportion of the news stories about the military are based on CF statements and events.
But that clearly isn’t good enough for the Chief of Defence Staff. After taking charge of the CF, Vance immediately sought to reinforce their influence over news coverage of military affairs. In fall 2015, Ottawa Citizen military reporter David Pugliese revealed Canada’s top soldier’’ call for the “weaponization of public affairs.” Vance proposed a plan to induce positive coverage and deter critical reporting. Journalists producing unflattering stories about the military were to be the target of phone calls to their boss, letters to the editor and other “flack” designed to undercut their credibility in the eyes of readers and their employers.
While the “weaponization of public affairs” slogan was novel, Pugliese pointed out in a blog that “Vance isn’t the first to attempt to bring pesky journalists to heel. It was quite common for officials working for then Defence Minister Peter MacKay to phone editors of various publications to complain about reporters.”
The CF didn’t stop at complaining to journalists’ bosses. The top brass repeatedly asked the military’s National Investigative Service (NIS) to investigate reporters’ sources. In 2011 NIS investigated prominent CTV journalist Robert Fife after he uncovered documents about Chief of Defence Staff Walt Natynczyk spending over $1 million in public funds flying to hockey games and a Caribbean vacation. Pugliese described this as a blatant “intimidation tactic by the NIS against a journalist who was clearly not playing military cheerleader.”
In a similar incident, NIS spent more than a month investigating how Pugliese obtained information about a major Pacific Ocean military exercise in spring 2012. While the Ottawa Citizen defence reporter said the information came from a U.S. Navy release, which the NSI investigation ultimately supported, DND officials believed Pugliese was tipped off by a friendly Public Affairs Officer. Esprit du Corp editor Scott Taylor pointed out that the investigation had nothing to do with operational security. “No classified information was divulged. No operational security jeopardized. No Canadian sailors’ lives were put in peril as a result of Pugliese’s rather innocuous story, but [defence minister Peter] MacKay’s timetable for release [of the information] had not been strictly adhered to.”
According to Taylor, NIS was employed on at least four occasions to investigate the source of information for stories. Yet in none of these instances was classified material reported.
The military is sensitive about embarrassing leaks. A July 2014 Embassy story titled “DND points to ‘challenges’ with former soldiers talking to media” reported on ministerial briefing notes concerning the problem of “leaks.” A year earlier the CF required soldiers wounded in Afghanistan to sign a form saying they wouldn’t criticize senior officers on Facebook or other social media. Former soldiers are a concern since active CF members are restricted in what they can say publicly or post online.
An extremely centralized organization, the people at the top of Canadian Forces want to control everyone and everything.
To paraphrase a widely circulated quote: when you’re accustomed to shaping coverage, a bit of criticism can feel like a “toxic” media environment.
The massacre of Muslims in Canada at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday, January 29, raises a number of questions about what happened but also raises deep questions of morality and justice since the massacre of Muslims in Canada is rightly condemned but another massacre of Muslims, in Yemen, is shamefully and criminally condoned. In one situation, a suspect faces trial for murder and is condemned by public opinion, while in the other the guilty are treated as heroes and will receive medals. Let’s deal with the Canadian situation first.
Instead of facts we have confusion since first reports are of two figures, wearing ski masks, blasting away with Ak-47’s. Now the two are declared to be one. We have a conversation on a bridge between a “suspect” and the police, after the “suspect” is alleged to have called them “because he feels bad,” to tell them he “was involved.” What that means is not stated but is played in the press as a confession, but there is no confession. At his bail hearing on Monday, the sole accused Alexandre Bissonnette, entered no plea and said not a word.
He is portrayed in the press as a right wing oddball, a loner type. Friends and family never saw it coming. Much is made of his mundane “likes” on his Facebook site as if these indicate his guilt or innocence any more than my “likes” indicate mine. Was he a hidden ideological time bomb and killed with an objective in mind, to make a cruel statement, to create terror for political objectives? If so, and after so brazen a massacre, where were the shouts of defiance, of bragging, from this terrorist madman? Instead, a man shuffled and hung his head and dared not look anyone in the eye, tried to keep a low profile when all eyes were focused on him. Why? Is he one of the shooters? Were there two or just one?
The Toronto Star reported on the Sunday, January 30, that,
“Two attackers carried out a shooting at a Quebec City Mosque…”
Quoting Radio-Canada, the Star stated that,
“One man who was at the mosque told Radio-Canada that there were two attackers wearing ski masks who burst into the building and opened fire. The man, who didn’t want to be identified by name, said they had strong Quebecois accents, but added that he believed them shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’… The man said he narrowly escaped when a bullet whizzed over his head. He said the gunmen took aim at those who were still praying.”
There we have it, a recent direct witness statement that there were two shooters, not one, as the police now claim. The witness talks in the plural all through his statement. There can be no doubt this event is seared in his mind. He was there. There can be no doubt there were two men involved. But now one has disappeared from the official narrative. I am not surprised he feared to give his name because if killers can disappear witnesses can too.
Even the CBC, on Tuesday January 31, in reference to a witness who was arrested as a suspect by mistake, quoted that witness as stating, “I found a victim near the door. I didn’t know if he was alive or dead… when I gave him my jacket to keep warm, I saw the image of someone with a firearm. I didn’t know it was the police. I thought it was a shooter who’d returned.”
He refers to “a” shooter not “the” shooter implying there were more than one. He even thought the police officers were the shooters. But clearly he misunderstood why they were there. And the CBC article also cited the witness who saw two attackers and repeated the Radio-Canada story.
The police now state there was only one shooter. Yet the police statement from the Surete de Quebec on January 30 said, “The Surete de Quebec confirms that only one of the individuals arrested yesterday evening is connected with the attack in Quebec and is considered a suspect.” That does not exclude other attackers and does not say that Bissonnette is the only attacker. Now the press are quoting witnesses saying there was one attacker but the police state they have two long guns used in the crime. Witnesses described them as AK 47’s. They also say that a shooter also used a 9 mm pistol after his rifle jammed. The 9mm could hold 15 rounds and since more than 20 people were shot the question of two shooters does not go away.
What is the motive? Not a word on that from anyone though the media is heavy with speculation it is because of alleged right wing views. But many people in Quebec and Canada share these opinions. This is not evidence. If it was Bissonnette, was this a hate attack against Muslims and if so how did this come about? If it wasn’t, is he insane so that now he is arrested we no longer need worry? Very different scenarios cause different reactions and consequences. But we are left with the word “terrorism” as if saying it explains things. Where and how did he or they get the automatic weapons they used? Was CSIS, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service aware of any of this developing? If not, why not?
Who benefits from this crime? We know that President Trump issued an executive order banning entry of Muslims from certain countries on Friday. The Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, in reaction to the Trump travel ban, stated on Saturday,
“To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of faith. Diversity is our strength.”
One day later, on Sunday, came the message in the form of the attack that Muslims better forget Canada as a safe place to be. So, was there a political objective? If so, was it to damage Trump through the murder of innocents? Was it to slap down Trudeau and damage Canada’s reputation? Will it be another in a long string of such incidents the past few years which have been used to excuse even more draconian security laws and loss of civil rights and freedoms?
The anti-Trump media, political opponents and commentators are using it to link Trump to right wing murderers, while Trump has tried to use it to call for more security and offered Canada the help of American security services.
The Canadian media are in a frenzy putting out stories about Canada as a welcoming country that is horrified by this crime and condemning violence against Muslims. The only thing the public knows is that we do not know the whole story.
But the massacre in Quebec City was not the only massacre that took place on that Sunday. That same day American special forces invaded Yemen and carried out a series of “raids,” in reality a series of invasions of a sovereign country to kill its citizens. One of these raids was against a man they claim was a “suspected Al-Qaeda leader” their code phrase for anyone they want out of the way in the Middle East, since Al-Qaeda does not exist; it is just a label attached to any group in the middle east that resists US hegemony, or in Yemen, is part of the resistance to the US-UK sponsored war conducted by Saudi Arabia against Yemen.
This invasion of Yemen, an act of aggression against a member of the United Nations, was planned by President Obama and approved by President Trump, showing the seamless continuity of American imperialism. It was supposedly to “gather intelligence,” in the form of a computer hard drive. To obtain that hard drive, the Americans slaughtered dozens.
In one version in the US media, the American soldiers descended from their helicopters, surrounded a house, and then killed everyone in it. They then began to meet resistance and more violence ensued as the Yemenis tried to resist the American invaders. A US helicopter was shot down, and as is often the case with them, the Americans fired and bombed indiscriminately and killed, according to local media, 30 people including civilians, 8 women and children among them, and bombed a school, a medical facility and a mosque. It was reported that the Americans killed more people in Yemen in other raids that day.
This is a war crime under international law, a crime against humanity, to invade a country and kill its citizens who have every right to resist the attack. Yet where is the condemnation of President Obama for planning this operation and for President Trump for carrying it out? Where are the arrests of these two men and the soldiers who carried out this atrocity? Are they not as guilty as Alexandre Bissonnette, if indeed he is one of the attackers in Quebec? Why is it insignificant that Muslims are murdered in their homes and mosques in Yemen by a powerful state but a world tragedy when Muslims are murdered in a mosque in Canada?
Yet, as the Surete de Quebec and the other Canadian police forces and intelligence agencies carry out their activities to determine what happened in Quebec City and as the Canadian and world media put out wall to wall coverage of the massacre in Canada, the same media do nothing more than regret the death and wounding of the American murderers who carried out the massacre in Yemen and excuse this mass slaughter while the prosecutor of the ICC sits at her desk and wonders why she and the court she represents have become totally irrelevant to what seems to be a hopeless quest to prevent war crimes and the wars from which they arise and which have led directly to the crimes in Canada and Yemen.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events.
Why would one of Toronto’s leading anti-racist writers share a stage with three individuals who support an explicitly racist institution?
Recently radio host and Toronto Star columnist Desmond Cole spoke at a forum put on by the Mosaic Institute titled “Canada in a Trump World”. It was about “increased racist and xenophobic attacks” and offered a “dialogue for communities to come together for honest conversation.”
Executive director of the Mosaic Institute and head of the Canadian Jewish Congress between 2005 and 2011, Bernie Farber also spoke. So did former Executive Director of the B’nai Brith league for Human rights, Karen Mock. The chair of the event was Warren Kinsella, a former board member of the Canada-Israel Committee.
All three of these individuals have worked with or expressed support for the Jewish National Fund. An owner of 13 per cent of Israel’s land, the JNF discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel (Arab Israelis) who make up one-fifth of the population. According to a UN report, JNF lands are “chartered to benefit Jews exclusively,” which has led to an “institutionalized form of discrimination.” Echoing the UN, a 2012 US State Department report detailing “institutional and societal discrimination” in Israel says JNF “statutes prohibit sale or lease of land to non-Jews.”
In October JSpaceCanada, which Karen Mock chairs, was a “participating organization” with JNF Canada on an event honouring the life of former Israeli president Shimon Peres. Mock also sat on the board of the Canadian Peres Center for Peace Foundation, which raised funds for the Israeli-based Peres Center For Peace. In Israel the Peres Center operated a slew of projects with JNF Canada and other branches of the racist organization.
In 2001 Mock spoke at a Hamilton rally titled “Israel under siege”.
In August Warren Kinsella criticized a Green Party of Canada resolution calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to rescind the JNF’s charitable status because of its “discrimination against non-Jews in Israel.” Alongside Ezra Levant, Kinsella sat on the board of directors of the Canada-Israel Committee, whose personnel were often close to the JNF. In 2014 Kinsella approved of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, which led to the killing of 2,200 Palestinians.
For his part, Bernie Farber called the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (Independent Jewish Voices predecessor) “a rump on the edge of Jewish society” because it, among other things, called for the Canada Revenue Agency to rescind the JNF’s charitable status. During Farber’s quarter century at the Canadian Jewish Congress the organization and its personnel had many ties to the JNF. In 2015 the Consulate of Israel in Toronto co-hosted an event with Farber’s Mosaic Institute.
Should we laugh or cry at an antiracist forum put on by individuals with ties to an organization practicing discriminatory land-use policies outlawed in this country half a century ago? Does Farber, Mock and Kinsella’s support for an explicitly racist institution concern Desmond Cole or does he have an opinion about Ottawa subsidizing racist land use policies abroad?
A Canadian school has been forced to reverse its decision not to accept an Israeli student based on his nationality, reports have said.
The Island School of Building Arts (ISBA), a trade school, denied Israeli Stav Doron admission on the basis that he is Israeli.
The Jewish organisation, B’nai Brith Canada, said the student was told the institution is “not accepting applications from Israel” due to “the conflict and illegal settlement in the region”.
However, after the school was inundated with complaints and inquiries regarding the matter, including from Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the institution retracted its decision.
On its website it said: “After significant thought and listening to all interested parties, ISBA has decided to rescind any restriction placed on accepting students from Israel and apologize for any impact or inconvenience. ISBA remains acceptant to all and will continue to do so without restrictions.”
The school, which is based on Gabriola Island in Canada’s British Columbia province, specialises in the design and construction of timber structures.
Protesters in more than a dozen European states have taken to the streets in scheduled demonstrations against the yet-to-be-approved CETA trade agreement, charging it will result in the loss of jobs, lower safety standards, and grant freer rein to corporations.
“The people and the planet are not merchandise,” read a banner carried at the front of a column of demonstrators in Madrid.
In Dublin, protesters dressed as politicians from the ruling Fine Gael party handed over a “blank check” to a man dressed as a “corporation,” wearing a skull mask.
A procession of 130 tractors and as many as 18,000 people marched through the heart of Berlin before symbolically handing over a petition at the German agricultural ministry. The demonstration, organized by Germany’s Green Party and environmentally-conscious farmers wasn’t exclusively aimed at CETA, but the treaty received prominent mentions in the list of complaints.
Other notable rallies, documented on social media, were staged in Paris, Madrid and several other Spanish cities, Ourense in Portugal and Brussels.
TTIP, and TiSA, two other unratified pro-free trade treaties were also condemned.
The broad coalition of anti-globalists, environmentalists and labor movements that was behind what they called the Decentralized Day of Action against CETA, which had been negotiated for seven years, prior to being signed last October, outlined three main objections to CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
The first was regulatory harmonization between Canada and the EU which would mean goods are produced to the same standard, and can be easily imported without additional certification.
“With the excuse of improving trade between the countries, regulations designed to protect the environment, workers’ rights, public services and consumer standards, will be reduced to the minimum common denominator,” said StopCETA.net.
The second is the additional legal protection given to foreign investors.
“Multinational corporations will have the right to sue governments if laws or regulations are introduced that cause them loss of profits,” continued the organizers.
And the third argument focused on the secrecy of the treaty, which was negotiated behind closed doors, and which will need to be ratified by the European Parliament this spring, before being approved by the national legislatures of the 28 EU member states.
Proponents of CETA argue that it will boost trade between Canada and Europe by 20 percent, and annually add €12 billion to the EU economy and €8.4 billion to Canada’s economy.
After several decades in which trade barriers were removed by governments with scant consultation with the public, there’s been growing resistance to new agreements from both above and below.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a deal similar to CETA, but involving the much larger US economy, has also been met with fierce public resistance in Europe, and Donald Trump has signaled that dismantling TTIP is one of his priorities as President of the US.
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) that plans to open up the service industries of 23 mostly developed countries to foreign companies and individuals, has gone through 21 rounds of negotiations since 2013, with no final document published yet, and no deadline for the end of talks.
Is a school lesson plan widely used across Canada aimed at fighting racism like its promoters say or is it also a clever cover for defending Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East?
A recent 12-page Canadian Jewish News insert about Elizabeth and Tony Comper raises the issue. According to the supplement, in 2005 the Bank of Montreal head and his wife Elizabeth started Fighting Anti-Semitism Together (FAST), a coalition of non-Jewish business leaders and prominent individuals. FAST sponsored a lesson plan for Grades 6 to 8 called “Choose Your Voice: Antisemitism in Canada”. Over 2.4 million students in 19,000 schools have been through the FAST program. A year ago FAST added Voices into Action, an anti-racism lesson for Canadian high schoolers that devotes a third of its plan to the Nazi Holocaust in Europe.
Unfortunately, FAST does not appear to be an example of business leaders struggling for social justice. Rather, it’s part of what Norman Finkelstein dubbed the “Holocaust Industry”, which exploits historical Jewish suffering to deflect criticism of Israeli expansionism.
In its “What We Stand For” FAST calls on Canadians “to speak out against all forms of bigotry, racism and hatred”, yet the Compers’ were honoured guests at a 2009 Jewish National Fund fundraiser in Toronto. Owner of 13 per cent of Israel’s land, the JNF discriminates against Palestinian–Arab citizens who make up a fifth of Israel’s population. (What would we think of anti-racist activists who attend KKK meetings?)
In a 2006 article titled “BMO head slams one-sided Israel critics” the Canadian Jewish News reported on FAST’s Quebec launch: “Singling out Israel for blame in the Middle East conflict, even by those of good faith, is fanning anti-Semitism, Bank of Montreal president Tony Comper says. It may not be the intent, but the effect of condemning Israel alone is providing justification for hatred of Jews in Canada and internationally, Comper warned more than 400 business executives. … In underscoring the serious threat of anti-Semitism worldwide, Comper suggested that ‘a second Holocaust’ is possible if Iran acquires nuclear arms and attacks Israel.” In his speech Comper cited CUPE Ontario and the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada’s support for boycotting Israel as spurring anti-Semitism.
FAST supporters include a who’s who of the corporate elite: President TD Bank, Ed Clark; CEO of CN, Hunter Harrison; CEO of Manulife Financial, Dominic D’Allessandro; CEO of Bombardier, Laurent Beaudoin; president of Power Corporation, André Desmarais; President RBC Financial, Gordon M. Nixon and many others.
According to the Canadian Jewish News supplement, the Toronto couple also sponsored the Elizabeth and Tony Comper Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Antisemitism and Racism at the University of Haifa in Israel. The Center operates an online Ambassadors Program, which reports the paper, “gives students intellectual material and technical skills to combat online the global boycott, divestment and sanctions anti-Israel movement.”
The supplement was partly sponsored by Larry and Judy Tanenbaum. Larry was one of a half-dozen rich right-wing donors that scrapped the hundred-year-old Canadian Jewish Congress in 2011 and replaced it with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. As the name change suggests, this move represented a shift towards ever greater lobbying in favour of Israeli nationalism.
The Compers provided over $500 000 to the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Established in 2008, Larry and Ken Tanenbaum gave the U of T five million dollars and helped raise more than ten million more for the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies.
Andrea and Charles Bronfman gave over $500 000 to the Anne Tanenbaum Centre, which has close ties with the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Chair in Israeli Studies. In 1997 the Bronfman family provided $1.5 million to create an Andrea and Charles Bronfman Chair in Israeli Studies at the U of T. “Fifty years after its rebirth, the miracle of modern Israel is of broad interest,” said Charles Bronfman at the launch.
The long-standing Zionist family put up $1 million to establish a Jewish Studies program at Concordia two years later. An orchestrator of opposition to Palestinian solidarity activism at the Montreal university through the 2000s, Concordia Jewish studies professor Norma Joseph was also “instrumental” in setting up the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. In 2011 multi billionaire David Azrieli gave Concordia $5 million to establish the first minor in Israel Studies at a Canadian university. After attending an Association for Israel Studies’ conference organized by the Azrieli Institute, prominent anti-Palestinian activist Gerald Steinberg described the Institute as part of a “counterattack” against pro-Palestinian activism at Concordia.
The Israeli nationalist tilt of McGill’s Jewish studies is actually inscribed in a major funding agreement. In 2012 the estate of Simon and Ethel Flegg contributed $1 million to McGill’s Jewish Studies department partly for an “education initiative in conjunction with McGill Hillel.” But, Hillel refuses to associate with Jews (or others) who “delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel; support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the state of Israel.”
The individuals driving Jewish studies and anti-Semitism lessons in Canada overwhelmingly back Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East and encourage the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism.
Unfortunately, support for anti-Palestinian racism, along with colonialism and western imperialism, makes one question their “anti-racism” credentials.
Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.
The simple way is by ignoring them. Stop buying their publications – newspapers, magazines and other material.
Why waste good money on rubbish. Tune out their fake news broadcasts. Why put up with their antics?
If enough people follow this advice, they’ll wither, die and disappear. They feature managed news misinformation deception, not full and accurate coverage of what’s vital to know.
So far, it’s readily available from reliable independent sources, mostly online. Go there exclusively. Walk away forever from rubbish not fit to print or broadcast.
Western media never were reputable and trustworthy. In recent years, they’ve sunk to lower than ever depths – especially coverage of Washington’s geopolitical agenda, its imperial wars of aggression called humanitarian intervention and democracy building, its toppling of independent foreign leaders for pro-Western puppets, and the 2015-16 US presidential campaign, one-sidedly supporting Hillary over Trump, a disgraceful display of partisanship over unbiased reporting.
These events and numerous others display deplorable advocacy and willful deception, legitimate journalism abandoned entirely, “the media” exclusively serving powerful interests at the expense of truth and full disclosure on vital world and national issues.
One of Gerald Celente’s top 10 trends for 2017 is the fourth estate’s death, saying “(t)he daily newspaper dies in 2017. (Polls show) trust rates well below 10 percent.”
US presidential race coverage perhaps lost them all credibility. Their revenues are down, Celente explained. They’re losing money, laying off staff, dying a slow death.
Celente: “The industry is closing in on a decade of dramatic cutbacks in reporting and editing power.”
“According to estimates from The American Society of News Editors and Poynter Institute, those reductions add up to about half of all newsroom jobs being eliminated in less than 10 years.”
Expect more cutbacks, continued abysmal reporting – truth, accuracy, integrity and journalism the way it’s supposed abandoned entirely.
Celente added “when when upstart or existing alternative-news sites begin to make news, the mainstream media, taking their last breaths, will label it ‘fake news.’ “
Truth-telling today is called “fake news” or Russian propaganda. Managed news misinformation masquerades as the real thing in print and through the electronic media.
Why put up with it any longer! Walk away. Make a clean break and feel the refreshing difference – the way ex-smokers feel after licking the habit, never wanting to be hooked again.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at email@example.com. His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
US President-elect Donald Trump has announced ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state. Tillerson, who has close ties to Russia, spoke to RT back in 2012 after signing a landmark deal with Russian oil giant Rosneft.
Back then, Tillerson said that bolstering ties with Russia was vital for business. In 2012 he oversaw the singing of a partnership deal between Exxon and Rosneft to develop the Arctic’s rich untapped reserves.
“With these agreements we have a lot on our plate. But we will continue to evaluate other opportunities that might present themselves,” he told RT.
The witch-hunt against University of Lethbridge professor Anthony Hall may have just ended not with a bang but with a whimper. And it is the Israel lobby group B’nai Brith Canada, and its flunkies at the University of Lethbridge, who are whimpering.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) just issued a stinging reprimand for University of Lethbridge president Mike Mahon, a glorified gym teacher who unilaterally suspended Professor Hall without pay because he disagrees with Hall’s political views. See:
Here is CAUT’s statement:
CAUT is using extremely strong language. The statement accuses Mike Mahon of violating “all principles of due process and natural rights” and “denying… legal rights” i.e. violating the law.
CAUT is not only threatening all-out legal action, but also “imposing censure” on the University of Lethbridge. This is a formal process that amounts to a complete boycott of the University of Lethbridge by the entire Canadian academic community – a sort of scholarly BDS action. Professors would refuse to work there, students would refuse to study there, and all Canadian academicians would essentially consider that the “University of Lethbridge” no longer existed.
How could the University of Lethbridge resolve the situation? I spoke to Professor Hall this morning. He was optimistic about the long-term prospects of his academic freedom struggle, and grateful to CAUT for doing the right thing. But he also hastened to point out that Mike Mahon and others at the University had created an extremely hostile work environment for him, and that the University of Lethbridge needs to do much more than merely allowing him to return to teaching in the horrendous environment they have created for him.
By suspending Professor Hall without pay, without any form of due process, the University essentially endorsed the outrageous, libelous lies concocted by the B’nai Brith and its suspected confederates. The biggest lie, the one that launched the entire witch hunt, was a Zionist-fabricated “kill all Jews” image that was mysteriously planted on Professor Hall’s Facebook page without his knowledge. B’nai Brith and Facebook conspired to create a media scandal about the image, and despite Hall’s complete innocence, media outlets including the Lethbridge Herald and CBC labored to fabricate a spurious link between the horrific, genocidal image and Professor Hall in their coverage of the incident. Rather than reporting the truth – that Professor Hall was the innocent victim of a smear campaign – they absurdly implied that Professor Hall himself wanted to “kill all Jews” !
The genocidal image was created by a Florida-based Jewish Zionist false flag terrorist named Joshua Goldberg (who has been arrested for plotting fake “Islamic terrorism”) and then planted on Professor Hall’s Facebook page by persons unknown. Though the planted image was credited to “Glen Davidson,” an Alberta resident, Davidson says he was not the source of the image, and does not know how it came to be surreptitiously planted, under his name, on Professor Hall’s Facebook page. See:
Why would B’nai Brith and its accomplices target Professor Hall for this kind of slander operation? Presumably they disapprove of Hall’s research and public statements on various controversial issues, especially his work on false flag terrorism. (Hall has interpreted such events as 9/11 and the Ottawa capitol shooting as apparent false flag public relations stunts designed to further the Zionist war on Islam and Muslims.)
The University of Lethbridge, by implicitly endorsing B’nai Brith’s libelous big lie, has managed to tarnish Professor Hall’s reputation on campus to the point that many students and colleagues have accepted the false notion that Hall is a “genocidal anti-Semite.” Hall has suffered hostile treatment on and off campus as a result of the University’s going along with the B’nai Brith’s witch hunt.
At a very minimum, the University needs to:
*Fire president Mike Mahon and Board Chairman Kurt E. Schlachter;
*Apologize in the strongest possible terms;
*Vow to support Professor Hall’s academic freedom to study, write, and speak about any and all issues;
*And make it absolutely clear that Professor Hall has done nothing wrong, but has in fact been doing exactly what all tenured professors are implicitly required to do by virtue of their tenure: Investigate the most controversial issues and pursue the truth wherever it leads, no matter how much powerful interest groups may be displeased.
Ringed seal biologist Steven Ferguson, in a statement to a reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press, made one of the boldest predictions I’ve ever heard:
“Hudson Bay could experience its first free winter within 5-10 years.”
You heard it here, folks. It appears Ferguson thinks Hudson Bay was never ice-free in winter even during the Eemian Interglacial, when the Bering Sea was ice-free in winter – something that has not come close happening in recent years (Polyak et al. 2010:1769).
Sounds like a bit of ill-advised grandstanding to me.
The Winnipeg Free Press reported Ferguson’s claim yesterday that ringed seal numbers in Hudson Bay declined by almost 80% the spring after the late freeze-up year of 2010, as part of a non-peer reviewed conference paper he gave (so no one can see the data he’s talking about).
However, polar bear surveys were done that summer and found no decline in numbers. The mark-recapture study (Lunn et al. 2016), you will recall, surveyed only about 1/2 of Western Hudson Bay territory so their estimate of about 800 bears was invalid for comparison to previous years. An aerial survey of the entire subpopulation the same year (Stapleton et al. 2014) found about 1030 bears – statistically, no change since the last estimate in 2004 (the IUCN PBSG uses 1030 as the official population size).
Southern Hudson Bay bears also showed no decline in numbers after 2010, as indicated by a survey undertaken in 2011 and 2012 (Obbard et al. 2015, 2016). The most recent Foxe Basin survey (Stapleton et al.2015) was done just before (summers of 2009 and 2010) the supposed decline of seals in the spring of 2011.
So, if Hudson Bay ringed seals suffered a “near-catastrophic” decline in numbers in the spring of 2011 after the late freeze-up in fall 2010, there must still have been plenty of seals left to feed the polar bears that depended on them for survival.
Apparently, ringed seal numbers rebounded after the spring decline of 2011 but Ferguson either failed to say to what levels or the reporter failed to mention it.
Well yes, I guess they did recover because how else could polar bears have come ashore this summer in such spectacularly good condition if seal numbers were still profoundly low?
For perspective, have a look at this previous post on Hudson Bay seals and the effect of variations in snow cover (for which Ferguson provided much of the data).
Quotes from the WFP article:
Ringed seal population in the Hudson Bay is declining.
A near-catastrophic plunge in the population of ringed seals in Hudson Bay is being blamed on melting sea ice caused by global warming, says a study led by a Manitoba researcher.
The population has been diminished by 75 per cent since aerial surveys started 20 years ago, according to data that will be presented to the ArcticNet conference of scientists in Winnipeg this week.
Lead researcher Steve Ferguson, a scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the University of Manitoba, said global warming is causing sea ice to disappear earlier in spring and form later in the fall, and there is less of it in Hudson Bay.
And in turn, the polar bear population will suffer because seals are the main component of their winter diet. The problem is compounded, as less sea ice means the bears have less area to hunt.
Hudson Bay could experience its first ice-free winter within five to 10 years, Ferguson said
“I don’t think polar bears and seals will be able to adapt. I think they’ll just die out in places like Hudson Bay. There’s little to stop the trend in loss of sea ice, even if we stop producing greenhouse gasses,” he said.
The study’s findings portend disaster for the Arctic generally.
“Hudson Bay is the early warning area of climate change because it is so far south,” Ferguson said. “We’re seeing the changes more dramatic in Hudson Bay, and it’s showing us how the rest of the Circumpolar Arctic will be impacted.”
Ferguson said while many people believe climate change is gradual, aerial surveys reveal mammals can disappear in huge numbers in a short period of time.
After a particularly warm 2010, the seal population plunged almost 80 per cent. Seal immune systems seemed to weaken, making them more susceptible to pathogens. Some of that loss has been recovered, he said.
Aerial surveys are not really “population surveys,” but are the most accurate available indicator, and they show a definite trend. They’re done each spring by counting seals on the ice.” [my bold]
Lunn, N.J., Servanty, S., Regehr, E.V., Converse, S.J., Richardson, E. and Stirling, I. 2016. Demography of an apex predator at the edge of its range – impacts of changing sea ice on polar bears in Hudson Bay. Ecological Applications, in press. DOI: 10.1890/15-1256
Obbard, M.E., Stapleton, S., Middel, K.R., Thibault, I., Brodeur, V. and Jutras, C. 2015. Estimating the abundance of the Southern Hudson Bay polar bear subpopulation with aerial surveys. Polar Biology 38:1713-1725.
Obbard, M.E., Cattet, M.R.I., Howe, E.J., Middel, K.R., Newton, E.J., Kolenosky, G.B., Abraham, K.F. and Greenwood, C.J. 2016. Trends in body condition in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Southern Hudson Bay subpopulation in relation to changes in sea ice. Arctic Science, in press. 10.1139/AS-2015-0027
Polyak, L., Alley, R.B., Andrews, J.T., Brigham-Grette, J., Cronin, T.M., Darby, D.A., Dyke, A.S., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Funder, S., Holland, M., Jennings, A.E., Miller, G.H., O’Regan, M., Savelle, J., Serreze, M., St. John, K., White, J.W.C. and Wolff, E. 2010. History of sea ice in the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews 29:1757-1778. http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/polyak_etal_seaice_QSR_10.pdf
Stapleton S., Atkinson, S., Hedman, D., and Garshelis, D. 2014. Revisiting Western Hudson Bay: using aerial surveys to update polar bear abundance in a sentinel population. Biological Conservation 170:38-47. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713004618#
Stapleton, S., Peacock, E., and Garshelis, D. 2015. Aerial surveys suggest long-term stability in the seasonally ice-free Foxe Basin (Nunavut) polar bear population. Marine Mammal Science 32(1):181-201.