Antisemites, useful idiots, or simple fools? For more pictures of crazy leftists exposing their dangerous pathologies in Montreal and Ottawa, check out this blog posting from socialist blogger YayaCanada.
From the sometimes-confounding-but-always-provocative (and hilarious on the radio) Michael Coren, comes this review of Saturday’s Jew-hating bile-fest of society-hating leftists outside Chapters-Indigo bookstores across Canada (from The National Post, Monday, June 11, 2007):
TORONTO -It was a scene eerily reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s: protestors outside a Jewish-owned store warning anyone attempting to enter and spend their money that the premises were owned by a certain type of person. Seventy years ago, the hysterical zealots were Nazi brown-shirts, and they had no qualms about screaming, “Jews, Jews!” On Saturday the boycotters outside several branches of Chapters-Indigo bookstores were overwhelmingly of the far left and referred to “Zionists, Zionists!” But the message was the same. Don’t buy here. These people are? well, you know.
Actually, these people are Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, who may well be Canada’s most high profile Jewish couple. They also dare to support the Heseg (Achievement) Foundation, which gives scholarships to lone Israeli soldiers. In other words, men and women who’ve lost their families or whose relatives live elsewhere are given financial help and grants to help them attend university. The money does not purchase arms and has no military purpose. It is purely humanitarian and often goes to the least privileged.
In fact, several beneficiaries have become leaders in the field of social services, conducting aid to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians as well as Israeli Jews in need. But facts should never get in the way of a protest. Which is not only daft but extraordinarily lazy, because only a few minutes walk away from various Chapters-Indigo stores (in Toronto, for instance) are embassies and businesses owned by Arab states directly supporting all sorts of lovely policies. Genocide in Darfur in Western Sudan. The arrest and torture of homosexuals, Christians and labour and feminist leaders. The routine persecution and killing of Palestinians.
Does one detect the stink of anti-Semitism in the double standard? Not at all, respond the organizers of the boycott. There were, they argue, Jews on the picket line. Which is true. A few. Just as there were blacks that supported the South African apartheid government. To highlight a tiny, massively unrepresentative minority within a targeted ethnic group is not only fraudulent but, at heart, racist.
Ironically, if the comrades did enter a Chapters-Indigo they would see a large number of books by some of the harshest critics of Israel, with Jimmy Carter’s ill-informed anti-Zionist polemic on a major display stand. It’s worth noting that there are very few bookstores in the Arab world that stock volumes supporting Israel. For that matter, there are thousands of such shops throughout the Arab, Persian and wider Muslim world that sell books alleging Jews drink the blood of Gentile babies and that the Holocaust is a myth. No boycotts there, however.
Indeed, the only time the Chapters-Indigo chain did take a political stance was when it refused to sell the 2006 edition of The Western Standard magazine that ran the famous Danish cartoons of Muhammad. The implied link between the founder of Islam and a doctrine of violence so outraged his peace-loving followers that they shot an elderly nun in the back, fire-bombed a few churches and promised in demonstrations throughout the world to behead anyone who opposed their religion.
The decision to not carry that issue of the magazine was made, presumably with the support of the terrible Zionist owners now being attacked, because the cartoons in question were considered to be offensive to Muslims. Obviously, they were. But that means that Muslims rather than cartoons should change. Whatever the merits of the case, it shows Reisman and Schwartz to be extremely sensitive to
Islamic sensibilities. None of this appeared to matter on Saturday.
As ultimately risible as Saturday’s spasm of Marxist angst may have been, the international attempt by an unholy alliance of Islamic militants, leftist extremists and pure anti-Semites to boycott the Jewish state should not be ignored. In Britain, both the National Union of Journalists and the University and College Union have recently passed boycott motions.
Both cases illustrate the sheer hypocrisy of the boycott kings. British journalists behaved thus even though a BBC reporter is still a kidnap victim of Gaza Palestinians. They also know full well that while there is an energetically free press in Israel there is enormous state censorship in most Arab countries, including Palestine.
British academics passed their motion while a group of Arab students who attend Israeli universities, supported by Palestinian professors, lobbied the union conference and told delegates that Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where they have complete intellectual freedom and that there are huge numbers of Arabs at Israel’s places of further education. They were, naturally, ignored.
So none of this is rational or fair. But rationality and fairness do not always win the day. The book on the ugly boycott campaign is still wide open or, to put it another way: The last chapter, is yet to be written. Think clearly and, well, spend wisely.
Sums it up far better than I ever could.