I half-missed this exchange when it occurred last week, but since it illustrates my general theme--that Ezra scrupulously avoids anything resembling facts when they impede the thrust of his "Human Rights Supporters Are All Corrupt/Unpatriotic/Criminal" narrative, I thought I would take a crack at it now.
On June 15th, the TO Star's Haroon Siddiqui published "Free Speech Cannot Be An Excuse For Hate", in which he, among other things, interviewed the CJC (Canadian Jewish Congress) executive director Bernie Farber. Part of the article reads as follows:
But freedom of speech is not absolute. "Except for the U.S., virtually every Western democracy has laws against hate," notes Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress. "Our anti-hate laws are probably the most underused."
The Supreme Court has upheld those laws. Jewish, gay and other groups have long advocated their use. Few Canadians complained. But now that Muslims are, many are.
"That's really what it's about," Farber told me. "When non-Muslims were using it, nobody really cared.
"People need scapegoats. It used to be Jews. Now it's Muslims, to a great extent. Tomorrow, it may be Bahais or somebody else ...
"People should focus on the law, not on those using it. If the complaint is frivolous, the system will deal with it."
And that's it.
However, these lines must have sent Ezra into extended convulsions, because almost two weeks later he responded with "Bernie "Burny" Farber converts to Islam".
On the basis of this one brief interview, Ezra accuses Farber of "coming out in solidarity" with Mohamed Elmasry. He also seems to think that Farber is arguing that critics of Elmasry's complaint against Maclean's are all "Islamophobic".
These charges are clearly ridiculous, unless Farber intends that the epithet should apply to himself. He has several times criticized the Macleans/Mark Steyn complaint, going so far as to say on one occasion that
The commission's investigation of Steyn shows it has lost sight of the legislation's original purpose and the narrow fence it establishes against truly discriminatory speech.
As to the further content of Farber's remarks in the Star column, his statements seem to lie within the realm of the bleeding obvious. For example, Ezra has never even mentioned, let alone fulminated against, the Human Rights complaints charged to the Alberta PC Party by Ron Leech and Craig Chandler on the grounds that Chandler and Leech have been discriminated against for their Christian beliefs. And in fact this very morning he applauds a number of clearly frivolous complaints launched by White Nationalist Marc Lemire over the years.
But when a couple of Muslims attempt to access the same system, his head explodes... What does that tell you?
Ezra's other major contention, that Farber has "become subservient to radical Islam", is at least as ridiculous as the rest. It is founded on a number of stories re alleged Canada-based Hezbollah sleeper cells that Farber was asked to respond to. What he said was:
"They've known about this alleged threat for a while, they've investigated it, and they've told me categorically that while the chatter is out there, and it has been for a while, there is nothing to lead them to believe that there's anything imminent or that in fact the chatter is real..."
... which reads to me, and I think most reasonable people, like a leader of Canada's Jewish community calming the waters over the possibility of an allegedly "imminent" terror attack. To Ezra, however, this smacks of surrender.
If you're not 100% with Ezra, you're agin' him, it seems, and as such deserve no end of sleaze and slander.