Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

B'nai Brith's efforts to shut down the "Israel/Palestine: mapping models of statehood and prospects for peace" conference seem to have hit a rough patch. Lawyers might have become involved:

Statement regarding the Conference at York University Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace

On June 12, 2009, B'nai Brith Canada issued a community alert through its listserv Jewish Canada regarding the conference. The alert set out a list of concerns including a claim that the conference would be hosting Holocaust deniers. This particular concern arose from a quote regarding Holocaust denial attributed to Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, one of the presenters and a member of the conference’s advisory committee. The quote was found by our student intern on current live websites.

It has since come to our attention that this quote was and continues to be erroneously attributed to Mr. Abunimah by such websites. The quote that we attributed to Mr. Abunimah appears in an article written by somebody wholly different than him and in no way associated with him. On learning this, we immediately corrected our records and documents, removed the mistaken information from our website and notified the universities involved. This statement is also being sent over JewishCanada.

B'nai Brith Canada regrets this specific error and apologizes to Mr. Abunimah, the conference organizers, York University, Queen’s University, and the other sponsors and funders for any confusion or distress that this mistaken attribution may have caused.

In our June 12 alert we also state that the conference was hosting presenters who “advocate for the destruction of the Jewish state,” “reject compromise” and “justify terrorism” as well as raising concern of the conference’s overall anti-Israel thrust. These concerns still stand. We arrived at these concerns as a result of quotations taken from statements made by conference presenters. The conference organizers have raised concern that these quotations were taken out of context. We will be posting links to the full text of the articles containing the quotations cited therein on our website
http://www.bnaibrith.ca/files/action_alert.htm so that the public can judge the full context of the quotations and the statements from which they were taken for themselves.

If you follow the links, which our student intern apparently did not do, the original quote was almost certainly discovered here, which attributes this piece to Mr. Abunimah. But the piece in question is pretty clearly labelled "By Khalid Amayreh".
Always clicky the linky, as they say.
Incidentally, the "Discover the Networks: A Guide to the Political Left" website also has this entry for Barack Obama in which the whole "Obama is a Muslim" myth is rehashed.
Ahh, the marvelous intertubes! I hope BB employed a few other data sources.

41 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

Holocaust denial out. Now all that's left are destruction of the Jewish state, rejection of compromise and justification terrorism.

I honestly don't know the B'nai Brats would do without York University.

Hoosbeen Farteen said...

I don't think it's any big deal that B'nai Brith issued the retraction because they misquoted someone. It's a Lot more upstanding what I've seen many other people/orgs do these days.

Bottom line is that this conference is obviously hi-jacking an academic venue and discourse to put over a propaganda trick and political agenda.

The greassy part is that we all know well in advance they're just trying to sleaze it through... pretending that it's not already a foregone conclusion that the conference is about bashing and disenfranchising Israel.

That York U. is now known as a major hotbed for these kinds of shenanigans is not exactly a tribute to the institution either.

Sadly, if this is the state of support for a Palestinian State, then it's ill-conceived. Just another anarchistic protest thing, like trying to get a cruise boat full of cement past the Israeli naval blockade. It really doesn't address the root cause of the difficulties and the conflict.

Developing dialogue with Israelis and co-projects that encourage mutual recognition would..but this is not the intention of the organizers. It's more assymetrical warfare. They're pushing for "Hamas-type" Ethnic cleansing, not co-existence.

sue930 said...

This conference is a ruse perpetrated by those who would prefer not to see a Jewish state anywhere.

That noted the B'nai Brith apology is fine but I cannot tell you how disgusted I am that the head of B'nai Brith blamed this on an "intern"!!.

Interns are brand new requiring ongoing supervision. One never lets an intern report news without checking it through a supervisor. B'nai Brith was clearly pushed for legal reasons to undertake this apology. On moral and ethical grounds it falls flat. By blaming a young intern B'nai Brith may feel that it has dodged the bullet. In my view the opposite is true. Many, like me, will now look at B'nai Brith as an organization not prepared to accept REAL responsibility and quick to lay blame on an innocent employee unable to do the right thing. For shame.

Ti-Guy said...

This conference is a ruse perpetrated by those who would prefer not to see a Jewish state anywhere.

Oh, please. A "ruse?" Don't lie, Sue. It doesn't help.

Hoosbeen Farteen said...

"Oh, please. A "ruse?" Don't lie, Sue. It doesn't help."

Nope. That was a genuine, reasonable and widely shared observation.

This asymmetrical war against the Joos has been taking many forms in recent years.

Another bullshit number being pulled today is a protest at Trader Vic's stores across the states for them stocking products made in Israel. Every Saturday a gang of assholes stands outside Chapter's bookstores here in Canada to protest the owners' educational scholarship programs for foreign students in the IDF. It's all from the same wellspring of far-left/radicasl jihadist agitation propaganda.

Just like Hitler's stormtroopers used to initimidate outside Jewish owned businesses in the 1930's during the Nazi boycotts.

But these stunts just arouse contempt for most sane people, and the Palestinian cause, whatever it was, gets buried, sidetracked or just plain dismissed out of hand when the underlying violence is exposed.

Ti-Guy said...

It's past sundown, Hoosbeen. Shlemazl's Shabat troll is not longer required.

Mitka said...

A "ruse" it certainly was not. It is however more than just a bit troubling that under the guise of an academic gathering there can be discussions on the feasibility of dismantling the Jewish state of Israel. Make no mistake that is what this "conference" is about.

On the B'nai Brith issue, there I agree with Sue, what a figgin disgrace blamiing an "intern"!!

Ti-Guy said...

It is however more than just a bit troubling that under the guise of an academic gathering there can be discussions on the feasibility of dismantling the Jewish state.

It's called academic freedom, Mitka.

"Ruse?" "Guise?" Are we going to see "fraud" soon?

crf said...

Hoosbeen Farteen, are you for real?

How many "votes" does Israel have that may be "disenfranchised" by an academic discussion among experts in a Canadian university setting?

Here's an answer: close to zero.

--
Let's be clear what has happened: B'nai Brith shot first and asked questions later. Their shot ought to have been a dud, expect we have a gutless government ready to render subservient the principles of academic freedom and procedural fairness in order, simply, to pander for votes.

It's insulting, since whatever Jewish voice their is out there, it wasn't loudly calling for this conference to lose funding it applied for.

Does the government really think Jews want this kind of response?

Ti-Guy said...

Does the government really think Jews want this kind of response?

Yes. It really thinks that. This government treats Jews as immigrants, fresh off the boat and easily manipulated, instead of a community of Canadians who been here a long time.

It's insulting.

Lakish said...

Ti-Guy I know you and others will find this hard to understand but Jews
viscerally get it. Perhaps it's well placed paranoia given the attempt
within living memory to wipe out every living Jew on earth with little done
by anyone to stop this evil. Perhaps Jews react very badly to anyone
(academic or otherwise) who put forward plans to now eliminate a Jewish
state.

I once heard MP Irwin Cotler explain it this way, at one time anti-Semitism
consisted of the attempt to make the world free of Jews (Judenrein), today
anti-Semitism consists of both this continuing attempt and with the reality
of a Jewish state less than 65 years of age a further target, making the
world free of a Jewish state (Judenstat rein). And yes with great sadness
even some Jews have for reasons only those steeped in the work of the mind
will know, are complicit in both these endeavors.

Ti-Guy, perhaps then you will forgive us Jews this touch of paranoia and if
not, well frankly we don't care.

Mitka said...

Thank you Lakish for explaining this well better than I ever could.

Maybe it needs to be a felt experience but surely with an understanding of history many here will understand the Jewish concern when those (well-meaning and otherwise) begin to question the need for a Jewish state.

Hoosbeen Farteen said...

"begin to question the need for a Jewish state?"

Sorry, but the cows have long since left the barn. The syndrome is well entrenched with the Israel Apartheid knuckleheads, who have their annual hatefests now on a number of Cdn. campuses and perhaps the sickest travesty yet, coming next week, will be a display of intolerance at Gay Pride week in Toronto. Here's a story..

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/06/10/martin-gladstone-pride-parade-gives-ground-to-anti-israel-gong-show.aspx

The comments are quite telling:

"...Radical leftwingers have joined forces to spread anti-semitism can we really be surprised they've infiltrated the gay community and hyjacked (sic) it with their overt anti-semitism under the guise of caring about Palestine? NOPE...."

Mitka said...

Hoosbeen Farteen your interventions here are not helpful. The LGBT community is almost fully supportive of Israel. That one Queer group wants to try and disrupt what will otherwise be a great day is not and must not be construed as prevelant amongst the LGBT community.

Join KULANU (Jewish Gay and Lesbian group) next week and march (gay or straight) as a proud Jew.

Ti-Guy said...

Ti-Guy, perhaps then you will forgive us Jews this touch of paranoia and if
not, well frankly we don't care.


Oh, I know you don't care. Fortunately, you have no special claim on how academic freedom in this country is exercised. If you think you do, you're deluded and authoritarian.

I'm also become rather less sympathetic to these attempts to send every last gentile on a guilt trip every time this issue is brought up. I *do not* feel any collective guilt for the Holocaust. Get that through your head.

admin said...

I'm sure they'll saw all those A-rab names look alike.

Hoosbeen Farteen said...

admin said...

I'm sure they'll saw all those A-rab names look alike.
=========

That's a clean miss, MJ.
Lots of Jews have Arabic sounding names. Including my relatives.
Nearly 900,000 Jews were expelled as indigent refugees from Arab countries in the wake of Israel's independence.

Ti-Guy: I'm shocked you didn't say "so-called Holocaust."

Mitka: You missed my point altogether, and if I was LGBT, I'd feel betrayed that Jewish or not, my parade was hijacked for some idiots to make a cheap political and intolerant stunt.

Ti-Guy said...

I'm shocked you didn't say "so-called Holocaust."

Bite me, fascist. I spent two years in Germany visiting concentration camps and being exposed to still extent xenophobia among the Germans. I don't question for a second that the Holocaust happened.

I used to be fond of the saying "Given human nature, it's astonishing Holocausts don't happen more often." Now, since Rwanda I don't that astonishing at all.

The only thing that is astonishing (although less and less with each passing day)was to discover how viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic Jewish people can be.

Mitka said...

"The only thing that is astonishing (although less and less with each passing day)was to discover how viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic Jewish people can be."

This is nothing short of an anti-Semitic statement. Ti-Guy finds a few Jews not to his liking and with this above line he generalizes that dislike to all Jews everywhere. That my friend is pure bigotry, something I expect to find on the cave-dwellers blogs not here.

Ti-Guy said...

This is nothing short of an anti-Semitic statement.

How dare you? I was just called a holocaust denier by some homophobe with a pseudonym mocking Arabs and you try to claim that not exempting Jewish people from the racism, bigotry, chauvinism that is simply human nature is anti-Semitic?

No, Mitka. That's anti-Semitic.

But keep at it. Its loses force with each scurrilous iteration.

Hoosbeen Farteen said...

Sorry Mitka, but rejects like our little friend here are sadly becoming more the case than the exception on the politically active left I have found.

Tragically, I have seen this "Ti-Guy" defending Cdn. human rights legislation commenting on other blogs, which would ordinarily suggest sensibility and compassion, even intelligence.

But he gives Jews and Israel an exemption. It's like selective blindness. Whatever.

Look at this...doesn't like the way the conversation's going so calls me homophobic. No knowledge no substantiation.

Kid stuff.

sue930 said...

Ti-guy, your righteous anger is me-ningless. Mitka, sad to say, is correct. You have engaged in bigotted behaviour. When you apply a negative stereotype of a limited few within a minority group to that entire minority then you engage in bigotry.

Let's examine what you wrote:

"The only thing that is astonishing (although less and less with each passing day)was to discover how viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic Jewish people can be."

You have run into some Jews you consider "viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic" and you apply that to all Jewish people. Ti-Guy that's bigotry that's anti-Semitism. And if you can't recognize it yourself you are the poorer for it.

Liona Campbell said...

Tiguy, I see Sue and Mitka's point. As a non-Jew I must say I bristled when you wrote that statement. I mean imagine if you wrote the following:


"The only thing that is astonishing (although less and less with each passing day)was to discover how viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic Black people can be."

Would that also be OK? Come on Tiguy, you screwed up. Acknowledge it and move on.

Ti-Guy said...

You have run into some Jews you consider "viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic" and you apply that to all Jewish people.

I apply that to *all* people. And it's sheer hypocrisy to pretend otherwise. I was simply stating that, given the experience of Jewish people, I'd always assumed that racism, bigotry and chauvinism were bigger cultural taboos than they are among other people.

Anyway, we're getting bogged down in that all-too-familiar morass. Maybe to move this discussion forward, should be looking at assigning a rating on an index of antisemitism based on expression and behaviour that can be empirically observed. I'm finding the accusation too coarse and blunt and an affront to my appreciation of science and nuance.

Ti-Guy said...

Did someone's Megaphone go off?

Ti-Guy said...

Liona:

"The only thing that is astonishing (although less and less with each passing day)was to discover how viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic Black people can be."

I've said *that* before as well. To black people. I was never called a racist for it. In fact, it was acknowledged that no one is exempt from racism, bigotry and chauvinism.

But let the denunciations continue. I'm perfectly bored right now.

bigcitylib said...

Liona, actually they can be. Nastiness is a species wide trait.

And, more generally, let me just say that the "one state solution" has been under discussion for literally as long as I've been alive. There is nothing inherently anti-semitic, anti-Israel in it, even if it isn't really on the table as a practical option.

As one of the guys attending the conference has said, "We're all academics here." I would assume that any discussions there will be conducted civilly if passionately.

The academics at York aren't nearly as bone-headed as your typical student (if you can hold a fork, you can go to York). I know; I went there 20 years ago.

Ti-Guy said...

if you can hold a fork, you can go to York.

I love those aphorisms. Another is "If you can walk and talk, you can go to Brock."

Chapel said...

Ti-Guy you are wrong, pure and simple. You generalized a trait from some Jews you met to all Jews. Its wrong. Can you not simply accept the fact that you fucked up? And if you had said it about Blacks or Muslims or Asians you would still be wrong.

Of course people from all cultures can be assholes but to have specific expectations of one group above all others is wrong. Get over it, apologize and move on.

About the conference, BCL, yes some minor asshats have been spewing forth a "one-state solution" since the day Israel was born. They were Jew-haters who did that. Basically did not want Jewish state in a Muslim area... wanted it to be as someone elegantly put it here a mid-east "free of Jews". No one paid much attention...till now...now academics are debating a "Jew-free" middle-east...who would have believed it barely a generation or two after the Holocaust (sorry TiGuy if that offends your sensibilities)...Come on folks show some of that legendary sensitivity we liberal/progressive types claim to possess, if you were Jewish would you not be frightened by the movement of a "Jew-Free" middle east (make mo mistake that is what a one state solution really will mean)from the fringes to the mainstream? Get a handle people!!

Ti-Guy said...

Ti-Guy you are wrong, pure and simple. You generalized a trait from some Jews you met to all Jews. Its wrong. Can you not simply accept the fact that you fucked up? And if you had said it about Blacks or Muslims or Asians you would still be wrong.

Someone's megaphone did go off.

Tell, me "Chapel"...how were you alerted to this post?

By the way...whatever happened to Georganne Burke?

Chapel said...

Ti-Guy turn off your paraanoia bells. Mitka is a chat buddy and he asked me if maybe he was wrong and you were right. Those who know me and have seen my blog (which sadly i was unable to keep up...chapelviews its still there btw) will know my political heart is well placed.

Ti-Guy on most topics you and I see the world pretty much the same. Here you are wrong, nothing more to say.

Ti-Guy said...

That's not an argument. That's an assertion. And you just repeated what Mitka said, anyway, so you have wasted your time. Besides, according to Jennifer Rubin, Andrew Sullivan is the anti-Semite du jour.

By the way, I rarely retract anything, so you needn't bother in future (and guaranteed, you'll feel moved to). As BCL has found out, it's only used later for additional defamation.

Dr.Dawg said...

"The only thing that is astonishing (although less and less with each passing day)was to discover how viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic Jewish people can be."

You have run into some Jews you consider "viciously racist, bigoted and chauvinistic" and you apply that to all Jewish people.


Good God. I don't see the word "all" anywhere in Ti-Guy's comment. But let's be blunt: Israel cannot be criticized, and no single Jew can be criticized, without the inevitable screechy sub-cortical, routinized response of "anti-Semitism" from shlemazl's dittoheads.

Ti-Guy is right: every group of people includes those who express vicious racism, bigotry and chauvinism. He was making the observation--one that I, too, abandoned many years ago--that he once thought that Jews, because of the Holocaust, might be more sensitive and humane in their treatment of others.

They are not. They are exactly the same as any other people. Suffering does not enoble.

And this statement, I know, galls. We are told not to hold Israel to a higher standard than other nations--that to do so is anti-Semitic. But when we hold the state of Israel to the exact-same standard--well, you guessed it.

The conference was looking at a one-state solution. That doesn't mean ethnic cleansing. It might mean no more than giving Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians. After all, Israel has effectively annexed their land already. Canada eventually gave voting rights to Native people. But of course that was safer, given the relative numbers involved.

The issue is worth discussing. Instead, there has been massive, bone-headed prejudgment, with B'nai Brith leading the charge, and a granting agency's independent peer review system compromised because of it.

I would close with this question: if a country decided to call itself a Black state, or a White state, wouldn't we get a little fidgety? Even a "French" state (rather than "France") or a "German" state (rather than "Germany") would set the ol' alarm bells ringing, at least for me. But it seems perfectly acceptable for Israel, once again, to be the exception here. Whatever happened to those universal standards?

Hoosbeen Farteen said...

Back to your swamp, Mr. Dawg,

There's the small matter of academic misrepresentation of this little tea party. Initially billed and sold to its gov't funders as a conference that would examine ALL sides of this contentious middle east issue, surprise surprise, the only EXPERTS we're getting are those, who like yourself, specialize in why Israel has no right to exist and the Jews alone among all of the people on this earth have no right to a sovereign state of their own.

So we're back to the two usual things we see with this wonderful left wing antisemitism

1) fraudulent misrepresentation

2) Jihadist/leftist rejectionism of the existence of one majority Jewish state in the world.

And yes there are lots of countries that define themselves religiously.

Of course you can't be expected to remember that Vatican City is "exclusively" Roman Catholic. The Buddhist Republic of Bhutan is substantially Buddhist and the Islamic Republic of Saudi Arabia is Moslem.

We don't hear you or yours griping about how they are illegitimate and apartheid-like and all the terrible things they do to defend their borders or the integritry of their national existence.

So anyone who doesn't fall in line with your tortured reasoning is a

Shlemazel dittohead?

Is that some kind of nice new code name for Joo-luver?

Ti-Guy said...

Initially billed and sold to its gov't funders as a conference that would examine ALL sides of this contentious middle east issue...

Source?

Chapel said...

Dawg, Im surprised at you quite honestly. We can have differences of opinion on this conference but bigotry is bigotry...even if unintended.

The word "all" need not be there. It is easily understood in the context of what Ti-Guy wrote. Why is he surprised that "Jewish people" can be, whatever? Jews are like anyone else so attributing special expectations to Jews is in itself a prejucide now isn't it?

Ti-Guy never retracts, fine with me. He will be known by the words he writes and the mature (or immature ) manner in which he deals with his writing. You Dawg though I have not always agreed with your views, I expected more from.

Ti-Guy said...

Jews are like anyone else so attributing special expectations to Jews is in itself a prejucide (sic) now isn't it?

It is. And one I have been disabused of. So instead of denouncing me as worse than Hitler, you should be rejoicing.

Chapel said...

Ti-Guy, you have completely lost it. No one here has "denounced you worse than Hitler". Such gross exagerrations does much damage to your credibility.

Ti-Guy said...

I was being sarcastic...

*rolls eyes*

Dr.Dawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr.Dawg said...

I think there was once a naive belief that Ti-Guy and, admittedly, myself, once held: that suffering does enoble. And so we expected--and I admit this was wrong, although I reject the notion that it was anti-Semitic--that Jews, as a people, would be somehow better than people who had not passed through the fire as they have done.

Ti-Guy is right to have awakened from that dream, and so am I. But saying that we have become realistic doesn't make us either cynical or anti-Semitic. We at this point expect precisely the same of Jews as a group as we do of any other group. But somehow that, too, makes us bigots.

BCL, you might consider taking out the trash here, by the way, by banning the racist "Hoosbeen Farteen" from the premises.

But he does raise an interesting point in the midst of his spittle-flecked denunciations: does "Jewish" refer only to a religion, like "Muslim" or "Buddhist?" There's a lot of mischief in these floating signifiers...