Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jason Kenney: I Didn't Say What I Just Said...

...and anyone who says I did is lying. From today's Star:

I did not accuse KAIROS of being anti-Semitic. What I said was that KAIROS has taken "a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (against Israel)."

From the origonal speech (which I have not seen reproduced in its entirety anywhere else). the bolding is mine:

Almost at the same time that Prime Minister Harper was visiting Chabad House in Mumbai, anti-Semitic fanatics in his home city, my home city of Calgary, Alberta were spray painting anti-Semitic graffiti on the Jewish Community Centre, Jewish homes, on public transit installations and indeed, spray painting swastikas on our city’s Holocaust memorial. Some of this graffiti called for the end to the Israeli genocide in Gaza -- "Stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza.

What Prime Minister Harper witnessed in Mumbai, what happened at the same time in Calgary, were practical expressions of the new anti-Semitism. Even though Canada is celebrated around the world as being a successful model of mutual coexistence and tolerance, we too have seen a troubling increase in incidents of anti-Semitism. B’Nai Brith Canada publishes the authoritative registry of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada. In 2008, they received reports of 1,135 incidents of anti-Semitic instances, the highest number recorded in 28 years of the study, an increase of 8.9% over 2007.


So how have we addressed these growing incidents of anti-Semitism? Well first of all, on the domestic level, our government has worked with the Jewish community to begin a program of recognizing our own history of official anti-Semitism.


We have articulated and implemented a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. What does this mean? It means that we eliminated the government funding relationship with organizations like for example, the Canadian Arab Federation, whose leadership apologized for terrorism or extremism, or who promote hatred, in particular anti-Semitism.

We have ended government contact with like-minded organizations like the Canadian Islamic Congress, whose President notoriously said that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets for assassination. We have defunded organizations, most recently like KAIROS, who are taking a leadership role in the boycott. And we’re receiving a lot of criticism for these decisions. I can’t recall how many times I’ve been sued for some of the decisions that we have taken, but we believe that we’ve done these things for the right reasons and we stand by these decisions.

Sounds pretty clear to me.

Incidentally, I don't think any of the Calgary hate messages that Kenney mentions rose to the level of eloquence of "Stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza." Too many words. ARC has a good post on this.

PS. MP Rick Dykstra also has a copy of the entire speech at his website.


sharonapple88 said...

He didn't say they were anti-Semitic, he just highly implied they were in a speech about what the government was doing to combat anti-Semitism.

Why does anyone bother trying to shove something down the memory hole in this day and age? Oh that's right, if you're going to lie, you might as well go for the big lie.

Oh and happy holidays. ;)

Unknown said...

I'm unsure as to what your point is.

Regardless of what words he used, Kenney is saying that the government will not use taxpayers' money to fund organizations that play a political role, especially if they promote hatred.

That seems reasonable to me. I don't want my money wasted by anyone who has an agenda against someone else - let them use their own money.

BTW, Kairos was not accused of promoting hatred; and I agree this issue under discussion does not. However, I am tired of hearing critics rationalizing that to criticize the state of Israel, is not the same as anti-semitism, which occurs when criticizing Jews. I find the distinction self-serving and nebulous. Just like, "I support our troops, but don't want them to go to war...".

Yeah, right.

The only error I detected in Kenney's speech was about the "new anti-semitism".

Anti-semitism is not new - thanks to the Christian Church and clergy who have historically made the Jews the bad guys, starting from year one.

Of course, these days, such conduct is 'officially' deplored by the churches. But as recently as 1945, the Vatican was aiding Nazis escape from the allies as a matter of policy. The Vatican has confessed to this.

So, if Kairos, or any other organization wants to organize against the Jews, or Israel, or whomever, let them use private monies - preferably from their own bank accounts.

Regards, Styli

sharonapple88 said...

Regardless of what words he used, Kenney is saying that the government will not use taxpayers' money to fund organizations that play a political role, especially if they promote hatred.

If you read the letter he doesn't say that's the reason KAIROS got their funding cut.


"While I disagree with the nature of KAIROS's militant stance toward the Jewish homeland, that is not the reason their request for taxpayer funding was denied. International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda – not me – is responsible for the Canada International Development Agency. And she has been clear that a cost-sharing program with KAIROS was not approved because it did not meet CIDA's current priorities, such as increased food aid."

One of the saddest things about this is the political pandering. When he talks to the general public, it's about funding goals. When he's in Jerusalem it's all about the anti-Semitism.

Holly Stick said...

Styli: "...I am tired of hearing critics rationalizing that to criticize the state of Israel, is not the same as anti-semitism..."

Styli, your illogical thinking is the problem. Israel is a country, just like China, the USA, etc., and in Canada we are free to criticize other countries as well as our own; their policies, their treatment of their own people and their treatment of their neighbours.

If Israel bombs civilians, then we can rightly accuse Israel of committing war crimes, which in such a case is not anti-Semitism but a statement of fact.

bocanut said...

Merry Christmas,

CanadianSense said...


Are you are concerned about "ART" being donated in a public space in Kapukasing?

Does political left leaning of Kairos funding cuts bother you?

Do you agree with Kairos on their policies in regards with Israel and the Oil Sands?

RuralSandi said...

So, is Charles McVety included in this "political" position issue?

Kenney and the Harper gang playing politics with the Jews is disgusting.

CS????? taking a poll or something - how stupid

CanadianSense said...


Personal hostility and insults?

My question is related to the recent posts from BCL.

Political idealogy the basis of his views on organizations?

Is Kairos political idealogy leftism and shared by the left of centre parties?

Kairos looks like their advocacy agenda mirrors the opposition parties.

That is a great question for BCL on the right of centre religious organizations.

Perhaps you can post on your blog how the right of centre religious organization are using their tax dollars.

RS, I am not up to speed on Charles or his organization. Please link your blog and post when you have done your research.

penlan said...

CanSense wrote:
"RS, I am not up to speed on Charles or his organization. Please link your blog and post when you have done your research."

That sounds arrogant & authoritative, bossy. Do you not know how to Google & research it yourself? It's quite simple really.

CanadianSense said...


I am interested in position of BCL posts on ART donation from K of C and Kairos (his posts).

Thanks for your tip on doing some basic research and use of google.

You and RS are free to get together a write a post about your ideas on Charles McVety.

I may even read it, but my questions on BCL are in regards to his blog and his posts.

Again thank you for the tips and suggestions.

bigcitylib said...


I don't find anything too far left in the whole whack of churches behind KAIROS. Because McVety and Levant say something is LEFT, doesn't mean it is. More likely means its just not far enough right for them.

CanadianSense said...


thank you for responding.

I am not talking about the member organizations.

I am specifically talking about the positions of the board.

They ignored the Human Rights abuses in many countries focused on Israel and Columbia. Where is China?

They share the views of COP15-left of centre in attacking Oilsands and ignoring the largest emmitters China, US again.

I have read and have many links that agree with the organization being left of centre.

I have read Levant post but not Charles McVety.

If your interested I can send you links without using BT links.

Can you explain your position on the Kapuskasing ART donation by the K of C post vs the funding cut.

My objection are as a taxpayer, what is the basis of your concern? My perception of Kairos being a mirror of the opposition politicial party positions. (Namely the NDP)

While KAIROS has a more narrowly focused activist agenda, it has launched highly partisan attacks on the government in the past. The Tories, with their long memory and punitive trigger finger, are now pushing back.-Rose DiManno 12/21/09 TStar.

bigcitylib said...


There are about 200 nation states in the world and god knows how many conflicts. Of them, Israel vs. Palestine is a world problem, Columbia (because of our mining interests) a uniquely Canadian one. They also work in the Congo, and these cuts may directly imperil that particular work.

You want an explanation why they do and don't ignore this or that conflict? Read their website. Quite a pile of stuff there on how they choose.

As for their postion on the Tar Sands, an Alberta Rep spoke out on that on this very blog a couple of days ago. Try and keep up. HE didn't seem to think they were far left.

CanadianSense said...

BCL, thanks again for your response.

If I have not already Have a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in 2010.

We may not share the same political agenda but I enjoy reading your thoughts.

BCL, I have read your blog and the opinions of several people regarding the political agenda of Kairos.

I am up to date on the Kairos website and their 'new' editing and disclaimers.

I am also aware your citing other left leaning organization(s) IJV to support your posts.

My question(s) has been left unanswered --->your<--- opinion if you think the board is left leaning and what is --->your<--- objection/issue with the donation of ART by K of C in a park in Kapuskasing.

Looking forward to your reading response.

bigcitylib said...

Because a bunch of bible wavers are trying to sneak a monoument to repressiveness in a public space. What has this got to do with that?

CanadianSense said...


Thanks again for the clarification. Regarding your position on these two issues.

We have a case of "good" bible wavers vs "bad" bible wavers.

Is this a fair statement?

(Bible Wavers) Karios Group are acceptable to solicit taxpayers funds to push a left leaning political agenda (that you support)anti-Oil Sands, anti Columbia Free Trade Deal, boycott, trade, divestment of Israel but if another group of "bad" Bible wavers (K of C) offer a donation in the form of ART in a park based on their shared "repressive" teachings they are sneaky and require your efforts from hundreds of kilometres away?

Is the freedom or protection Religion only availble if the left approve/benefit of their Political Agenda/message?

(That is my understanding from your position) Is that a fair statement?

Nosferatu200 said...

Those anti-semetic fanatics that vandalized the Jewish centre, and who are rightfully condemned by Kenney (full credit there, though he looses in the rest of his diatribe) are suspected to be linked to the Aryan Guard, a group promoted by one of the speechies' favourite, Paul Fromm.

Just say'n....

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