A rather oblique post at WK's this morning got me wondering.
It turns out that the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) is undergoing a reorg, and part of the reorg involves bringing in new leadership, possibly in the form of Shimon Fogel, currently CEO of the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC).
But how suitable is Mr. Fogel for this position?
Well, as part of the CIC's PR efforts, they've organized several blogger excursions to Israel. The bloggers they have chosen have come from various points on the political spectrum: for example, Jeff Jedras went on one such trip back in May. The problem is, the CIC have also been willing to cavort with the Canadian blogosphere's far-right lunatic fringe: Five Foot, her husband, and Kate from Delisle.
Five Foot (Kathy Shaidle), for example, has been the proud author of such remarks as:
[Sikhs are]Backward foreigners [who] shit on hand that feeds them...Unable to invent their own iconic product due to too much time spent worshipping monkeys and cows, setting women on fire and obsessing over imperceptible differences in each other's skin colour...
And the weird thing is, it seems as though the CIC were a little bit ashamed of being connected with these clearly very zealous supporters of Israel. For one thing, their trip was organized "semi-secretly". For another, while in a personal communication to me it was explained that the CIC was not an official sponsor of the event, Sara Saber-Freedman, their Montreal EVP, went along. Even more mysteriously, a picture of her on the flight over, appeared, and then disappeared, from the website of Shaidle's hubby. In fact, it was buried so deep that it can't even be found on google-cache anymore. (Here's a tip: you want something to disappear from google cache? It only archives the previous version. Keep overwriting with new text and the old stuff eventually falls off). It was as though the CIC wanted to court the fringe right of the Canadian blogosphere, but at the same time wanted to keep it on the down-low.
And now their leader wants to move on to bigger and better things. I suppose the issue is: once he's installed in his new position, will the CIJA begin courting the nation's lunatic fringe on the grounds that, although they hate everyone else, they're solidly behind Israel?