Oh, Canada: Why Anti-Zionism Festers in a Country Otherwise Known for its Friendliness





Gil Troy, a professor of history at McGill University in Montreal and a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, is the author of six books on American history and Why I Am A Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today. He wrote this article for Tablet Magazine. Reprinted with permission from Tablet.

Although the two-week period in March designated as Israeli Apartheid Week sputtered this year, attracting few participants, it highlighted a great Canadian anomaly. Twelve of the 40 communities the IAW website identified as host cities were in Canada. IAW was hatched in Toronto. Some of the worst anti-Israel violence in North America has occurred in the land of endless winters and polite pacifists. Last year, at York University in Toronto, hooligans chanting, “Die, Jew, get the hell off campus” menaced Jewish students, who barricaded themselves in the Hillel offices, terrified. This year, at the University of Western Ontario, three students who started a Facebook group called “UWO Students Against Israeli Apartheid Week” reported receiving death threats. Why are such virulent anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism festering in Canada despite its national niceness?

The violence contradicts the Canadian government’s dramatically pro-Israel turn in the last several years. Compared to America’s “love-fest,” Canada has always been more “reservedly respectful” of “both Israel and Jews,” says Ted Sokolsky, president of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government from 1993 to 2003 treated Israel coldly. But since 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has been enthusiastically pro-Israel. Last spring, Canada led in boycotting the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, fearing a rehash of the 2001 anti-Zionist hate-fest.

Thanks especially to Irwin Cotler, a Liberal MP and former justice minister, support for Israel is what Canadians call “all party.” This year, the Liberal leader and human-rights activist Michael Ignatieff repudiated the false analogy that has become a central anti-Zionist tenet: that of equating the Israeli-Palestinian national conflict with the systematic racism of South Africa’s Afrikaner regime. “International law defines ‘apartheid’ as a crime against humanity,” Ignatieff has said. “Labeling Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state is a deliberate attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself. Criticism of Israel is legitimate. Attempting to describe its very existence as a crime against humanity is not.”

Nevertheless, despite all this goodwill off-campus, and even considering Canadians’ cultural aversion to conflict, many Jewish college students in Canada report feeling “uncomfortable, unsafe, and targeted” on campuses, says Zach Newburgh, the Hillel Montreal president. Newburgh transferred from the University of Toronto to McGill partially because of Toronto’s aggressive anti-Israel environment, which peaks during anti-Israel week. Many Jewish students felt besieged, “no matter what stripe they were,” Newburgh recalls, “whether they were Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, or just Jewish, had been to Jewish summer camp or not, had been to Israel or not—it did not matter.” Newburgh received death threats, he says, because he criticized the IAW’s activities in online forums.

One of the most violent anti-Israel incidents ever in North America remains the September 9, 2002, riot at Concordia University in Montreal. Protesters blocked Benjamin Netanyahu, then on the global lecture circuit, from speaking, smashed windows, threw pennies at Jewish students to mock them as cheap, and shut down the school’s downtown campus. For years, Concordia was the center of Canadian anti-Zionism, a dubious mantle York University now wears.

Canadian anti-Zionism, like much student activism, benefits from the minority megaphone effect, in which small but shrill groups can command attention, especially on today’s quiescent campuses. Reut, the centrist Tel Aviv-based think tank, recently identified the anti-Zionists’ “hub” strategy: concentrating activist firepower in calm, carefully selected areas to allow a few marginal but persistent protesters to masquerade as members of a mass movement. Today’s campuses serve as excellent hubs.

Much anti-Israel activity on campus reflects a strategy with Soviet and Nazi roots, hatched in Durban, South Africa, days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Both the U.N.’s World Conference Against Racism and the parallel, non-governmental organization meetings singled out one form of nationalism as racist—Jewish nationalism, meaning Zionism. The NGO Forum produced a declaration announcing “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an Apartheid state.” This “Durban Strategy” targeted Israel as illegitimate because of its alleged racism, fueling the BDS movement, which seeks to isolate Israel through Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions.

“BDSers” selected London as a European hub and then targeted Toronto, making York University and University of Toronto anti-Israel hotspots. Off-campus, agitators advocated boycotting Israeli wine, a museum exhibition showcasing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Toronto Film Festival’s celebration of Tel Aviv’s centennial. Those efforts backfired.

Delegitimizers have targeted Toronto, like London, because a core group of activists already exists, and the anti-Zionists believe their campaign might flourish there. Many of the most strident anti-Zionists are Muslims. Canada’s Muslim population grew more than tenfold from 1981 to 1991 then doubled to nearly 600,000 by 2001, with a strong concentration in Toronto. “University of Toronto, where I spent my first year, had a far more oppressive anti-Israel atmosphere than McGill,” says Mookie Kideckel, the president of Hillel McGill, who in February mobilized hundreds of McGill students to defeat a resolution advocating boycotting Israel. Many observers believe that there are more Muslims at the University of Toronto than at McGill, and that the Muslims at the Toronto campus are more active.

The Canadian multicultural “salad bowl” facilitates ethnic bonding, for better and worse. Jews, Italians, Greeks, and Muslims often find it easier to maintain their traditions and distinct identities in Canada, without the pressures of America’s “melting pot.” In Canada, according to the UJA’s Sokolsky, ethnic divisions are more pronounced. “As a result,” he says, “these ethnic groups tend to be much more siloed” than in the United States. “Behavior we would think of as improper and undemocratic is much more readily accepted socially.”

The virulent anti-Zionism often leeching into anti-Semitism embedded in some Canadian Muslims’ identities receives more in-group encouragement and even government support here. Harper’s government has cut funding to the Canadian Arab Federation and the Canadian Islamic Congress for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah and demonizing Israel, which has triggered accusations of governmental racism.

As in the rest of the West, Canadian anti-Zionism feeds off an unlikely alliance between Islamist fundamentalists and cosmopolitan leftists. Canadian political culture is more European and New Left than American political culture. David Luchins, an American political science professor at Touro College who worked for the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan for two decades, calls Canada a “goo-goo nation,” using the traditional American term for progressive good-government advocates. In this case it means trying to be an upstanding member of the community of nations, which is admirable, but also a devotee of the United Nations, which risks being delusional.

Many Canadian elites still worship at the altar of the international human rights regime McGill Professor John Humphrey helped construct after World War II. An elaborate organizational infrastructure also intensifies and funds Canadian anti-Zionism as an expression of general solidarity with the left, including the CBC public broadcasting system, leading labor unions, some government-mandated student organizations, and certain Quebec nationalist organizations. Jean Ouellette, a retired professor at the Université de Montréal, notes that, like most Canadians, Quebecois see the conflict “in purely territorial terms and not as an existential divide between Jews and Arabs and between Islamism and the West.” Thus, if campuses are among the most Europeanized—and most anti-Israel—spaces in the United States, Canada is the most Europeanized and most anti-Israel space in North America.

Facing this aggressive offshoot of multicultural leftism dominating Canadian universities is an Anglicized administrative culture more primed to appease radicals than to ensure that embattled Jewish students feel safe in their campus homes. The leading Canadian universities are public; most leading American universities are private. Private institutions enjoy more latitude to curtail rambunctious student groups and are more donor-sensitive. At pricier private schools, it is rare for individuals to “take one class and stay as professional activists,” which was a “big problem at Concordia,” notes Dan Hadad, the marketing and communications director for the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy.

This year’s under-attended Israeli Apartheid Week activities revealed that despite all their advantages, the pro-Palestinian forces trying to delegitimize Israel with the apartheid slur have failed to mount a mass movement. Most students on the targeted campuses north and south of the border ignored the activities. The Middle East remains a marginal matter for most Canadians and Americans.

Pro-Israel forces have also pushed back. “Buycotts” have trumped “boycotts,” most notably in Toronto, where Israeli wine, the Dead Sea museum exhibit, and the Israeli films all sold out when targeted. This year, editorials and politicians in Canada denounced IAW vehemently while in the United States IAW was mostly ignored. On February 25, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario unanimously passed, by voice vote, a resolution condemning Israel Apartheid Week “as it serves to incite hatred against Israel, a democratic state that respects the rule of law and human rights, and the use of the word apartheid in this context diminishes the suffering of those who were victims of a true apartheid regime in South Africa.”

University administrators are also starting to lead. Last year, Carlton University—invoking Canadian human rights and equity laws that are less protective of free speech than American laws—banned an IAW poster caricaturing a menacing Israeli Army helicopter shooting at a Gaza child clutching his teddy bear. Others are objecting on the grounds, as a National Posteditorial put it, that trying “to vilify a single country [is] an inherently bigoted exercise. Unlike, say, ‘anti-racism week’ or ‘diversity awareness week,’ IAW does not champion a concept—rather, it targets a particular group of people defined by religion and citizenship.”

What most compels administrators is the Concordia calculus. The anti-Netanyahu riot so damaged Concordia University’s reputation that engineering and business students united to unseat the radical, pro-Palestinian student leadership fomenting much of the trouble. Since last year, York University has also recognized the need to undertake massive reputational damage control.

Most Canadian Jewish activists interviewed noted these triumphs, as well as the flashpoints in the United States, especially at Berkeley and another University of California campus, Irvine. The IAW forces seem increasingly marginalized, administrators are responding, and individual students refuse to be cowed. Zach Newburgh not only transferred successfully to McGill University and became the president of Montreal Hillel, but he is also the incoming president of the McGill student society. These subtle but significant successes are often drowned out by louder, shriller protests. The challenge in Canada, as elsewhere, remains to fight the toxic anti-Israel atmosphere that poisons so much discourse about the Middle East without exaggerating the strengths of this megaphone minority.


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Arnold Shcherban - 4/22/2010

By the way, my previous thesis constitutes clear, concise, and the only possible (without getting engaging mysticism) answer to the initial question posed by the articles' title:
why the educated youth in such a friendly to all nationalities
and civilized country as Canada, experience the rise
of anti-Zionist (perhaps, even anti-semitic) feelings.
Of course, kovachevs of this world would mumble something about "Jewish fate" and "Left dominating universities campuses" (as Left are acting against Jews) and other similar worn-out and beaten to the ground propagandist apologetics...


Arnold Shcherban - 4/22/2010

If I understood you correctly you do admit (though still indirectly, by talking about "all states") that Ottoman empire in 19th century did persecute, murderously violating their human rights, its minorities (or some of them) on different reasons (do you?)
But, as it clear from my inquiry and contents of the discussion in question, I was more interested in your reaction to the pertaining events of the 20th century and crimes against those minorities committed by Turkish authorities in modern times (say, against Armenians and Kurds.)
So, essentially, we yet to have a clear, direct, and concise response from you.
Moreover, you continuous attempts to transfer a full weight of blame for the slaughter of Christians by Turks on Russians and instigated by them minorities themselves, do not represent even semi-excuse for the evident crimes committed by Turkish authorities and instigated by then Turkish populace.
And this is not because I ignore the real and harmful consequences of Russian Empire's insidious meddling into Ottoman Empire's internal affairs (all Empires in the world in all times do that to different extent); I know that and recognize it quite well.
It is just because national of any country, familiar with its history, even the country having the worst record on human rights of all, would easily point out some other (neighboring or distant) states or the minorities themselves that can be blamed for causing, directly or indirectly, the murderous deeds perpetrated by the former country's authorities against them.
Such interpretations been attempted and continue to take a prominent space on the shelves of libraries of the US (denial of genocide against Indian aborigines), Russia (justification for Stalin's purges),
Germany and other countries (denial or justification of Holocaust and other crimes committed by Nazis), China (justifications
for mass repressions by Mao regime),
Indonesia (denial of or even praising political genocide against the Left and Chinese by Suhkarto's regime), etc., etc. (the examples are too numerous to list them all here.)
Some of the justifications submitted by those apologets are quite real and
strong. Whatever the latter are, they however, don't absolve the perpetrators of those horrible deeds, who went into annals of history
as criminals and murderers.
The same is true about Ottoman Empire
and modern Turkey (I wonder how soon I'm to hear from you on Soviet Union's meddling into Turkey's ethnic policy affairs, thus causing the Kurdish rebellion against democratic Turkish governments resulting in thousands of Kurds being killed by governmental troops.), the exactly same crimes against Kurds Saddam Hussein and his assistants was accused, convicted, and put to death...
If, however, you continue blatantly deny outrageous human rights violations committed by Turkish aithorities in 20th century, don't even try to respond, since then you'll show yourself as a petty hurray nationalist, not a bit better than Holocaust or Stalin's crimes' deniers.


Arnold Shcherban - 4/22/2010

If I understood you correctly you do admit (though still indirectly, by talking about "all states") that Ottoman empire in 19th century did persecute, murderously violating their human rights, its minorities (or some of them) on different reasons (do you?)
But, as it clear from my inquiry and contents of the discussion in question, I was more interested in your reaction to the pertaining events of the 20th century and crimes against those minorities committed by Turkish authorities in modern times (say, against Armenians and Kurds.)
So, essentially, we yet to have a clear, direct, and concise response from you.
Moreover, you continuous attempts to transfer a full weight of blame for the slaughter of Christians by Turks on Russians and instigated by them minorities themselves, do not represent even semi-excuse for the evident crimes committed by Turkish authorities and instigated by then Turkish populace.
And this is not because I ignore the real and harmful consequences of Russian Empire's insidious meddling into Ottoman Empire's internal affairs (all Empires in the world in all times do that to different extent); I know that and recognize it quite well.
It is just because national of any country, familiar with its history, even the country having the worst record on human rights of all, would easily point out some other (neighboring or distant) states or the minorities themselves that can be blamed for causing, directly or indirectly, the murderous deeds perpetrated by the former country's authorities against them.
Such interpretations been attempted and continue to take a prominent space on the shelves of libraries of the US (denial of genocide against Indian aborigines), Russia (justification for Stalin's purges),
Germany and other countries (denial or justification of Holocaust and other crimes committed by Nazis), China (justifications
for mass repressions by Mao regime),
Indonesia (denial of or even praising political genocide against the Left and Chinese by Suhkarto's regime), etc., etc. (the examples are too numerous to list them all here.)
Some of the justifications submitted by those apologets are quite real and
strong. Whatever the latter are, they however, don't absolve the perpetrators of those horrible deeds, who went into annals of history
as criminals and murderers.
The same is true about Ottoman Empire
and modern Turkey (I wonder how soon I'm to hear from you on Soviet Union's meddling into Turkey's ethnic policy affairs, thus causing the Kurdish rebellion against democratic Turkish governments resulting in thousands of Kurds being killed by governmental troops.), the exactly same crimes against Kurds Saddam Hussein and his assistants was accused, convicted, and put to death...
If, however, you continue blatantly deny outrageous human rights violations committed by Turkish aithorities in 20th century, don't even try to respond, since then you'll show yourself as a petty hurray nationalist, not a bit better than Holocaust or Stalin's crimes' deniers.


Fahrettin Tahir - 4/21/2010

That oppression of citizens happened is a fact for all 19th century states, including the Ottoman Empire. It was not worse in the Ottoman Empire than elsewhere.

In the Ottoman Empire the worst prosecution was a reaction to the genocidal pressure exerted on the Moslems of the Empire by Tsarist Russia and Minorities collaborating with Russia in exetuting genocide which murdered around 5 million European Moslems.

It is a lie when some people try to say the Turks by being brutal barbarians prosecuted minorities for the sake of prosecuting minorities.

The Ottoman Empire abolished slavery in 1847, before the USA. She started introducing democracy in the 1850ies. She established the equality of all citizens in 1868. She introduced parliamentary democracy in 1877. She started an industrialisation project in 1840.

Without the repeted genocidal wars started by the Romanov empire she would have been a wonderful place for all of her citizens.

Without certain ethnic groups being overjoyed at the sight of mass murder of their Moslem neighbors by the Russian armies, nothing would have happened to those groups.

I think that is clear.


Arnold Shcherban - 4/21/2010

Mr. Tahir,
After many sentences (which, in general, I have nothing against) apparently intended as a response to my short inquiry you are yet to respond to the latter. So, not to make you referring to my last comment, I repeat that inquiry, still hoping to receive clear and concise answer: "Are you saying that all past and present persecution and prosecution of minorities by Turkish governments are just "tales", thus making all criticism
toward those governments, in the pertaining regard, illegitimate?"


Arnold Shcherban - 4/21/2010

Who is dogmatic then, the one who say that all cows are brown, or the one who differentiate their colors?
I repeat the FACT OF LIFE that you Peter and others on your side know as well as I do, but won't ever acknowledge, understandably so, since it beats your and other rabid Zionists "all cows are brown" (all anti-Zionists are anti-semitic) ridiculous and actually RACIST principle.
Being a Jew myself, I only wish that everything in this regard were so simple and straightforward (anti-Zionism = anti-semitism, period), as you Zionists claim. It is in great measure exactly on the reason the issue is much more complicated than you insist, Zionists and Israeli governments have so much trouble dealing with the world at large...

By the way, would you tell me Peter, where and how YOU personally have been subjected to anti-semitic persecution, becoming so adamant Zionist?
I recall one short wise, though vulgar remark that goes something like this: not everyone who s* on you is your enemy, and not everyone who gets you out of that s* is your friend.


Fahrettin Tahir - 4/19/2010

Here is the rewiev of a book about how Russians and their stooges dealt with moslems in the European regions of the Ottoman Empire they invaded.

It is what they did in the Caucasus. It is what they did in Crimea. It is what they did in the Balkans in 1877 and 1912. It is what they started to do in Anatolia in 1915.

There are 7 million Cherkess, descendants of the genocide described here, living in Turkey today. They were there in 1915, and realized perfectly well what Russia and her Armenian allies were going to do to them, if and when they won the war.
The review treats the events as an isolated incident. It is not. It is a part of along chain of genocides, down to and including the Cyprus pogroms against the Turks in the 1960ies and the Bosnian war in the 1990ies.

Another book to read is the flame of freedom by david brewer. That book describes how at the onset of Greek independence 100 % of the moslem third of Greece’s population was murdered.


The Caucasus
Haunting history
Mar 31st 2010 | From The Economist print edition

Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus. By Oliver Bullough. Allen Lane; 496 pages; £25. To be published in America by Basic Books in August. Buy from Amazon.co.uk
WESTERN colonialists have often behaved abominably but they usually repent of it later. Move east, though, and the picture becomes cloudier. Few now remember what happened to Circassia. As the Ottoman empire crumbled in the mid-19th century, Russia conquered the loosely held Turkish domains on the north-east coast of the Black Sea—and huge numbers of the anarchic, steely Circassian tribespeople died in what would today be termed a genocidal colonial war. Many more fled the killing grounds, crossing the Black Sea in leaky and overcrowded ships, many of them to die miserably in now-forgotten refugee camps on the Turkish coast. Around half the Circassian population of 2m perished.
Oliver Bullough’s first book marks him out as a distinguished researcher, observer and narrator. The opening chapters deal with a part of history wholly neglected in Russia. It is as if Americans had never heard of the Sioux, and Wounded Knee had become a tourist resort where the events of 1890 had faded from memory.
That is pretty much how surviving Circassians now see the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which 150 years ago was the site of their final and greatest defeat and massacre. Mr Bullough tracks down their remnants, determined and despairing by turns, in Russia and in exile. His quest takes him from dirt-poor villages in Kosovo to influential bits of Jordanian officialdom. He paints a haunting portrait of a people blown to the winds by a forgotten storm.
His research is formidable. He unearths long-buried contemporary accounts of the killings, and desperate pleas for help buried in old files in the British Foreign Office. He matches this with accounts of the contemporary diasporas, often both nostalgic for what they have lost and disgusted by what they find when they return.


If the tsarist conquest of the northern Caucasus was savage, what followed under communism was worse, including the Stalin-era deportations of whole nations to the steppes of Central Asia. A particularly harrowing account is of a wartime massacre in the Cherek valley in Balkaria (a Turkic-speaking district next door to the former Circassia). Like the murder of Polish officers at Katyn, this was carried out by Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD—but then cynically blamed on the Germans. But whereas Poles have doggedly defended their history against falsifiers, the Circassians have been all but voiceless. One of Mr Bullough’s most powerful points is how little about the Circassians can be found even in works by specialist historians of the region.


Fahrettin Tahir - 4/19/2010

The last 200 years of history as the Moslems of the European provinces of the Ottoman Empire experienced it was the Christian Great powers attacking Turkey for "prosecuting" the Christian Minorities and then when they were finished there were no Moslems left.

It was the revolts incited by Romanov Russia which led to the reactions which Romanov Russia then called prersecution and prosecution.

The Christian groups came through the first 800 years of Turkish history when Turkey was all powerful intact, as opposed to the non-christian groups of the contemporous Spanish empire.

After the European powers started using the Christian minorities as a pretext for genocide against the Moslems of Europe killing 5 Millions between 1800 and 1914 to end the existence of the Moslems of Europe the relationship between Groups which collaborated specifically with Russia and the remaining Moslems turned into a nightmare.

All criticizm which ignores the fact that 5 Million Moslems were murdered to attain the target of a Moslem free Europe is illegitimate.


Peter Kovachev - 4/18/2010

"By perpetually equating antizionism to antisemitism Zionists actually deliver a strong blow to legitimacy of their Pan-Jewish ideology, by converting many former antizionists to antisemits, indeed." (Arnold S)

In other words, Arnie, naming the antisemites who masquarade as "antizionists" may "convert" them into dropping their posture of convenience and calling themselves "antisemites" or "Jew-haters"?. I doubt it very much. Go on the rabid neo-nazi and white power sites, as well as the Islamist and "progressive" ones (hmm...an odd coincidence) and note that all of them insist on calling themselves "antizionists."

As far as this Zionist is concerned, it matters little what Jew-haters call themselves and whether they shave their heads and live off panhandling, or put flowers in their hair and live off student loans. Same beast, different look.


Arnold Shcherban - 4/18/2010

Mr Tahir,
Are you saying that all past and present persecution and prosecution of minorities by Turkish governments are just "tales", thus making all criticism
toward those governments, in the pertaining regard, illegitimate?


Arnold Shcherban - 4/18/2010

Bravo, Omar!
That's exactly what I have been emphasizing for years.
To answer your question about the acknowledgment of such a dangerous for the Jews Zionist equation by Israeli government, I would respond that they are not only recognize the danger of that Mega Lie but perpetually and intentionally magnify it (the danger) to scare the world Jewry to death, thereby securing a single more or less legitimate argument they have (antisemitism), in order to justify their disregard for the wide international condemnation of some of Israeli policies.


Arnold Shcherban - 4/18/2010

By perpetually equating antizionism to antisemitism Zionists actually deliver a strong blow to legitimacy of their Pan-Jewish ideology, by converting many former antizionists to antisemits, indeed.
Jews with integrity, i.e. Jews criticizing some anti-humane and criminal policies of the state of Israel, are not a "tiny minority", though far from being a majority, either.
Antizionism, in the sense indicated above, is as a legitimate socio-political view, as a critique of some acts of any other country's foreign and internal policies.
Identifying the former with antisemitism is thus as valid, as identifying the latter with antiamericanism, antirussism, antimuslim, etc.


Fahrettin Tahir - 4/15/2010

Omar,

you might theoretically be right that anti zionism does not have to be anti semitism but in real life a lot of anti semites use anti zionism as the cover for their attitude. They can then be racists and at the same time believe they are engaging for human rights.

We Turks have the same problem. Turk haters come up with tales of past and present Turkish prosecution of minorities and so can hate us without a guilty conscience.


omar ibrahim baker - 4/15/2010

A thoughtful look forward should recognize the dangers inherent in the MEGA LIE.
Should the mega lie, that anti Zionism is anti Semitism, be generally accepted a rudimentary knowledge of the history of the conflict and watching Zionism at work as in Israel's human rights denying, racist and colonialist nature, aspirations and policies, that would inevitably lead to the adoption of anti Zionism, some would tend to embrace and support anti Semitism being the (presumed) equal of anti Zionism !

I wonder whether the inner circles of the Zionist movement and of Israel are aware of that inherent danger?

I have little doubt that they are and that by raising that fallacious equivalence they are deliberately dragging each and every Jew into their camp despite their better judgment and beliefs.
The major onus of negating and belying that fallacious equivalence thus falls, in the cause of self-interest , on anti Zionist Jews thus denying Zionism the opportunity to sacrifice and victimize them in its pursuit to confirm I its racist nature and colonialist ambitions.

Hence the far sighted true loyalty to one’s community, the thoughtfulness and perspicacity of Jewish anti Zionist lights, as for Israel Shahak and Noam Chomsky etc etc, in their inherent ant indisputably morally and politically justified rejection anti Semitism .


omar ibrahim baker - 4/14/2010

Now it is Troy's turn to reiterate the MEGA LIE that ANTI ZIONISM is ANTI SEMETISM.
It is truly baffling that a Professor, of history no less, can NOT see the intrinsic fallacy of that equivalence.
If anything , viewed objectively, Anti Zionism is anti anti Semitism , in that whereas the former, anti Zionism, is the natural human reaction of abhorrence and rejection of a racist, rapacious and neocolonialist creed the latter, anti Semitism, is a bigoted racially motivated and nurtured personal/political attitude and turn of mind and psyche.
The MEGA LIE presumes that both Jewish humanitarian scholars of unassailable integrity: Israel Shahak and Noam Chomsky, among the great multitude of decent honourable progressive Jews, were anti Semites ie anti Jews!
How absurd and idiotic can political sloganeering be!
The MEGA LIE however occupies a place of "honour" in and with the Zionist movement and its pernicious off spring, Israel, both politically and historically!
Springing from an enshrined belief that the objective justifies the means it gained additional support in Zionist circles with the success of “a land with no people for a people with no land"!( The HYPER fallacy of which is and has been proved daily since 1948)
It is also based on the presumed ignorance, or indifference, of the general reader in the Judeo/Christian Western world.
This "ignorance" and "indifference" are fast dissipating with the growing realization in the Judeo/Christian western world of the real nature of Israel as the aggressive, usurping, Apartheid tending colonialist outgrowth of a fundamentally racist and retrogressive doctrine, Zionism.
Hence the nascent but universally burgeoning anti Israel anti Zionism attitude in the West and, of course, in Canada.
We have always maintained that it is primarily a question of knowing both Israel and Zionism as are in reality and the intrinsically decent and fair minded majority of human kind will reject both.
Therefore it is only a question of time.


Peter Kovachev - 4/14/2010

As a York U alumni, I'll just say that your interpretation is, simply full of it. Judging by the response of the Canadian public, our governments and political parties, the media, and York students themselves, Canadians are grossly nauseated by the repulsive lies and antics of the IAW crowd. If you cannot see and aknowledge this obvious reality, wehat is your explanation for this massive rejection of the IAW platform? Bad PR, false class consciousness, insidious Jewish control?

It is ironic that the nations behind the creation, financial sponsorship and support of the IAW farce are parading as Black liberationists while openly indulging in documented and legalized forms of brutal apartheid against racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women, and most notably Blacks.

It is unfortunate that as a self-identified "cosmpolitan leftist," you choose to carry water for the worst human rights violators of our times and to cheapen and denigrate the history of the struggle of South African Blacks against apartheid.

As a grandson of a founder of a regional communist party, a life-long sympathiser with Zionism, and an active anti-nazi and anti-fascist partisan in the Balkans of WWII, I am horified at the thought that my grandfather and his comrades could be associated with the likes of you and your friends.


Peter Kovachev - 4/14/2010

Don't try to kid us, Mr Curran, either with your faulty factual claims, or your defense of "antizionism."

"Antizionism," as I'm guessing you already know, is a semi-clever attempt to make the same old virulent Jew hatred sound reasonable and respectable. It's simply a cosmetically altered rationale for the disenfranchisement or cultural or physical destruction of the Jews as a people. It just shifts with the fashions from religious, to ethnic, to cultural, then to racial and now to political pretenses, but the intent is the same. So, just as tiny Jewish communities in Europe once "threatened" Christendom and later, the national and racial makeup of new Europeasn nations, tiny Israel now "threatens" the entire world. Whereas Jews were once accused of killing God, corrupting good believers, holding back a world-wide messianic era, poisoning believers, stealing wealth, drinking blood or causing plagues, they are now falsely accused of gross human rights violations and are hated for not complying with the supposed wishes of the imaginary construct we call "the international community." Same old scheiss, same smell, different look.

Re-read your pastiche of a manifesto and see how it continues the "old game" of singling Jews out for special treatment. To wit: Your fake concern for the recently self-declared "Palestinians" begins and ends at Israel's doorstep, ignoring their dismal treatment among their "brother Arabs" in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria. Your vague and strategic proclamations about indegenous people carefully ignores not only the rights of Jews, but the rights of genuine indigenous peoples and minorities with distinct cultures and languages in the lands of Israel's enemies. And, your diktat about how Israel and Jews may define themselves and their nation state is only meant for one target...the Jewish state.

Please don't insult our intelligence by trying to legitimise "antizionism" by cynically identifying with a tiny minority of Jewish sectarians, opportunistic academics, radicals and psychological or cultural casualties. That too is old stuff; most antisemites in history made an effort to legitize their actions by enticing and parading a few marginal, well-groomed pet Jews as well. For a genuine snapshot of the reality behind "antizionism," surf the net a little and visit your next "antizionist" action in your area to see what a collection of losers has crawled out under the rocks for the glorious event. Your real brothers-in-arms --historically, numerically and ideologically-- are the vast multitude of all other self-declared "antizionists," including fascists, nazis, racial supremacists, communists, socialists, anarchists, ultra-nationalists, internationalists, Islamists, paleo-conservatives and virtually all the oppressive regimes in the world. Face up to your resality, welcome yourself to their club and know that from the Jews' perspective, it matters little which slight ideological variation and fashionable term you pick as a vehicle for your ancient obsession.


Roger Langen - 4/14/2010

As a cosmopolitan leftist (thanks for the phrase), I attended IAW events in Toronto last year and again this year. It is correct that attendance was quieter this year. I attribute that to the apparent boycott of the event by last year's anti-IAW protesters. On my witness, it was they who contributed to the noise surrounding the events. The auditorium seats this year were otherwise mostly occupied and the discussions by academics, journalists, and activists were what you would expect at a university - informed, interesting, engaged. As for the "megaphone minority," I would remind Gil Troy that the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa was started in 1959 and did not gather steam until the 1980s. Nadine Gordimer's stories and novels show clearly that it was a small band of protesters, often under 10, who led protests and rallies for years, even in places like Johannesburg. Business elites, universities, even major unions, climbed on board at the last minute when it was clear there was no stopping the movement. Troy's one-sided account, deploying the usual red herrings (e.g., the delegitmacy of Israel), will not affect the drift of history or the conscientious direction of truth.


hugh joseph curran - 4/14/2010

I agree that any violence that targets Jews is unacceptable but I'm puzzled that your article assumes some absolute rights being invested in Zionism? Israel is a political & national entity, not a religious entity no matter how Israeli conservative politicians may insist upon it. Israel is a nation state and should be treated as a nation state. If it is, as it certainly seems to be, oppressing a people who were inhabitants of a geographical area now known as Israel for the past two millenia or more, why should it be treated as other than a newly established nation with mostly Russian and East European immigrants.

If Israel is to be treated fairly it should be based on expectations of a nation state that recognizes the rights of indigenous people. Canada & the U.S. have a shameful record with their indigenous people while Israel is well on the way to replicating their record.

There are more than a few Jews who are anti-Zionists, and there are more than a few Israelis who are anti-Zionists. Let's not conflate antisemitic with anti-Zionist. That's an old game that is well psst its time on the world stage. As much as you would like to conflate the two they are not the same and it's about time that reality is faced.


Peter Kovachev - 4/14/2010

Just a technical note, Stephen. You forgot to capitalize the words "attitude" and "land."


Stephen Kislock - 4/14/2010

The attitude of the Civilized World, has been changed,the Horror and Destruction rained down on Palestinians Civilians.

Palestinians Prisoners in their own land, the Ghettos of Gaza and the West Bank, are the 21st Century's Warsaw Ghetto.

Enough is enough! Stop the Killings!

Remember the USS Liberty!