Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tell me why (I don't like Mondays)

Or "National Post deathwatch part 23"

National Post stops Monday editions in summer

As CanWest sinks further and further into debt and tries desperately to stave off its creditors the company has announced that its flagship newspaper will not be publishing on Mondays through the summer. Think of this as the Aspers' version of "Rae Days".

Post publishers Paul Godfrey and Gordon Fisher are trying to put the best face they can on this move stating in their Note to Readers that "this change is in some respects simply a return to what used to be the norm. Financial Post, the 102-year-old heart of our newspaper, prospered for years as a Tuesday-to-Saturday publication." Somehow, I think most Post employees and readers don't see this retreat as a nod to nostalgia.

As CanWest tries to sell of non core assets and dead weight in an attempt to remain solvent the Aspers will have to, sooner rather than later, decide the ultimate fate of the National Post which has never once returned a profit in its ten year history. Chances are that by the end of the summer it won't be just Mondays on which the Post won't be publishing.
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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Is the Canada-Israel Committee spying on the left?

It would seem so according to a CIC document obtained by Dr. Dawg which outlines a 2008 plan by the CIC to monitor and attempt to discredit Palestinian supporters. This is somewhat reminiscent of the scanadal several years ago when the US Anti-Defamation League was found to be spying on the left.
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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Order of Canada revoked from disgraced recipient

No, convicted felon Conrad Black still has his gong.

The disgraced figure who has been stripped of his Order of Canada is T. Sher Singh, a prominent Guelph lawyer who was appointed to the order in 2001. Singh was expelled from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2007 after he "failed to serve clients, mishandled trust funds, misappropriated $2,000 from a client and continued to practise after being suspended in November 2005." The Toronto Star reported earlier this week that Singh's Order of Canada was revoked in December 2008 "pursuant to the Law Society of Upper Canada finding Mr. Singh guilty of professional misconduct and revoking his licence to practise law."

There is no indication that Singh was either criminally charged or convicted for his misdeeds.

So here's the question, if someone can have their Order of Canada taken away as a result of being disciplined by a professional body for misconduct then why does Conrad Black still have his Order when he has been rendered a much more severe judgment by a criminal court?

If you are no longer deemed worthy of an honour for having misappropriated $2,000 and being expelled from the Law Society of Upper Canada, then certainly committing a $6.1 million fraud and being sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison is automatic cause for being de-orderized?

Conrad Black has lost every appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States appears to have passed up its option to consider Black's case a month ago. So why does Black still have the Order of Canada?
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Anti-Semitism in Venezuela? Not so much. (But who will tell Irwin Cotler?)

In January of this year, the anti-Chavez crowd was breathlessly claiming that the vandalisation of a synagogue in Caracas was evidence of a wave of anti-Semitism in Venezuela and despite the lack of any evidence linking the crime to the government, it was widely implied that the attack was a result of official anti-Semitism in the upper ranks of Venezuela's socialist government.

While the attempt to link the government to the attack was facile and opportunistic the simple fact that a synagogue was firebombed was a legitimately worrisome development.

The attack has reached mythic proportions here. Despite the fact that the burglars were busted in February after one of them confessed, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler rose in the House of Commons on April Fool's Day to table a petition decrying the "the escalating state-backed anti-Semitism in Venezuela" with what he called the "firebombing" of the synagogue as exhibit number 1. This despite the fact that not only was the synagogue not firebombed but, as you are about to learn, it had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, let alone "state-backed anti-Semitism".

The original act received a lot of media attention in North America (and some exaggeration with Irwin Cotler claiming the temple was firebombed). What has received far less notice is the denouement - it seems that the incident was not motivated by anti-Semitism but by greed and a personal dispute.

The robbery was in fact planned by the Rabbi's bodyguard after his employer had denied his request for a loan. The accompanying vandalism was an attempt by the robbers to cover their tracks and misdirect investigators.

Incidentally, as has been pointed out by a correspondent on Norman Finkelstein's blog, Caracas' biggest mosque was robbed last month. Curiously, neither the North American media nor Mr. Cotler have suggested that this act was a result of state-sponsored Islamophobia.
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Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Court rules on CAF injunction

Recently Jason Kenney, the Clown Prince of Cabinet, announced he was cutting of government funding to the Canadian Arab Federation because of its stance on the recent Gaza war - accusing CAF of being anti-Semitic. CAF went to court to seek an injunction to continue the funding. The court ruled today and while the emergency injunction was not granted since the ESL program CAF ran can be run by other groups the ruling does open the way for Kenney's decision to be overturned when a full hearing into the matter is held. Here is the conclusion of Justice Kellen's ruling.


[30] Does the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration have the right to cancel the contract with the Canadian Arab Federation for this ESL program for new Canadians because its president made public comments attacking the Minister’s political positions and personal character? Is it appropriate for government to cancel the contract because the Canadian Arab Federation loudly protests the Israeli invasion of Palestine, and calls a Canadian cabinet minister a name for not opposing the Israeli invasion?

[31] Being a target of public criticism is part of holding political office. If the Minister decided to cancel the English as a Second Language funding contract for the Canadian Arab community simply because he was called a name in the heat of a political protest against the Israeli attacks in Gaza, his decision should not stand. It was not unexpected that the Arab community would be repulsed by Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Naturally, the Arab community was upset that the Canadian government did not strongly protest this attack. Many reputable Canadian Jews were similarly opposed to Israel’s attack on Gaza.

[32] However, the Court recognizes that Mr. Kenney alleges that the Canadian Arab Federation is racist, anti-Semitic, and a supporter of a terrorist organization and that it was for these reasons that he cancelled the contract, and not because he was called a name.

[33] Regardless of his reasons for cancelling the funding contract, the Minister clearly owes a duty to the Canadian Arab Federation to give them notice that he intends to cancel the contract, provide the reasons for cancelling the contract, and give the Canadian Arab Federation an opportunity to respond before making his decision. The Minister may have breached the duty of fairness in this regard. For that reason the Minister’s decision may be set aside by the Court after a full hearing. This is a serious issue, an elementary principle of administrative law, and the Minister and his officials must act according to the law.

[34] In this case the Minister has made arrangements so that the CAF employees working exclusively on the LINC contract will continue to be employed and the LINC program will continue. Accordingly, the employees of the Canadian Arab Federation and the community that it serves will not suffer irreparable harm. As a result, the Court will not grant an interim injunction. At the same time, this application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision can proceed and the Canadian Arab Federation may obtain a decision declaring that the Minister’s decision was illegal. Following that, the Canadian Arab Federation may be entitled to commence an action for damages, but that is all in the future.

[35] On the other hand, at the full hearing of this application to set aside the decision of Minister Kenney, the Minister’s evidence may satisfy the Court the applicant should not be extended funding for the reasons cited by Mr. Kenney, namely anti-Semitism, hate mongering and support of terrorism. The Court will decide this question after a full hearing of the evidence on both sides.

[36] For these reasons, this motion for an interim injunction must be dismissed.

The full decision can be found here.
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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Israeli wine boycott - the video

This past Sunday the group Not in Our Name - Jews Against Zionism (NION) staged a demonstration outside of the Summerhill LCBO in support of a boycott of Israeli wine. The NIONists urge instead the purchase of kosher wine from outside of Israel. The Jewish Defence League, Bnai Brith, and United Jewish Appeal organized a counter rally that brought out several hundred pro-Israel demonstrators to purchase Israeli wine in hopes of defeating the boycott. The real goal of the NION campaign, however, wasn't to deny Israel a few thousand dollars of wine sales at one outlet but to raise awareness. Uninvolved people, reading in the Toronto Sun about the intimidation utilized by the pro-Israel demonstraters were also informed about the boycott and some of them may now decide to read labels the next time they go to the store and give a pass to Israeli products.

How can a report with the following lede possibly be read by an objective person as being anything but an indictment of the counter-rally?

They shouted 'Shame!' and 'Jew-haters!' at the small group of Jewish protesters who yesterday called for a boycott of Israeli wines at a midtown liquor store.

Hundreds of pro-Israeli Jews descended on the Summerhill LCBO to counter a group of about 30 pro-Palestinian Jews who urged a boycott of Israeli wines ahead of this week's Passover Seder dinner.

"Jew-haters go home!" the pro-Israeli protesters shouted at the Palestinian sympathizers, who had planned to protest from 1 to 3 p.m.

But the rally was cut short at about 2:30 when police, concerned the crowd could get out of control, asked the pro-Palestinian side to end the protest, said Smadar Carmon, of Not In Our Name, a Jewish group critical of Israel's handling of the Palestinian situation.

The Zionists accomplished what the Nionists could not have done on their own - they created a situation that generated negative media coverage that revealed the aggressiveness and abuse used by Israel's supporters againist their opponents, particularly against dissenting Jews. The story also spread word of the general boycott of Israeli goods in both a Toronto Sun report (Jewish groups clash at LCBO) and the UPI pickup Toronto Jews clash over Israeli wines. During the Gaza war the media often characterized demonstrations as "Jews vs Palestinian" when, in fact, many of the participants in the pro-Gaza demos were Jews. This wasn't a problem this time as both major reports on the boycott demo, including the UPI report, highlighted the fact that the Jewish community is divided on the issue of Israel.

Even the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, a far-right anti-Muslim group linked to federal politicians such as Peter Kent and Tony Clement, got into the act. CCD front man Alastair Gordon posted pictures on his website of the rally, including shots taken by a stalker who followed the NIONists to a restaurant in order to take pictures of them while eating at a private establishment - a rather juvenile attempt at intimidation. (you'll have to scroll down within the frame to see the two pictures in question or check this page on the CCD site.)

Generally, the boycott campaign is having success:

Israeli exports hit by European boycotts after attacks on Gaza
- a report in the British Guardian this week tells us " Israel Manufacturers Association reported that 21% of 90 local exporters who were questioned had felt a drop in demand due to boycotts, mostly from the UK and Scandinavian countries. Last month, a report from the Israel Export Institute reported that 10% of 400 polled exporters received order cancellation notices this year, because of Israel's assault on Gaza."

And even the Motorola campaign, which some have derided as hopeless, has borne fruit:
Motorola Sells Israel Bomb Division as National Boycott Campaign Advances

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Friday, 3 April 2009

Meir Weinstein of JDL nailed by CBC Radio News World at Six

CBC Radio News has a report this evening on Meir Weinstein and the Jewish Defence League. Where other media outlets have failed to dig further into Weinstein's past or that of the JDL the CBC managed to put Weinstein on the spot. Weinstein tries to wiggle away with some rather disingenuous excuses as well as outright lies but I'll provide a dissection a little later. But first, here's a rush transcript of tonight's CBC Radio News report on Meir Weinstein and l'affaire Galloway:

Bernie McNamee: There's another twist tonight in the George Galloway saga. The controversial British MP was refused entry to Canada because of his alleged support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas. now it turns out the man claiming credit for tipping off immigration officials is Meir Weinstein. Galloway's supporters say Weinstein himself was a spokesperson for a Jewish extremist group on Canada's list of banned terrorist organizations. Our security correspondent Bill Gillespie has the story.

Channel 4 News presenter: Banned from Canada and branded a threat to national security George Galloway says he'll fight a shameful decision.

Bill Gillespie: Britain's Channel 4 led their newscast this week with the Galloway affair. In fact, they brought Galloway and Meir Weinstein together to butt heads on a trans-Atlantic video link.

Meir Weinstein (on C4): We are extremely determined to uncover any proxy agents of Hamas.

Galloway (on C4): You don't have to uncover me, I'm an open book.

Bill Gillespie: Ottawa's decision to ban Galloway came four hours after Weinstein held a news conference alleging that the British MP had provided material support for Hamas, a banned terrorist organization in Canada but Galloway's supporters in the blogosphere say Weinstein himself was once a member of a Jewish terrorist group. In 1994 he was identified in a Canadian Press article as a spokesperson for the Kach Party, also known as Kahane Chai. A Kach member in Israel had just massacred more than 50 Palestinian worshippers. Weinstein refused to condemn the attack. He doesn't deny making the statement but he denies ever being a member of Kach.

Meir Weinstein: I've never been a member of Kach or Kahane Chai.

Gillespie: Canada, the US, and the European Union later put Kach and Kahane Chai on their list of banned terrorist organizations. Weinstein denies any connection between Kach and his present group, the Jewish Defence League of Canada. But left-wing bloggers who support Galloway point out that the logos of both groups - a clenched fist in an embedded Star of David - are almost identical. Weinstein says Kach stole the logo from the JDL.

Meir Weinstein: Um, that's the logo of the Jewish Defence League so they took it from the Jewish Defence League but again I don't dictate to them what they're going to do or anything like that.

Gillespie: But bloggers also discovered a link on Weinstein's Facebook page to a chat group called "Death to Arabs". Weinstein says the link was sent to him in Hebrew and he added it not knowing what it said. He has since deleted it. But despite his best efforts he didn't succeed in keeping Galloway from his speaking engagements in Canada.

Galloway (Toronto speech): You won't be able to hide behind your immigration officials who can't speak up for themselves.

Gillespie: The pro-Palestinian group in Toronto that invited Galloway beamed him into a packed church on an internet video link. Bill Gillespie, CBC News, Toronto.

1) Kach stole the JDL's logo? Come on Meir, why not give the actual explanation which is that the JDL was founded in 1968 in New York by Meir Kahane who moved to Israel in 1971 where he founded the Kach Party a few years later. They have the same logo because they are both founded and led by Kahane (who remained the JDL's mentor long after he founded Kach). Is Weinstein accusing Kahane of stealing the logo from himself? Secondly, as Bill Gillespie reported Weinstein himself was a Kach spokesperson in North America (Weinstein didn't deny this, he simply equivocated by saying he was never a Kach "member"). As for there being no connection between Kach, Kahane Chai and the JDL - that's just a bald-faced lie. Apart from having the same founder and leader in the person of Kahane, even after Kahane's death his successor as JDL leader, Irv Rubin, raised funds for Kach/Kahane Chai and promoted the terrorist group.

2) Unfortunately Bill Gillespie didn't report on the JDL's own well documented history of terrorism or the fact that JDL leader Irv Rubin and his deputy, Earl Krugel were arrested in 2001 for plotting to blow up a mosque in Los Angeles (Rubin had been in Montreal months before trying to set up a Montreal JDL chapter). Krugel was convicted - Rubin escaped justice by killing himself in prison.

3) "Weinstein says the link (to join the "Death to the Arabs" Facebook group) was sent to him in Hebrew and he added it not knowing what it said." Now I just laughed when I heard this. Weinstein has been an observant Jew, by his reckoning, since the late 1970s and even claims to have served in the Israeli military but he can't read Hebrew? I have to give him credit though, this was somewhat more believable than Weinstein's original explanation which was that the Iranians somehow planted the link on his page.

Let's hope Gillespie, and the rest of the media, follow up on this. According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START) the JDL was for many years the second most active domestic terrorist group in the United States. There's no reason for the Canadian media to let them off the hook or for any of us to tolerate their attempts to influence Jason Kenney or the Canadian government.

UPDATED: The report is now up on YouTube:

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Galloway sues Farber, CTV, Kenney, Velshi

On Wednesday, I was the first to report that British MP George Galloway was suing Bernie Farber and CTV for libel. Today, Canadian Press reports on this and adds that he will also be suing Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Alykhan Velshi for remarks they made about him.

This should get interesting. Let's home he finds cause to add the human troglodyte Meir Weinstein to the list.
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

George Galloway suing Bernie Farber and CTV

Word out of Montreal tonight that George Galloway made public during his webcast to Concordia tonight that he has launched a devamation lawsuit against Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber and CTV for defamation uttered in an interview.

UPDATE: Galloway repeated the news in his webcast to Ottawa and the National Post has picked up the story.
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