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March 3, 2010

Zionists' threat to Canada's freedom of speech

Karin Brothers

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The censure of Israeli Apartheid Week in Canada by Ontario MPPs, by the Liberal and Conservative national leaders and now by the Toronto School Board represent threats to freedom of speech in Canada that must galvanize Canadians into action.

The most stunning aspect of this condemnation of speech and belief is the subject: the Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

The well-documented ethnic cleansing of Palestinians now occurring in Occupied Arab East Jerusalem, the ongoing attacks and genocidal siege of Gazans now in its fourth brutal year, the confiscation of West Bank Land and ongoing humiliations faced by all Palestinians are presumably acceptable; it is only the description of this treatment that is unacceptable to our various leaders.

Given the apparent outrage at this usage, many may be surprised at the documentation validating the use of the term apartheid: the quotes from Israelis who have used that word to describe their treatment of Palestinians, the quotes of South Africans who claim that the Palestinian treatment is worse than their own apartheid, and the 2009 South African legal study that confirms the validity of "apartheid" to describe Palestinian treatment under Israeli occupation.

The real agenda is clearly about placing limits on Canadian dissent, particularly regarding Canada's new foreign priorities, and it relates to both the Canadian Christian NGO Kairos defunding and the crucifixion of the organization Rights and Democracy. 

Canadians should be very disturbed about the new priorities, which have taken funds for badly- needed food for Palestinian refugees (via UNRWA) and used them for "security" forces. Canada is taking world leadership in training a “new breed” of Palestinian policemen who are eliminating a vibrant civil society in the occupied ghettos and turning them into mini police states answerable to Israel.

It is apparent that to protect our own freedom of speech and right to dissent, Canadians are being forced to speak up on a subject that they have been threatened with being labeled as "anti-Semites" if they address. 

It is time to end that extortion. As Michelle Landsberg once said, (I'm paraphrasing her): If the Palestinians' situation is bad enough to warrant criticism of Israel, so what if someone calls you an anti-Semite?

It's time to stop being worried about name calling and speak truth to power. And preserve our own rights and democracy.

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