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Our Times 3

Middle East

  • How the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is shielding Israel from criticism

    The Ontario government first adopted the IHRA definition by introducing Bill 168, and then through an order in council on October 26. Though the rise of hate crimes against Jewish people have led many to call for such legislation, the main issue critics raise with the IHRA’s 38-word definition of anti-Semitism is that it shuts down criticism of Israel while undermining anti-racism and decolonization initiatives.

  • The duty to end Israeli apartheid

    When the occupation becomes apartheid and defines the identity of the state, international action is required—yes, just as happened with South Africa. What worked there could work here too. Let’s see what happens when Israelis start to pay for the sins of their state. A true patriot should yearn for that day. Which is why the discussion of Israel as an apartheid state is so important.

  • Yes, the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is intended to censor political expression

    Pro-Israel groups have long tried to shut down Palestine activism in the name of false anti-Semitism charges, but they hope that by implementing the IHRA working definition, institutions will be obliged to comply with their demands. If the IHRA definition is indeed enforced in a way that silences critics of Israel, it will be the definition’s intended outcome—the very thing it was built to do.

  • A reply to B’nai Brith, and Canada’s UN vote

    B’nai Brith Canada claims to represent the vast majority of Canada’s approximately 330,000 Jews. I don’t think they do—and I can’t believe it’s so. On matters related to Israel-Palestine, their positions and pronouncements strike me as morally shrivelled and mean-spirited, and liable to cast Jews, Jewishness and the Jewish people, of whom I am one, into disrepute.

  • Don’t be fooled by Canada’s recent pro-Palestine UN vote

    If Canada is serious about holding Israel to account, it must do more than put forward symbolic votes at the UN. Only when the Trudeau government begins to listen to Palestinian voices and rejects the leading proponents of the “new anti-Semitism” thesis which seeks to label criticism of Israel as a form of anti-Jewish discrimination, will we be capable of moving forward together.

  • Gone viral: Moral panic over Palestinian content in Ontario schools

    By posting the student video in a host of online venues, pro-Israel apologists ensured that their outrage would go viral, that it would criminalize an innocent young student, and stoke anti-Arab sentiments among their adherents. But the irony in this propaganda effort is this: as with COVID, the viral spread of digital matter does not discriminate politically. It can both serve and destroy its users.

  • The Orwellian deception of the Abraham Accords

    The Abraham Accords, signed by Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, constitute the latest offence in the Orwellian deception of US-Israeli international relations. A treaty between two nations already at peace with each other is not only redundant but an act of theatrical showmanship. What sort of peace is the deal aspiring toward?

  • Why is the Israeli military still recruiting in Canada?

    There’s a Canadian law that makes it illegal for the armed forces of any foreign state to recruit soldiers within our borders, but you’d never know it the way Israel and its supporters operate within this country. For three quarters of a century Canadians have been recruited inside this country to fight in Israel’s military. Finally, however, there is an organized effort to stop this practice.

  • Memo to Bob Rae and Stephen Lewis: Palestine does matter

    On September 20, Bob Rae and Stephen Lewis spoke to the CBC’s Piya Chattopadhyay about the UN’s 75th anniversary and the institution’s continued relevance in the world. Both Rae and Lewis talked about what can be done to protect multilateralism, but failed to address why Canada’s anti-Palestinian voting record at the UN has played a role in our declining reputation in the world.

  • CBC doubles down on erasing Palestine

    In recent weeks, multiple organizations have spoken out against the CBC’s decision to issue an on-air apology after Duncan McCue referenced Palestine during an interview with cartoonist, journalist and war correspondent Joe Sacco on “the themes of colonialism and resource extraction.” The response from CBC management, however, has not been convincing.

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