A year ago Parliamentarians and Experts From 50 countries, and six continents assembled together for a conference on Combating Antisemitism in Ottawa, Canada, where the Ottawa Protocol was released. In it was the groundbreaking alarm against state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and the resurgence of anti-Jewish libels, including Holocaust denial. The conference was hosted by the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) and was the largest of its kind. Delegates explored data to learn about and discuss strategies to combat Antisemitism globally. Less than three months ago, these efforts culminated in the historic step of signing "The Ottawa Protocol to Combat Anti-Semitism," described in the Huffington Post article: Canada Gets Tough on anti-Semitism. Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, affirmed that "those who would hate and destroy the Jewish people would ultimately hate and destroy the rest of us as well."
It is clear that in Canda the delegitimization of Israel must be delegitimized through a devised state formula that could match the drives to isolate Israel. A working formula was officially introduced to the Government of Canada, culminating in the signing of the historic Ottawa Protocol at the end of September. Preceding it was a report by a coalition of current and former parliamentarians which concluded that incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise in Canada, especially on University Campuses. The coalition called upon the Government of Canada to combat this wave, which it had been investigating since November of 2009, and had then hosted an international conference on anti-Semitism in Ottawa a year later. The coalition concluded with key recommendations: i) that police forces across Canada be better trained to deal with anti-Semitism ii) that universities host conferences to counter events such as "Israeli Apartheid Week" and iii) that there should be a clear definition of what anti-Semitism entails.
While there are those fooled into believing that they are supporting the rights of the Palestinian "underdog"against the brutality of an "apartheid" regime, and therefore lobbying for Palestinian statehood on that behalf, the entire Middle East peace process is a façade, with the ultimate aim not of having a Palestinian State, which the Palestinians have been offered time and again only each time to reject the offer without even a counter-offer, but to destroy Israel -- first by demonizing it, as laid out in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas Charters—the ultimate Nazi-inspired, anti-Semitic texts.
According to a recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League [ADL], anti-Semitism is on the rise in America with 15% of the population— some 35 million -- saying they "hold deeply anti-Semitic views". 19% of those surveyed believe that Jews hold too much control on Wall Street, while 30% believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America – a statistic that prompted ADL director Abraham Foxman to say that stereotypes about Jews and money endure.
This troubling survey is reminiscent of the negative portrayals by Josef Goebbels, the Third Reich's Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi Party, of the Jewish people, and the blame falsely attributed to them for global economic and social problems. Such propaganda was intended to dehumanize Jews and lay the groundwork for the Holocaust. Other studies have also perceived a rise in Anti-Semitism, with observable links to outbreaks between Israel and the Palestinians, across Europe and in Canada.
To battle anti-Semitism effectively, it is critical to understand what drives it and why a state-sponsored model for fighting it is essential to match a societal corrosion similar to the one that led up to the Holocaust, and that created the deadly alliance among Arabs, Palestinians and Nazis that is still operational today.
Canada has demonstrated an effective approach to combat anti-Semitism, starting with consistently adhering to principles of justice and fairness in recognizing the rights of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and Canada has stood up to global bullying while enduring criticism from enemies of Israel, both international and domestic.
The recent controversy surrounding the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman highlighted the question of what anti-Semitism entails. Gutman described two types of anti-Semitism : "classic bigotry" against Jews and "growing anti-Semitism," resulting from an inability to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He continued to explain that there is anger, resentment and sometimes hatred as a result of ongoing tensions between Israel and Palestinians and other Arab neighbors over territory that is apparently disputed. For this, Gutman was viewed as blaming Israeli policy toward the Palestinians for anti-Semitism, prompting Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to call on President Obama to dismiss him. Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors called on Obama to renounce Gutman's "wild theories," which the organization termed "particularly troubling given the ongoing campaign by the White House to undermine Israel."
Zionism, Israel, the Jewish people and the history of Judaism, are, of course, linked. There are those who assert that to criticize Israel is not anti-Semitic; yet an anti-Semitic agenda has been smuggled into the mainstream discourse through virulent and often seriously questionable criticisms of Israeli political policy. The vitriol continues to be freshly churned out from The Middle East where the Islamist-oil machinery manufactures a steady supply of fuel for global propaganda, in which Jews are demonized and martyrdom praised in Palestinian school textbooks. Israel's so-called practices of: colonialism, "occupation," alleged "apartheid" and dubious "war crimes" against the Palestinian people have become a global chant. The momentous Goldstsone Report that created a brouhaha further fueled this propaganda, but when recanted, the damage had already been done and Judge Richard Goldstone's repentant statement -- "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document"--had little impact.
When US Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich referred to the Palestinians as an "invented" people and the current stalled peace process "delusional"http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/primaries/candidates/newt-gingrich?inline=nyt-perNewt Gingrich, he was on the mark. Gingrich added that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, which has pledged to respect Israel's right to exist - but never as a Jewish state, only a 23rd Muslim one -- really harbors "an enormous desire to destroy Israel." On November 16th, Mosab Hassan Youcef -- the eldest, now disowned, son of one of the founders of Hamas, Sheik Hassan Youcef — verified Hamas's agenda for the peace process in front of a packed Toronto synagogue, where he issued the warning: "If israel fails, the West will fail". Another co-Founder of Hamas, Mahmoud al Zahar, said, "There is no place for you [Jews] among us , and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation." The head of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah described Israel as a "cancerous entity" of "ultimate evil" whose "annihilation ... is a definite matter;" and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote his PhD on Holocaust denial. This sort of hate and murderous ambition against the Jewish people are commonplace among leaders of terrorist organizations.
The anti-Semitic disease was transmitted politically, as history documents, by members of Hitler's Third Reich who created the Holocaust. This poisonous political influence was transmitted by the Founder of Palestian Radicalism , the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini who collaborated with Adolph Hitler and Adolph Eichmann. Al-Husseini so despised Jews, that when he learned that Eichman intended to swap thousands of Jewish children for German POWs, he protested vehemently, forcing Eichman to cancel the swap. Its cancellation resulted in those Jewish children being sent to death camps in Poland. 90% of Bosnia's Jews were also slaughtered by al Husseini's influence. One of al-Husseini's many cousins was Hamida Khalifa al-Husseini, who happenend to have a son, Rahman Abdul Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, a great admirer of his "uncle," the Grand Mufti -- and who eventually changed his name to Yasser Arafat and headed up the Palestine Liberation Orgnization.
Current day global attitudes toward Israel fall along the continuum of this alliance formed between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler, and are highly influenced by the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Jewish Center for Public Affairs identified a "new wave" of anti-Semitism traced to the September 2000 Palestinian intifada; the Center pointed out an observable positive correlation between the Israeli-Arab conflict and upsurges in anti-Semitic incidents. This pattern is evident in both multicultural Canada and Europe. David Goldberg, an independent policy analyst and former director of research and education for the Canada-Israel Committee, points out that the Muslim population has grown exponentially while the size of the Jewish Community has remained stable. He makes the case that Muslims have followed the model of organizing ceated by the Jewish Community, and have built themselves prominent Muslim advocacy groups such as the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), and the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), all of which have become increasingly radical in their views, and increasingly intensified by the developments in the Middle East and the Palestinian issue. During the Gaza war (December 2008-January 2009) , Hezbollah and Hamas flags were raised at anti-Israel rallies in Toronto. Canada's Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, criticized their presence and then declared his unconditional support for Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism. In response, the CAF president, Khaled Mouammar, called the Minister a "professional whore." It got worse. Kenney proclaimed that groups such as the CAF and CIC that support banned terrorist organizations should not receive tax-payer support through federal funding, and he withdrew funding from the CAF, setting off a furor with NGOs that support the CAF. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East was among those to support Mouammar in a castigating report which branded Israel an Apartheid Regime, while presenting the CAF as a glowing organization, "dedicated to combating racism and hate in all of its forms." Mouammar then called the CAF and himself victims of "a well-planned Zionist campaign waged by the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai Brith Canada and supported by some politicians...to suppress all criticism of Israel and equate it with anti-Semitism." It is clear that individuals or groups that support terrorist organizations that seek to wipe Israel off the map should not be receiving taxpayer funding to push its agenda of anti-Semitism in the face of their public denials, yet still such groups bully politicians and have a strong influence on public discourse. It also should be of serious concern that many displays of public maps have totally excluded Israel: at London School of Economics , at the U.N on a British airline and on maps distributed by the P.A.
As expected, critics such as Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East attempted to derail the findings of the Parliamentary Coalition as "nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt to suppress legitimate criticism of Israel." Further study of the CJPME, however, reveals its anti-Semitic agenda: the group bullied its program into a local Hamilton city YWCA to feature a lecture by British journalist William Parry about his book: "Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine." The CJPME has also hosted Norman Finkelstein, who has declared his support for the terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas. The CJPME has also featured Israeli Occupation on Trial, and a photo exhibit, Human Drama in Gaza; yet the CJPME ignores the true racial apartheid existing in the Arab world where blacks are regarded as inferiors and the slave trade is still thriving.
The Canadian coalition underscored the need to counter the anti-Semitic drives on University campuses, where anti-Semitism is rife. Universities also serve as an ideal venue for the promulgation of propaganda to indoctrinate the greatest minds of our future. Muslim Student Associations and Palestinian Solidarity Networks aggressively further their agendas against Israel and are notorious for intimidation tactics, particularly during "Israel Apartheid Week" (IAW).
Compounding the situation is the universities' tendency to hide their failure to protect Jewish students from Muslim intimidation behind the inviolable principle of 'freedom of speech"; except that this protection of free speech goes in one direction. Who could forget the planned riot by the group "Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights" at Concordia University nearly a decade ago when Benjamin Netanyahu was blocked from making his speech?
Also, in January 2003, the Middle East Students' Association at York University in Toronto used violent threats to try to force the cancellation of a lecture by Middle-East scholar Daniel Pipes. York took no action against potential agitators. Then a talk by Pipes was aborted in 2010. More recently, in October, Pipes tried again, this time surrounded by security and without incident, but organizers downplayed the event over concerns about threats of violence; and the campus security detail changed rooms at the last minute for no apparent reason, making it effectively impossible to publicize the event.
Ann Coulter was also blocked from speaking at the University of Ottawa, but when the self-promoting anti-Semite George Galloway made his address on the York campus, he was welcomed with an open-arms reception, and York issued legal threats against those who dared to protest. Less than a year earlier Galloway had been banned from even entering the Canada on the grounds of national security because of his support and facilitation of terrorist organizations.
A full report highlights how to determine when anti-Israel campus activity becomes anti-Semitic; it was submitted to the Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism.
The Prime Minister of Canada's declaration officially linked anti-Semitism to the right of the Jewish people to have their own homelandand to the "denial of the legitimacy of Zionism as a Jewish movement to reclaim the land of Israel." In announcing the protocol, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird reiterated the government's unequivocal support for the State of Israel.
A brief look at Canada's record shows its seriousness in a state-sponsored approach to anti-Semitism: Canada was the first nation to withdraw early from the 2009 Durban II conference, followed by the U.S. , Australia, Israel, the U.K., and most of the EU. With the September Durban III Conference, Canada again took the lead in boycotting it, again a year early to enable other countries better to follow suit. Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney called the Durban Conference a charade that promoted racism rather than combatted it. Canada also opposed the bid for Palestinian statehood, and has endured insults for its unrelenting support for Israel, as well as accusations of breaking away from "decency and fairness" in its foreign policy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also vetoed any mention of Israel's pre-1967 borders in the final G8 statement earlier this year.
Given the historic and current state-sponsored anti-Semitic drives with their ability to mobilize public support through a systematic process of dehumanizing people, it is crucial that efforts to counter them today are matched with a statewide approach. While the United Nations, the OIC and many in the West continue to support state-sanctioned anti-Semitism against Israel, Canada has opposed this anti-Israel agenda, internationally and domestically, and is a global leader in the fight against this scourge. It would be helpful if it served as a model for other states to follow.
Professor Dan Michman, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research with Yad Vashem, recently addressed a media seminar at Toronto's Yad Vashem headquarters. When asked to differentiate the Holocaust from other genocides, he said that the Holocaust was an attempt to "exorcise the Jewish spirit from the world," eerie words that should serve as a warning in the current climate of sweeping anti-Semitism and the delegitimizing of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.