Canada Adopts IHRA: 'To Silence Criticism of Israel and Zionism' - IJV

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NDPP
Canada Adopts IHRA: 'To Silence Criticism of Israel and Zionism' - IJV

"The IHRA definition of antisemitism is designed to silence criticism of Israel and of Zionism by equating this criticism with antisemitism." - IJV

"Today I was joined by Marco Mendicino and Irwin Cotler & Jewish community leadership to highlight the Gov'ts' adoption of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, as part of our new Anti-Racism Strategy. This is an important stop forward in ensuring a safer future for Jews in Canada."

https://twitter.com/LevittMichael/status/1143934048945004545

"There is no decent politician in the world today who supports Israel. That would be an oxymoron." Gideon Levy

#NoIHRA

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Who is this "adoption" of the IHRA enforceable ON?  Would it be imposed on all civil servants?  ALL MPs and cabinet ministers?  All elected politicians on any level?   Anyone receiving federal or provincial funding?  It's hard to see how it could be enforced on the public as a whole without violating the Charter.

Mobo2000

Won't it be enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission?   Individuals or organizations will bring complaints against BDS activists, who will then have their cases heard by CHRC.

Mobo2000

There is certainly political will on the right to take this path.   Here's a gem from the National Post on the growing threat of BDS:

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/robert-fulford-the-bds-halo-is-slipping...

"Steven Salaita is a self-confessed despiser of Israel who unleashed a storm of hate-filled tweets before and after the last Gaza War in 2014, and was then denied a campus appointment at the University of Illinois — a decision Nelson endorses, since Salaita in his books as well as his social media posts is a proud hate-monger who disdains the academic virtues of civil debate. Salaita wants to ban Zionists from the left. Should a university hire someone like Salaita, Nelson asks, who would promote discrimination on campus? Nelson also believes that Judith Butler, like other BDS advocates, rejects “Israel’s cultural institutions and its right to exist.” 

Paladin1

NDPP wrote:

"The IHRA definition of antisemitism is designed to silence criticism of Israel and of Zionism by equating this criticism with antisemitism." - IJV

 

 

Sounds like M103. Whats the big deal?

voice of the damned

Mobo2000 wrote:

Won't it be enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission?   Individuals or organizations will bring complaints against BDS activists, who will then have their cases heard by CHRC.

IANAL, but I wouldn't expect there to be a direct domino relationship between the federal government announcing they support a particular definition of something, and that definition having to be enforced by human rights commissions.

 

voice of the damned

Plus, what Burch implied with his questions.

voice of the damned

According to Canadian Jewish News, the IHRA was adopted by the Ministry Of Heritage And Multiculturalism, and is not legally binding.

Also, from reading the article, it seems that the main problem would be with the guidelines attached to the resolution, not the text of the resolution itself. Not sure what difference that makes.

“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
 

Guidelines attached to the definition include illustrations of anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial, accusing Israel and Jews of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust, making “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews,” denying Jews their right to self-determination by claiming that Israel is a racist endeavour, along with other facets of anti-Jewish racism.

http://tinyurl.com/y2vktc8j

 

voice of the damned

Paladin1 wrote:

NDPP wrote:

"The IHRA definition of antisemitism is designed to silence criticism of Israel and of Zionism by equating this criticism with antisemitism." - IJV

 

Sounds like M103. Whats the big deal?

What is M103?

Paladin1

A motion to condem critisim of islam.

Only here it can be a motion to condem anti-Semitism.

josh

Not when a political state is included within the definition.

Paladin1

josh wrote:

Not when a political state is included within the definition.

 

Is it though?  The definitions of anti-semitisim I've came across only mention Jews and not Israel as a state.

Quote:
"Today I was joined by Marco Mendicino and Irwin Cotler & Jewish community leadership to highlight the Gov'ts' adoption of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, as part of our new Anti-Racism Strategy. This is an important stop forward in ensuring a safer future for Jews in Canada."

Quote:
"Today I was joined by XXX and XXX & Muslim community leadership to highlight the Gov'ts' adoption of the IHRA Definition of Islamophobia, as part of our new Anti-Racism Strategy. This is an important stop forward in ensuring a safer future for Muslims in Canada."

 

They seem interchangable to me.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The actual definition reads:

IHRA wrote:
Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

The IHRA provides some examples of how this can be interpreted, and a couple of those mention Israel, but those don't form part of the definition proper.  Apparently, the UK Labour Party adopted the definition a few years back, but they ditched a few of the examples, and reworded a couple of others.

NDPP

Ken Burch wrote:

Who is this "adoption" of the IHRA enforceable ON?  Would it be imposed on all civil servants?  ALL MPs and cabinet ministers?  All elected politicians on any level?   Anyone receiving federal or provincial funding?  It's hard to see how it could be enforced on the public as a whole without violating the Charter.

NDPP wrote:

Shouldn't be a problem parliamentary speaking as there's nothing but adulation and servility from our lickspittling pols. As well there is the automatic pre-screening of candidates that occurs by the political parties themselves with the slightest negativity towards almighty Israel automatically disqualified. When I myself once put the question to a Toronto NDP politician as to why they wouldn't raise the issue of Israeli criminality, I was told straight up"because their lobby would crush me." Jeremy Corbyn is a good example of what happens to anyone in public office who tries to do the right thing in this regard.

 

"Please sign and share this campaign by Independent Jewish Voices to say no to Justin Trudeau's adoption of the controversial IHRA definition which aims to silence supporters of Palestinian Human Rights..."

https://twitter.com/PalestineTurtle/status/1143945830879105024

https://www.noihra.ca

 

In Toronto, you can protest this and Trump's 'Deal of the Century' at a pro-Palestine rally, Saturday, June 29 @12:00 noon, in front of the US Consulate, 360 University Ave.

Mobo2000

VOTD:  Re your post 7 I'm not sure what you mean, or what Burch is implying with his questions.  If his implication is this is no big deal and will not be used against critics of Israel on university campuses, I disagree.  

RE: Paladin's comments and M103, the National Post agrees:

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/theres-a-debate-over-canadas-new-...

"The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is brief, but includes a list of 11 contemporary examples, such as “the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy,” and the claim that Jews invented or exaggerated the Holocaust. It also lists as anti-Semitic “applying double standards by requiring of (Israel) a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

A proposed example of this double standard is given later in the article:

"Independent Jewish Voices, an organization that supports the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, is urging Ottawa to reconsider. “The full definition’s examples conflate fundamental criticisms of Israel and/or Zionism with anti-Semitism — a position IJV strongly rejects,” the organization said in a statement, adding its adoption “would pose a serious threat to freedom of expression and academic freedom in Canada.”

Fishman and Housefather both denied this, pointing out that the definition states that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.” But Fishman said support for the BDS movement does constitute anti-Semitism under the IHRA definition to the extent that supporters also, for example, call for the lifting of sanctions against Iran — a double standard, he argued.

“There are many parts of BDS which are indeed a new form of anti-Semitism when you single out Israel,” Housefather said."

"Canada’s anti-racism strategy does not propose any new penalties for anti-Semitism, nor does it propose new legislation — it provides only a definition. But Meghan McDermott, staff counsel for the BCCLA, said she worries it could eventually be incorporated into the Criminal Code. “It’s kind of what we would call soft law for now,” she said. “We just worry about that whole floodgates argument.”    ... That “floodgates argument” is strikingly similar to the concerns raised by Conservatives and other critics of M-103, the 2017 motion that called on the government to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of racism and religious discrimination. Though M-103 was not a government bill and proposed no changes to legislation, critics claimed that because Islamophobia was not precisely defined, the motion could restrict legitimate criticism of Islam."

---------------

Mobo:   My own view is that both M103 and this new definition are overly broad.   I don't think they will have any positive effect on reducing racism or bigotry.  I don't think governments are generally successful at influencing the public's opionion about anything, and ours seems particularly bad at it.    Sometimes these efforts have the reverse effect of what they are aiming for when they try.   I think our government should err on the side of free speech to the greatest degree possible, only speech that contains direct incitments to violence should be criminalized.  

voice of the damned

VOTD:  Re your post 7 I'm not sure what you mean, or what Burch is implying with his questions.  If his implication is this is no big deal and will not be used against critics of Israel on university campuses, I disagree.  

I mean, the fact that the government has adopted this definition will not directly lead to the HRCs or other governmental organizations adopting it as part of their definition.

How many times have you heard someone complain "The government ratified the International Convention Of Whatever, but hasn't done a damn thing to implement its principles". Unless further legislation is put forth, this IHRA could end up being something like those international conventions.

Which is not to say I'm cool with adopting it. If nothing else, it could give those wishing to suppress criticisim of Israel a rhetorical device in pursuit of that aim: "How can you call Israel an apartheid state? Don't you know our own government considers that to be anti-semitism?"

 

Paladin1

Thanks for the link and story Mobo2000.

 

Accusing someone of racisim and the threat of being accused really has been weaponized in our politics.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mobo2000 wrote:

VOTD:  Re your post 7 I'm not sure what you mean, or what Burch is implying with his questions.  If his implication is this is no big deal and will not be used against critics of Israel on university campuses, I disagree.  

RE: Paladin's comments and M103, the National Post agrees:

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/theres-a-debate-over-canadas-new-...

"The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is brief, but includes a list of 11 contemporary examples, such as “the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy,” and the claim that Jews invented or exaggerated the Holocaust. It also lists as anti-Semitic “applying double standards by requiring of (Israel) a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

A proposed example of this double standard is given later in the article:

"Independent Jewish Voices, an organization that supports the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, is urging Ottawa to reconsider. “The full definition’s examples conflate fundamental criticisms of Israel and/or Zionism with anti-Semitism — a position IJV strongly rejects,” the organization said in a statement, adding its adoption “would pose a serious threat to freedom of expression and academic freedom in Canada.”

Fishman and Housefather both denied this, pointing out that the definition states that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.” But Fishman said support for the BDS movement does constitute anti-Semitism under the IHRA definition to the extent that supporters also, for example, call for the lifting of sanctions against Iran — a double standard, he argued.

“There are many parts of BDS which are indeed a new form of anti-Semitism when you single out Israel,” Housefather said."

"Canada’s anti-racism strategy does not propose any new penalties for anti-Semitism, nor does it propose new legislation — it provides only a definition. But Meghan McDermott, staff counsel for the BCCLA, said she worries it could eventually be incorporated into the Criminal Code. “It’s kind of what we would call soft law for now,” she said. “We just worry about that whole floodgates argument.”    ... That “floodgates argument” is strikingly similar to the concerns raised by Conservatives and other critics of M-103, the 2017 motion that called on the government to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of racism and religious discrimination. Though M-103 was not a government bill and proposed no changes to legislation, critics claimed that because Islamophobia was not precisely defined, the motion could restrict legitimate criticism of Islam."

---------------

Mobo:   My own view is that both M103 and this new definition are overly broad.   I don't think they will have any positive effect on reducing racism or bigotry.  I don't think governments are generally successful at influencing the public's opionion about anything, and ours seems particularly bad at it.    Sometimes these efforts have the reverse effect of what they are aiming for when they try.   I think our government should err on the side of free speech to the greatest degree possible, only speech that contains direct incitments to violence should be criminalized.  

I'm not "implying" anything-I'm asking a legitimate series of questions about what, precisely, it means that "Canada"-I assume that refers simply to the government, rather than every individual Canadian agreeing to it in unison-has agreed to this definition.  If I didn't make this clear in my wording, my intent is not to minimize the implications of the Canadian government accepting this definition.  I was simply asking for clarification as to what this would and would not mean.

I deeply oppose the adaptation of these guidelines-they are clearly not about fighting actual antisemitism, a prejudice  the pro-Palestinian community is just as deeply opposed to as anybody else, as should go without saying; the intent of the guidelines, as written, is to equate virtually ANY public criticism of the actions of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism, to imply that the State of Israel and the world's Jewish communities are somehow a single entity, and to give "pro-Israel" types-the largest number of whom, in North America, are evangelical Christians who support Israeli territorial aggressiveness and the oppression of the Palestinian people as part of the despicable and TRULY anti-Semitic "Last Days" eschatology-the Last Days/Rapture notion of Christianity being a scenario which includes, after the reconstruction of the Temple, an insistence that Jews either convert to (evangelical)Christianity or face extermination.

The IHRA "guidelines and examples" also have the indefensible effect of giving the Israeli government and its apologists an automatic veto on what anyone can and cannot say about the actions of the Israeli government-under those guidelines, all anyone has to do is to claim that the criticism in question "singles out" the Israeli government or "holds it to a higher standard" than other countries-something virtually no opposition to Israeli policies ever actually does, for the record-and whatever was said is not anathema, with whoever said it being a pariah until that person, presumably, recants in some sort of degradation ceremony and then pledges, henceforth, to be unquestioning defender of the Netanyahu regime.

 

voice of the damned

Honestly, I think this resolution, obnoxious though it is in its underlying ideas, is gonna have about as much legal force as stating "We wish to acknowledge we are standing on unceded First Nations territory" has in regards to land-claim cases.  

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So I will not be able to say that Israel's treatment of Palestinians is racist? That sounds equivalent to telling me I can't say the country to the south of me is a white supremacist nation or that Canadians have committed genocide against our native population.

I can say anything I want about China though and it isn't racist it is merely a comment about their form of government not a new expression of Canada's Anti-Asian Exclusion history.

Paladin1

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I can say anything I want about China though and it isn't racist it is merely a comment about their form of government not a new expression of Canada's Anti-Asian Exclusion history.

You can right now. Fast forward a few years when Chinese money and political clout become more of a thing and you'll surely find any fears, criticism or dislike of all things China will be hate speech and racist.

NDPP

You and I might now be able to speak truth to these powers [for now],  but the lesson of Corbyn and what can happen to a politician who speaks out on Israel is illustrative. Just posted it in the UK thread but will post it here as well since the same powerful forces that brought us IHRA are at play...

Food 4 Thought (and vid)

https://twitter.com/55kriss155/status/1144597633929031680

Prof Norman Finkelstein: 'That's not 'anti-Semitism', that's factually based..."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I can say anything I want about China though and it isn't racist it is merely a comment about their form of government not a new expression of Canada's Anti-Asian Exclusion history.

You can right now. Fast forward a few years when Chinese money and political clout become more of a thing and you'll surely find any fears, criticism or dislike of all things China will be hate speech and racist.

In saying that, are you agreeing that accusations that similiar critiques of the Israeli role in Canadian politics are somehow "anti-Semitic" are bogus?

Paladin1

Ken Burch wrote:

In saying that, are you agreeing that accusations that similiar critiques of the Israeli role in Canadian politics are somehow "anti-Semitic" are bogus?

I'm not very smart when it comes to this stuff. I don't even fully understand your question (but I'll take a shot).

I think it's bogus that criticism, dislike, even hate speech towards jews has it's own special word. I think the act of doing something like that suggests jewish people should be held above everyone else. Like hate criems are bad but against jews they're REALLY bad.

I don't understand why (they do) but I think Israel (not sure if I'd say jewish people or not) get special, preferential treatment from the US and Canada. They're like the old boys club at a workplace (or message forum...) that can figuratively and litterally get away with murder.

I don't believe critiques of the Israeli role in Canadian politics are "anti-Semitic" at all. I think that's a case of Israels, or maybe Jweish, special treatment.

We should be able to critique the shit out of Israel, out of Saudia Arabia, out of Judaism, Catholicisim, you name it.

NDPP

EI: Canada Adopts Israel Lobby's Contested Definition of Anti-Semitism

https://twitter.com/intifada/status/1144872105382699008

"Canada has announced that it will formally adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that could characterize Palestinian rights campaigning as anti-Jewish bigotry. The definition is contained in the Canadian government's new strategy to 'combat racism and discrimination in its various forms.' BC Civil Liberties Association says the definition 'is extremely vague, open to misinterpretation' and a 'threat to freedom of expression.'

Israel lobby groups hope however that by adopting the IHRA 'working definition' in full, it will be easier for Canadian authorities to demonize and crack down on campaigners who call for Israel to respect Palestinian rights or who opposes Israel's state ideology, Zionism. Israel lobby group CIJA lauded the Canadian government for adopting IHRA, and claimed that the definition 'definitively and explicitly recognizes that anti-Zionism is a clear and unequivocal expression of antisemitism.'

The primary goal 'is to ban or criminalize deep criticism of Israel and Zionism, and suppress support for Palestinian rights', IJV stated, adding that their members and supporters 'know that being Jewish and supporting Israel are two different things."

Unfortunately, many more outside of IJV 'know' precisely the opposite. STOP supporting Apartheid Israel and its growing, dangerous power and influence over our national and international affairs. IHRA is merely the latest example.  Defend against Zionism!  Free Palestine!

Misfit Misfit's picture

Paladin,

i think that anti-semitism is very real. Jewish people have faced persecution for centuries, no millennia. The holocaust was a very recent example of how evil hatred against Jewish people can take out their hatred against them. 

I don’t blame Jewish people for being so acutely sensitive about negativity that is directed against them. However, what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians is disgraceful and people need to have the freedom to be able to criticize actions that Israel has taken.withiut being accused of racism and anti-semitism.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Here is Noam Chomsky’s take on anti-semitism vs. Zionism.

video

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Misfit wrote:

Paladin,

i think that anti-semitism is very real. Jewish people have faced persecution for centuries, no millennia. The holocaust was a very recent example of how evil hatred against Jewish people can take out their hatred against them. 

I don’t blame Jewish people for being so acutely sensitive about negativity that is directed against them. However, what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians is disgraceful and people need to have the freedom to be able to criticize actions that Israel has taken.withiut being accused of racism and anti-semitism.

 

Absolutely.  

NDPP

IHRA is yet another strategem by the Zionist lobby to shut down criticism of itself and Apartheid Israel using the Canadian political class to accomplish this against its own people. The President of Israel identified this mechanism during a recent trip to Canada. What must be done is to isolate this lobby's domestic sources of funding, support and influence and shut those down.

A good start might be for Canadian voters to exercise their own initiative in this regard when contemplating your voting choices. If you, as I, believe Israeli writer Gideon Levy is correct when he says "There is no decent politician in the world today who supports Israel,' then it is incumbent upon you to determine if your candidate is one of these and if so NOT to continue to aid and abet Israeli apartheid and throw more Palestinian lives under the bus by voting for them.

 

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

IHRA is yet another strategem by the Zionist lobby to shut down criticism of itself and Apartheid Israel using the Canadian political class to accomplish this against its own people. The President of Israel identified this mechanism during a recent trip to Canada. What must be done is to isolate this lobby's domestic sources of funding, support and influence and shut those down.

A good start might be for Canadian voters to exercise their own initiative in this regard when contemplating your voting choices. If you, as I, believe Israeli writer Gideon Levy is correct when he says "There is no decent politician in the world today who supports Israel,' then it is incumbent upon you to determine if your candidate is one of these and if so NOT to continue to aid and abet Israeli apartheid and throw more Palestinian lives under the bus by voting for them.

Well said, NDPP.

Mobo2000

Ken, re: post 18 - I did read you wrong upthread, thanks for clarifying.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mobo2000 wrote:

Ken, re: post 18 - I did read you wrong upthread, thanks for clarifying.

 

It's all good-perhaps I might have written what you responded to with greater clarity.

NDPP

Gideon Levy: 'Say the Truth About Israel'

https://youtu.be/SXjHLMYY9FE

"Gideon Levy worries that Israeli officials have created a political climate in which raising questions about the Israeli occupation of Palestine is considered tantamount to anti-Semitism. 'We have to say the truth. The Israeli lobby, the Jewish lobby, are, by far, too strong..."

 

Former Israeli Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni on 'Anti-Semitism'

https://youtu.be/mA69bOf0Ee0

"It's a trick. We always use it..."

 

'Time To Say ' This Far and No Further' to Using Anti-Semitism as A Weapon - Galloway

https://youtu.be/i4C-JSbetLs

"We are so far down the rabbit hole now of the weaponization of anti-Semitism as a political issue that it has become not just unjust, not just immoral but positively dangerous - and dangerous to Jewish people themselves..."

NDPP

"When does the 'fiddling while Rome burns' Left wake up to what's happening? We've warned for years that anti-semitism is being weaponised...How much further does this have to go?"

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/status/1147273897613639681

NDPP

"Vancouver is one of the first municipalities to introduce IHRA definition. IHRA conflates critiques of Zionism and Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine with anti-semitism. Anti-semitism is racism and can't be combated by perpetuating oppression. Oppose the motion!"

https://twitter.com/HarshaWalia/status/1152337141189378048

Canadian Zionization proceeds apace.

NDPP

"CIJA's Nico Slobinsky is at Vancouver City Hall to support the tabling of the motion to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The Jewish community stands united and strongly supports this motion."

https://twitter.com/CIJAinfo/status/1153706136203169792

It's a lie says IJV.

NDPP

Canada's Third Largest City Delays Vote on Contentious Antisemitism Definition

https://twitter.com/JohnOCAP/status/1154366655843225600

"The line is drawn in Vancouver against the international attempt to slander and silence Palestinian solidarity by way of the IHRA definition of antisemitism. 'CIJA voiced its disappointment over the decision to delay the vote in Vancouver. The definition is highly contentious and it has been condemned by Palestine advocates worldwide..."

NDPP

Ten Questions To Irwin Cotler About the IHRA Definition of 'Anti-Semitism': An Open Letter

https://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2019/07/23/ten-questions-to-irwin-...

"...Mr Cotler do you agree that these statements, all of which appear to be extremely critical of Israel and current Israeli policy are factually correct? If they are true statements, is it anti-Semitic to repeat them?"

No, but the Zio lobby can force Canadian lawmakers to say it is.