Sucking Up to the JDL

Free speech trashed in favour of pandering to Jewish special interest group.

Oh gee, here’s a whopping surprise. Turns out that Meir Weinstein, the national director of the Jewish Defence League Canada wrote an open letter to the Harper government urging it to “do everything possible to keep this hater away from Canada.” Today, he told the NYT that he’s “very pleased,” by the government’s decision to bar Mr. Galloway. Yeah, I bet.

Meanwhile, Galloway plans on suing the government. That should be quite popcorn-worthy, I’m sure.

p.s. In case you were wondering, Kenney’s whiz-kid spokesthingee is in fact distantly related to CNN’s Ali Velshi.

Bonus Irony: Responding to questions from the British press, Velshi claimed that Galloway’s being prevented from entering the country has nothing to do with free speech, but is simply due to the fact that the Canadian Border Services Agency has determined (doubtless in connection with the Ministry of Public Safety) that the British MP is a “threat to national security” for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — presumably owing to his professed support for Hamas, which the government has deemed a “terrorist organization.” In this regard, with respect to the aforementioned JDL representative, it’s interesting to note that in its report, Terrorism 2000/2001, the FBI referred to the Jewish Defense League as a “violent extremist Jewish organization” and stated that the FBI was responsible for thwarting at least one of its terrorist acts. But of course, they pose no threat whatsoever to our “national security”…

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63 Comments

Filed under Free Speech, STEPHEN HARPER Govrnment of Canada

63 responses to “Sucking Up to the JDL

  1. sam

    Canadian Jewish Congress and Bnai Brith also supported the Government’s decision.

    Only group defending Galloway seems to be the NDP.

  2. Well, good for the NDP then.

    I think this is completely unacceptable. It’s a very dangerous precedent.

    I’m sick and tired of these special interest groups — irrespective of what religious creed or ethnic group they happen to represent — demanding that their critics or those with controversial opinions they happen to find objectionable, be muzzled, banned or otherwise silenced.

  3. foottothefire

    Makes ya’ just swell with pride knowing a bible school dropout can rise to heights of thought control in Canada.

  4. Kingston

    Hey Red, Long time no see, Just checking, but do you also feel the same way when organizations i.e. unions and universities advocate to prevent Jewish supporting org and or members of the Israel government in one case from speaking.

  5. Kingston — Hiya. To answer your question: Yes. I’m pretty much of a free speech absolutist.

  6. Kingston

    Then fair enough, I totally agree although I tend to think this guy pushes the boundary of my tolerance, but hell, that is what free speech is all about.

  7. Wayward son

    I agree completely RT. I don’t know exactly where my line is on free speech, but it is pretty close to absolutist. I am disgusted by our government barring Galloway (even though I am not a fan of his). I am equally disgusted by the British banning of Geert Wilders (although I am not a fan of his either). Hell, I even feel that a criminal like Dubya shouldn’t be banned from speaking in Canada.

  8. Wayward son

    And the Oklahoma state legislature tried to stop Richard Dawkins from speaking in their state.

  9. scanner

    Mr. Galloway has put his money where is mouth is. This adventure garnered almost no press (because it involved Muslims?) http://www.vivapalestina.org/home.htm but I believe shows the Hon Member to be more than noise. NONE of our politicians would even attempt something like this. 100 vehicles full of supplies, an ambulance and a fire truck – delivered the hard way. I’ve driven in Morocco and Algeria – not for the faint of heart. The Tories are only what they are – small minded, frightened and not very bright. Why are they the government?

  10. Ridiculer

    “To answer your question: Yes. I’m pretty much of a free speech absolutist.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I’m Adrian Lima’s boyfriend, pleased to meet you!

    You live in a very, very small and creative world, Red. You supported a party which sought to greatly expand hate crime legislation last election, among other things, and you consort exclusively with anti-free speechers here at your blog.

    Have you considered a less humiliating hobby than pretending to be something you are not? Bowling is fun, and right around your intellectual level I hear.

  11. Ridiculer — Just because I generally support the Liberals doesn’t mean that I have to agree with all of their policies. I’ve said here many times before that I don’t agree with “hate crime” legislation and think that Section 13 should be eliminated. So…. go fuck yourself, jackass. Or just go back to beating off with your Mom’s Victoria Secret catalog.

  12. CWTF — Sounds like a natural for the BTs to get behind. Heck, when it said that the ironically named Love “is known for annotating newspaper articles with racist screeds…” I thought they were talking about “Neo” there for a second.

  13. Ti-Guy

    So…. go fuck yourself, jackass. Or just go back to beating off with your Mom’s Victoria Secret catalog.

    This topic really brings out the loonies, doesn’t it?

  14. scanner

    love to see you debate Galloway, Tie Guy
    (snicker)

  15. benalbanach

    Galloway does not promote hate.He does promote the Palestinians.The Palestinians in a free election voted in Hamas. Israel bombed the hell out of Gaza. Galloway is trying to help the people of Gaza.(Well somebody should !)
    Keep this guy out ? We should be finding him an honorary degree !

  16. Good post Red – standing up for free speech. When did Canada become a closed state & instigate thought control?

  17. JSPS

    Why is Border Services in control here? That is the same outfit that failed Robert Dziekanski, pretty much sealed his fate. Something controls this outfit and dammit Canadians have a right to know what is being done in their name.

    Does or does not Minister Kenney have the Canadian voter given right to override this dumb decision by Border Services?

    If not, then what good is a Minister Kenney for?

  18. Oh you people have it wrong – the so-called free speechy Cons believe in “selective” free speech.

    Kinda reminds you of McCarthyism doesn’t it?

  19. Galloway will be sending Kenny a Christmas card I am sure. Galloway is getting a thousand times more publicity than he would have gotten had he been allowed in. This will also be the gift that will keep on giving. The Conservatives have turned a loud mouth jack ass into a free speech martyr.

  20. I wonder if Robert Fisk could get banned from coming to Canada. He must be an anti-Semite because he writes columns that are sometimes against Israel.

  21. Zionist J-ws everywhere they pop up are trying to be our free speech arbiters. Right now we have some power to resist them, let’s not wait until we are at their mercy like the people of Gaza. The propensity of these people to enact a tyranny should not be forgotten, the J-wish Bolsheviks killed 10s of millions of Christians under their regime, and this latest incarnation of J-wish supremacism does not look to be any more humane or enlightened.

  22. What’s with the “J-ws” and “J-wish” affectation?

    Concerning your point, I think you’re extrapolating more than a little wildly there.

  23. hitfan

    I am pretty much on the opposite end of the political spectrum of George Galloway (save the issue regarding the war in Iraq and some Middle East issues) and I’m appalled and disappointed in the Harper government’s decision to bar him from speaking in Canada.

    Hate speech laws need to go as well. They can be used as a hammer by the government to silence dissent of those they don’t like.

    The Patriot Act in the US was supported enthusastically by conservative Republicans (because they wanted to persecute groups generally aligned with the political opponents), but these same groups now worry about the Obama administration who will use that law to persecute groups on the fringe right. This is why free speech and civil liberties should be a non-partisan issue.

  24. Hitfan — Quite so.

  25. Didn’t the JDL get started by the late extremist, Meir Kahane? He later started Kach, a recognized terrorist group in Canada.

  26. I’ll write what I wrote on another of Red’s post that if Mr. Galloway can’t get into Canada, he should go to the Quebec-Vermont border and give a speech on the US side while the audience can watch and listen to him on either side of the Canada-US border.

  27. SD — Yep. Which reminds me of something I should have posted in the first place…

    Off to make an update.

  28. Tomm

    RT,

    I disagree with your “absolutist” position but I also respect it.

    To quote our PM:

    “Anti-Semitism is a pernicious evil that must be exposed, that must be confronted, that must be repudiated, whenever and wherever it appears. Fuelled by lies and paranoia we have learned from history it is an evil so profound, indeed as we saw in Mumbai, that it is ultimately a threat to us all.”

    I happen to agree with this statement. We are living through times with waves of anti-semitism crashing on shore, and it is an important time to take a stand against it.

    With regards to free speech, if a Canadain wishes to stand on a soap box and preach a hateful message, this is one level of tolerance. To essentially bring in a guest to our country knowing his intentions are to do the same is something different.

    Or at least I see a difference. I have no problem stopping Galloway from entering Canada.

  29. What’s with the “J-ws” and “J-wish” affectation?

    Concerning your point, I think you’re extrapolating more than a little wildly there.

    I type J-ws because I am too lazy to type qualifiers like ‘zionist’ or ‘Isr-el-centric’, ‘corrupt’, ‘venal’ etc all the time, and I don’t want to create the impression that all Jews are the subject of my rants.

    Are Jews genocidal supremacists? No, but some J-ws have been in the past, so ethnic nationalist chauvanism from this group that is more powerful now than ever should be a concern.

    May I refer you to Isr-eli author Sever Plocker:

    Stalin’s Jews

    We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish

    http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3342999,00.html

  30. What precisely about Galloway’s message (the content of which we can’t really know at this point) is “hateful” Tomm? Or are you simply prejudging the matter based on misinformation and/or instructions from the Dear Leader?

  31. Anorchore — That’s ridiculous nonsense. Some of the greatest murderers of modern times were Germans. What purpose would it serve to write “G-rmans”? It would seem to be far less trouble to simply add a qualifier like “some” when referring to Jews (or whoever) to make it clear you don’t necessarily think that “all” people of a given creed or ethnicity are “venal” or whatever. Sheeh.

  32. Tomm

    RT,

    I’m not a student of Galloway.

    I probably haven’t heard him speak except 5 minutes worth of soundbites. I have never read anything he has written.

    I guess you can call me ignorant if you wish.

  33. Ti-Guy

    I guess you can call me ignorant if you wish.

    It’s worse than that, I’m afraid.

  34. Tomm — So, you essentially know nothing at all about the man or his views, but you have no problem with the government banning him from the country to speak at a couple of anti-war events.

    Interesting.

    I guess I’ll toss that one in the Bin O’ Worthless Opinions then.

  35. Tomm

    RT,

    Exactly! I can’t fool you. I am just full of worthless opinions.

    Next question? What do you know about Galloway? Are you a student of his?

    And please don’t list his wiki entry (that counts as part of the five minutes)…

  36. Wayward Son

    Tomm – “I happen to agree with this statement. We are living through times with waves of anti-semitism crashing on shore, and it is an important time to take a stand against it.”

    I much prefer people “taking a stand” against such things as anti-semitism by pointing out the error in such positions, instead of refusing to allow such things to be said.

  37. Tomm

    WS,

    That’s a good point, except that Galloway is not here for intelligent debate at McGill or Ryerson. He is here to inflame people, raise money, and create division.

    If there were the opportunitites to bring him to Canada for lively and honest debate, I would let him in. But that just isn’t possible in a free country.

  38. Wayward Son

    “That’s a good point, except that Galloway is not here for intelligent debate at McGill or Ryerson. He is here to inflame people, raise money, and create division.”

    Does barring Galloway inflame people? Raise money? Create division? I think this incident will garner him and his views more attention than allowing him to speak would have. Many of those people will also be far more sympathetic to his views because his right to speak is being trampled on. By not being allowed to speak, Galloway has a much better chance of coming across as being reasonable and wronged (than if he had been allowed to speak), and the Conservative government as unreasonable and bullying.

    “But that just isn’t possible in a free country.”

    The whole idea of freedom of speach is allowing those views which you disagree with to be spoken. If it isn’t possible to allow someone to speak in a free country, then you should re-evaluate if your country is free.

  39. Tomm — I would hardly say that I’m a “student” of his, but as someone interested in British politics, I’ve naturally followed his career with a fair amount of interest over the years. I’ve enjoyed his combative encounters with the British press (notably Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight from time to time), watched his debate with Christopher Hitchens a while back and, of course, his testimony before the U.S. Senate. I don’t agree with some of his more radical views, but I’m not unsympathetic to a lot of his opinions either.

  40. Tomm

    WS,

    I disagree with your first point. If Galloway comes her he hooks up with the 40 or 50 fringe groups that support Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Middle East interventions, Islamic militancy, Aryans, the just plain anti-semitic, and the conspiracy theorists. They all get a boost in exposure, purpose and some reason to be active. Maybe he will end up at University rallies, and goading Jews. He has the “freedom” to avoid what he wishes to avoid.

    Not letting him in avoids all that ugliness. He is not a Canadian, he is a guest.

    In regards to freedom, as you can see, it definitely cuts both ways. He could apply for refugee status and it would likely take us 10 years to deal with it.

  41. Tomm

    RT,

    Does Galloway use opinions and free thought to inflame? to arouse attention?

    Is he anti-semitic?

    I know more about Sid Ryan. How do they compare?

  42. Ti-Guy

    If Galloway comes her he hooks up with the 40 or 50 fringe groups that support Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Middle East interventions, Islamic militancy, Aryans, the just plain anti-semitic, and the conspiracy theorists.

    I think you hysterics have caused the rest of us enough trouble already. It really is time for you people to just stop talking.

  43. good post RT; and thanks Tomm, now I know not to waste time reading your posts.

    “If Galloway comes her [sic] he hooks up with the 40 or 50 fringe groups that support Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Middle East interventions, Islamic militancy, Aryans, the just plain anti-semitic, and the conspiracy theorists.”

    wtf? what ti said.

  44. Tomm — In answer to your questions… Google is your friend. 😉

  45. Tomm

    Canuck, RT, Ti-Guy,

    You’ve hurt me. You’ve really hurt me.

  46. crf

    At least the conservatives will have something to write about in their hanukkah letters to their list of Jews.

  47. Yes, I read that this morning. So what if he’s a hypocrite? It’s quite immaterial to the point of the matter.

    By the way, the comparison between the two isn’t an altogether fair one. LePen has been convicted of inciting racial hatred. That doesn’t mean that his entry into Britain should have been opposed, but it’s not strictly a case of apples to apples.

  48. Kingston

    Well as you know, I not a big fan of hypocrites in anyway, but I am a huge fan of what goes around, comes around, and I see this as a perfect example.

  49. Wayward Son

    Kingston – “Well as you know, I not a big fan of hypocrites in anyway, but I am a huge fan of what goes around, comes around, and I see this as a perfect example.”

    I support freedom of speech for hypocrits. To not do so would make me a hypocrit.

  50. must agree that the false comparison b/w Galloway, Le Pen and Wilders is not a fair one. the latter two engage in hate speech; Galloway is being censored for his political views.

  51. Wayward Son

    Who decides who is engaged in hate speech Canuckistanian? Wilders has been convicted of no crime, hate speech or otherwise. Past attempts to convict him have failed. Nor do I think that in the current case he will be convicted. The popularity of his political party has risen from obscurity to possibly the most popular party in Holland since the he was charged. Polls have shown that the majority of Dutch citizens oppose prosecution of Wilders for what he has said. The abuse of our hate laws in Canada in the cases of Maclean’s and Levant have been embarrassing as far as I am concerned.

    So who gets to decide? Do you get to decide? Do I get to decide? Does Meir Weinstein get to decide? Does Jason Kenny get to decide? I am terribly uncomfortable with idea of anyone else deciding what constitutes hate speech, so why I should anyone else be comfortable with the idea of me deciding such things. Challenge the content of what these people say instead of challenging their right to say it. And remember that if we allow progressives to decide what constitutes hate today, then there is nothing stopping the tables from being turned and the likes of Weinstein deciding what constitutes hate – as we see in the current case.

  52. Ti-Guy

    And remember that if we allow progressives to decide what constitutes hate today…

    This stuff is defined in Canadian law and it’s the legal system that deals with it. Although progressives have clear ideas of what constitutes hate speech (really, it’s not that hard to figure out) it’s not progressives or anyone else who decides.

  53. Wayward Son

    It is defined very broadly and vaguely as far as I am concerned. Wide open to interpretation. It also is biased in favour of religious people who spread hate, over non-religious people who spread hate which I find pathetic.

  54. Ti-Guy

    It is defined very broadly and vaguely as far as I am concerned. Wide open to interpretation.

    That’s what trials and tribunals are for.

    It also is biased in favour of religious people who spread hate, over non-religious people who spread hate which I find pathetic.

    How so?

  55. Wayward Son

    “That’s what trials and tribunals are for.”

    As much as I can’t stand Levant, there is no way he should have had to sit through a tribunal asking him his motivation for publishing the cartoons. This is not the McCarthy era. Whatever Levant’s reasoning behind publishing those cartoons it is none of the government’s business.

    “How so?”

    Section 319 protects people from being charged with a hate crime if their statements are the expression of a religious opinion.

  56. Ti-Guy

    As much as I can’t stand Levant, there is no way he should have had to sit through a tribunal asking him his motivation for publishing the cartoons. This is not the McCarthy era. Whatever Levant’s reasoning behind publishing those cartoons it is none of the government’s business.

    In your opinion.

    Section 319 protects people from being charged with a hate crime if their statements are the expression of a religious opinion.

    It’s a little more nuanced than that:

    319.1.b “if in good faith, he expressed or attempted to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject.”

    Note “if in good faith.”

    But in any case, trials and tribunals are how the law is interpreted.

  57. Moebius

    — demanding that their critics or those with controversial opinions they happen to find objectionable, be muzzled, banned or otherwise silenced.

    I think we should let him in as well. As least we get a few more bucks in landing and airport improvement fees.

    But surely you’re not arguing that he’s being muzzled just by not being allowed entry into Canada? It’s a bonus for him, gaining many more lines of newprint than if he had actually lectured here.

  58. Wayward Son

    “In your opinion.”

    It’s called freedom of the press.

    Note “if in good faith.”

    So what?

  59. Moebius — The pathetic attempts by the JDL and their Conservative sock-puppets to shut Galloway up have failed miserably and, to the contrary, have given him a vastly more prominent soapbox from which to demagogue than he would otherwise have enjoyed.

    Some people never learn…

  60. Ti-Guy

    So what?

    Trials and tribunals try to determine motivation when it comes to hate. Good faith would manifest itself when someone’s motivation is to genuinely present a religious argument, which would be a defence, whereas someone, who claimed to do the same thing, but was really communicating hate, would indicate bad faith.

    I tend to think that this is really a compromise to prevent an excess of cases involving the hate-filled passages of religious texts, but what ya gonna do?

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