Thursday, January 08, 2009

"Stop the violence"? Simply Not Credible

Well, good for them, I guess, but it strains credulity to the breaking point when we see the hand of the Toronto Stop The War Coalition at work in these things, and it gets busted altogether when the Coalition and the Canadian Peace Alliance summon us to "anti-war" rallies by openly siding with Hamas and accusing Israel of engaging in the "unilateral massacre of innocent people" (repeated word for word here).

By these appeals, one is forced to choose sides, and please spare me the lie that the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Toronto Stop The War Coalition are merely on the side of "peace." They're not.

Both the Alliance and the Coalition meet annually in Cairo to swap notes and talk strategy with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and not two years ago, these Canadian "peace" activists were celebrating the anniversary of the Khomeinist tyranny in Iran at a party sponsored by the Iranian embassy.

A "leading member" of the Coalition (that's not my description; that's how they describe him) is Zafar Bangash of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought. ICIT calls itself "an intellectual centre of the global Islamic movement," and describes its mandate as developing, defining, articulating and promoting the intellectual basis of the global Islamic movement [and] struggling for Islamic revolutions and establishment of Islamic states all over the world.

The leadership of both the Alliance and the Coalition come from the same sect as the British Socialist Workers Party, most famous for having combined with Britain's far-right Islamist leadership to provide the parliamentary base for the British Mosleyite George Galloway, who visited Ottawa a couple of years ago to attend the celebrations of a Syrian fascist party that sports its own stylized swastika and sings an anthem sung to the tune of Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles.

Nice boots, comrades.

UPDATE: Michael Ignatieff - a name coming soon to an "anti-war" placard near you.


Anonymous Balter said...

I was extremely heartned to hear about Judy Rebick and her crew`s actions. It demonstrated creativity, courage and broke from what are often tired and repetive ways of protesting injustice. Their reply to the guard at the consulate was both simple and brillaint``we`ll end our occupation when you end yours`. Some good news for a change

3:52 PM  
Anonymous balter said...

Judging from the information coming out of Gaza and the statement of Chris Dunness, the Red Cross and Amnesty International ``unilateral massacre of innocent people`` seems about right to me.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I'm not of the view that this breaks with anything of substance. It's the same old "not in our name" approach, as though the virtue of the protesters is more important than the objectives - peace for Palestinians and Israelis - that are more urgent. But I do have a very soft spot for Judy. I've worked with her on national constitutional issues, and I first met her when I was in high school, back when we were both fairly committed Trotskyists (well, she more than I).

3:56 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Crikey, I considered myself a Communist (not sophisticated enough to be a Trotskyist) at 15; saw an impressive TV documentary on a Soviet steel plant and thought I'd seen the wave of the future. Soviets plus electricity, or something like that.


4:03 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Mark: For my sins, I was in high school then; Judy was by that time a university graduate of some sort.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Will said...

"By these appeals, one is forced to choose sides"

You can always make your own side and choose it:


5:23 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

A good example, too.

"I invite individuals who favor an immediate ceasefire, oppose the occupation, support the two state solution, and who believe in the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security to join in action against those who justify violence and hatred on either side, and against those who claim a monopoly on representing our voices in this matter."

A form of "not in our name" that actually means something.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Will said...


Canny like.

Death to all the haters (in a manner of speaking like :)

6:08 PM  
Anonymous balter said...

Update: Michael Ignatieff - a name coming soon to an "anti-war" placard near you.

As it should

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see the Leader of HM Official Opposition supporting our Prime Minister and the official Canadian position that Hamas, like Hisbollah, is a mass murdering terrorist organization that Canada should rightfully scorn and expose to the world for the depraved killers they really are.

Palestinians continue to suffer hardship and execution by Hamas while the cowards in our anti-war movements continue to support them as a proxy cover for their real political communist/Workers Party wet dreams.

Hamas and our anti-war movement care not a whit about the suffering of Palestinians - the more the better in their warped minds. It just becomes a convenient protest moment they think can be used to advance their cause against the Western world's freedoms and democracies.

Pathetically small minded fools, criminally and morally corrupt excuses for human beings.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Balter said...

Robert Fisk

"So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?....

Twelve years earlier, another Israeli helicopter attacked an ambulance carrying civilians from a neighbouring village—again after they were ordered to leave by Israel—and killed three children and two women. The Israelis claimed that a Hizbollah fighter was in the ambulance. It was untrue. I covered all these atrocities, I investigated them all, talked to the survivors. So did a number of my colleagues. Our fate, of course, was that most slanderous of libels: we were accused of being anti-Semitic.

And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we’ll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We’ll have the Hamas-to-blame lie—heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime—and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we’ll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn’t. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.

Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948—when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel— is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer."

Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead—almost all civilians, most of them children and women—in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?

What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties. “Israel makes every possible effort to avoid civilian casualties,” yet another Israeli ambassador said only hours before the Gaza massacre. And every president and prime minister who repeated this mendacity as an excuse to avoid a ceasefire has the blood of last night’s butchery on their hands. Had George Bush had the courage to demand an immediate ceasefire 48 hours earlier, those 40 civilians, the old and the women and children, would be alive.

What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I’m afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East—by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops—I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against “international terror”. The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Has Balter got a blog? If not why not?

If it (he?) has a blog or started a blog then we would all be able to go over to it or link to it and read it.

5:06 PM  

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