Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

drive-by planet: Israel, Harper back unelected Kiev government: anti-Semitism and far-right nationalism downplayed

  Top: Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok in group shot with Canada’s John Baird / Lower left: Tyahnybok in action / Lower right: Svoboda parade

Stephen Harper’s visit to Ukraine this week is the first by any G7 leader since the coup that saw the overthrow of Yanukovych. Harper is a big backer of the unelected government in Kiev with its cast of sketchy characters. The ultranationalist Svoboda Party heads up major ministries in the new government. It is a coalition that includes closet neo-fascists who haven’t changed their stripes despite fronting a more moderate image for reasons of political convenience.

(Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Let’s Not Kid Ourselves. We’re Backing Anti-Semitic Fascists.

Your Country is on Their Side

The Guardian’s Seumas Milne dismembers the rank hypocrisy of our position on Ukraine, the role we played in creating this crisis and the villainous cutthroats we’re backing.

Diplomatic pronouncements are renowned for hypocrisy and double standards. But western denunciations of Russian intervention in Crimea have reached new depths of self parody. The so far bloodless incursion is an “incredible act of aggression“, US secretary of state John Kerry declared. In the 21st century you just don’t invade countries on a “completely trumped-up pretext”, he insisted, as US allies agreed that it had (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Advice to Canadian politicians and media: Proceed with caution on your support for Ukraine’s rebels

Anti-Government Ukrainians prepare to fight police in Kiev. Below: Rioters throw gasoline bombs at police in Ukraine; Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. (Wikimedia photos.)

You can bet money that when trouble is brewing abroad things are always far more complicated than local enthusiasts for one side or the other make them out to be.

Here in Canada we have many citizens, including a number of prominent politicians who ought to know better, proclaiming noisy support for the violent protests in western Ukraine, demonizing Russia and demanding Canada play an active role in in ensuring the success of the rebels’ (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Palestinian legislator Ahmad Tibi slams Harper’s postion on Israel as "unbalanced" and "right of Likud": why Tibi gets it right

Ahmad Tibi, the Palestinian legislator who walked out of Stephen Harper’s Knesset speech said in an interview with CBC’s Evan Solomon that Harper’s views on Israel were “unbalanced” and “right of Likud.” Sounds pretty accurate. Harper’s views are indeed extreme even by some Israeli standards and certainly more extreme than most average Canadians on the subject of Israel.

Tibi and a fellow legislator raised objections from the floor when Harper dismissed the idea that  apartheid exists in Israel. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of the Israeli system knows that segregation lies at very heart of daily life (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Dark Face of European Anti-Semitism

I am a regular critic of Israel, particularly its policies and acts toward the Palestinians and its destabilizing nuclear arsenal.  One cannot speak of these things without inviting accusations of anti-semitism plainly intended to stifle critics.

Anti-semitism does, however, remain a real and ongoing challenge to us all and to our hopes for a better society.  Katrina Lantros Swett, writing in The Guardian, has a disturbing account of the rise of anti-semitism in Europe.

In Hungary, my parents’ native country, the leader of its third largest party recently urged the government to create a list of Jews

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Dark Face of European Anti-Semitism

Song of the Watermelon: On Israel and Apartheid

Message on a wall at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Last month, university students and activists around the world marked Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual series of lectures and protests designed to bring attention to the plight of Palestinians, and as usual, the condemnations were heavy and hyperbolic. Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, obscuring the purpose of the event, used the opportunity to urge “all Canadians to reject anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, discrimination and intolerance.” In 2010, Ontario legislator Peter Shurman commented, “The use of the phrase ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ is about as

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: On Israel and Apartheid

Sketchy Thoughts: Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon

As a follow-up to the last post, which was a public statement endorsed by over a hundred anti-imperialists, condemning the views of Gilad Atzmon, i am also re-posting this statement by 23 Palestinian activists, “Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon”. This statement was first posted on the U.S. Palestinian Community Network: http://uspcn.org/2012/03/13/granting-no-quarter-a-call-for-the-disavowal-of-the-racism-and-antisemitism-of-gilad-atzmon/

Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon

For many years now, Gilad Atzmon, a musician born in Israel and currently living in the United Kingdom, has taken

. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon

Song of the Watermelon: On Ezra Levant’s Victimhood

I have been blogging for nearly four months now, and am embarrassed to admit that — contrary to firmly established best blogging practices — I have yet to engage in the art of personal attack. Today, I intend to correct this error and make the anonymous overlords of the blogarchy proud. The target of my wrath? None other than the king of personal attacks himself — the Canadian pundit and convicted libelist who never fails to find himself on the wrong side of every issue, from tobacco to Israel-Palestine to climate change — Mr. Ezra Levant.

But first, a little

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: On Ezra Levant’s Victimhood

US right’s new fight against Sandra Fluke: her boyfriend is a Jew!

Jew and Jew lover

The right has been very upset at Sandra Fluke. What has most pissed off the right about Fluke is that Americans have not approved of the sexist comments about Fluke from the right’s leader, Rush Limbaugh. The lack of support for both Limbaugh and the right’s untenable position on birth control has turned the right’s world on its axis. No one is paying any attention to their

Sketchy Thoughts: Not Quite "Ordinary Human Beings"—Anti-imperialism and the anti-humanist rhetoric of Gilad Atzmon

[This is a statement signed by almost one hundred anti-imperialists and organizations denouncing the Israeli-born jazz musician Gilad Atzmon for his antisemitism, and asking our fellow progressives to not promote him or his works. The list of endorsements included here is accurate as of March 9, 2012; an updated list will be maintained on the Three Way Fight blog: http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/p/atzmon-critique_09.html]

Attempting to latch onto the just, vital, and growing movement in support of the Palestinian national liberation struggle, Gilad Atzmon is one of a very small and unrepresentative group of writers who have argued (in agreement

. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Not Quite "Ordinary Human Beings"—Anti-imperialism and the anti-humanist rhetoric of Gilad Atzmon

From Orangutan: Dear Protesters against Israel,

This video encourages thinking, something that some of you who are caught in the spirit of a movement in which you feel included, forget to do.

gay persons of character: Video: Why are you protesting against Israel?

What I like about this video is the way in which it brings things down to one question, whose multiple answers are demystified, one by one. Beyond the specific subject of Israel, the video encourages thinking, something that some protesters, caught in the spirit of a movement in which they feel included, forget to do. Effective activism, while perhaps driven by emotion, also requires thought.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Michael Coren, The Jews, And Hollywood

I didn’t see it, because its on Sun TV and, lets face it, NOBODY was watching.  But U.S author Shmuley Boteach (his real name) claims Michael Coren told him that the Jews control Hollywood and essentially use it as a base from which to undermine Christianity.  Amazing, if true, how specimens of the modern Right can be so pro-Israel on the one hand and traffic in all the old stereotypes on the other.

FUBAR III: Breitbart uses anti-Semitic, Nazi cartoon in his blog

Here’s the version used by Breitbart’s Big Journalism blog, as edited by CNN’s Dana Loesch, used on multiple occasions:

Here’s the original 1942 German cartoon:

I guess Andrew, Dana and the Big Journalism crew hate Jews. Who knew?

So that’s where the right-wing whine of ‘media bias’ originated. Figures.

The right’s furious, desperate attempts to discredit the Occupy movement with charges of anti-Semitism

Yesterday while I was following the #OccupyVancouver twitter feed, I noticed something strange happening. The hashtag was hijacked by unrelated, idiotic counter arguments to Occupy (not necessarily those belonging to Occupy Vancouver) signs showing up in photographs published on the internet and in the media.

The names of the tweeters and retweeters were . . . → Read More: The right’s furious, desperate attempts to discredit the Occupy movement with charges of anti-Semitism . . . → Read More: The right’s furious, desperate attempts to discredit the Occupy movement with charges of anti-Semitism

International poll: 49% back Palestinian state

In a poll covering 19 countries, only 21% do not support a Palestinian state. In favour – 49%. Of course you know what the right will say about the poll numbers – 49% the world is anti-Semitic.It’s so reassuring that Canada is standing firm with the mi… . . . → Read More: International poll: 49% back Palestinian state

How do we help poor Sarah Grunfeld?

In the spirit of charity, I was going to suggest we take up a collection to buy this poor misunderstood child a hearing aid. We’re not here to judge, after all. We’re here to help.Then this:Moron Student Who Accused Jewish Prof of Anti-Semitism: I Am T… . . . → Read More: How do we help poor Sarah Grunfeld?

York professor hit with bogus anti-Semitism charge. It’s getting out of hand, folks. Bring on McCarthy.

This is one sick story. A prof made the following statement: “‘All Jews should be sterilized’ would be an example of an unacceptable and dangerous opinion”. One student jumped on the line from professor Cameron Johnston, who is Jewish, telegraphing the… . . . → Read More: York professor hit with bogus anti-Semitism charge. It’s getting out of hand, folks. Bring on McCarthy.

Tarek Fatah: “What’s happened is that any attempt to attack Islamism is portrayed as racism. It’s very disturbing.”

And any little criticism of Israel is an invitation to be called an anti-Semite. It’s the official position of the ‘Harper Government’! That is what is disturbing; it’s your weapon against any discussion, any contrary thought, any questions.

Now you are taking that weapon and trying to turn it on Islam. It’s religion, son. It what religions . . . → Read More: Tarek Fatah: “What’s happened is that any attempt to attack Islamism is portrayed as racism. It’s very disturbing.” . . . → Read More: Tarek Fatah: “What’s happened is that any attempt to attack Islamism is portrayed as racism. It’s very disturbing.”

ParliamANT Hill: ANTi-Semitism panel wants more action from Ottawa

Andy Lehrer's Firebrand blog: Islamophobia: The New Anti-Semitism

A fascinating article by Daniel Luban in Tablet magazine. Luban argues that Islamophobia as it is developing in North American and Europe has strong parallels to traditional anti-Semitism and examines the furor over the “9-11 mosque” as the latest and most fervent example of this. Here’s an excerpt: many of the tropes of classic anti-Semitism have been revived and given new force on the American right. Once again jingoistic politicians and commentators posit a religious conspiracy breeding within Western society, pledging allegiance to an alien power, conspiring with allies at the highest levels of government to overturn the existing order. (Read more…)

bastard.logic: B’nai Brith Canada Hearts Free Speech (Except When It Doesn’t.)

by matttbastard Free speech for ye: B’nai Brith Canada condemns free speech double standard on campus as Coulter talk is cancelled in Ottawa TORONTO, March 24, 2010 – B’nai Brith Canada has condemned the free speech double standard that exists … Continue reading . . . → Read More: bastard.logic: B’nai Brith Canada Hearts Free Speech (Except When It Doesn’t.)

Andy Lehrer's Firebrand blog: Gerry Caplan satirises the Rights & Democracy affair

Gerry Caplan’s column in the Globe and Mail has taken on the Harper government’s patronizing attempt to pander to the Jewish community for several months now.

Stephen Harper and the Jewish question published in December examined the irony of Jewish neoconservatives cozying up to evangelical anti-Semites, the Tory 10%ers accusing opposition parties of anti-Semitism and the cancellation of Kairos’ grant.

His followup, Is the Harper government playing the anti-Semitic card? hammered the point home:

Real enemies of anti-Semitism do not throw the term around recklessly.

In the United States, the leading Jewish neoconservatives made an unholy alliance with evangelical Protestants (Read more…)