Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Major Union Leader Renews Israel Boycott Call

Sid Ryan, leader of the Ontario section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the province's largest union, has renewed calls for a boycott against Israeli academics. He says that those academics who don't denounce Israel's assault on the Islamic University in Gaza ought to be prevented from speaking at Ontario universities.
Already there is the usual, expected hullaballoo from the various Israel-supporting Jewish organizations, including the pathetic old slander that attacking Israel is anti-Semitic. Bernie Farber, head of the CJC, has been throwing this about so long you'd think he'd get tired of it himself by now - but of course, the identification of Jewishness with Israel is a key prop of the Zionist regime.
Sadly, it is one that is supported by the scumbags and fundamentalist nutjobs in the Tory Party who run the Canadian government at the moment. MP Peter Kent, the junior foreign minister in the Conservative government has come out with statements even more crazily pro-Israel than the neo-con crazies who run the outgoing Whitehouse. Not an easy feat as you can imagine.
Kent's response to Israel's bombardment of a UN school, killing 30+ civilians, including children, is simply more of the usual vile anti-Arab racism typical of Israel and its supporters:
“We really don't have complete details yet, other than the fact that we know that Hamas has made a habit of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields for their terrorist activities, and that would seem to be the case again today,” he said in an interview.
He added: “In many ways, Hamas behaves as if they are trying to have more of their people killed to make a terrible terrorist point.”

As Robert Fisk points out, this is all of the usual fare for Israel and its pathetic hangers-on:
"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."

Luckily, the tide is turning against this lot - as masses of people take to the streets internationally, including 10,000 in Toronto last weekend, with another demonstration this Saturday. Even the leader of Britain's third party, the Liberal Democrats, has called for a suspension of arms sales to Israel and has condemned the assault. In Venezuela, good old Chavez has sent the Israeli ambassador packing in protest against the assault on Gaza. And never one to miss an opportunity to have a poke at the imperialists, Chavez offered his opinion of Israel's military: "They are cowards - bombing innocent people. What great soldiers they are, how brave the soldiers of Israel are."
Back here in Canada, the cant of Jewish "leaders" like Mr. Farber is thankfully being undermined by some of the youth of the Jewish community. Over at YayaCanada, there is "An Open Letter From Anti-Zionist Youth in Canada", signed by dozens. It deserves to be promoted widely and reads, in part:
"We are calling for a solidarity that stretches beyond borders and nationalities. Israel's violent actions will only serve to further isolate the state and its citizens from the rest of the world. By calling itself a Jewish state and committing war crimes in the name of Jews everywhere, Israel makes the world even less safe for Jews, leading to an increase in animus towards Jewish people around the world."

Such courage on the part of Ryan, the anti-Zionist youth and even from the leader of Britain's Lib Dems, gives me hope that the tide truly is turning against Israel with this latest round of atrocities. No longer can it expect to get away so easily with murder. With any luck, this latest stupidity will help to drive a stake through the heart of our wretched Conservative government.
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