Not long ago, I was handed the most outrageous, vile, dishonest and slanderous calumny uttered against the people of Canada. It was contained in a full-page advertisement in the National Post (founder, Conrad Black), a newspaper handed out – free, I’m happy to say – on my Air France flight out of Toronto. Here is the headline: “Almost 4 million Canadians are afflicted by this disease.”
Beneath this title is a half-page, very blurred and uncaptioned colour photo of a large crowd – they could be football supporters, rush-hour commuters in Vancouver, you name it; they are mostly white males but include women and with at least one dark-skinned man close to the camera. Beneath the picture, this incredible ad continues: “Left unchecked, it [the disease] can result in violence tendencies. Many times, those infected haven’t been diagnosed and may pass it on to their children, grandchildren, colleagues or friends. Please help stop the spread of this disease before it contaminates your community.”
This is frightening stuff, of course. Could this refer to some of the six million Canadians who may be living with HIV/Aids? Or the 4.5 million Canadians affected by arthritis? Or the 2.5 million Canadians believed to have diabetes? Or even some of the estimated 7.8 million Canadians treated for depression each year? Nope. This is far more serious. For the “disease” afflicting “almost 4 million Canadians” is “anti-Semitism” and this disgusting advertisement – published without comment by one of Canada’s leading right-wing newspapers – was produced by B’nai Brith Canada and the “Jewish Christian Alliance”.
“At the first sign of anti-Semitism,” this appalling ad concludes, “call the B’nai Brith Canada Anti-Hate Hotline…” In other words, this pro-Israeli Jewish group – whose exaggerations and hateful propaganda have been rightly condemned by Jewish Canadians – claims that four million of their fellow-countrymen and women are sick, racist neo-Nazis. What other conclusion are we supposed to draw if almost 9 per cent of the Canadian population is “diseased”, “infected” and “contaminated”.
Now let’s forget that B’nai Brith regards any criticism of the state of Israel – however justified, however mild, made by Jews and non-Jews alike – as anti-Semitic. Let’s forget previous protests by Jewish Americans against the organisation’s grotesque exaggerations. Let’s even ignore its equation of Palestinians with Nazis, a comparison that led it to publish a bowdlerised version of the infamous photograph of the wartime Grand Mufti of Jerusalem meeting with Hitler – the Nazi dictator was “moved” in the B’nai Brith version of the snapshot about three feet closer to the Palestinian so that Hitler appears to be almost sitting on his visitor’s lap.
And let’s not ask why the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, did not immediately leap to the defence of his own Canadian people when confronted by this disgusting statement of “disease”. For alas, Harper told the Israeli Knesset last January – while archly claiming “criticism of Israeli policy is not in and of itself necessarily (sic) anti-Semitic” – that condemnation of Israeli policies amounted to anti-Semitism. This included those who supported the boycott campaign against Israel or referred to it as an apartheid state. “On some campuses,” said Harper, “intellectualised (sic) arguments against Israeli policies thinly mask the underlying realities, such as the shunning of Israeli academics and the harassment of Jewish students.”
“Sickening,” Harper called this. Yes, the Canadian Prime Minister himself was using the “disease” metaphor employed by B’nai Brith. And why not? Because there’s another reason Canadians can expect no protection from their own Prime Minister, who in his speech might have been a member of the Knesset rather than a guest of its members: Stephen Harper was awarded the “International Presidential Gold Medal” for “his commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel” in 2008 – by B’nai Brith.
Meantime, Stephen Harper smears millions of Canadian citizens as suffering from the disease of Nazism.