Boycotting Israel is anti-Semitic?
by MainStreet, Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 05:03:07 AM EST
Muzzlewatch, the anti-propaganda site run by Jewish Voice for Peace, called this action by the Canadian government a "$7 million muzzling shocker."
Quoting Cecile Sarasky,
Despite a 35-year collaboration, the Canadian church group KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, "one of Canada's most respected and important charitable organizations," was stunned when their likely routine 7 million dollar request for the human rights program was denied by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). But they were even more surprised when they discovered why: although the group's board had made public their opposition to sanctions and boycotts against Israel 2 years earlier, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in a speech he gave this week in Israel charged the group with being anti-Semitic for "taking a leadership role in the boycott." Kenney, speaking at the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, said they were "defunding" groups as part of their new "zero-tolerance" approach to anti-Semitism. (Read the full text of his speech HERE. )
In his speech, Kenney included in a list of acts of anti-Semitism, like the spray-painting of swastikas on a Canadian Holocaust memorial, the spray-painting of the phrase "Stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza".
Anti-human rights/Israel lobby group NGO Monitor built an extensive dossier on KAIROS- which represents Canada's Mennonites, the Anglican, United and Catholic Churches and does work in some of the poorest regions of the world.
"Stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza" is anti-Semitic?
This move on the part of the Canadian government is undoubtedly the latest attempt to broaden the concept of "the new anti-Semitism," which arose almost entirely from the idea that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. A study completed a few years ago of EU countries, however, revealed increased anti-Semitic incidents in only four of them, most attributed to skinhead groups, i.e., to the old anti-Semitism.
This reaction to KAIROS undoubtedly stems from perceived dangers of the growing international boycott movement against Israel, which continues its occupation, colonialism, and siege in the Palestinian territories under the pretext of wanting peace through a two state solution.
Cecile Sarasky's defense of KAIROS as well as KAIROS response to the Canadian government's action is too long to quote in its entirety, but can be accessed HERE for those interested.
KAIROS has also posted this list of seven ways you can help. Cecile Sarasky says, read it and act.