Sid Ryan Bites Back

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Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture
Sid Ryan Bites Back

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UPE Ontario has stood up against human rights abuses all over the world and in our own country and we will continue to do so.

Some have claimed targeting Israel for a boycott rather than other countries that commit human rights abuses is anti-Semitic. In the 1960s, Canada played a major role in an international boycott of South Africa. That highly successful effort included academic, political, economic, cultural and sports boycotts. The goal was to end apartheid.

When Canada boycotted South Africa, no one suggested at the time it couldn't be done because we weren't boycotting other countries perpetrating human rights violations, like Chile where the military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, ruled his country with violent human rights abuse and corruption.

CUPE Ontario has a long and proud history of being at the forefront of protecting human rights at home and abroad. We have spoken out on human rights violations in Ireland, Columbia, Guatemala, Iran and Egypt.

CUPE Ontario pressured our municipal pension plan to divest from Talisman, a Canadian oil company, when it came to light that the revenues were being used to finance a civil war in Sudan.

It's not comfortable being a target of such vehement personal attacks, but complicit silence would be worse.

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/2009/01/19/8067891-sun.html

And in the Toronto Sun yet. The man has guts.  

Snert Snert's picture

Not enough guts to stick with his original plan to boycott individuals, though.  Now it's institutions.  I smell Liquid Paper.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I don't. I see clarification, after a group of people with a definite pro-Israeli agenda deliberately distroted the intention of some off the cuff comments, through prevarication on point, in order to smear the only politician clearly opposed to Israeli apartheid. .

Snert Snert's picture

"after a group of people with a definite pro-Israeli agenda deliberately distroted the intention of some off the cuff comments, through prevarication on point, in order to smear the only politician clearly opposed to Israeli apartheid. ."

Speaking of smears.

I guess it's unimaginable to you that anyone might actually oppose a boycott of individuals.  It's just GOTTA be that they want to see Palestine erased from the map or something, eh? 

Anyway, what you're generously trying to spin as "clarification", I'm going to maintain is a bit of Soviet-style revisionism.  You don't clarify something by making it suddenly vanish and replacing it with something else.

Sorry, but your hero simply isn't brave enough to stick to his original statement. 

Snert Snert's picture

"This prevarication on point about the rights of "individuals", is being used to smear by exstension the whole campaign of boycott and divestment"

Really?  Seems to me that a lot of responders were just fine with a boycott... just not a boycott of individuals.  Want to get Israeli corporations out of the pension fund?  Fine.  Want to bar some Israeli professor of neurology unless he swears an oath?  I don't think it's unreasonable, nor do I think it's indicative of Zionist Quisling status, to not agree with that.

For a person so sensitive to smearing, you certainly seem to go that well a lot.

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The arguement about "individuals" is intended to cause confusion, and drag people along in the anti-boycott campaign

Sid Ryan is a grownup.  If he didn't want people to focus on what he said, he should have chosen to say something else. 

For some "unimportant" wording, they sure did erase it from the record pretty quickly, huh?  Thank god for the web.  In the old days they had to go around to everyone who owned the book and cut out that page.  Now you can just replace the page, and if it weren't for Google's cache, nobody would be the wiser.

Cueball Cueball's picture

The whole arguement about individuals is prevarication. Sorry, it was designed to make innocent people like you fall for it by appealing to the individuals rights of free expression, and so on and so forth. At what point does a person stop representing themself, as an "Israeli academic", and start representing the institution they work for, as an "Israeli academic"?

We can this arguement about this "definition" of when someone stops being and individual, and starts being a funtionary of an Israeli academic institution all day long, because it is really ineffable, without discreet definitions.

And that proves my point in its entirety. To hash this over and put the worst possible construction on Sid's off-the-cuff comment, about "Israeli academics" is prevarication on point. My case in a point, does he mean: "Israeli academics" as representatives of an institution, or "Israeli academics" as individuals?

Those who wanted to attack Ryan, did so by choosing to assert the latter definition over the former. You fell for it. Too bad.

This prevarication on point about the rights of "individuals", is being used to smear by exstension the whole campaign of boycott and divestment, as essentially biased and prejudiced against Jews specifically. And that is the basis of the moral attack, not the rights of "individuals". The arguement about "individuals" is intended to cause confusion, and drag people along in the anti-boycott campaign, or at least have them stand aside in the face of the status quo.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Now you are seriously going to have this debate about individuals vs representatives.

My case in a point, does he mean: "Israeli academics" as representatives of an institution, or "Israeli academics" as individuals?

Those who wanted to attack Ryan, did so by choosing to assert the latter definition over the former. They are in fact "both" of course.

Snert Snert's picture

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My case in a point, does he mean: "Israeli academics" as representatives of an institution, or "Israeli academics" as individuals?

Given that he was willing to make an exception for academics who were willing to swear The Oath, I think it's pretty clear that he was referring to individuals. 

 It sure sounded to me like if Professor A from Tel Aviv University was willing to denounce the occupation, but Professor B from Tel Aviv University was not, Professor A would be welcome.

If it were institutional, neither would be welcome, or both would.  And who'd say the oath on behalf of the University?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Exactly, the point about the so called "oath" is that it would allow the individual to clearly seperate themselves from their role as an Israeli Academic representating and Israeli institution. That was the point.

The approach has been changed because this construction of the appeal has proven to be easily exploited.

Snert Snert's picture

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Exactly, the point about the so called "oath" is that it would allow the individual to clearly seperate themselves from their role as an Israeli Academic representating and Israeli institution.

That doesn't even make sense.  An academic's personal beliefs neither make them a "representative" or their employer nor distance them from their employer.

But at any rate, it's clear that individuals who mouth the oath would not have been boycotted, and individuals who won't mouth it would be.  You seem to have understood that it was about individuals all along.

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The approach has been changed because this construction of the appeal has proven to be easily exploited.

No, it was painted over because Sid was getting heat for having proposed a bad idea on behalf of thousands of CUPE members.  The appeal wasn't "easily exploited", it was wrongheaded.

Notice, though, that contrary to your gratuitous smear above, people aren't up in arms about the new appeal?  Huh.  You'd think that as paid agents of Zion, they'd be criticizing that one too, but nobody seems to be.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Position A: Boycott all Israeli academic institutions: no student exchange programs, no joint research or publishing projects, no visiting professorships, no guest lecturers, no sabbaticals, no scholarships, no attendance at academic conferences and symposia, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Position B: Same as position A, except that, in order to alleviate unnecessary hardship to individuals who are genuine allies of the Palestinian struggle, an exception may be made.

Sid Ryan picks Position B, and suddenly Position A magically morphs into a boycott of individuals, not institutions?

Snert's position makes no sense at all.

Snert Snert's picture

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Sid Ryan picks Position B, and suddenly Position A magically morphs into a boycott of individuals, not institutions?

No, it's Position B, Sid Ryan's position, that's a boycott of individuals.  Specifically, it's a boycott of the individuals who won't swear the oath.

I didn't think that was ever unclear. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Hey, snert, why don't you try to be more like Ryan and actually stand for something rather than representing snide, snivelling attacks on a Canadian with guts - just the thing labour leaders are supposed to be.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Snert wrote:

No, it's Position B, Sid Ryan's position, that's a boycott of individuals.  Specifically, it's a boycott of the individuals who won't swear the oath.

I didn't think that was ever unclear.

You are looking at it ass-backwards, of course.

Would you be happier with Position A, which collaterally punishes those few individual Israeli academics who are actually our allies? Sid Ryan is taking shit from the Zionist lobby (and you) merely because he wants to be flexible enough not to hurt his allies. 

And here's a news flash: Position A is as much a boycott of individuals as Position B; the only difference is that fewer individuals suffer under Position B. 

Snert Snert's picture

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Hey, snert, why don't you try to be more like Ryan

Can do!  Tonight, while everyone's asleep, I'll edit all my posts and then tomorrow I'll just pretend I never said any of this stuff. 

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Would you be happier with Position A, which collaterally punishes those few individual Israeli academics who are actually our allies?

As everyone seems to want to note, "worked with South Africa".

And it's consistent.  And it doesn't force people into the utterly disgusting situation of having to swear an oath.  Surely the "allies" would understand? 

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Where did Sid Ryan say anything about "swearing an oath"?

This is an urban legend started by the Zionists and repeated mindlessly by babblers who are too lazy to look at what Ryan is really saying.

 

As for the South Africa boycotts, the opponents of apartheid went to great lengths to try to avoid causing unnecessary hardship to their allies in South Africa.

You, however, prefer "consistency". Bully for you.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Snert wrote:

Quote:
Quote:

The approach has been changed because this construction of the appeal has proven to be easily exploited.

No, it was painted over because Sid was getting heat for having proposed a bad idea on behalf of thousands of CUPE members.  The appeal wasn't "easily exploited", it was wrongheaded.

Notice, though, that contrary to your gratuitous smear above, people aren't up in arms about the new appeal?  Huh.  You'd think that as paid agents of Zion, they'd be criticizing that one too, but nobody seems to be.

Then you haven't been reading the papers or even this board. The main line of attack on Ryan is that he is a closet anti-semite, who is singling out Israel, and by extension all Jews. This smear even appeared directly as part of the discussion we had on the last thread about this topic, where a poster (scc)chimed in:

scc wrote:
Way to go Moist. People in my union local who take an interest in international affairs think Ryan is a loudmouth idiot. And perhaps maybe an anti-Semite though there is no definite proof of that yet. But suspiciously, the only group he singles out happens to be 80-90% Jewish.  

That is the main line of attack.

The issue of "individual rights" has made hardly a blip on the radar, anywhere but here and in academic circles. Though conveniently it acts as weak point where all this other crap is leveraged in, so as to immobilize opposition to Israeli polcies with the anti-semtism charge.

Your nuancing of this by making a big issue of the technical details of what constitutes a persons individual right, against the responsibilities, of the institutions they work for, in order to distance yourself from the Zionist crowd, is to make an issue of trivia in the face of the grotesque manipulation of the meaning of the word anti-semetism to mean anything that impugns Israel, in order to distract from the horendous war crimes Israel is committing in Gaza, which is what this attack is about.

The Zionists are not at all interested in protecting the individual rights of Israeli professors, they are interested in Israel being able to continue to violate the individual rights of Palestinian, free from criticism, and above all, any kind of effective action to limit the excesses of the state they are protecting.

Snert Snert's picture

Here[url=http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:voiDdvkRyGAJ:www.cupe.on.ca/doc.php%... is the original CUPE press release, still in Google's cache.  Here's the salient point, emphasis mine:

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In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general," said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario.

Say it and the boycott doesn't apply to you.  Don't say it and it does.  Doesn't get much simpler than that. 

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This is an urban legend started by the Zionists and repeated mindlessly by babblers who are too lazy to look at what Ryan is really saying.

Who's too lazy?  The Zionists?

Need any crow sauce for your crow? 

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As for the South Africa boycotts, the opponents of apartheid went to great lengths to try to avoid causing unnecessary hardship to their allies in South Africa.

Why yes, I seem to remember that the boycott didn't apply to any individual willing to be photographed hugging a black man.  Gimme a break. 

Why not just concede that Ryan really stepped on his own pecker and move on?  You seem really determined to defend his honour.  

edited to add --

Notice at the top of the Google page, it says:

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This is Google's cache of http://www.cupe.on.ca/doc.php?document_id=658&lang=en. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 5 Jan 2009 23:27:40 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime.

Even the search engine knows what happened!  :D 

Unionist

1. Sid Ryan has been the most consistent and staunch among CUPE leaders (and indeed among almost all union leaders in Canada) in advocating action against the Israeli apartheid state.

2. Sid Ryan, however, made a couple of tactical errors, both of which he has publicly retracted. This should help us to shut up the pro-Israel fanatics who jumped for joy at his errors, seeing in them a way to fraudulently divert and discredit the growing calls for BDS.

3. We should not waste one more second defending Sid's errors, which he himself has renounced, thus playing into the hands of the damned enemy.

4. I have little optimism that these four points will make any difference to the ongoing utterly diversionary dogfight that has been haunting this board on this issue.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Notably, the boycott did not extend to Black people. Where does that put your "individual rights" thesis, now? Was it racist that the boycott excluded black South Africans? Would it be racist to exclude Israeli-Arabs from the Boycott?

 Hmmm?

Ze

Good for Sid Ryan, his new stance is honourable and deserves support. 

There's points on the individual worth institutions distinction that could be made (and there is a Position C), but maybe time to move on now. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Snert wrote:

Quote:
This is an urban legend started by the Zionists and repeated mindlessly by babblers who are too lazy to look at what Ryan is really saying.

Who's too lazy? The Zionists?

Um, no, that would be you, who mindlessly parroted the accusation about "forcing people into the utterly disgusting situation of having to swear an oath," only to find, when you actually bothered to read the original statement, that there was no oath-swearing involved at all!

What else could you be bullshitting about, I wonder?

Snert wrote:

Quote:
As for the South Africa boycotts, the opponents of apartheid went to great lengths to try to avoid causing unnecessary hardship to their allies in South Africa.

Why yes, I seem to remember that the boycott didn't apply to any individual willing to be photographed hugging a black man. Gimme a break.

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about, and so resort to sarcasm when confronted by the truth.

Winnifred

This is wrong. I continue to commend Brother Moist for taking a stand against bigotry.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

If only he had. If only he had. And at the same time, he could have taken a stand against murder, oppression, colonization, war crimes, and gross violations of human rights. Instead, he chose to take a stand against a brother who did do those things. Shameful indeed.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It appears that the international movement behind the Israeli academic boycott favours what I called Position A, upthread at #10. That is, a boycott with no exceptions made for individual allies of the Palestinian struggle.

Here's how the position was formulated four years ago:

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Mona Baker, a British professor of translation studies, set out principles of who and which institutions should be boycotted. This is an important issue, because the boycott must avoid the appearance of discrimination and the risk of dilution due to individually chosen exceptions. The proposal was to cast the academic boycott as an economic boycott "to undermine the institutions that allow a pariah state to function and claim membership of the international community." When considering a boycott of, say, tourism to Israel, Baker noted, "supporters of an economic boycott do not ask whether the individual hotel workers who are being laid off in Israel are individually for or against the occupation. But we do keep returning to this question in relation to academics affiliated to Israeli institutions."

When cast as an economic boycott, therefore, an academic boycott implies that all academics at Israeli institutions should be boycotted, and Israeli academics working abroad would be exempted. Similarly, non-Jewish academics at Israeli institutions also would be boycotted.

[url=Source[/url]">http://www.wrmea.com/archives/Jan_Feb_2005/0501015.html][color=mediumblu...

Sid Ryan attempted to soften the impact of the academic boycott on the tiny handful of allies of the Palestinian struggle in the Israeli academy by proposing individual exemptions, before he was persuaded to back off. It is therefore highly ironic that he should be pilloried by the Zionists and the right wing of his own union as a bigot and a racist for deviating from the strict international boycott position, which the Zionists and the right wing union bureaucrats oppose anyway.

 

 

saga saga's picture

That's politics.

It's wise not to put oneself in the position of deciding who's 'worthy'. 

It's a morass. Lesson learned.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Hey, it's not really that hard to pick out the handful of Israeli academics who are supporters of the Palestinians. They are well known to the Palestinians and Israelis alike. That's not the problem with Ryan's position.

The problem is with failing to treat the academic boycott as just another component of a comprehensive economic boycott of Israel - the kind of boycott in which it is impractical to take into consideration the collateral hardship to individuals who may be at least partly sympathetic to the cause.

Snert Snert's picture

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Notably, the boycott did not extend to Black people. Where does that put your "individual rights" thesis, now?

Only Black citizens?

But what of white "allies" who were willing to raise their right hand and denounce apartheid?  Weren't they given the option to retain their trade and investment options if they did?

But otherwise, I would suggest that a boycott of white Afrikaaners but not Black Africans would be most similar to a boycott of Israel, but not Palestine, and not at all similar to Ryan's real proposition with the oaths and the exceptions for individuals.

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And at the same time, he could have taken a stand against murder, oppression, colonization, war crimes, and gross violations of human rights.

Holy purity test.

Sid Ryan wanted a boycott against individual academics, with exceptions for his "allies" and is therefore a courageous and noble hero.

Paul Moist doesn't support the boycott against individuals or the exceptions based on worthiness, and for that he's a craven coward and an enemy of the people.  

I'm genuinely surprised nobody is accusing him of being a pur laine Zionist.

Evidently support for any sanctions that do not involve Ryan-style oath swearing is incontrovertable evidence of indifference to the plight of Palestine, and probably closet support for Israel too.

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Hey, it's not really that hard to pick out the handful of Israeli academics who are supporters of the Palestinians. 

Really?

Then Ryan should have just listed them.  What's the need for public denunciations of the occupation if these supporters are already known? 

It's the whole idea of the ideological purity test that people find repugnant about Ryan's plan, so if he could have left that part out, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

And since you feel such a compulsion to continue to defend his plan, I guess we'll keep having it.

 

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

It appears that the international movement behind the Israeli academic boycott favours what I called Position A, upthread at #10. That is, a boycott with no exceptions made for individual allies of the Palestinian struggle.

 

Good find, M. Spector, and I'm glad to read that, because that is my position as well. A boycott is a boycott. My problem with Sid Ryan is his lack of effectiveness in putting the position forward. He should stick to his guns, but figure out whether they are loaded first. Otherwise, and I know we are repeating ourselves, our enemies get to scream about Ryan and about some of the debatable fringe aspects of boycott, instead of the debate being situated where it must be - the urgent need to embark on the BDS campaign and start mobilizing one organization and institution and government after another to get on board.

Max Bialystock

It's hard to stand up to the Zionist lobby.  Sid is a man of great courage, and that is why he is opposed by the Stockholms and Paul Moists of the NDP.

Stockholm

The very term "Zionist lobby" is anti-semitic and implies that Jews control world events. Sounds like far-right white supremacists going on about the world being controlled by "ZOG" (Zionist Occupation Government).

If you want to talk about there being a "pro-the policies of the current Israeli government lobby"  that's fine. Leave all this use of the word "Zionist" as a term of derision to the rightwing loonies - unless you wnat your position to be discredited.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:
A boycott is a boycott.

And a strike picket line is a strike picket line. You will admit, however, that it is not uncommon for sympathetic individuals to be allowed to cross a picket line for a purpose that does not harm the strike or the position of the union members.

Enemies of the union movement might seize upon such exceptions as proving that the picket line is discriminatory against individuals. You and I know better.

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Otherwise...our enemies get to scream about Ryan and about some of the debatable fringe aspects of boycott, instead of the debate being situated where it must be - the urgent need to embark on the BDS campaign and start mobilizing one organization and institution and government after another to get on board.

Quite right. That explains the position of our enemies. But it doesn't explain the position of our supposed friends, like Paul Moist.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Snert wrote:

It's the whole idea of the ideological purity test that people find repugnant about Ryan's plan, so if he could have left that part out, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

And since you feel such a compulsion to continue to defend his plan, I guess we'll keep having it.

Not with me, you won't.

I refuse to debate with people who continue to repeat lies after the truth has been pointed out to them.

You're still prattling on about "oaths" - repeated twice in your latest fevered screed - even though you know it's a lie. That's beneath contempt. 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I tend to agree with Unionist, but agree that Moist could have been more subtle.

Snert wrote:

Quote:
Notably, the boycott did not extend to Black people. Where does that put your "individual rights" thesis, now?

Only Black citizens?

But what of white "allies" who were willing to raise their right hand and denounce apartheid?  Weren't they given the option to retain their trade and investment options if they did?

Now you are changing the playing field and talking about investments, institutions and organization, not individual rights. Is this because you are having trouble keeping your definition about the seperation between individual rights, and their responsibiities to the organziations they are involved with straight?

What exactly do you think Apartheid was about?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

I refuse to debate with people who continue to repeat lies after the truth has been pointed out to them.

You're still prattling on about "oaths" - repeated twice in your latest fevered screed - even though you know it's a lie.

I'll leave it to any reasonable reader to decide whether boycotting an individual unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general constitutes demanding an oath or not.  Sure sounds like one to me.  And those bolded words are Sid Ryan's exact words from his original press release, so I trust you'd agree that whether or not Sid Ryan said them is beyond debate.

I'll also leave it to the reasonable reader to decide for themself which of us is the liar. 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Can't say I have a lot of sympathy for people who are unwilling to denounce said massacre.

Snert Snert's picture

The same could be said for people who won't denounce terrorism, or violence in general.  Who likes people who won't publicly declare their distaste for terrorism and violence?  Who should feel badly if someone doesn't care to have to raise their hand and say so?

saga saga's picture

Oh pishooey on your "terrorism and violence" who-hates-mother-and-apple-pie spin job, snert!

Can Hamas be "terrorists" if they are fighting for the freedom and the very lives of their people, hundreds of whom were just massacred? (imo, no: They are freedom fighters ... remember? ... the ones we used to help?)

Is George Bush a terrorist if he cooks up an excuse to attack Iraq on the eve of nationalization of their oil resources? (imo yes), and he then tries the same stunt in Venuzuela? (imo yes).

Stop with the anti-intelligent scare tactics ffs! We've had too many years of that low life crap.

Your terrorist Bush regime was nasty and ill-intentioned and subverted and manipulated the people and sent innocents to die for personal financial gains, under the guise of "freedom and democracy".

... but DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD! Get over it! Laughing

 

 -ed to add-

Cueball and I posted at the same time, and I think we are on a similar wave length.

 

 

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:
Quite right. That explains the position of our enemies. But it doesn't explain the position of our supposed friends, like Paul Moist.

I believe we should defeat or neutralize enemies and win over fence-sitters. I don't believe we should alienate all possible allies, even inconsistent and weak-kneed ones, by condemning them as enemies. And I am as tired of this canonization of Sid Ryan as I am disgusted by his demonization (see "Winnifred" above - shame!). If the BDS movement needs a leader, it will need a more skilful one than he.

Cueball Cueball's picture

No it can not. These ideas "terrorism" "violence" and so on and so forth are abstract nouns, with definitional lattitude, most often influenced by ideological viewpoint. The recent massacre in Gaza is an historical fact, with definite attributes, and a clear context in the actual facts of the Isreali occupation.

Putting this in the category of the "debatable" is like suggesting the "facts" of the Holocaust are debatable, in general terms. It's not "debatable". Moreover, I have yet to hear an spokeperson of the Israeli government or the IDF deny the scale of the slaughter in any substantial way, except to justify its cause. Other than that, they seem perfectly happy with their "object lesson" in brutality, as calculated by the UN and Palestinian health officials.

It is a historical fact. It is totally different than generalized opinions about "terrorism" or "violence". Now you have a choice condemn it as a massacre, or not?

al-Qa'bong

Stockholm wrote:

The very term "Zionist lobby" is anti-semitic and implies that Jews control world events. Sounds like far-right white supremacists going on about the world being controlled by "ZOG" (Zionist Occupation Government).

 

 

Oh step outside and breathe for a while.  There can be a powerful lobby that is successful at raising money and exerting influence without there being a world-wide "ZOG" conspiracy.

 

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But what of white "allies" who were willing to raise their right hand and denounce apartheid?  Weren't they given the option to retain their trade and investment options if they did?

I'm not sure about this, but I do recall how the cultural boycott of South Africa prevented musicians such as the members of the mixed-race band, Juluka, from performing in Europe.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

And I am as tired of this canonization of Sid Ryan as I am disgusted by his demonization (see "Winnifred" above - shame!). If the BDS movement needs a leader, it will need a more skilful one than he.

Right now, Sid Ryan, for all his faults, is the best-known trade union spokesperson for the BDS campaign in Canada. He is fearless and outspoken - exactly what is needed. As a result he is a magnet for all the anti-labour, pro-Zionist, right-wing crap that people can muster against the campaign, and I think that his allies in the struggle ought to cut him a lot of slack, at least until a more skilful leading spokesperson comes along. That's my idea of building alliances.

People who rush to disassociate themselves and their unions from Ryan's BDS campaign are doing mischief to the cause.  

Winnifred

Frustrated Mess wrote:

If only he had. If only he had. And at the same time, he could have taken a stand against murder, oppression, colonization, war crimes, and gross violations of human rights. Instead, he chose to take a stand against a brother who did do those things. Shameful indeed.

Each to their own I suppose. But it just is not as black and white as I read here. I was at an anti-Isreal rally in Toronto and I did hear some pretty distatsefuul stuff. This letter today in the post http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1204113 is reasonably written even if I usually disagree with the writer. From time to time we need to acknowledge mistakes.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Of course you do. And yet Bernie Farber feels no need to disown or distance himself from the hatred expressed in words and death by Israelis or even Jews who support that same hatred expressed in words and death against innocent Palestinians. When Farber recognizes and disowns his own complicity in that hate, let me know.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Winnifred wrote:
I was at an anti-Isreal rally in Toronto and I did hear some pretty distatsefuul stuff.

Working undercover?

Merowe
Winnifred

Working undercover? Surprised

And I do agree that if there are pro-Israeli protestors that engage in death calls against Palestinian Canadians Farber must denounce it. Put the video here and lets see if he does.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Death calls? It seems to me Farber was denouncing anti-semitism at the pro-Palestinian protests. And yet, he has not denounced, ever, racist comments emanating from Israelis against Palestinians. And never mind "death calls". Wouldn't it have been nice for him to denounce the indiscriminate murder of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military machine? What about the criminal use of white phosphorous now, finally, admitted, at least in part, by Israel? Why doesn't he condemn that? In fact, have you?

 

Ze

M. Spector wrote:

Right now, Sid Ryan, for all his faults, is the best-known trade union spokesperson for the BDS campaign in Canada. He is fearless and outspoken - exactly what is needed. As a result he is a magnet for all the anti-labour, pro-Zionist, right-wing crap that people can muster against the campaign, and I think that his allies in the struggle ought to cut him a lot of slack, at least until a more skilful leading spokesperson comes along. That's my idea of building alliances.

People who rush to disassociate themselves and their unions from Ryan's BDS campaign are doing mischief to the cause.  

Your position puts Sid Ryan as an individual, ahead of the campaign. Ryan set back the campaign by ham-handed idiocy in selling it -- and let's be honest, this is a campaign that needs to be SOLD to the Canadian public. If the BDS campaign is the priority, then make it the priority.  

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Show me the trade union leader who is going to sell the BDS campaign better than Ryan, and I'll support him or her. Until then, I'm backing Ryan.

There was nothing ham-handed about Ryan's statement. People who don't really support the BDS campaign twisted what he said to try to paint him and the BDS campaign as anti-semitic. Example: see Snert above.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Winnifred wrote:

Working undercover? Surprised

And I do agree that if there are pro-Israeli protestors that engage in death calls against Palestinian Canadians Farber must denounce it. Put the video here and lets see if he does.

 Your story is getting a little weird Winnifred. You say you heard some things at the rally you attended that distressed you. Yet you say nothing specific, then you link us to an article, which also has nothing specific in it, except for some allusions to translation from Arabic.

What precisely did you hear when you attended this event, where was it, and how good is your Arabic? 

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