Sid Ryan Bites Back

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Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
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.

I think Ryan is overexcited and a little too zealous, but nowhere have I tried to suggest that he (or a sensible boycott/divestment campaign) are anti-semitic.

I'm afraid your imagination is running away with you.  Maybe you need to take a break?  Clear your head?  Or just learn to read, maybe? 

Caissa

I thought it was BDSM.Wink

ohara

Im not terribly surprised you disagree with the "writer" you are in good company here at babble. Not sure which rally you were at but Id be interested in knowing. And what is it that you heard exactly?

Max Bialystock

Hey ohara I heard you had a good time at Peter Kent's victory celebration.  If you hate babble so much, why are you here?  We don't need the Thought Police here.

Winnifred

I was at an antiIsraeli rally in downtown Toronto a few weeks ago maybe the 10th. I heard some peop;e chanting something like "Jews commit genocide". I saw many swatikas suggesting a comparitive to Jews (= the star of david). It was very unpleasant.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Um, hello!

Israel was committing genocide in Gaza. 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Winnifred wrote:
I was at an antiIsraeli rally in downtown Toronto a few weeks ago maybe the 10th. I heard some peop;e chanting something like "Jews commit genocide". I saw many swatikas suggesting a comparitive to Jews (= the star of david). It was very unpleasant.

 Its not as if its the Arabs fault that the Israeli's put the Star of David on their flag.

Cueball Cueball's picture

ohara wrote:
Im not terribly surprised you disagree with the "writer" you are in good company here at babble. Not sure which rally you were at but Id be interested in knowing. And what is it that you heard exactly?

I know, even Bernie Farber, is interested in what people say they heard or saw at these protests. After all, its not really important wether or not any of these things purportedly said, are actually anti-semitic, all that is really important, is for the rumour to get around. Nothing has to be proven in court, or any such thing, just having the RCMP investigate is enough to intimidate Arab immigrants from voicing their opinions, or having them reported in the press in an unbiased manner without being slandered as "possible" anti-semites.

Bernie Farber knows this very well, and is a cagey political operator, and completely unprincipled in his manipulation and distortion for political ends.

Unionist

Winnifred wrote:
I was at an antiIsraeli rally in downtown Toronto a few weeks ago maybe the 10th. I heard some peop;e chanting something like "Jews commit genocide". I saw many swatikas suggesting a comparitive to Jews (= the star of david). It was very unpleasant.

Tut tut tut. Poor you. If only Gazans knew about your distressing experience, they would stop whining about how Israel tried to help them get rid of Hamas over the past weeks.

 

Ze

M. Spector wrote:

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.

 (1) Ideally, shouldn't the leadership of this campaign belong to Palestinians, and -- arguably -- longstanding Palestine solidarity groups, with others acting in support? Must Canadian trade unions take ownership?

(2) I'd suggest that to build the campaign, it's important to broaden the circle of support. It seems me that Ryan's early stance narrowed the circle of support and was, minimally, a tactical blunder.  He seems smart enough to realize that and take a more effective stance now. You, on the other hand, refer to "true supporters" as if some of us here are less true. That defines people out of the movement you want to see happen. Maybe that movement would be purer, but it would be too small to have any effect on the Israeli state. 

(3) Those who insist on making defence of Sid Ryan a central issue, and smearing others as insufficiently pure, are also narrowing the circle of support. For BDS to work, it needs to be supported by people that you may not like, or I may not like. It needs to be supported by millions. If the clear crimes against humanity in Gaza are front and centre, that's possible. If continued if it's about defence of Sid Ryan, even after he himself has backed down, and about shouting at people who basically agree on the need to get sanctions etc on the Israeli government, then it's bound to fail. 

 (4) Who's tried to paint anyone as anti-semitic? The closest I see here is Stockholm saying that the term "Zionist lobby" is an anti-semitic term. As far as I can tell, people taking part here are in agreement with the BDS strategy, but differ on the tactics. Maybe that's naive of me, but it's my reading of most posts.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Ze wrote:
Ideally, shouldn't the leadership of this campaign belong to Palestinians, and -- arguably -- longstanding Palestine solidarity groups, with others acting in support? Must Canadian trade unions take ownership?

Of course the leadership comes from the Palestinians themselves - they were the ones who called for the BDS campaign originally. But in Canada at least it must be broader-based than just the Palestinian community. Labour unions must get on board. In the absence of any leadership from the Parliamentary political parties, labour must take political action on its own.

Yes, trade unions must be politically active and outspoken on working class political issues, both domestic and foreign. Do you disagree?

Ze wrote:
I'd suggest that to build the campaign, it's important to broaden the circle of support. It seems me that Ryan's early stance narrowed the circle of support and was, minimally, a tactical blunder. He seems smart enough to realize that and take a more effective stance now. You, on the other hand, refer to "true supporters" as if some of us here are less true. That defines people out of the movement you want to see happen. Maybe that movement would be purer, but it would be too small to have any effect on the Israeli state.

The people who are publicly criticizing Ryan are not criticizing him for deviating from the "Total boycott, no exceptions" position. They are criticizing him from the other side - the right-wing, Zionist side. The side that regards any action against Israeli institutions and their stooges as anti-semitism and discrimination. They may claim to be champions of "human rights", but they never were, and never will be, allies of the BDS movement.

Bernie Farber of CJC accused Ryan of "entering into the dark realm of anti-Semitism" and added, "It's incredulous [sic] to me that nobody has challenged Mr. Ryan nationally at CUPE." Obviously Paul Moist at CUPE national office was listening to Farber because he chimed in with his own denunciation of Ryan that talked about Ryan violating "the anti-discrimination standards set out in the CUPE Constitution."

Meanwhile, I never heard any public criticism of Ryan's position from the Palestinian and other activists in the BDS campaign movement.

With the line thus drawn in the sand, some babblers elected to stand on the side of Farber and Moist, while others stood with Ryan and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Ze wrote:
Those who insist on making defence of Sid Ryan a central issue, and smearing others as insufficiently pure, are also narrowing the circle of support.

The only smearing going on is against Ryan. Those who insist on demonizing Sid Ryan as a bigot because he wants to keep academic supporters of Israeli apartheid out of Canada were never inside the "circle of support." They want to undermine the BDS campaign by making it all about the "individual rights" of fascist university professors who work to uphold the system of apartheid and the siege of the occupied territories. They go out of their way to invent statements and attribute them to Ryan (like the myth of requiring an "ideological purity oath" from Israeli academics) rather than to deal with what he actually said.

Most important, they frame their criticisms in the context of trying to weaken and ridicule the boycott campaign, not strengthen it.

I don't have to be defending Sid Ryan when I denounce those who want to discredit the very idea of an academic boycott of Israel. They are no friends of the Palestinians, regardless of anything Sid Ryan may have said.

Ze wrote:
As far as I can tell, people taking part here are in agreement with the BDS strategy, but differ on the tactics.

I don't know where you get that idea, because I haven't seen it. What I have seen is not a disagreement on tactics, but a fundamental political difference between those who support an academic boycott and those who don't.

thorin_bane

Wow another thread where ohara shows up. In all my years here, this poster only posts to defend Israel at all costs. Some would think the internet war is fake(with regards to mossad). This posters habits would indicate otherwise. I may not agree with stock on this issue but at least he contributes to the board when there isn't Israel threads.

 

I talked to Sid when he was on a tour with Maude Barlow. He has had both anger against his stand and people like myself who have wanted to thank him for actually saying something. He mentioned that when he gets a chance to explain to the locals his position in person there is usually a softening on their stand. When facts are presented it takes a hard head to throw them all out the window.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Winnifred wrote:
I was at an antiIsraeli rally in downtown Toronto a few weeks ago maybe the 10th. I heard some peop;e chanting something like "Jews commit genocide". I saw many swatikas suggesting a comparitive to Jews (= the star of david). It was very unpleasant.

 Speaking of hate crimes:

 Army rabbi 'gave out hate leaflet to troops'

Quote:
The Israeli army's chief rabbinate gave soldiers preparing to enter the Gaza Strip a booklet implying that all Palestinians are their mortal enemies and advising them that cruelty is sometimes a "good attribute".

 I guess preventing this guy from speaking at a Canadian university, where he could enjoin young Canadian Jews to move to Israel, join the IDF, and express the best they can be by being cruel to Palestinians would be an infringement of his rights, and worse still do damage to the intellectual environment of Canadian institutions of higher education.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I'm still waiting for Bernie Farber and Winnifred to distance themselves and even denounce racist comments made against Jews and Arabs by Israeli/Zionist supporters. It hasn't happened. And while Israel's defenders continue to lie about why they killed so many civilians, and while others would rather attack Ryan than the problem (perhaps distraction is the aim?) we have this ...

Quote:

It said one urged soldiers to "spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us..."

"Kill the one who comes to kill you. As for the population, it is not innocent," the daily quoted the pamphlet as saying.

Rabbi told Israeli troops 'to show no mercy' in Gaza

Where is Bernie's  denounciations of this racist hate mongering? Is that crickets I hear?

But let's not focus on Ryan's call for a boycott, let's focus on Ryan the man instead because petty, small-minded politics are always so much fun when you need to take the public mind of the Israeli carnage.

 

 

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

We can now see how the sniping and backbiting directed at Sid Ryan by the Zionists and their stooges in the labour movement has weakened the boycott campaign.

An article in the [url=Toronto">http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/591429][u]Toronto Star[/url] yesterday about CUPE Ontario university workers voting to endorse the BDS campaign was at great pains to point out that the university workers were not calling for a boycott of Israeli academics. As a result, an entirely unwarranted and undeserved exemption from the academic boycott has now been created for all Israeli academics, regardless of how much they give ideological and material support to Israeli apartheid and aggression.

Quote:
University workers in the Canadian Union of Public Employees have passed a controversial motion calling for an academic boycott of Israel, and union members from at least one Toronto university are planning to pressure their school to cut any financial ties with the country.

Although the motion didn't call for a boycott of individual Israeli academics - as some union members had suggested last month - it encourages union locals to publicly discuss boycotting Israeli universities and to push Canadian universities to end any research or investments that could benefit the Israeli army....

Delegates representing university workers in CUPE's Ontario branch, which represents 200,000 government and other public sector workers, voted on the motion at a meeting in Windsor....

The boycott, however, stopped short of calling for Canadian universities to ban Israeli academics, an idea previously floated by CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan.

"(We want to) do what we can in a peaceful way to end the occupation of Palestine," Ryan said, adding that the idea of the motion is to boycott research that helps the Israeli military and to investigate any ties between Canadian universities and Israel, not to ban individual Israeli professors.

And thus CUPE Ontario university workers have been intimidated by their national president and the Zionist lobby into effectively gutting the academic boycott, rendering it all but ineffectual. It also puts CUPE out of step with the international boycott campaign, which very clearly includes a boycott of Israeli academics.

Stockholm

Why won't Ryan back a boycott of Sri Lankan academics as well? Does he ever take an interest in ANY issue in the world that doesn't involve Israel?

Honestly, for Ryan's own good - he would gain a lot of credibility if instead of always singling out Israel to the exclusion of any other country on earth - he would at least go through the motions of also condemning a few other particularly odious regimes. Then when people accuse him of "singling out" Israel - he could say "no,the only thing I single out is atrocity and injustice wherever it happens" and then he could proudly point to CUPE resolutions attacking other dasterdly countries as proof that Israel is just one of several countries that he wants to take action against. By ONLY ever spekaing on Israel and letting all other countries get off scot-free - Ryan is only succeeding in giving his opponents ammunition.

wage zombie

Stockholm, maybe you should read the first post in the thread.

spatrioter

OH SNAP!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Never ask Stockholm to read anything. He doesn't read.

johnpauljones

what I do not understand is why this resolution was even needed. I thought resolution 50 passed a couple of years ago did this very thing.

Stockholm

There seem to be a few vague statements about Iran or Colombia or Guatemala that have no teeth and are not accompanied by any sanctions - and those are clearly just a figleaf so that Ryan can do what he really wants to do - which always involves his personal obsession with Israel to the exclusion of anything else (I guess since the demise of the IRA he needs a new toy to play with). I'd like to see every CUPE Ontario policy against Israel matched with policies and resolution with almost identical wording targetting Sri Lanka and Iran (among other places) - of course it will never happen because its now not "politically correct" to say anything bad about Iran.

Michelle

Ah, okay.  So, if he doesn't say anything about any other country, he's singling out Israel.  If he says stuff about other countries, then he's just doing that as a way of hiding his "personal obsession with Israel to the exclusion of anything else" behind a figleaf.

No wonder no one takes you seriously in these threads, Stockholm.  What amazes me, though, is that they bother to respond.

Stockholm

You have your opinion. I have mine. Ryan has never spent one one millionth as much time condemning Iran or Sri Lanka or Guatemala etc... as he has on Israel. He's obviously got some bizarre personal "bee in his bonnet" about Israel. I have no idea why. Maybe when he was a child, he got into a schoolyard fight with an Israeli kid and he's had personal loathing for Israelis ever since. Or maybe because back in the 80s, members of the IRA used to get trained alongside PLO terrorists and members of the Baader-Meinhof gang at training camps in Libya - so he still has a soft spot in his heart. To this day, apparently you tend to see Palestinian flags flying in Catholic areas of Belfast and Israeli flags in Protestant areas - so I guess his bias in in his blood. I suppose that maybe when Catholics in Belfast start flying the Tamil Tiger flag and Protestants start flying the Sri Lankan government flag  - maybe Ryan will get off his rear end and take an interest in the conflict in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile - to him Israel/Palestine is the only game in town.

If you can prove that Ryan has put an EQUAL amount of time and effort into condeming any other country on the face of the earth - as he has on Israel - then i will stand corrected.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Wow. That is disgusting.

Stockholm

I agree. That is disgusting on the part of the National Post. Its also disgusting that a nauseating hate monger like Ahenakew was acquitted. If his grotesque blather isn't hate speech - what is? But, I don't blame Sid Ryan for that and i don't see the link between the two issues at all.

Joel_Goldenberg

Anybody see the front page of today's National Post? It has an editorial cartoon of the acquitted David Ahenakew saying "I still say the Jews caused the war" and Sid Ryan pointing to him and saying "You're hired!"

I suspect Ryan will want to sue.

This is it, it's #1 in the slideshow

 

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/clement/index.html

Joel_Goldenberg

Stockholm wrote:
I agree. That is disgusting on the part of the National Post. Its also disgusting that a nauseating hate monger like Ahenakew was acquitted. If his grotesque blather isn't hate speech - what is? But, I don't blame Sid Ryan for that and i don't see the link between the two issues at all.

The National Post sees the link. They've pretty much been calling Ryan anti-Semitic on their opinion pages. But this one takes the cake.

Michelle

Ryan should totally sue those assholes.  If that's not defamatory, nothing is.

johnpauljones

i've known Sid for a really long time -- he has opinions I agree with and others I think are disgusting and reprehensible. 

 

I worked on his campaign in '99 against Mushinski. You know the campaign where had he listened to people and run against Dan Hello Newman in Southwest he would have won. But he chose to run against Mushinksi and lost.

 

Ryan should sue but prob will not. Real question is that if he were to sue would he win.

melovesproles

johnpauljones, your response to the National Post very blatantly characterizing Sid Ryan as an anti-semite is that you know he has "disgusting and reprehensible" opinions and that you have doubts he would win a defamation suit-AND you back all this up by giving the example that he didn't run in the most tactically astute riding?  Frankly, it sounds like you could get a gig writing for the National Post.  Another real question is why would anyone consider you a credible judge of character?

johnpauljones

Thanks Melovseproles for your critique of my opinion.  I think it is great that you think i could get a job writing for the post -- I of course would prefer to be a writer for the Star but that is just me.

My opinion of Sid is being called into question. great. He is scum He has hurt the NDp and he has hurt the union movement in Ontario. he is bombastic and a know it all. when given adivce he does what he wants regardless of the outcomes or the consequences.

the example of the election is very important because Newman became the worst minsiter of environment in the history of ontario.

Yes had Sid run against and won the race against Newman Ontario would have been better off.

So if you think that my opinion of an opinionated, arrogant ass is a problem and my example not relevant.

Fine

I on the other hand am counting down the days until the union that I am a former member of and that when I was a member of CUPE Ontario and was the lead of my  bargaining unit I am counting down the time until we will get rid of sid.

 

 

In other news Sid will be on TVO with Steve Paikin tonight. After the way Paikin has been attacking Warren Kinsella I can not wait to see this interview.

melovesproles

Just watched the interview on TVO's website, Ryan handled himself pretty well.

Unionist

I listened to the [url=audio">http://www.tvo.org/podcasts/theagenda/audio/TAWSP_Int_20090224_779440_0_... podcast[/url] [about a 7 MB download].

Yes, he was very convincing and passionate. He also explained why he backed away from the "boycotting individuals" thing, without being apologetic about it. He did well.

 

Michelle

Judy Rebick speaks out in support of Sid Ryan.

Quote:

I am getting pretty angry at the denunciations of Sid Ryan as an anti-semite by, of all people, Jason Kenney, who as far as I know has never done a stitch of work to defend human rights in this country. Not to mention the outrage of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism making political points about removing funding from organizations representing the two of the largest groups of immigrants in the country.  Why isn't there a clamour for his resignation?   Maybe we'd better start one.

How convenient that the fairly significant number of Jews who are in solidarity with the Palestinians in this battle are ignored by Kenney and mainstream Jewish organizations. Many Jewish actions and statements around the world have been protesting the Israeli attack on Gaza.  Are we anti-semites too?

miles

and in today's national putz we find members of CUPE 3902 UofT signing a letter against the 3903 motion against Israel

 

Could it be that CUPE members do not all agree with the focus of brother Sid's advocacy?

 

Quote:

An open letter to Sid Ryan and the CUPE Ontario leadership:

We, the undersigned academic members of CUPE Ontario, wish to express our outrage at the recent actions taken by Sid Ryan and other CUPE Ontario officials. These actions, which approve a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, both violate the authority with which they have been entrusted and, worse, undermine academic freedoms.

CUPE national, as well as the University of Toronto Education Workers, CUPE local 3902, have disapproved of this motion and decision, and for good reason. The most urgent matter of concern to the union is the ratification of reasonable contracts across Ontario. The primary mission of the union is to ensure the fair employment and treatment of its members. The current leadership has overreached its mandate, recklessly and irresponsibly dabbling in complex international politics. This leadership has demonstrated its resolve to continue in this fashion even though it is not competent to do so, it has not been elected to do so, and it is not in its jurisdiction to do so. These actions have harmed our union.

 

Quote:

Signed by members of CUPE 3902, University of Toronto:

Paul Nahme, Jenn Cianca, Carolyn Reimer, Ian Richards, Callie Callon, Lindsay Ann Cox, Jonthan Newman, Sarah Kleeb, Shari Goldberg, Jade Weimer, Tim Langille, Emily Springay, Matt King, Amy Fisher, Zvi Halpern, Aldea Muldhern, Tema Smith, G. Anthony Bruno, Kathleen Gibbons, Nicholas Dion, Benjamin W. Carter, Jason McKinney.

 

url is

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1338529&p=1

aka Mycroft

miles wrote:

Could it be that CUPE members do not all agree with the focus of brother Sid's advocacy?

23 of them in any case.

miles

AKA lets wait and see what happens in May

spatrioter

Funny how a few disgruntled union members suddenly object to their union involving itself in international affairs when it's about Israel.  Where was their letter objecting to resolutions on Colombia, Egypt, Iran, and Guatemala?  Where was their objection to CUPE pressuring the OMERS pension plan to divest from Talisman because of its involvement in the "complex" international affairs of Darfur?  Why the double-standard for Israel?

Even funnier, they claim that the union leadership has not been elected to do this.  Well, actually, they were.  There was a vote in 2006 passed almost unanimously by members at a CUPE Ontario convention to implement a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against the Israeli government.  And after it was implemented by the leadership, Sid Ryan was re-elected with a strong majority at the convention in 2008.

Then they whine about how they had no opportunity (!) for input on this resolution, as if it just came out of left field and they didn't have representatives to the university workers' meeting, as if they weren't entitled to delegates at CUPE Ontario conventions.

If you don't like the outcome of democracy, that's fine, but don't claim that the union leadership doesn't have the mandate to do something the membership directed them to do.

I'm glad they signed their names, so they can be exposed within their union as lying scumbags who would rather denounce their own union in the pages of the National Post, of all publications, than participate in meaningful discussion with their brothers and sisters.

Scabs.

remind remind's picture

Indeed!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

CUPE 3902 has well over 1100 members. So 23 of them are Zionist sympathizers, and of course the MSM jumps all over it.

Unionist

spatrioter wrote:

Funny how a few disgruntled union members suddenly object to their union involving itself in international affairs when it's about Israel.  Where was their letter objecting to resolutions on Colombia, Egypt, Iran, and Guatemala?  Where was their objection to CUPE pressuring the OMERS pension plan to divest from Talisman because of its involvement in the "complex" international affairs of Darfur?  Why the double-standard for Israel?

LOL, I laughed and laughed. That is a brilliant satire on the assholes who say: "Why does CUPE single out Israel? what about Darfur, Jupiter, and Alpha Centauri?"

Thanks, spatrioter.

Ze

Quote:
The primary mission of the union is to ensure the fair employment and treatment of its members. The current leadership has overreached its mandate, recklessly and irresponsibly dabbling in complex international politics.

Idiots. Any union that thinks solidarity stops at the border isn't doing much of a job. Luckily Canadian unions are involved internationally. 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

It won't stop.

miles

M. Spector wrote:

CUPE 3902 has well over 1100 members. So 23 of them are Zionist sympathizers, and of course the MSM jumps all over it.

 

isn't this the same argument that is used by the pro-Israel side when they tried to discount ACJC and its new formation IJV?

Either we listen to "minority" voices or we do not

 

So do 23 out of 1100 equal 1000 or so out of 200,000?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

No, of course it's not the same argument at all, as you well know.

It's not an argument about "listening to minority voices" at all. It's an argument about the biases of the mainstream media.

The MSM has a strong pro-Zionist bias to go along with its anti-labour bias. It can satisfy both appetites at once by giving disproportionate publicity to a small pro-Zionist minority within a trade union. 

miles

Not for me m.spector. I have listened to although do not always agree to ACJC because of some passionate postings here and on other blogs that the minority voice must be heard.

To agree or disagree can only happen when minority opinions are made public.

 

So in this case. A minority of a union local has emerged to state their unsatisfaction with a resolution. That minority should be heard.

 

Of course if consensus is that they should not be heard then that leads an interesting discussion of what percentage is required to be a true voice.

Unionist

What kind of silly argument is this? People have different viewpoints, and they are free to express them, in unions or outside. The fact that the MSM would publicize a dissenting pro-Israel statement by 23 people has nothing to do with letting minorities be heard. It has to do with the near-unanimous pro-Israel bias of the MSM. The real minority, which needs to be heard, is CUPE Ontario and other like voices in the trade union movement. Any publicity they get in the MSM will only be of the scandal-mongering variety.

 

johnpauljones

I hear that the vote at the Windsor meeting was 16 to 5 with 12 abstentions.  I wonder why 12 locals abstained?

Stockholm

Probably because they are afraid of the repercussions if they go against King Sid.

Unionist

johnpauljones wrote:
I hear that the vote at the Windsor meeting was 16 to 5 with 12 abstentions.  I wonder why 12 locals abstained?

Maybe they didn't want to vote for or against?

Smile

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