Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart
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Friday, 4 September 2009

An Anti-Semite By Any Other Name

For Canadian Jews, Canada has been a malchus shel chesed for the last fifty years or so. Jews have been treated as full and equal citizens since the early 1960's and have served in prominent private and public positions throughout the country and otherwise fully participated in Canadian life. Unlike our European and South American brethren, our synagogues and community centres are not fortified buildings with high tech security. We are able to educate our children as we see fit and worship as we want. Holocaust denial is a de facto crime. Best of all, the current prime minister is vocally pro-Israel, a welcome change from generations of leaders who were concerned about moral equivalence when it came to matters in the Middle East.

But beneath the glossy veneer, there is still the ugly phenomenon of anti-Semitism. Many times it lurks quietly and out of sight. Other times it forces itself into full public view. This has happened once again with the imminent Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Despite being a cultural backwater (beer, hockey, moose 'n' beavers, eh?) there are some amazing cultural events in Canada, prime amongst them the TIFF. Rivalled the Cannes festival for size and importance, it's a great chance each year to wander through downtown Toronto in the hopes of catching a glimpse of someone famous or seeing an artsy film that probably will never be released commercially.

This year the TIFF went further and decided to try a new concept, that of featuring a particular international city. Their choice was Tel Aviv due to that city celebrating its 100th anniversary. Tel Aviv and Toronto have a lot in common. Both are home to people from all over the world, both are cosmopolitan and liberal cities that act as the commercial and financial centres of their countries. It would seem a natural fit.

Unfortunately in the eyes of the so-called progressive and enlightened glitterati, this honour is the equivalent of a war crime:

The signatories of a new letter accusing the Toronto International Film Festival of becoming "complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine" run the gamut from an Oscar-winning actress to a rabble-rousing author to a Talking Head.
More than 50 people have added their name to what's being called The Toronto Declaration, including musician David Byrne, actors Danny Glover and Jane Fonda, and author Alice Walker.
The letter, drafted by a committee that includes Canadian writer Naomi Klein and Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni, is the latest move in a controversy that began when Canadian director John Greyson withdrew his short documentary, Covered, from the festival last week. The veteran filmmaker is protesting the festival's inaugural City to City Spotlight on Tel Aviv, a 10-movie program that TIFF's website promises will "explore the evolving urban experience while presenting the best documentary and fiction films from and about a selected city." This year is Tel Aviv's 100th anniversary.
Greyson penned an open letter to festival co-directors Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey, as well as to Noah Cowan, artistic director of the under-construction Bell Lightbox, blasting the initiative.
The declaration states that while the signatories are not protesting the individual filmmakers participating in the program and do not seek to exclude Israeli films from the festival, "in the wake of this year's brutal assault on Gaza, we object to the use of such an important international festival in staging a propaganda campaign on behalf of what South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and UN General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann have all characterized as an apartheid regime."


One of the blessings I, along with my contemporaries, have received from God is to live without fear of being a Jew. Being made to feel like "the other", being in fear of getting attacked on the street without recourse to protection from the law, being discriminated and told I cannot do something because I am a Jew, all these are things I have no experience with. Unlike my parents who grew up in such an environment, I have a sense of security when I walk down the street with my kippah in full view.

Yet around me are people whose attitudes hearken back to those of the bad ol' days of yore. Yees, yes, they say they have no problem with Jews, only with Israel. In fact, they have lots of Jewish friends who are also (strictly coincidental) anti-Israel. Therefore they are not anti-Semites.

I wonder though. If the TIFF had chosen to honour Beijing (China occupies Tibet) or Moscow (Russia occupies Ossetia and Chechnya), would Danny Glover, Hanoi Jane and John Greyson have had such a problem? Would filmmakers be withdrawing their films in protest? Would a single Hollywood celebrity have signed a petition if an actual tyranny had been honoured instead of the only democracy in the Middle East and the only one in which the preferred company of this crowd - socialist fanatics and radical homosexuals - are able to openly express their views without fear of being lynched?

Somehow I doubt it. Their concern is with Israel and Israel alone. For Darfur they'll give lip service. For the Congo, they'll say they're concerns. But for a terrorist nation that is trying to destroy Israel? For that they'll sign petitions and make sure everyone knows!

As producer Simcha Jacobovici notes:

"Frankly, I think there's no other word but anti-Semitism. I don't know if they're doing it consciously or unconsciously, I want to make that clear, but the idea that anything that Israel does is by definition illegitimate, and anything that the other side does is by definition legitimate, what do you call that?"

This is Jew-hatred, plain and simple. The only way to deal with it is to aggresively refute the lies they continue to cloak themselves with. These people are anti-Semites and do not deserve the civilized appearance that society continues to give them.

12 comments:

David said...

"I wonder though. If the TIFF had chosen to honour Beijing (China occupies Tibet) or Moscow (Russia occupies Ossetia and Chechnya), would Danny Glover, Hanoi Jane and John Greyson have had such a problem?"

You actually wonder? The answer is obviously "no." Besides, any cause that can unite Glover, Fonda and Jimmy Carter is guaranteed to find itself very close to the butt end of the needle on any decent moral compass.

Good Shabbos.

Josh said...

Your ex-Attorney General COTLER SAID IT BEST.THOSE WHO PROFESS SUCH ANTI-ISRAEL VIEWS ARE STATING GROUP ANTI-SEMITISM.

Shalmo said...

Canada does not need gas chambers. Its people do fine destroying Jewry by opening them up to assimilation.

Its not that the same humanitarians who call out Israeli genocide, don't also voice Darfur, Russia and so forth. They very much do. The reason they need to voice Israeli apartheid so loudly is because the zionist lobby does a good job covering Israel's tracks, hence the other side has to be more aggressive as well.

Also notice the logical fallacies in these arguments. Can anyone here imagine during WW2 some party saying yeah we should only concentrate on saving gypsies, blacks and homosexuals but forget about Jewry? Essentially this whole 'why don't they bother with Russia and Darfur instead of Israel' argument is biult on the same premise. Deflecting Israeli genocide by saying other countries like russia have atrocities of their own, does not undo the Israeli genocide that is taking place today in of itself.

But regardless, there are plenty of morally conscious Jews who support what took place at the Film Festival, and support other boycott activities as well. I'll be doing some of my own latter this week!

But the real dark side of constantly using the antisemitism card to silence criticism of Israel(which day by day loses power over the world) is that eventually its gets people to disregard antisemitism altogether. All accusations of antisemitism are eventually seen as just more zionist paranoia. So when real antisemitism takes place, everyone is desensitized to it. The next time 6 million are sent to the ovens, well who will mourn their passing?

All in all, the zionist regime is gonna collapse in our lifetimes. At this point there is no doubt about that. But I am hoping to quicken the process as much as I can.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Shalmo is repetitive.
Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.Shalmo is repetitive.

Off the Derech said...

Garnel loves ad hominem attacks.

Anonymous said...

bahahaha even without clicking on shalmo's name, it's not hard to deduce that she is a flagrant anti semite. Yes, ANTI SEMITE. Or more appropriately, neo anti semite. This new wave of antisemitism has taken the form of simply saying, "I don't hate Jews, i hate Israel." And its equally pathetic as it is atrocious. Genocide? Oh you're referring to the genocide in gaza and the west bank, where fakestinians have seen precipitous increases in both birth rate and life expectancy since Israel took over. Or are you referring to the ACTUAL genocide that jordan perpetrated on the poor poor palestinians. Israel is the only democracy in the middle east. She has arabs on her parliament. How many Jews do you see sitting on arab or muslim parliament? or caliphate i should say. AM YISRAEL CHAI!! Israel forever!

Garnel Ironheart said...

Shalmo's a girl?

Off the Derech said...

Did I mention who Anonymous is?

Shalmo said...

Anonymous only a moron cannot see what the Israeli F-16s leave in Gaza and the Palestinian territories. A 2 second google reveals more than enough:

http://www.palestine-info.info/Ar/DataFiles/Contents/Files/gallery/2008/jan/PIC_19-1-08_1/PIC_20.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_uYCDfb2QGz8/R7RsNWVL9KI/AAAAAAAAAGE/LdMvSBgpWD0/S1600-R/Israeli+atrocities+3.jpg

That's genocide no matter how you look at and its worse than anything Jewry suffered in the Holocaust. Its horrible to imagine that after suffering a Holocaust of their own, Jewry start repeating the same cycle on an indigineous population

As for Israel being the only democracy in the middle-east, bah its only because the dictators in the arab countries were implanted by the brits and kept in power today by the US.

Oh and even Iran has Jews in its parliament, big freakingn deal! But even Iran is not exterminating its Jewish population the way Israel is trying to wipe out the arabs.

I piss on your mythological Eretz Yisrael. People like you DO NOT represent all Jews, no matter how much you keep barking that you do.

Bartley Kulp said...

I cannot believe that Jane Fonda is on the list. Has she not reeked enough havoc?

Joseph said...

>That's genocide no matter how you look at and its worse than anything Jewry suffered in the Holocaust. Its horrible to imagine that after suffering a Holocaust of their own, Jewry start repeating the same cycle on an indigineous population<

Shalmo is so over the top. I vote for banning or at least totally ignoring him.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if John Greyson's big public hissy fit about TIFF has anything to do with him being on the Advisory Board of the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival and always pushing for a world-wide boycott of anything even remotely related to Israel?

Knowing what TIFF's plans were, one wonders why he waited to the last moment to withdraw, rather than just in the beginning many months ago withdrawing?