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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arab-Israeli group to sue for access to Canadian Tax Funds

Between the Rights and Democracy controversy, the Hamasexuals of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and Jihadstock in Toronto, you might have thought things couldn't get any nuttier for Canada's peripheral relationship with the middle east.

Well, nuttier it gets.

Patrick Martin reported today in The Globe and Mail, that the Arab-Israeli group Mada al-Carmel is taking Canada's publicly funded International Development Research Centre to court, alleging the Canadian Crown corporation cut off funding to the group under pressure from the Israeli government.

According to The Globe, "In March, the IDRC terminated the grants, worth almost $800,000, in their second year. The decision means a loss of 40 per cent of Mada’s income and a serious blow to the organization’s reputation and credibility."

It appears part of the Canadian decision may be connected to NGO Monitor's alerting IDRC about a poster linked to Mada al-Carmel.

The Globe states:
The IDRC learned that NGO Monitor had reported scathingly about a poster it claimed Mada had produced. The poster depicts an Israeli soldier with his hand in front of a Palestinian woman’s chest and the provocative caption: “The occupation penetrates her life everyday."

“Mada al-Carmel publishes crude posters with images of an Israeli soldier touching the breasts of an Arab woman,” wrote NGO Monitor’s president, Gerald Steinberg.

According to the Globe and Mail, "The poster, however, clearly does not depict the soldier touching the woman’s breasts."

Here is the poster, which the Globe did not show in its online article. You can judge for yourself:

If not to Patrick Martin, it looks pretty inflammatory to me, keeping in mind its audience is a conservative and easily agitated demographic.  And I seriously doubt the placement of the soldier's hand in the poster is accidental.

I'm sure Canadian taxpayers will be thrilled, not just at learning that our taxes went to funding dubious organizations like Mada al-Carmel in the first place, but when the government tries to cease it, we get sued to reinstate their hand-out.

It should be interesting to see how far this goes.

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