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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Anarchists, Unionists, Mennonites & Porter Airlines Strikers: It’s About Israel, Stupid!

Last year Porter Airlines’s refuelling staff joined a union. It was a curious choice of a union, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) is mostly a union for people who work for unions. They represent staff from CUPE, CUPW, Canadian Association of University Teachers, United Steel Workers, a number of district labour councils, and employees of the federal and Quebec NDP. (And, curiously, COPE Local 81 represents workers at Bombardier’s train manufacturing operations in Thunder Bay- Porter recently signed a contract with Bombardier Aerospace for new jets.)
There are only 22 Porter workers involved in the strike, but they’ve had an extraordinary amount of support. Not only have people from other unions joined in on the protests, but so too have members of Toronto’s anarchist community. There were some familiar names in attendance including the now world famous Vanja Krajina, Alex“Flagpole” Balch, Mark Brill of OCAP, and anarchist schoolteacher Ashleigh Ingle. There were also some high-profile union leaders and politicians  including Sid Ryan of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Tony Depaulo of the Steelworkers, and anarchist aficionado MPP Cheri DiNovo.
The question is, outside of supporting the strikers, why have so many radicals gravitated towards supporting this strike? This was a mystery to me until this week, but after some research it has become apparent- it’s about Israel, stupid! (I’m directing the ‘stupid’ at myself, wish I’d researched this earlier.)
Canada’s anti-Israel radicals have a hate-on for Israel that borders on racism. Rather than working towards peaceful solutions, most default towards incendiary language that can only cause further division- the phrase ‘Israeli Apartheid’ is a great example. This sort of hate will only result in adding heat to the fire.

Read the whole article at GenuineWitty


Anonymous said...

Interesting theory. The problem is there's no evidence to back it up. As usual, Renouf uses tenuous logic to jump to conclusions that are unsupported by the facts. For instance, there's been no mention of Tanenbaum or Israel whatsoever by the Porter strikers or their supporters. It's quite pathetic to claim that just because someone associated with a company happens to be Jewish that any criticism of that company is ipso facto anti-Semitic (or anti-Israel). It's a bit like accusing anyone who criticizes Obama of being racist. You're better than this, Richard. Repeating Renouf's bullshit hurts your credibility.

Richard K said...

Yeah, but it is an interesting theory, and it most certainly is true that the groups supporting the Porter strike vociferously hate Israel and its supporters.

While I don't think that is the primary motive for their involvement in the Porter strike, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume it's icing on the cake for them and make them all that more the aggressive in their stance.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to speculate when you don't have any evidence to back it up. That's what blogs are for, eh? It's also why they shouldn't be taken seriously.

Richard K said...

If you think speculation is limited to blogs, you've obviously never read a newspaper.

In this case the facts are correct, it's merely a question of whether the motive has anything to do with the stated hatred of Israel maintained by these groups and the fact that Porter's senior execs support it.

You're very touchy, bordering on paranoid, regarding Greg's material. If you don't think it should be taken seriously, I'd suggest you stop obsessing over everything he writes.

Anonymous said...

You're very, very defensive and very protective. Trying to make up for the fact that the structure you're defending is built on sand? The facts, Richard, are not correct because, as you admitted, there are no examples of any anti-Israel activity in relation to the strike. These anarchists go to every strike in the city and behave the exact same way. Claiming that they are supporting this strike because of some tenuous connection with Israel is grasping at straws. The question is, why are you so desperate to grasp at that straw in the absence of any evidence to support it.

Richard K said...

Try reading what I wrote. I said that I don`t think the Israeli connection is their primary motive. You`re confusing what I wrote with Greg`s column that I quoted and linked.

If you insist that the vociferous detestation for Israel that is a common factor among these groups is entirely coincidental to their activities, it may be. But it`s not unreasonable to assume that cultish, hateful fanatics are motivated at least in part by another aspect of their self-declared agenda.

A reader said...

Richard, you're chewing up the scenery. Relax.