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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Canada's government should revoke the charitable status of terrorist-supporting groups that want to destroy Israel

The so-called "Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East" a terrorist-supporting organization, has published a list of  fellow Canadian groups engaged in the boycott of Israel.

These groups, by the Canadian government's definition, are anti-Semitic and those of them which have charitable status should have it revoked immediately.


Unknown said...

First, I think folks are far too casual with throwing around phrases like antisemitism" and "racism." While I disagree with the people doing it, I also recognize that it's possible to oppose policies to the point of a boycott without necessarily being a bigot. It's more than a little disturbing that conservatives are employing tactics made famous by the left.

Second, boycotts are extensions of freedom of speech and commerce.

Third, I believe that all charitable deductions should be eliminated for three reasons;

a) You shouldn't be subsidizing my choices in giving and I shouldn't be subsidizing yours.

b) For every deduction in the tax code, overall rates have to be that much higher. Lower the rates and people can give whatever they want.

c) If what I suggest in point b is done, the need for this conversation is precluded.

Nice Guise said...

Almost all countries in the world with the possible exception of Costa Rica and Micronesia, officially view the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as contrary to international law and even if it wasn't, it's contrary to international law for an occupying power to build settlements on occupied land. Even if you accept that Israel has a right to exist, as most countries do (and as I do), that doesn't mean we recognize Israel's actions in the West Bank are acceptable. So how should the international community respond when one of its members is in violation of international law and persistently ignores demands that they comply? What's wrong with boycotting the products of Israeli settlements and Israeli owned factories built on the West Bank? To call that anti-Semitic - which is what you're doing since a number of the groups on the list you cite are asking for a West Bank boycott only - is not only absurd but it undermines the term anti-Semitism by conflating actual anti-Semitism with peaceful opposition to Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories. If you don't accept boycott as a legitimate strategy then what forms of opposition to the occupation of the West Bank do you agree are acceptable? What is your alternative? Should we only say "Please stop doing that and if you don't we'll ask you again"? This argument of yours and many in the Israeli camp that any action to protest Isreali policy is ipso facto anti-Semitic is nothing more than bullying because the plain fact is you don't see any criticism of Israel as legitimate despite occasional lip service to the contrary.

Richard K said...

Except these organizations are bigoted and anti-Semitic in their unique focus on Israel. It's particularly hypocritical coming from Canadians considering Canada's history and relationship with its indigenous population. The boycott of Israel is absolutely anti-Semitic in effect considering Israel is, by any reasonable measure, a beacon of human rights in a region where all of its neighbors routinely tramples upon them.

But you go ahead and tell me which country in the world has behaved more benevolently to an enemy actively seeking their destruction while having to control their territory, and maybe you'll convince me otherwise. I doubt very much you'll be able to find an example, since there isn't one.

As to the 'occupation' and international law, it's remarkable how the basic right of self-defense never comes up by those condemning Israel. The fact is that Israel tried to negotiate giving control of the West Bank to the Palestinians twice, and Arafat refused the deals. The danger of simply abandoning the territory without a capable government and international guarantees in place is obvious from the example of Gaza. Israel completely withdrew from the territory in the hope that the Palestinians there would be peaceful and focus on creating security and prosperity. Instead they devoted their energy to attacking Israel.

And from whom exactly is it occupied? It was conquered in 1967 from Jordan, and the Jordanian government has made it explicit that it does not to re- assume authority for it?

Israel is substantially more powerful than Gaza and literally could wipe it out in a day. By all means, tell me which other country in such a position would tolerate missile attacks against its population from a hostile neighbor.

The single-minded hostility towards Israel from these groups is prima facie anti-Semitic and the people denying that are either lying to themselves or others. The government is completely within its rights to deny charitable status to groups explicitly engaged in such blatant political activity, particularly those designed to undermine the Canadian government's own foreign and domestic policies. That's not what charities are for, and they have no right to call themselves charities if that's what they're doing.

Nice Guise said...

I spent a few minutes entering that list of boycotting groups through the CRA's charities search engine at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html and aside from the United Church and the Quakers there was only one organization on that very long list you posted that actually has charitable status.Try it yourself if you don't believe me. Your headline raises a false alarm, I'm afraid.

Unknown said...

I really don't want to be an asshole about this, because you're not wrong, at least not morally. But you do seem to be arguing at cross-purposes in saying that Israel, as a democracy, is better than its neighbors but shouldn't be held to a higher standard. In fact, the argument seems to be that Israel should be held to a lower standard because it's better.

Moreover, the "right to self defense" only carries you so far. France was twice invaded by Germany through Belgium. That did not give France the right to occupy Belgium for decades, with no end in sight, or even insist that Belgium provide for its self-defense in any significant way to deter future military adventures on its territory.

Stretching the case even further, Russia suffered incomprehensibly because of German free movement through eastern Europe, which is the exact reason for the Cold War. And, if nothing else, the Soviets didn't move large numbers of Russians into Poland to change "facts on the ground." Under your line of thinking, Moscow would have an even more compelling case to do so than Israel does.

You seem to be suggesting that the West Bank is occupied, but not really. Even the Israelis aren't saying that the territory is theirs by virtue of Jordan's abandonment. For that reason, the territory is legally presumed to be sovereign.

To make a very long argument short, the "occupation" isn't illegal, but the settlements most assuredly are.

Unless the law is applied evenly, it loses all authority.

Richard K said...

All of the unions do not have to pay tax, which in effect gives them the same privileges as a charity.

Skippy, I think your analogies miss the mark. Israel is most certainly being judged by a higher standard than its neighbors and by a higher standard, still compares far better. The standard they should not be judged by is of a country at peace with its neighbors, or at war with a non-contiguous enemy. They are fighting an enemy, many of whom are devoted to their extermination, and are within literal spitting distance of Israel.

A hypothetical French occupation of Belgium is an odd analogy and doesn't apply at all. Though the German's used Belgium as a corridor to attack France, Belgium has always been a neutral, non-violent country. The better analogy would be the allies occupying Germany, which they indeed did do for decades after the war, and there are American military bases there to this day. And in that case, the occupation went on long after Germany had ceased in any way to threaten or be a threat to the west. If you want to cite the Cold War and the Soviet threat as the reason for the duration of that occupation, well, Israel has a direct and to its scale similar threat from the hostile countries surrounding it, as well as from within the Palestinian Territories, which is far more dangerous than any post war threat the US faced from Germany.

Nice Guise said...

Richard, the reason unions don't pay tax is because they don't make a profit so there's nothing to tax (they do pay HST etc so it's also not entirely true to say they don't pay tax). I don't know how you propose to make them profitable so that they can be taxed but the fact is non-profits are not charities, do not have charitable status or benefits, and are allowed to engage in political activities even if you disagree with them. There is no charitable status to revoke so your headline is clearly alarmist and unfactual.

Nice Guise said...

As for your complaint that Israel is being "singled out", I think Joel Doerfler has addressed that the best:

The charge of “singling out” is at once disingenuous and obfuscatory. It’s another way of saying that substantive criticism of Israel amounts to anti-semitism. It’s intended to stifle criticism — and indeed, honest discussion — and thereby distract attention away from the real-life conditions in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza: from the house demolitions; the land theft; the “administrative detentions;” the de jure and de facto deprivation of elementary rights of assembly and speech; the relentless settlement building; the roadblocks, checkpoints, and general interruption of free movement; the theft and wildly unequal distribution of water; the containment wall built on Palestinian territory; the settler violence against Palestinian individuals and property; the use of banned weaponry; the collective punishment of the entire Palestinian people; the bantustanization of the West Bank; the violations of international law; the blockading of Gaza; the manifest racism; and the daily harassment and indignities consciously and systematically imposed on an occupied populace.

To defend such policies and practices is morally impossible. To equate the actions undertaken by the Israelis with those of the weak and stateless Palestinians is ethically obtuse. To ignore altogether the events on the ground by raising the hoary accusation of anti-semitism, wrapped in the packaging of “singling out,” is unconscionable.

Of course, the fact still remains: As appalling as Israeli policies may be, they still aren’t so dastardly as to put Israel at the very top of the list of human rights violators. So why do people (like me) devote so much attention and passion to castigating Israel?

There are several compelling reasons.

First of all, as Peter Beinart recently observed, “We all intuitively understand the rationale for focusing on those offenses over which we have more control, even if they are not the most egregious. If that weren’t the case, how could an American justify focusing her attention on the misdeeds of the government of the United States?”

There’s not a whole lot the U.S. government – or ordinary American citizens – can say or do to improve the human rights situation in Zimbabwe or Syria (both subject to U.S. sanctions since 2003), in Myanmar (subject to sanctions since 1988), in Iran (subject to sanctions since 1979), or in North Korea (whose government the U.S. has never even formally recognized). Trumpeting the misdeeds of these regimes might be psychologically and ethically satisfying, but is politically meaningless, not to say, redundant. It’s sort of like ranting at East Germany perfidy, c.1960.

But Israel? Not only has America withheld substantive criticism of its policies, but the U.S. government and U.S. citizens are, and have long been, the most important global enablers of such policies. Indeed, if the U.S. has historically “singled out” Israel, it has been for special protection, assistance, and cover for its daily crimes against the Palestinians. Whether we look at U.S. military assistance to Israel (amounting to $8.2 million a day in fiscal year 2011, more than 18% of the entire Israeli defense budget),or at private American tax-deductible gifts to illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (including to some of the most violent, fascistic and dangerous crackpots in the region), America and Americans have played the role of Israel’s pre-eminent arsenal, financier, diplomatic supporter, and propagandist. To suggest, under such circumstances, that Israel is being “singled out” by its American critics can only be considered a sick joke.

Richard K said...

Utter nonsense, "Guise" and it's quite appropriate you've adopted the nom de plume. It's hypocrisy plain and simple. And to say that it's a human rights effort is an outright lie.

Speaking about outright lies, it's laughable that claiming "It’s another way of saying that substantive criticism of Israel amounts to anti-semitism." Talk about straw men. No reasonable person says that substantive criticism of Israel amounts to anti-semitism. It's the unique efforts of boycott, sanctioning and deligitimization that amount to anti-semitsim, so if you want to get upset about someone being "disingenuous and obfuscatory," go look in the mirror.

Thomas Friedman, himself a substantial critic of Israeli policies, as believe it or not am I, had it right when he wrote, "Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction -- out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East -- is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."

I'd add it's also vile.

Is there racism and are their abuses in Israel. Of course, as there is in every other country in the world. Where it happens, it should be noted and condemned and rectified. But to say it's systematic in Israel is a complete lie, and if you're going to make such an absurd claim, then by all means, tell me compared to which country or countries in that region is Israel so bad in these regards.

You want to compare Israel to western countries in all regards is interesting except for one thing. Israel actually has to exist surrounded by some of the worst, most oppressive and hostile neighbors in the world, and only an anti-semite or a fool would ignore that reality.

If the Palestinian groups committed to peace and ceased their promotion of violence and jihad, then it would actually be impossible to support Israel's policies towards them.

But they don't. They keep advocating, glamorizing, inciting, and participating in violence.

Fighting against that is self-defense, and by uniquely denying Israel that right it's anti-Semitic. Trying to justify that under the guise of human rights advocacy is just one of the reasons why western governments basically ignore you and so many people find your movement contemptible. But if you're so proud of what you're doing, and it's so noble, why not use your real name? The cocktail circuit in Winnipeg can't be so impressive that being excluded from it should bother you that much

Nice Guise said...

Richard, it's pretty clear that despite your use of the name "Voltaire" for your email address you don't have any interest in actually hosting a forum for discussion but are more interested in having an echo chamber which is probably why you have so few people commenting on your pages, so this will be my final comment. You will have to face facts that almost the entire world views the Israeli settlements on the West Bank as illegal and that yes, it is legitimate to oppose those settlements through sanctions aimed at Israeli companies that assist the settlements, invest there, or carry out production there. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions aimed at the settlements is coming whether you like it or not and the current tactic of irrationally screaming at the top of your lungs that this is "anti-Semitic" won't work because clearly that's not the case. Here's the latest report from the European Council of Foreign Relations - the one that has caused stocks on the Tel Aviv stock exchange to take a nosedive today. Please explain how it's "anti-Semitic". http://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/eu_differentiation_and_israeli_settlements3076

Richard K said...

Yeah, because markets never have corrections after they reach record highs, as Tel Aviv's market did that day. http://www.haaretz.com/business/1.667181 I'd be willing to bet real money you don't make a living in the stock market, or understand financial markets particularly well.

Your whole comment thread has been one of lies and attempts to avoid the matter at hand. Which is entirely understandable, since you masturbatory idiots pretending to be social justice activists are typically pathological liars who need some cause to give yourself an identity. I'll bet you're congratulating yourself now on being a social justice warrior just for writing some comments on my blog.

However you haven't been able to address a single one of my points about the absolute hypocrisy and overt Jew-hate implicit in trying to deligitimize a democracy that has behaved better than any other country in the history of the world in circumstances that are in any way similar. That list includes Canada, Britain and the US.

It's not that the pathetic boycotts against Israel are working. Almost no major company in the world takes it seriously, nor does any significant democratic government. And many are passing laws that penalize companies that will mean companies that want to boycott Israel will be barred from dealing with those governments. Gee, I wonder what they'll do given that choice, eh?

Still, the boycott of Israel should be called out for what it is and for who is behind it - a bunch of narcissists and Jew-haters pretending to care about human rights while they support the worst human right abusers in the world.

But if you're sincere about anything you're saying, then unless you're from an aboriginal tribe, let me know when you remove yourself from the First Nations land you're occupying right now and head back to where you or your parents' colonizing asses came from. And when you grow a set to actually post something without a pseudonym, get back to me then. Until then, I've given more than enough space to your lies, stupidity and asinine digressions. But if you're willing to put a real name to them, I'll definitely help you publicize your willingness to be an imbecile.