Thursday, March 11, 2010

HUAC North loses members [updated]

"The Bloc Québécois decided yesterday to pull out of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism because it found it 'biased' in favour of Israel and against the Palestinians."

What kept you?
Come on, NDP.

UPDATE: (March 11) Here's the key paragraph in the story:

«On trouvait que la liste des témoins proposée présentait un seul côté de la médaille, explique le whip du Bloc québécois, Michel Guimond. On voulait que ce soit beaucoup plus modéré.» Il a demandé à entendre la Fédération canado-arabe, qui avait soumis un mémoire et demandé une audience, ainsi que le groupe Canadiens pour la justice et la paix au Moyen-Orient. Le comité, présidé par le conservateur Scott Reid, n'a pas donné suite à cette requête.

["We found that the proposed list of witnesses presented only one side of the coin," explained the BQ whip Michel Guimond. "We wanted it to be a lot more balanced." He asked that the Canadian Arab Federation be heard--they had submitted a brief and asked to appear--as well as another group, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East. The Coalition, chaired by Conservative MP Scott Reid, refused his request.]

The CAF brief may be found here (scroll down about halfway). It is an ironic piece that is well worth reading. It begins by noting that Arabs, too, are Semites, and then discusses Islamophobia in Canada. "Off-topic," some will sniff. On the contrary, it's witty and directly relevant.

If the definition of "anti-Semitism" can be stretched out of shape in one direction (to include criticism of Israel), it's entirely fair ball to stretch it in another. The serious underlying message in the CAF brief is that anti-Arab discrimination is a fact in Canada, but these communities have no Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to assist them. Being refused the opportunity to appear before the CPCCA rather makes their point.

[H/t reader Marky Mark]

UPPERDATE: In other news, Tim Uppal's motion to condemn Israel Apartheid Week in the House of Commons, contrary to my prediction, went down to defeat.

No comments: