Thursday, April 16, 2009

Canada-Israel Committee: spying on Canadian citizens?

Some time ago, I was contacted by a very nice person from the Canada-Israel Committee, and offered an all-expense-paid trip to Israel--which I blogged about here. While I recognized the obvious bridge-building techniques of a professional lobbying organization, I was also aware that they knew that I knew, so there was no guile involved. The dealings I had with the person in question were pleasant and at the same time cards-on-the-table.

So I was inclined to see the Committee as a relatively benign pro-Israel group--certainly in comparison to the Jewish Defence League. Now I'm not so sure.

I have just come into possession of the following memo, apparently from the CIC's CEO, Shimon Fogel. In it (you can read it for yourself), a broad strategy is outlined for monitoring Canadians whom the CIC feels are politically suspect. I cannot--and this needs to be emphasized--vouch for the authenticity of this memo. If the CIC disclaims all responsibility for it, I shall be pleased to offer that disclaimer the same prominence here. But it does raise disturbing questions if indeed it is genuine.

(April 18) This took rather longer than I expected. Apparently even to mention the memo, in which anyone allegedly opposed to "Canadian values" (as defined by the Canada-Israel Committee) is to be "monitored," makes me a "neo-nazi."

The boorish, semi-literate "shlemazl," whom I have allowed to post here despite his utter lack of civility, is banned as of now. Enough is enough--this place is for honest folk.

UPPERDATE: (November 9) Given that some folks are still perusing this post, I should note that I had, on his invitation, a very pleasant coffee or two with Shimon Fogel quite a while back, during which time he was very firm that the memo did not originate with the Canada-Israel Committee. Although nothing was stopping the CIC from commenting here, I thought I should add this to the record, in fairness. I regret the time that has elapsed, for which I can offer no excuse, but better late than never.

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