Magazine article Canadian Dimension

Connecting the Dots: New Anti-Semitism, the CPCCA and Jason Kenney et Al

Magazine article Canadian Dimension

Connecting the Dots: New Anti-Semitism, the CPCCA and Jason Kenney et Al

Article excerpt

Dot 1 is KAIROS. KAIROS is a faith-based ecumenical organization working with twenty-one partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and with eighty grassroots groups across Canada. Its 2009-2013 project proposal had been approved at every level of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) before its $7 million was suddenly denied on November 30. A clue to the explanation is Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney's statement that his government had "defunded organizations ... like KAIROS for taking a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign" against Israel. True or not (in fact not), that's anti-Semitic, according to the minister, who in any event calculatingly confuses a boycott against Israeli goods in protest of Israeli public policies with a boycott of Jewish businesses because they are Jewish. KAIROS' member organizations include the Anglican Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada--hardly a bag full of foreign extremists.

Dot 2. The Government appoints the directors of what is supposed to be the politically independent Rights and Democracy. Appointments have always been made with the approval of the Opposition, though opposition parties don't have a formal right of veto. The recent board appointees and the new chairman of the board, Aurel Braun, are resolute partisans of Israel. They want Rights and Democracy to cut contact with organizations which criticize Israeli policies; they want it to stop collaborating with the UN Human Rights Council which often denounce rights violations and war crimes. What explains the partisan appointees to the organization that is supposed to be at arm's length from politicians? Out of Rights and Democracy's $11 million annual budget, $10,000 went to each of three human rights organizations, one in Gaza, one in the West Bank and one in Israel. These three little "very, very vicious groups are involved in vile activities [ ... and ...] are tied to terrorism," reported the National Post. Many international human rights organizations have strongly denied the charge for being baseless. Nonetheless last Fall, the late president of Rights and Democracy, Remy Beauregard, under extreme pressure, stopped financing these three small groups. In January Mr. Beauregard died suddenly of a heart attack.

Dot 3. Aurel Braun has experience as a director. He has sat on the Board of Directors of the active Jewish lobby, the B'nai Brith. Braun is known among his University of Toronto colleagues as a pro-Israeli hawk. Ministers Lawrence Cannon and Jason Kenney, in the first line responsible for his appointment, know it too.

Dot 4 is Gerard Latulippe, a man of many colours, who briefly sat as a provincial Liberal before becoming a Quebec sovereignist before becoming, in 2000, a candidate for the Canadian Alliance whose ideology is still recognizable in the Conservative Party. Flip-flops in party allegiance notwithstanding, Latulippe is as steadfastly an opponent of same-sex marriage as he is a fervent proponent of the reintroduction of the death penalty. And he has this continual nagging thing against immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East. He has been named by L. Cannon as the new president of Rights and Democracy to replace Mr. Beauregard. Messrs. Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe have all expressed their opposition to Latulippe's nomination. It is unlikely (at time of writing) that the Minister of External Affairs will change his mind. It doesn't much matter. With Rights and Democracy's board of directors already stacked with Conservative, pro-Israeli ideologues, no president will be able to run the organization with independence from Government interference.

Dot 5 is Canada's anticipated redirection of funding from the UN's Relief and Works Agency, which provides education, health and other social services to displaced and expelled people living in refugee camps. …

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