Elizabeth May Misleads Canadian Jewish News, Smears BDS Supporters

On May 6, 2019, Paul Manly of the Green Party of Canada won a historic byelection in the B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. For the first time in over 35 years of existence, the Green Party will now have two MPs who both won their seats under the Green Party banner.

The other Green MP is, of course, Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

Paul is the son of former NDP MP Jim Manly. In 2015, before joining the Green Party, Paul sought the NDP nomination in the same riding, but the NDP, then led by Tom Mulcair, shamefully blocked Paul’s nomination.

At the time, Paul revealed that the rejection of his candidacy was related to Israel/Palestine:

I was told verbally on the phone, that the reason was in relation to what I said and did when my father was in Israel. There was also concern that I was running to make Israel and Palestine an election issue.

In 2012, Paul’s father Jim was arrested by Israeli authorities for trying to break peacefully through Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza. Jim was released a few days later.

The Zionist Lobby’s Attacks On Paul Manly Have Already Begun

In light of Paul’s history, it is all-too-predictable that the Zionist lobby began attacking Paul within days of his victory.

On May 10, 2019, Canadian Jewish News (CJN) published an article entitled “Concerns Raised Over New Green MP’s Views On BDS.” The concerns, of course, were those of the usual pro-Israel suspects:  the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B’nai Brith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC).

Leading the charge was CIJA CEO Simon Fogel, who thundered that “The Green party has been co-opted by extreme activists who – in their obsessive campaign of prejudice against Israelis – threaten the party’s own credibility and relevance in Canadian politics.”

The CJN article is rife with hyperbole, falsehoods and distortions, but my purpose in writing this post is not to address the invective from the usual suspects. Rather, my purpose is to expose the misinformation emanating from Elizabeth May. Continue Reading ›

Federal Court Allows Independent Jewish Voices To Intervene in Wine Labelling Case and Dismisses Intervention Motion of B’nai Birth Canada’s League of Human Rights

April 19, 2019 

 

As I have previously reported on this website, I am legal counsel to Dr. David Kattenburg in a judicial review application pending in the Federal Court of Canada.

Dr. Kattenburg is Jewish and is the child of Holocaust survivors. In 2017, he complained to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) about wines produced in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements and sold in Canada bearing “Product of Israel” labels.

Initially, after an exhaustive examination of Dr. Kattenburg’s complaint, the CFIA agreed with Dr. Kattenburg that the country-of-origin labels on those settlement wines were false and therefore violated Canadian law. The CFIA swiftly reversed itself, however, after it came under intense pressure from the Israel lobby and from staunchly pro-Israel members of Canada’s Parliament, particularly Liberal MP Michael Levitt.

After the Complaints and Appeals Office of the CFIA agreed with the CFIA’s decision to reverse itself, Dr. Kattenburg retained me to initiate a judicial review application. That application is scheduled to be heard in Toronto on May 21 and 22, 2019.

This past week, there were significant developments in Dr. Kattenburg’s case. Continue Reading ›

A Divided Liberal Party Cannot Stand – Except When It Comes To Israel

April 3, 2019

Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expelled from his Liberal caucus former Justice Minister, Judy Wilson-Raybould, and former President of the Treasury Board, Dr. Jane Philpott.

Weeks ago, Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philpott resigned from Trudeau’s cabinet as a result of attempts by the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the criminal prosecution of Canadian engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin. As I have explained previously, the SNC-Lavalin scandal likely constitutes the worst case of corporate corruption in Canadian history.

In announcing the expulsion of these two former cabinet members from the Liberal caucus, Trudeau declared “Our political opponents win when Liberals are divided. We can’t afford to make that mistake. Canadians are counting on us.”

Oh really?

Less than one year ago, Israeli snipers shot Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani in both legs. Minutes later, an Israeli sniper murdered Mousa Abu Hassanein, a Palestinian medic who was a member of Dr. Loubani’s emergency team. These atrocities were committed when Dr. Loubani and his team were in the field for the purpose of tending to wounded, unarmed civilians in Gaza’s Great March of Return.

The circumstances in which Dr. Loubani and his medic were shot left little doubt that the snipers who shot them understood that they were medical personnel who posed no threat to any Israeli. On June 13, 2018, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report in which it concluded that Israeli forces appeared to have committed war crimes in Gaza. Among numerous other Israeli atrocities – including the killing and wounding of Palestinian journalists and children – HRW cited the shooting of Dr. Loubani and the killing of Mr. Abu Hassanein in its report.

After the Canadian media widely reported the shooting of Dr. Loubani and the murder of Mr. Abu Hassanein, Prime Minister Trudeau issued an unprecedented statement condemning the conduct of Israeli forces:

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 4.25.04 PM

This was a bridge too far for Liberal MPs Michael Levitt and Anthony Housefather. Levitt and Housefather are arguably Parliament’s most fanatical supporters of Israel. As The Globe and Mail reported at the time, Levitt and Housefather “broke with Mr. Trudeau’s criticism of Israel” and issued their own statement. The Globe and Mail identified no other Liberal MPs who “broke with” the Prime Minister. Levitt and Housefather blamed the violence on Hamas, and did so despite the complete absence of evidence that Hamas was in any way responsible for the shooting of Dr. Loubani and the murder of Mr. Abu Hassanein:

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 4.08.56 PM

Two months later, Housefather sent a letter to Quebec’s largest English weekly newspaper in which he gloated about his support for Israel’s criminal regime and professed to have been “disappointed” by his Prime Minister’s entirely justified condemnation of Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

Subsequently, Conservative Senator Linda From – another Canadian politician whose support for Israel knows no bounds – authored an op-ed in the Canadian Jewish News in which she pontificated that “MP Housefather and MP Levitt felt the need to distance themselves from their own government by releasing a statement at odds with their Foreign Minister and their Prime Minister.”

So how did Prime Minister Trudeau react to Levitt’s act of disobedience?

Trudeau promoted him.

On September 24, 2018, Levitt proudly announced that he had been named as the Chair of the powerful House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Meanwhile, in a bitter irony, Housefather chaired the recent hearings held by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights into the PMO’s political interference in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution. The fact that an MP who relentlessly defends an apartheid regime would chair the “Justice and Human Rights Committee” is shocking enough. Even worse, Housefather voted with his four Liberal colleagues on the House committee to end the SNC-Lavalin hearings prematurely, over the vociferous objections of opposition parties.

It is often said by Israel’s apologists that Israel and its defenders are subject to a different standard. That is entirely true, but what those same apologists are not telling us is that Israel and its defenders are held to a far lower standard than just about everyone else.

 

When it Comes to Silencing Israel’s Critics, John Tory and James Pasternak Won’t Take ‘No’ For An Answer

(In the photograph above, John Tory and James Pasternak pose with 30 Israeli students visiting Canada in March 2015.)

March 22, 2019

On March 21, 2019, I spoke at Toronto City Hall on behalf of the organizing committee of the Al Quds Day rallies in Toronto.

The Al Quds organizers, who give their time freely to defend Palestinian human rights, have been smeared repeatedly by advocates for Israel, particularly Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak.

Pasternak has an extensive history of seeking to silence Israel’s critics. As reported by Now Toronto, Pasternak led the charge at Toronto City Hall to ban Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade. Pasternak has also condemned Israeli Apartheid Week.

Like Pasternak, Mayor John Tory works closely with the pro-Israel lobby groups, including the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). In 2016, in cooperation with CIJA, Tory led an “Innovation Mission to Israel.”

With the support of Mayor Tory, Pasternak is now seeking to prevent Al Quds rallies from taking place on Toronto City property, in violation of the constitutional rights of my clients to free speech and free assembly.

Pasternak launched his initiative in November 2017 by seeking advice from city staff on ways to counter ‘hate-infested’ rallies on city property. This month, after more than a year of careful consideration, city lawyers and staff advised the Executive Committee that the city’s existing policies with respect to hate rallies are essentially adequate.

But when it comes to silencing Israel’s critics, James Pasternak and John Tory will not take ‘no’ for an answer. On March 21, 2019, they persuaded an embarrassingly compliant Executive Committee to send Pasternak’s inquiry back to city staff for further consideration.

This is the video of my 5-minute speech to the Executive Committee and of my exchanges with Mayor Tory and Pasternak following my speech:

Continue Reading ›

Ontario Court of Appeal Allows Defamation Lawsuit Against B’nai Brith Canada to Proceed

In 2017, I commenced a defamation action against B’nai Brith Canada after it repeatedly and falsely accused me of ‘advocating on behalf of’ and ‘supporting’ terrorists.

B’nai Brith responded to my lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss under Ontario’s relatively new anti-SLAPP legislation (“SLAPP” stands for “strategic lawsuits against public participation”).

In June 2018, a motions judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted B’nai Brith’s motion to dismiss.

I subsequently appealed that decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Today, the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed my appeal. The Court’s reasons for allowing my appeal can be found here.

As I explained in my affidavit in opposition to B’nai Brith’s motion to dismiss, I have an extensive and unambiguous record of opposition to violence, and particularly violence directed at innocent civilians.

Despite this fact, B’nai Brith has never retracted or apologized for its false and defamatory accusations against me.

I am therefore grateful that the Court of Appeal has permitted me to have my day in Court.

Venezuelans Who Oppose Nicolas Maduro Say Trump Wants To Control Venezuela’s Resources

During my recent trip to Venezuela, I sought out and spoke to both supporters and critics of President Nicolas Maduro.

On February 14, 2019, the Real News published a report of my interviews of ordinary Venezuelans who support President Maduro (that report can be watched and listened to here).

This just-published report concerns my conversations with Venezuelans who are critical of the Maduro government.

Interestingly, even among those who oppose President Maduro, I was hard-pressed to find anyone who believes that Donald Trump is genuinely interested in the well-being of the Venezuelan people. On the contrary, there appears to be a widespread belief among both supporters and opponents of the Maduro government that Trump’s singular objective is to secure control of Venezuela’s resources, and particularly its massive oil reserves.

Equally interesting was the attitude of Maduro’s opponents toward the legacy of Hugo Chavez. While many supporters of Juan Guaido are hostile to the Chavez legacy, there appears to be considerable respect for the achievements of Hugo Chavez even among those are critical of President Maduro.

My report on my conversations with opponents of the Maduro government can be watched and listened to here.