Palestinian-Canadian human rights activist Hammam Farah interrupts a speech by Israel’s Economy Minister, Eli Cohen, at a Bay Street luncheon held in May 2018.
There is a moment in Henry Kissinger’s memoirs — do not buy the book — when Nixon and Kissinger are looking out at tens of thousands of anti-war protesters who have surrounded the White House. Nixon had placed empty city buses in front of the White House to keep the protesters back. He worried out loud that the crowd would break through the barricades and get him and Kissinger. And that is exactly where we want people in power to be. This is why, although he was not a liberal, Nixon was our last liberal president. He was scared of movements. And if we cannot make the elites scared of us we will fail.
Christopher Hedges, November 2016
Recently, human rights advocate Peter Larson published on his website, Canada Talks Israel Palestine, a blog post addressing accusations from Prime Minister Trudeau and other Canadian party leaders that I had directed a ‘vile anti-Semitic smear’ at two Members of Canada’s Parliament.
The MPs in question are Liberals Michael Levitt and Anthony Housefather. They are both members of the Executive Committee of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. Levitt is the Chair of that Group. Levitt and Housefather also happen to be Jewish.
My alleged ‘anti-Semitic smear’ was a tweet in which I wrote:
Apparently, Liberal MPs Anthony Housefather and Michael Levitt are more devoted to apartheid Israel than to their own prime minister and colleagues in the Liberal caucus.
After Trudeau and other party leaders falsely accused me of anti-Semitism, Peter reviewed over 100 blog posts on my website going back to January 2017. He then wrote that:
[Lascaris] is a very vocal advocate of BDS, the movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians, and very critical of both Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh for not endorsing it. But I could find no whiff of any animus against Jews…
While his tweet may have been insensitive, any intimation that Lascaris himself is anti-Semitic appears to be ill informed and perhaps even politically motivated. It would appear that a number of political leaders who have been sharply criticized by Lascaris in the past are not willing to come to his defense in the face of Trudeau’s attack.
I have already explained the context of my tweet and the reasons for which I categorically reject the Prime Minister’s accusation of anti-Semitism. My purpose in writing this post is not to add to that explanation, but rather, to respond to other criticisms Peter articulated in his post.
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