An open letter to Jonathan Kay, concerning Jonathan Kay: Meet Diana Ralph, the bizarre anti-Israeli conspiracy theorist who charmed the United Church of Canada
My faith in your fairness and balance has taken a nosedive! I hope your book on 9/11 truth won't be a "meet the bizarre conspiracy theorists" rant like this article.
By mixing up a few legitimate criticisms with a lot of nonsense, all in a tone of over-the-top hysteria, you do your credibility no favors.
As the National Post reported on its front page on Friday, the UCC provided financial backing for a 2008 conference that led to the creation of "Independent Jewish Voices" (IJV), an extremist group whose leaders support a total economic boycott of Israel, defend the UN's original anti-Semitic Durban conference, support the destruction of the Jewish character of Israel through the influx of millions of Palestinians, spread conspiracy theories about the "Israeli lobby," promote the blood libel that Israel deliberately targeted "children playing on roofs" during the Gaza conflict, and cheered on the illegal occupation of the Israeli consulate in Toronto earlier this year.
It is hardly "extremist" to use a peaceful boycott to end Israeli apartheid, implement the U.N.'s demand for right of return, and create a state with an equal protection clause -- a close parallel to Mandela's South African solution. (Or do you see Mandela as an "extremist"? and the South African settler colonialist whites giving the indigenous majority equal rights as "genocidal self-destruction"?) And what was anti-Semitic about the Durban conference? Wasn't it anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic? And how can you deplore the "destruction of the Jewish character of Israel" through peaceful means, while implicitly supporting the destruction of the Arab character of what is now Israel through the horrific murders of thousands of civilians including children, in 1948, leading to the forced expulsion of over 700,000? And isn't taking over a consulate without violence a fairly innocuous kind of protest, especially when compared to the obscene levels of violence necessary to create and sustain the Zionist settler-colony?
Along with all the nonsense, you offer one possibly legitimate critique about a claim that Israel deliberately targeted children on rooftops during the Gaza invasion. If that claim has been made, and there is no evidence for it, it should be withdrawn. But calling it a "blood libel" is a bit much, given that we know that Israeli snipers DO target Palestinian children as a matter of de facto policy. British Medical Journal documented more than 600 sniper-murders of children by Israeli soldiers here. That article begins:
"Does the death of an Arab weigh the same as that of a US or Israeli citizen? The Israeli army, with utter impunity, has killed more unarmed Palestinian civilians since September 2000 than the number of people who died on September 11, 2001. In conducting 238 extrajudicial executions the army has also killed 186 bystanders (including 26 women and 39 children). Two thirds of the 621 children (two thirds under 15 years) killed at checkpoints, in the street, on the way to school, in their homes, died from small arms fire, directed in over half of cases to the head, neck and chest—the sniper's wound. Clearly, soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children in situations of minimal or no threat." (my emphasis)
The best "thick" description of these sniper-murders is by Chris Hedges, one of America's most respected journalists, who wrote in Harper’s magazine (October 2001) that he had been in several war zones, but he had never seen soldiers luring children within range of their guns, then gut-shooting them for sport, until he saw Israeli soldiers doing it in the Occupied Territories.
The BMJ article and Hedges' piece, along with countless witness accounts of these killings, clearly establish that the Israeli state routinely authorizes child murders, as vaunted by the soldiers' T-shirts featuring a pregnant Palestinian woman with a target on her belly, over the legend: "One shot two kills." Hence the allegation you deplore, even if false, is not much of a blood libel, because what it implies about Israeli policy is true.
When you offer so many distortions, it detracts from whatever good points you may have. For example, calling the Durban conference anti-Semitic, when it plainly was not, hurts your credibility in claiming that Eric Huffschmidt is anti-Semitic, which he does appear to be, at least in some of his statements.
Speaking of incoherent hysteria, I suspect that your article's tone, with its "doth protest too much" attempt to imply that the anti-Zionists are failing, is a classic Freudian reaction formation driven by the conscious or unconscious realization that they are succeeding.
I urge you to quit hanging out with Richard Perle and the forces of darkness; come over to the light, and get on the right side of history, which also happens to be the side of truth and justice. Philip Weiss is blazing a trail for you and other journalists to follow.
By the way, if you'd like to return to my radio show to discuss this issue, let me know. I'm sure you could do a much better job making the pro-Zionist case than Steve Alten did.
I really would like to hear good answers to the obvious questions, such as "How can you claim that child-murder is NOT de facto Israeli policy given the BMJ article etc." and "why does the Holocaust justify the theft of Palestine rather than Germany" and "why should Jews but not the other 3000-plus ethnic groups have the right to an ethnic state" and "why is indigenous majority rule through an equal protection clause right for South Africa but wrong for Palestine" and "why shouldn't the U.N. resolutions demanding right of return and a return to the 1967 borders be immediately implemented" and so on.