The hunt for pro-Palestinians: A Canadian Perspective
The Zionist regime has been undergoing some serious blows over the past few years. The generations of young people are progressively becoming more aware of the harsh realities that the ruling elite preside over. The hardest resistance Zionism faces is that of the many Jews who oppose Zionism, often times exposing Zionism for being antisemitic. Twitter sensations like Bethany Koval seem to be appearing more frequently, forming a legitimate and intimidating resistance against neoliberal and right wing pundits alike. A social media tool like Twitter allows users—anti capitalist activists, for instance—to quite frankly cyber-harass the millionaires and billionaires who opt for laws and legislature that benefit the biggest benefactors of capitalism.
Dissent can catch wind quickly and domestic resistance isn’t exactly ideal for the authorities pilfering at the expense of the less wealthy. The last thing Canada’s politicians want is some impartial media and institutional takes on “Israel/Palestine.” How could Canada’s Israel lobby—the likes of FSWC, JDL, and B’Nai Brith—withstand such disobedience; after all, their entire function is to lobby for a pro-Israel agenda within the Canadian government, thus spreading to all facets of society.
BDS has become a huge threat to Zionism. Canada’s Israel lobby is waging war against universities like McGill and York. In 2015, a Zionist extremist harassed the University of Toronto Scarborough campus’s student union. He stole a poster displaying that the university profited from Israeli apartheid, and later uploaded footage of himself urinating upon it.
The Israel lobby pressures institutions, unions, prominent groups or peoples, and politicians, into holding staunchly pro-Israeli views. Naturally, think tanks like these have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal, if not billions of dollars, with Zionist moguls like Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban intermingled with presidential candidates.
In Ontario, Canada, only recently did Zionist spokesperson and MPP Tim Hudak propose a draconian bill, which was luckily voted down since it clearly infringed upon free speech and the right to hold a political opinion. A few months ago, however, Justin Trudeau oversaw a motion condemning BDS. Also recently, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne led a delegation of business types to Israel to sign off on millions of dollars’ worth of investments.
The lobbyists are key to this wicked scheme: Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC); Paul Bronfan, who is affiliated with FSWC, and who is a top film executive, withdrew donations to York University, because of a mural which depicted a Palestinian holding a rock behind his back while watching an Israeli bulldozer in the distance.
On FSWC’s official website, Avi Benlolo, the president and CEO of FSWC, is proclaimed to he an advocate for “tolerance, freedom, democracy, and human rights” and his “academic focus includes in-depth research on the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and racism.” According to the lobby group’s online profile of Benlolo, he has ties to “Elie Wiesel, Salman Rushdie, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, John Howard and Rudy Giuliani.”
Avi Benlolo has already published several articles complaining about BDS. He opens with the following, in one article in which he feebly defends what he calls the “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism Act in Ontario”: “It’s easy to criticize when you are not on the front lines. It’s even simpler to preach what’s right and wrong when you are not actually part of the process or witness to an event.”
In Benlolo’s viewpoint, he and Israel are on the front lines; the reality that the Israel lobby tries to hide is that it is the Palestinians who are on the front lines of an indefinite military occupation, where teenage girls are often times executed in the streets by occupation forces; other times, it’s the settlers who do the killing, and Israel soldiers cover up the crime by planting a knife.
Benlolo is not someone who sympathizes with people who have been living under military rule for their entire lives. Rather, he perpetuates an agenda that maintains a society that is in favor of their supposed soldiers executing defenseless Palestinian victims.
Some Palestinian children have lived through already three wars. Over five hundred children were slain in the 2014 summer massacre. Benlolo is incapable of addressing facts like these. Instead, he helps plot even more war and murder against the children of Palestine. Benlolo claims to care about human rights, and yet his job is to ensure that slaughtering thousands of Palestinian civilians and subjecting millions more to intense racism, discrimination and violence is met with not even the slightest resistance or criticism. Any single Canadian politician who states a mild retort back at Israel’s right wing colonialist attitude is soon after jobless.
Avi Benlolo argues that “over 30,000 families and a substantial group of students” are victims to “BDS and anti-Semitism.” He claims that Jews who do not defend Israel and Zionism the way he does are “court Jews[s]” and that his generation—the old timers with the cash and the control over government leaderships—are “deeply involved in the game, working on behalf of students and parents who are fed up by those who dismiss their legitimate fears and concerns.”
Avi Benlolo’s opinions clearly reek of hypocrisy. For one thing, his supposed legitimate fear is that the Zionist regime will have to grant Palestinians human rights (and the right to vote, for example), and that the military occupation must stop; therefore, there will be less Israeli soldiers to protect settler extremists while they abuse and murder defenseless indigenous people. To the Zionists, this is concerning.
Whose cause is more legitimate between the Zionists’ and the Palestinians’?
Benlolo operates on a clear-cut agenda. When he criticizes the BDS movement as antisemitic, he makes no mention of the plethora of young Jews and Jewish groups who oppose Israel and Zionism. It is not in his interest to admit that the Zionist regime is enforcing an indefinite occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine; that the Zionist regime continues to seize and colonize, leaving Palestinians homeless; Benlolo does not bring up the thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians massacred by Israeli bombs, except to indicate to the masses that the tragic results are a consequence of Hamas—human shields, and other dull hasbara.
Avi Benlolo is definitely incapable of discussing the openly racist rhetoric hurled by Zionist politicians themselves. It has become wildly documented that Israeli society and Zionist politicians are even racist towards black people.
The fact that Benlolo and his clique conflate Judaism with Zionism is itself antisemitic. Zionism functions in a way that presupposes Jews must support Israel—a relatively recent colony in the Middle East—and that they must offer unquestionable support for the Zionist project and its perpetual war against a stateless people who are surrounded by a brainwashed society that vows to exterminate them. If Israel operates in such a way, surely it itself is antisemitic?
In his essay, Why Zionism is Antisemetism, Sam Kriss (who also happens to be Jewish) asserts:
“There’s a constantly repeated line, that anti-zionism is just a veiled form of antisemitism – but if you look at it closely, it becomes something highly unpleasant: if an insult to Israel is an insult to all Jews, then it follows that we’re all united, borg-like, behind the Jewish state, and that we’re all complicit in whatever it does. If this position were articulated by a Gentile, we’d rightfully accuse them of antisemitism. But this is how Israel expects us to behave. Why do they get away with it? Netanyahu describes himself as the leader of the Jewish people, empowered to speak on my behalf. The Jewish people have been around far longer than Benjamin Netanyahu, or the State of Israel for that matter. I never asked for him. Whenever Jews are attacked somewhere else in the world, some Israeli minister commands us all to flee to historic Palestine and shelter under his nuclear umbrella: the dream of state zionism is of a Europe without any Jews. Did they dream it themselves? […]The Israeli state doesn’t regard diaspora Jewry as its progenitor, or as a community in which it is embedded; it sees us as a colonised population under its command. Our leaders are its hostages. Our institutions are its instruments. It imposes its taxes: we have to give to the JNF, volunteer in its army or on its kibbutzim, sign its petitions, share its propaganda. We have to dive gleefully into the supermarkets and fill our trolleys with houmous to break the boycott. We have to suffer, out here in the desert, trapped with a strange people, so that it can have its reason to exist. We are unable to speak, and so the state of Israel will speak for us: it knows what we want better than we do ourselves, and what we want is war. Jews in the English-speaking world are commanded to buy holiday homes in Eilat; Jews in Continental Europe are commanded to pack up their belongings, abandon their homes and identities, and become Israelis. (The Hebrew word for migration to Israel, aliyah, has echoes of the German Aufheben: to go up, but also to cancel out.) When Jews refuse to submit, when we break ranks to speak out against Israeli atrocities or the mad, antiquated idea of zionism, there’s the terror of a slave revolt; the fury that rises against an anti-zionist Jew is far more terrible than that which faces any ordinary Gentile antisemite. Israel barfs the history and diversity of the Jewish people in the face of the world, all sparkles and tapestries, but when we’re alone together it grabs us close by the lapels and hisses through bloodstained teeth: know your place.”
Boycotting Israel because it is occupying a nation and denying basic human rights to those indigenous people is not antisemitic. Claiming that a peaceful boycott like that is antisemitic…is. Benlolo sullies Judaism, just like Zionism does as a whole. And the Israel lobby insults the intelligence of activists and Jews who support BDS and/or oppose Israel’s Zionist regime.
The United Nations recently hosted an anti-BDS pep rally that gathered lobbyists and racist politicians as well as college students dragged by their ears; the CEOs of companies were present, and joined in on the racist rhetoric. Try hard if they will, but the Zionists’ cause has been embarrassing since the start, and their attempts to justify themselves are even worse.