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Monday, April 27, 2009

Intellectual freedom in Canada: Durban II walkouts

I've been reading Mark Steyn's great new book, Lights Out, about growing censorship of political opinion, and hope to report on it in more detail here soon.

Meanwhile, a friend asked me to write to the Prime Minister about Canada refusing to attend Durban II and other nations being forced to - embarrassing as that must be - walk out, due to anti-Semitic* rants. Here is what I said:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I understand that you are under fire because of your principled stand, taking a pass on Durban II.

Please stick to your position.

As a citizen (who is not Jewish or Muslim) permit me to say: The only thing Durban II+ needs to hear from Canada is that we are not attending their hatefests any more, so don't bother inviting us.

When a country like Canada attends a hatefest, we bestow credibility that it would otherwise lack.

Far from listening to critics, Canada's diplomats should discreetly encourage other free nations to avoid getting sucker punched by attending. Then their reps won't have to walk out.

When the day comes that the hatefest is held in a telephone booth in a mosquito onslaught in some really remote place, we will know we have achieved something of value.

Denyse O'Leary
Toronto
(Joe Volpe's riding)
*How do I know it's anti-Semitism rather than mere anger at the specific policies of the current government of Israel?

Oh, that's easy: Any time the conversation turns to hatred against "Jews" in general, it is anti-Semitism.

Canadian Jews are deeply conflicted about Israel, and many have told me so over the years. Few vote in Israel and many have never been there.

Come on, guys. Let's get real. "Death to the Jews" shouts are not really about Israeli politics.


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