Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Trump is Israel's Best Friend

When President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and promised to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, that was huge. There was no downside and it was all upside. In fact the more countries that follow his move, the better chances for peace.

But cancelling the Iran nuclear deal is a much bigger and more important move. We know that Jerusalem is the capital of our Jewish homeland and without it, Israel would not exist. It must and will remain as the undivided Jewish capital. These words were said by the former president Obama. A day later he recanted his remarks. The point is that even if the US never recognized Jerusalem as our capital, it wouldn't matter all that much. We know it is and the world knows it as well even if they won't admit it.

Iran however is without a doubt Israel's and the world's largest threat. Iran is recognized as the world's largest sponsor of terror and as we all know, is on the way to produce nuclear bombs. There is no scarier threat to world peace today. So any attempt to put a kink in the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions is fantastic. While previous American presidents have said nice things about Israel and many have done much to help the only democratic ally in the Middle East, none have come close to the efforts to secure our friendship than the current Trump administration. In fact compared to the isolation and delegitimization attempts from the Obama regime, the current US administration has done a 180 degree turn identifying clearly to the world that the US really does have Israel's back and Trump and company have proved it in spades. From Nikki Haley's staunch defence of Israel at the UN to the president's constant warm words of praise to Bibi and Israelis and Trump's courageous attacks on the two faced Palestinian leadership (theocracy). 

If Donald does nothing else good towards our ally and partner, Israel, by cancelling the Iran nuclear deal he has done plenty.  In my mind, this one issue was by far the most important issue in the last US election. Any candidate who supported the deal (all the Democrats for example) were not to be trusted and quite frankly were brazenly insane. The EU has proven to be a bunch of weak minded, greedy, arrogant people. I can understand that they don't give a rats ass about Israel or the Jewish people. But they are so short sighted that all they care about is short term financial gain via trade with Iran while looking the other way when Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them with the money that Europe and others are giving them. I predict that if Iran manages to develop these deadly weapons, that they'll hit European cities well before they ever hit Israel. 

I continue to read all sorts of negative views on Trump's incredible successes. Even Daniel Pipes recently warned us not to be 'giddy' after Israel's 70 year birthday and US embassy move parties in Jerusalem. I agree to the point of not idolizing anyone. He predicts that after the embassy is completed, Trump will propose a peace plan that will designate East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

I don't see that happening and I refuse to believe rumours. Israelis (even many Left wingers) believe that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of the Jewish state. Dividing Jerusalem will simply not happen, not as long as Jewish men and women and their supporters inside and outside of Israel continue to believe in the Jewish state. 

The Palestinians already have a state. It's called Jordan. Hopefully with regime change in Jordan (hopefully coming sooner than later), arabs in Israel who call themselves Palestinians will be free to move there. 

Any Zionist who does not admit that Trump is Israel's best friend is living in another dream world. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Response to Caroline Glick's Israel and Anne Frank's Jewishness

If you haven't read Caroline's brilliant post yet I urge you to do so now right here.
I loved it and adore her courage for writing it. I responded as follows:

Dear Caroline,

I have been waiting for some time for you to write an article like this. As per usual, I agree with every word. More importantly you have exposed Israel’s omnipotent Supreme Court as (my words only) a bunch of goyim. 
It’s obvious that the majority of them (if not all) are ashamed of their Jewishness and from their policy and decisions one can often come to the shameful observation that they often despise their religious Israeli Jews even more than their mortal enemies, radical Islamists. 

I myself am a secular Jew (in practice) who lives in Toronto Canada. But I am an anomaly because I support the Haredim. Those that contribute to Jewish society by supporting themselves and continue to keep Judaism alive. 
How does one keep Judaism alive? Buy studying the Torah of course. As you know (I’m sure) Haredim consider the study of Torah the best defence of the Jewish people. In other words it’s no less important and maybe more so, to have young Jewish men fervently study in Yeshivot than it is to send them to the army. 

I’m not a fool. I can certainly understand the secular Jew’s point of view. My own left-leaning cousins in Tel Aviv hate the Haredim much like Israel’s supreme court. Why should their children be sent to the IDF and maybe come home without an arm, leg or worse while the Haredim’s sons get to party it up in the safety of a yeshiva?

It’s certainly a sensitive point and one almost insolvable. Because in order to make a point to the other side, the other side has to see things your way. In other words for the Haredim’s words to have meaning to the secular Jews they must be Haredim. For the secular Jews (more accurately non-Haredim), for their words to have meaning to the Haredim, the Haredim must not be Haredim.

But one can make some cogent arguments about this in defence of the Haredim. And further the situation on the ground is not black and white. Jews as a whole can be divided into possibly thousands of groups. Some of us are Jews in name only. We might identify as Jews but follow no traditional, cultural or religious practices whatsoever. The next level might be Jews who love eating lux, cream cheese and bagels and thusly consider themselves Jewish. Out of the religious sector there are likewise many distinct groups and some not so distinct.

That’s why when some of my friends are verbally attacking religious Jews I must insist that they define exactly which group they are referring to. On one side are the Neturei Karta who look in dress exactly like any Hassid you might see (who are themselves composed of many sects). This group is violently anti-Israel to the point of siding with Iran’s muslim leaders. On the other side might be my sister’s sizeable group. They are not Hassids so their dress and religious behaviour is similar to modern orthodox Jews. They happen to be Litvash, named after the Jews of Lithuania and the rav who was their spiritual leader there.The Mizrachi Jews who may include some modern orthodox Jews often study at yeshivot but might also include a stint with the IDF. 

Jews like my sisters group and other Haredim have learned after hundred of years that if you give up on the Torah, the world will crumble. In fact they (and other Jews who have studied the Talmud-explanation of the written Torah) have learned right from Genesis that the world exists for the Torah. The Torah must be studied 24/7. In fact that’s why they believe G-d made the earth spin on it’s axis as it revolves around the sun, and results in time zones around the world where at the same point in time, one section is day while another is night. One can’t study Torah when asleep.

To get to the point, the gadolim (the rabbinic leaders who all members of one sect of the religious Jews follow) insist that the secular Jews and others (muslims who brazenly seek Israel's destruction) who make up the government of Israel can’t be trusted. Based on some if not many government leaders' behaviour (corruption) and policy (give back holy Jewish land to our enemies) who can argue with them? 

In times of absolute necessity is it required for yeshiva students to sign up for the IDF? If the gadolim decide that yes, we have no choice and must do so, then their Haredi group would absolutely sign up. The fact is that more and more Haredim are signing up in recent years. It would help if the military leadership provided religious soldiers all that they require to keep the mitzvot (Jewish commandments & customs) while serving.

This situation seems to be improving albeit slowly. If a young Haredi man is observed to be screwing around and not taking his Torah study seriously, then their Rav (rabbi) might order him to join the IDF. If you’re not going to save us by studying Torah then you might as well try to save us by joining the IDF where you might receive the discipline you need. 

The truth is that studying in a yeshiva is not a party. Young Jewish boys are often sent away from home to yeshivas (schools for serious Jewish study) in other cities. They are forced to bunk with other boys they don’t know. They miss their parents and siblings. Studying is long and hard and is taken very seriously and in many cases done in a dank basement of an old decrepit building. In other worlds, it’s not a party. I doubt that many secular Jews could or would do it. 

The other important fact to consider is that today the IDF is saturated with too many soldiers. Yes you read that correctly. Even the IDF will admit it. Throwing more soldiers into battle is not necessarily the key to win. In fact it might simply cause more casualties and do the opposite. Today's battles are more and more frequently done via high tech drones, cyber war fare and intelligence gathering. Every country’s military’s leaders will admit that the makeup of their military has changed significantly over the last 20 years and is still morphing at lightning speed. The days of large armies marching towards their enemies are long gone. 

Looking at Israel’s situation I see it as one more amazing miracle. Despite the religious sector being in the minority of the population, they continue to be part of government coalitions and as such hold some power. While some (maybe even many) consider that a bad thing, I do not. The miracle is that the country continues to not only exist but to succeed in all areas. Socially, culturally, scientifically and religiously. 

My defence to those who hate the Haredim is simply this: If you value Judaism at all, then you must thank the Haredim for keeping Judaism alive. Haredim have the least number of Jews who leave the religion. In all other non-religious sects, Jews often leave due to intermarriage and for often losing any connection to Judaism. Also, unlike Haredim and other religious Jews who have a very high birth rate, secular Jews have a low birth rate. After a couple of generations if we were all secular, the Jewish religion as we know it (not just bagel eating Jews) would disappear into thin air. 

My lecture to Haredim and others is that we must not attack or hate others that are not like them. Including Gentiles (goyim). Case in point, it was mostly the Christian farm boys and a myriad of other men and women from all denominations and places, some plumbers, salespeople, doctors, rich and poor who helped rescue us from the ovens in the Holocaust. Many of those people made the ultimate sacrifice to help save the free world including religious Jews from thousands of shtetels (small Jewish villages) throughout Europe. In fact we must forever be indebted to them. 

I see the Haredim like my sister as intelligent, wise and practical. Without spending hours and hours watching CNN or Fox (they usually don’t have TV’s or radios and have limited internet if at all) they somehow know the ’story’. They know that if they subscribe to the ‘2 States for 2 Peoples’ paradigm that it would mean the end of Israel. They clearly got the message early on that Obama is not our friend. Not the secular Jews friend nor the friend of Haredim.

While many intellectual, liberal, non-Haredi Jews throughout the world continue to vote for leaders who would throw Israel under the bus if they could and who simply do not see the real picture, these often apolitical Haredim (men, women and children who live in super crowded places like Bnei Brak or Mea Shaarim) and who devote their lives to the study of Torah, get it. Their gadolim seem to get it. They have insight. Maybe their insight comes from the ultimate place, Hashem. Many world leaders especially some not so religious Israeli leaders, often seek advice from these great wise men. 

It’s essential that we find common ground with each other and learn to appreciate each other. I believe that we all serve a purpose. Maybe mine is to be a Jewish activist. I might be secular in practice but I am no less Jewish than my Haredi sister and I think she would agree.

Today I find that many of my righteous Gentile friends are more vocal of their support of Jews and Israel than some of my Jewish friends. Like the Muslim silent majority who refuse to reign in their vocal and active terror obsessed minority and thus render themselves irrelevant, I urge the majority of Jews who are leaving any connection to Judaism or Israel to wake up now and find some positive defence of Jews who may appear to have nothing in common but in reality need each other's recognition and support.

Taking Caroline's article to the next level, I would advocate that in order to get Israel's supreme court back to order, they need to include one or more Haredi, wise, spiritual leaders. If we can have Islamic enemies of the state in the Knesset why not have a real Jewish leader in the judiciary?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

John Bolton's Appointment is Trump's Best Accomplishment So Far

President Trump has done so many great things. Just becoming the President of the US was huge. It stopped the world from disintegrating into a hell hole. Previous American leaders were slowly but surely heading in the wrong direction. When Obama took the lead, he hastened the pace. Worse still was his two faced method of doing so. You recall him often saying to Israel 'I've got your back' meanwhile he was always attempting to orchestrate the destruction of Israel. But this post is about Trump and his latest appointee, John Bolton, as National Security Advisor.

If you are a supporter of Jews and Israel then you might think that his consideration of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as his greatest accomplishment to date. There is no doubt in my mind that that was indeed an awesome and important deed. I can't thank him enough for that. But in many ways appointing Bolton to his administration is a far greater accomplishment. I would have been thrilled to have Bolton as president but I knew that he was not electable. I'm sure he did too. Second best would be to have him in a prominent role in the next administration. In fact I was deeply upset when Trump opened office, that he did not appoint John to such a role. The State Department has always been a thorn in all right wing governments and even with some Democratic leaders. This often antisemitic and therefore anti-Israel, pro-Arab government organization needed draining above all others. Yet Trump appointed Tillerson. I didn't get it. Surely Trump knew that the majority of people who worked there were not his friends (I'm being kind). Didn't he know that Rex wouldn't change a thing? Only a person like Bolton would have the guts and know how, to kick the scum out of that department which still has many Hillary and Obama lovers who are more than happy to stab Trump in the back and throw Israel under the bus. 

Bolton has a long, distinguished career under various administrations both Democrat and Republican. His knowledge in geopolitics is possibly the best in the world. His predictions come true. He is also a historian and loves facts and knows them well. He doesn't seem to rely on getting his information from CNN but instead has deep rooted connections throughout the world and therefore has valuable insights. He predicted North Korea's nuclear proliferation under the Clinton administration and was mocked for speaking out against the deal at the time. Yet he did not shut his mouth. He also vociferously opposed the Iran deal. Thank G-d someone did. On existential issues he speaks out, as well he should. He does not follow the herd and has never been a sycophant and I doubt he becomes one now. Trump needs someone knowledgeable that he can trust. He does not need people to shut him up or control him nor does he need people to simply nod their heads in agreement with whatever he says. 

Bolton's intelligence forces him to recognize Israel for what she is. The best ally the US has. As such he opposes the creation of a Palestinian State which he rightly predicts would pose an indefensible border with Israel and has been a consistent friend to Israel regardless of the administration he was part of.

Trump has many enemies. He also won't be the leader for ever. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. It's therefore important for Trump to appoint as many great people to run the country as he can while he can. Bolton is certainly such a person. I know no one better.  Bolton will make Americans safer, the world a better place and certainly not throw Israel under the bus which has sadly happened far too many times under so many different US administrations. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Thanks for the Laughs Justin

I'm talking about my Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

When he was first campaigning he was recognized by most people throughout the entire world as this young, cool, handsome man who is the son of one of the most famous Canadian politicians ever. His father was posted on just about every local and international magazine back in the day. Who can forget him paddling a canoe down a beautiful river wearing an original buckskin jacket? His dad was intelligent (more or less) and well educated. He was a lawyer (that's got to count for something, right?) and like Trump, knew how to make use of the media. Although probably still thought of as a great Canadian PM by many, the rest of us consider him a disaster. He helped raise interest rates thru the roof with his tight money policy and his politics was dangerously divisive. Mostly thanks to him, our French province of Quebec has been elevated above the rest of us and the separation issue will likely never go away. So although he almost broke our country, he did it with flair.

Which brings me back to his son, our current leader. He certainly has his father's flair and he is also dangerously destroying our country or at least trying to. Under our previous leader, Harper left us in excellent economical shape. We actually had a surplus budget when he left. Now thanks to the spending of Trudeau's Liberal government we are billions of dollars in the hole and counting. His immigration policy is simply to let in anyone he wants. No vetting required if you are of the right religion or race. He has dangerously stripped down our military to the point that any mickey mouse country with the will to conquer us, could if it wasn't for the protection of our US neighbours. His foreign policy is a disaster IMHO. Not the best friends with Israel. Much better with the Palestinians. 

Here he is at a local mosque with ties to terrorists:

His love affair with political correctness is equally dangerous and I find it beyond offensive. All leaders are arrogant but I believe he's reached new heights. I've said this before: Thank G-d we are a powerless country. On the world stage we are near the bottom. Because if we were a world leader like the US, we would make the world a dangerous place with Trudeau at the helm. Despite his reckless policies we are blessed to live in a huge country with bountiful resources like minerals, precious metals, fresh water, trees for lumber and paper, miles of farms and a huge coastline that still boasts some of the best commercial fishing. These resources help keep us above water. Had Canada been a country in Europe we'd be in super big trouble. His immigration policy would compete with Germany's and we be flooded with millions of unscreened Muslim immigrants from backwater countries. Again no thanks to him, we are surrounded with 2 huge oceans that make it difficult but certainly not impossible, for these migrants to charge in here.

Like Obama, when Justin was first elected, he was treated like a god. The mainstream media kept quiet on all of his mistakes (there were/are many) and kept elevating him to hero status. Now the world including many Canadians who voted for him, think he's a fool. On the web right now one can find thousands of articles and funny pics of him travelling around the world in different outfits trying to impress foreign dignitaries. But it isn't working. It's backfiring! Take his latest junket to India. Besides taking a Sikh terrorist with him and his family he made quite the impression when he and his family wore saris when he met official Indian government officials. While the Indians all wore western styled suits, he came out dancing in a sari. There he is showing off his dancing skills again. I guess his background as a part time drama teacher is paying off. He is difficult to listen to. His typical, meaningless boiler plate like 'Diversity is our strength' is all he's got. If you want to know his preference in foreign policy simply count the pictures of him with the foreign country's national garb. The internet is full of them. You can bet that before he left for India, he didn't dare prep himself on the needs of Indians, what trade deals we can make or consider bringing the appropriate cabinet ministers. No, his first priority was getting the appropriate costumes and learning the local dance moves.

I challenge you to find another world leader who is considered such a fool today! No one takes him seriously anymore, nor should they. He has made Canada the laughing stock of the world. I feel like crying but I'll laugh instead. Here is one of many hilarious memes on our PM and his outfits.

Trudeau visits Israel

Enjoy our legacy!  Justin, thanks for the laughs!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Social Media is Dangerous

Has anyone seen this short clip that exemplifies the very real danger we are facing? It goes something like this:
Sarah wakes up late for work because her internet controlled clock on her cell phone didn't wake her up one morning. She grabbed it to see the time and sees a red banner flashing 'ERROR'. OK, no big deal. She gets up and notices it's cold in her house so she goes to the internet controlled thermostat only to see an error message flashing there too and the temperature is down to 18 degrees C.
Hmm, that's odd, she says to herself. She goes to her high tech, internet controlled fridge to get some food but again sees an error message flashing on the screen panel on the door and it won't let her open it. She runs outside to her car that uses a phone app to check her fingerprints prior to unlocking the door. But her phone displays the same error message and has locked her out so therefore her car has done the same. Wow, something is really scary here. Sarah is a modern 21st century woman who relies entirely on the internet and technology. She doesn't use cash anymore and her wallet is almost barren. You see she uses various applications residing on her all important cell phone and computer to do almost anything. From banking to paying for public transit all she does is flash or tap her cell phone and voila, she's in business. Lastly she tries to hop on a bus but realizes she has no cash and can't use her cell phone to pay the fare. 

Eventually she finds out that the error messages all relate to a Facebook post that she recently made where she criticized Islam. FB didn't like that so they shut her down temporarily. There is a lot of that going on. FB, Google, Twitter, Youtube et all consider themselves to be lawmakers these days and since they themselves are beyond the law, they wield a lot of power especially to those who rely and submit to them. Since people often log on to other internet applications with their Facebook ID and also use Google supplied passwords, pissing off either organization can seriously hamper your life style (or life).

We need to consider this a war because it is. It begins with a battle against free speech and it can end with serious consequences as the scenario above makes clear.

What can we do about it? Plenty!  First, stop relying on technology for everything. Technology can and should be used to our respective benefit when it makes sense. But it's not healthy to jump all in to anything prior to considering the alternatives.
Do your children have cell phones? Of course they do. Only the best for our kids. Mine included. Do they operate businesses or have jobs that require them to use one? Probably not. They are mostly used to gossip and send important text messages like 'Did you see what Cheryl was wearing? Hideous!' Many young adults can’t even communicate properly these days because they have their heads in their cell phones. They don’t play outside anymore. I myself don’t have a cell phone despite my background in IT or more likely because of my background in IT. How many times do you go to a restaurant only to see most of the people there looking at their cell phones?

Monopolies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon are insidiously taking over the world. (I would include Youtube but it has been bought out by Google). It has been proven that monopolies are not good. They are bad for the economy and because they have pushed old school utility companies (like oil and gas companies) out of the top financial spot they do wield a ton of power and today are out of control. It's up to us to change that. What can we do? 

There are choices. I urge people to stop using Google immediately and instead use Bing. It has been proven to be less biased (anti-Jewish/Israel and anti-right wing) in its search results and it is no less functional than Google, perhaps more so. I recently read about Google partnering with Jew hating Muslims in a London summit. You can read more about it here: 

My homepage on my computer

There are alternatives but we the people must encourage the new applications to succeed simply by using them instead. I find Zuckerberg's (the self hater) FB particularly dangerous. FB is already losing active members. People with a different point of view than the Facebook police, are often banned from it, either temporarily or permanently. It happens thousands of times a day! I bet you know someone who has been wrongly banned. Instagram and Snapchat don't serve the exact same function as FB or Youtube but have helped to deplete their market share. Bing (search) 'Alternatives to Face Book' and you will see numerous options. 

To stop using Google now, follow these 2 simple steps. I use an Apple Macbook air laptop:

First, click on Safari/Preferences/General and change Homepage to: Ensure Google is not mentioned in any other fields. 
Second, click on Safari/Preferences/Search and change Search Engine to Bing.

I also urge readers to contact Bing and Google and let them know who you switched to and why. It will take some time but we can make changes to the market and win this war!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Poland Denies Being Complicit in the Holocaust

I can agree with the Polish idea of renaming Auschwitz and other death camps in Poland as Nazi Death Camps located in Poland rather than Polish Death Camps. Nazi death and work camps existed in many countries besides Germany and Poland. But I sense a guilty conscience here that refuses to come clean. Why make a law prohibiting people from calling them that? This smells of Soviet era paranoia.

Much more problematic is Poland's proposed law to prohibit people from saying that Poland was complicit in the Holocaust.

Poland was absolutely complicit in the Holocaust. Aside from the terrible stories my own parents told me as survivors, there exists one glaring fact: Before the war Poland had 3.5 million Jews or more. After the war they had none. The elimination of that many people couldn't have happened without the help of many Poles. One can easily find videos depicting hundreds of thousands of Poles cheering on Hitler when he paraded through Poland. There is tons of proof of the vile behaviour of many Poles towards Jews before, during and most disgustingly after the war. Besides my own family who owned property in Poland prior to the war, there are tens of thousands of Jews who also lost real property like houses, hotels, businesses and factories. Their Jewish bodies weren’t even cold (from the ovens) before many Poles (often their own neighbours, business associates or employees) had repossessed them. Unlike Germany who has formally apologized numerous times for the Holocaust and continues to pay millions in reparations, Poland has done little. In Germany it is illegal to deny the Holocaust but now in Poland it may become illegal to acknowledge it. Poles have profited immensely both from the property they stole and from the tourist business that continues to pour in to places like Auschwitz (pictured above). There were a couple of countries who protect their Jews, like Denmark and Bulgaria. Poland was not one of them.

I often hear the defence that many Poles suffered at the hands of the Nazis and died in Nazi death camps. True. But what had that got to do with the Poles treatment of their Jews?

Some have told me to be quiet about this. No sense in opening old wounds and I'm not going to change the age old antisemitism in Poland. Wrong. I speak out about injustice. That's what I do. Maybe I'll plant a seed of doubt into one Polish citizen who was brainwashed to think otherwise. Most people in the world sadly know nothing or little about this. Probably my own children. I write this for them and for the memory of my parents and six million more who lost their lives in the most brutal fashion. Who does know about the horrors of the Poles? Those survivors who are still with us, their children and many older Poles are also still with us. And most disturbingly, the Polish government.

Since we have relations with her (Canada and Israel) I urge us all to write letters to the Polish government to overturn their proposal. If we can't get them to admit the historical truth on this, perhaps we can at least embarrass them to change their minds. The Polish treatment of Jews circa WWII is not prevalent in textbooks. It needs to be. Have you seen the Polish documentary (by 2 righteous Poles) called the 'Two Barns'? It happened in a small rural town in Poland at the beginning of the war. The nazis had not yet even entered their town. Jews had lived peacefully, side by side with their Polish neighbours for over 800 years. The Poles had a meeting to decide what to do with 'their' Jews. They rounded them up, put them in a barn at gun point and burnt them alive. But not before they grabbed one of the good looking young Jewish women. They raped her, chopped off her head and played soccer with it. The Nazis had nothing to do with this. And there were other similar horrific incidents in Poland.

If I was Poland I would be very quiet on any Holocaust denial. I would certainly not open up this can of worms. It's obvious that they urgently require Holocaust education and a Polish history lesson. Any Jewish survivor from Poland will always remember the fear of being pointed to by a Pole to a Gestapo agent shouting the words: Here is a Jew!

If Poland can’t see the wrong in their proposal, they are erasing any good that righteous Poles did by risking their lives and in some cases giving their lives, to save Jews during the Holocaust.

I’m not saying all Poles were Nazis but many were. Until Poland stops sweeping their guilt under the carpet, they will never heal nor can they be trusted.

Friday, January 26, 2018

So you like free speech?

So you like free speech, eh? I thought I did too but apparently my definition is different than many institution's that I have been corresponding with. For those who know me, you'd know me perhaps more from the letters I write rather than my blogs like this one. I write numerous emails per week to those who've done wrong and maybe a few who've done right. 

Sometimes I write my letters about a third party to a media outlet (ie. newspaper, etc.) in order to publicize the issue. Other times I write directly to the person or organization. Of course I don't expect to receive a reply. If I do, it's a bonus. Likewise if my letters aren't published, it's still all good. Hopefully they've read it. I usually send copies to my contacts so in any case I do get my messages out. 

I found out years ago after getting a reply from one of  my first emails that free speech can and is often abused. After chastising a university for employing a professor who was blatantly antisemitic right here in my country, Canada, I received a standard reply that went something like this: 'The administration at this university champions free speech and as such we don't necessarily agree with professor X but we stand behind his right to speak freely and allow freedom of expression. 

In that case the professor was teaching history while denying the Holocaust. I tried to tell them that I too champion free speech but what does that have to do with hiring professors who are teaching revisionist history and proudly lying about six million Jews who were brutally murdered by the nazis? That is not education. That is misinformation. Again I received the same pat reply. It was probably semi-automatically generated when they received a negative comment from me. 

Since that day I have received pretty much the same pat reply from most universities and other organizations both private and public. I can see that in some cases perhaps the situation isn't black and white. For instance there have been many cases of employees who are vocal racists or worse (they have committed race inspired crimes). 

My intention in writing to their employers, be they schools, government or private businesses is first to inform them. They might not know anything about the person. Hopefully if this is the case they will take appropriate action (ie. fire them). But instead I often receive a reply that goes something like this: 'Thanks for reaching out to us. What our employees do in their private lives is their own business. Have a nice day!' 

So if company X hires John Doe as VP of sales and John Doe posts 'I hate Jews!' on his Facebook page, that's ok. Except it's really not. There should be consequences for being a racist. One of them should be that you either keep your racism to yourself or else you might not be employed. I've certainly noticed (and I'm sure that anyone who is looking for a job lately would notice this too) is that how you behave on social media is usually scrutinized by prospective employers. If you are applying for a corporate job (ie. bank teller, IT, etc.) and their HR department finds you hanging a moon (baring your bum) on FB or calling blacks lazy in a rant on Twitter, chances are they won't be calling you back for a second interview. 

Here's a current example of my dialogue with the Provost of USC after I discovered that one of their professors taught his students that Israeli zionists were terrorists:

It has come to my attention that your professor Kang is teaching at the very least a biased, revisionist version of events and at worst a bigoted,antisemitic and anti-American ‘teaching’ class. I urge you to distance yourself from him immediately by dismissing him from USC.
Their reply to me:

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us.

Professor Kang has chosen to issue his own statement on this matter in which he said he was intending to foster a discussion about how and why groups and individuals are labeled terrorists. He said that the slide in question was written to “point out that national heroes of all types are called terrorists by their opponents.” 

As you may know, one of the core principles of any university is that of academic freedom. The views of our faculty members are not endorsed by the university; indeed, we sometimes profoundly disagree with them. Nevertheless, we protect and support their right to express those views.
So what can one determine from all of this? Far too often being a vocal antisemite or Israel hater (they are one and the same thing) is acceptable. It's a minor, overlooked blemish or perhaps its employers are even sympathetic. Jews are partly to blame for this cultural norm. Because we ignored it for far too long. Which means we accepted it. We gave the world a pass to condemn us. I can certainly understand it. We are so often physically attacked (recall the Holocaust) that mere words are much easier to swallow. There is also the 'let's not rock the boat' syndrome. And many more complex reasons. 

That's exactly why I do speak out and I'm speaking out here. I want this stopped. There are two standards. One applied to us and another applied to everyone else. I'm sick of getting the standard 'free speech' excuse when I point out what honest people would admit is plain out wrong. Yes I believe in free speech as much as anyone and I'll defend it until I die. If you want to accuse Israel of being an apartheid state and shout it out on the street, you are free to do so. As long as you don't obstruct traffic, are not violent and do it legally. But this scenario is far different from a racist teacher or boss who teaches his students or employees to hate. Those students who wish to pass the course and those employees who wish to retain their jobs are forced to listen to their BS. This is a clear form of abuse. 

I would love to see how a university president would reply if a professor at the school  would post 'Kill all university presidents' on FB. Would the professor get a free speech pass? I doubt it.