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WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM Rima Berns-McGown, Karin Brothers, Edward C. Corrigan, Mohamed Elmasry, Yves Engler, Bruce Katz, Jason Kunin, Lynda Lemberg, Joanne Naiman, Yakov M. Rabkin & Craig Smith
AND POSITION P APERS FROM Canada-Palestine Support Network, Canadian Arab Federation, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Educators for Peace and Justice, Faculty for Palestine, Independent Jewish Voices & Seriously Free Speech Committee



WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM Rima Berns-McGown, Karin Brothers, Edward C. Corrigan, Mohamed Elmasry, Yves Engler, Bruce Kate, Jason Kurtin, Lynda Lemberg, Joanne Naiman, Yakov M. Rabkin & Craig Smith AND POSITION PAPERS FROM Canada-Palestine Support Network, Canadian Arab Federation, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Educators for Peace and Justice, Faculty for Palestine, Independent Jewish Voices & Seriously Free Speech Committee


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Faculty for Palestine (F4P) formed in the spring of 2008 in response to the increasing pattern of suppression of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly around the advocacy of Palestinian rights in Canadian universities. We have been particularly concerned about attempts to silence Israeli Apartheid Week, the main site of support for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement on campuses. Our broad mandate is to educate, inform, organize and advocate around these issues. In the past year, over 400 Canadian academics from 43 universities and 13 colleges across Canada signed our Open Letter to the university community regarding the defense of Palestinian rights on Canadian campuses. This collective expression of concern indicates broad-based acknowledgement that it is urgent to extend free speech in post-secondary institutions in Canada regarding the conditions faced by Palestinians, and to protect the legitimate right to criticize and debate the apartheid practices and policies of the Israeli state. As a committee of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, our commitment to Palestinian rights includes a vision of equity and justice in the broadest sense. As part of the coalition, we share the following statement: We believe that justice will not be achieved without equal rights for everyone in the region, regardless of religion, ethnicity or nationality. We understand Israeli apartheid as one element of a system of global apartheid. To this end, we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, the indigenous people of North America. We oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. A copy of the Open Letter and further information about Faculty4Palestine is available at

KEEFER: ANTISEMITISM IN CANADA 155 radically other.32 Canadians might know them, from one of the most popular fictions of John Buchanthe imperialist ideologue, novelist, intelligence ofcer, popular historian and MP who ended his career as Lord Tweedsmuir, Canada's Governor-General from 1935 to 1940as ululating half-savages, exotic and bizarre, and as the endlessly gullible objects of imperial geopolitical manipulations.33 Or, if they had read T. E. Lawrence's best-selling Revolt in the Desert, or the full-length book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, from which it was abridged,34 they would know of Arabs, from Lawrence of Arabia's descriptions of Bedouin warriors like the Howeitat war chief Auda abu Tayi, as more fully barbaric and more completely manipulablebut as noble savages, with many of the qualities of Homeric heroes. In a passage he later admitted was pure invention, Lawrence reported that Prince Faisal, the physically slight military leader of the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, had collapsed in battlefrenzy, foaming at the mouth, and had to be carried from the battleeld. Auda, more fully Homeric, delights in epic self-dramatization, and although he is murderously efcient in his berserker heroism, his Howeitat tribe has been depleted by his insatiable thirst for brigandage and war. Why would Canadian leaders whose understanding of the Middle East had to any degree been conditioned by ctions of this kind want to concede democratic rights to such peoplewhether to the teeming urban populations through whom Buchan's orientalist passes, or the Palestinian and Syrian peasants whom Lawrence occasionally describes, and the Bedouins whom he represents as resolutely simple-minded?35 Did it perhaps occur to Canadian diplomats to think that the settlement history of North America tells us what happens when Europeans (even partially 'othered' Europeans) set their hearts on land that happens already to be occupied by noble, or ignoble, savagessuch as those indigenous people whom Duncan Campbell Scott, poet and Deputy Superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs, had unsympathetically called "a weird and waning race (...) ready to break out at any moment in savage dances; in wild and desperate orgies"?36 Yves Engler observes that Canadian support for a partition plan opposed by all Arab states and organizations was not based on any concern for democracy: the UNSCOP plan gave more than half of Palestine to the proposed Jewish state despite the fact that, as Ilan Pappe remarks, Jews made up only one-third of the total population and owned just six percent of Palestine, and even within the areas assigned to them by UNSCOP Jews "owned only eleven percent of the land, and were the minority in every district."37 Engler quotes Elizabeth McCallum, the Department of External Affairs' only Middle East expert, and a dissenter from government policy, who claimed that Ottawa supported partition "because we didn't give two hoots for democracy."38 He remarks as well that "The Canadian-backed U.N. partition contributed to the forced displacement of 700,000-900,000 Palestinians"


racial capacity to insinuate themselves through imaginative projection into the cultures and belief systems of other peoples. Buchan's protagonist, Dick Hannay, successively impersonates a South African Boer, a German intelligence agent, and an American civil engineer; and Sandy Arbuthnot, an orientalist and proto-T. E. Lawrence, vanishes into the bazaars of the Middle East, emerging as the leader of a mystical Muslim secret society who becomes Greenmantle, the longed-for prophet of a movement of apocalyptic purication within Islam. T. E. Lawrence, Revolt in the Desert (London: Jonathan Cape, and New York: George H. Doran, 1927); and Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (Private edition, 1926; New York: George H. Doran, 1935). Revolt appeared in editions and multiple reprints from ve publishers in 1927; by the end of the 1940s, Seven Pillars (a large-format and more expensive book) had appeared in fourteen distinct public editions and reprints from ve publishers. Lawrence tells of performing for the Howeitat, at one of their communal feasts, a parody of Auda's mode of epic narration. His audience took some time to get the joke: Lawrence wants us to believe that they had never previously imagined the possibility of parodic discourse. Fictive elements abound in Lawrence's memoir: he took credit, for example, for the capture of Aqaba, a feat planned and carried out by Auda and other Arab leaders (with Lawrence in attendance as an observer). Quoted by Ronald Wright, Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas (1992; rpt. New York: Houghton Mifin, 2005), p. 321. The rst phrase occurs in Scott's sonnet "The Onondaga Madonna." Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: One World Publications, 2006), p. 34; quoted by Engler, The Black Book, pp. 55-56. McCallum is quoted by Eliezer Tauber, Personal Policy Making: Canada's Role in the Adoption of the Palestine Partition Resolution (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), p. 94; quoted in turn by Engler, The Black Book, p. 56. Engler, The Black Book, p. 57. For evidence of clearly enunciated Zionist intentions, he cites Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, pp. 8, 29-38. The following examples are drawn from Engler, The Black Book, pp. 59-63. Linda McQuaig, "Media cheerleaders miss story: The US has succeeded in getting Canada to take the lead in an unpopular counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan," Toronto Star (8 April 2008); available online at Column.cfm?REF=68; quoted by Engler, The Black Book, p. 60. Franklin Bialystok, "'Were things that bad?' The Holocaust Enters Community Memory," in Menkis and Rawin, eds., The Canadian Jewish Studies Reader, p. 287. The gures published by the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada in its annual Audit o/Antisemitic Incidents are analyzed in the next chapter. As Shlomo Sand observes in The Invention of the Jewish People, trans. Yael Lotan


The Honourable Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling, The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Volume 1: Findings, Analysis and Conclusions (Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008), reports/volumel.pdf, p. 381.

KEEFER: DESPERATE IMAGININGS 231 against Professor David McNally, Chair of the Political Science Department, after he gave a speech in support of Palestinian human rights in May 2008, to the appalling treatment of Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian-American University of South Florida computer science professor, whose persecution since 2001 has involved not just smearing and dismissal, but a trial for terrorism, and, despite the embarrassing failure of the prosecution, continued imprisonment. (According to human rights lawyer Scott Horton, the recent convolutions of Al Arian's case "should be studied as a textbook case of prosecutorial abuse.")106 But more is involved than attacks upon individuals. Jason Kunin notes in his contribution to this book that in Ontario (as elsewhere) there have been sustained attempts by university administrations to suppress human rights discourse about the worsening plight of the Palestinians: among them McMaster University's attempt in 2008 to ban the use of the term "Israeli apartheid," University of Toronto President David Naylor's maneuverings "to block the event Standing Against Israeli Apartheid in October 2008," and in 2009 the banning of Israeli Apartheid Week posters "at Carleton, the University of Ottawa, Trent University, and Wilfrid Laurier University."107 How strange: the term "apartheid" was applied with clinical accuracy by Marwan Bishara in 2001 to describe what Israel has done in the occupied territories from the early 1990s onward, "physically and demographically divid[ing] up the West Bank and Gaza into islands of poverty, or bantustans, while maintaining economic domination and direct control over Palestinian land and natural resources."108 It was re-used by Jimmy Carter in 2006a usage validated in 2007 by Israel Prize laureate and former Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni.109 And in January 2010, Henry Siegman, the former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress and current President of the US/ Middle East Project of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote that Israel's "relentless" construction of new settlements "seems nally to have succeeded in locking in the irreversibility of its colonial project. As a result of that 'achievement,' one that successive Israeli governments have long sought in order to preclude the possibility of a two-state solution, Israel has crossed the threshold from 'the only democracy in the Middle East' to the only apartheid regime in the western world." n0 There is, as Jason Kunin remarks, a pungent irony to the fact that while Canadian university administratorsnot to mention politicians111denounce as unacceptable any application of the term "apartheid" to the structures of land theft, cantonment, and racialized subjugation, separation, and oppression of a subject-population that characterize Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, "South African legal scholars, who might be expected to have a more immediate understanding of the nature of apartheid, have not hesitated to describe the state of Israel's behaviour in the occupied Palestinian territories as 'a colonial system that implements a system of apartheid.'"112 Margaret Aziza Pappano asks, very pertinently, of the opposition to Israeli Apartheid Week: "What justication can be found to block an event in which


works to circumscribe the publicly acceptable domain of speech. It also works to immunize Israeli violence against critique by refusing to countenance the integrity of the claims made against that violence. One is threatened with the label, "anti-Semitic," in the same way that within the US, to oppose the most recent US wars earns one the label of "traitor," or "terrorist sympathizer" or, indeed, "treasonous." These are threats with profound psychological consequence. They seek to control political behavior by imposing unbearable, stigmatized modes of identication which most people will want more than anything to avoid identication with.154 Those who perform this labeling know very well how powerfully it can work, in Butler's words, "to circumscribe what can and cannot be permissibly spoken out loud in the public sphere," and to "decide the dening limits of the public sphere through setting limits on the speakable." The consequences of a shrinkage of the public sphere through an exclusion of critical perspectives are potentially dire: The exclusion of those criticisms will effectively establish the boundaries of the public itself, and the public will come to understand itself as one that does not speak out, critically, in the face of obvious and illegitimate violenceunless, of course, a certain collective courage takes hold.155 That collective courage exists in this country, as does a generously shared fund of common decency. This book goes out to the public in the hope that what it offers in the way of critical analysis may help to facilitate an increasingly full and well-articulated expression of that decency and courage.

Some historians and sociologists have used the term "new antisemitism" in scholarly studies of the receptions and mutations of traditional Christian and European antisemitism in other parts of the world. My critique applies to their writings only to the degree that they deploy this same rhetoric, and thereby participate in this strategy of deception. James D. Besser, "A Chill in the D.C. Air as Obama, Netanyahu Meet," The Jewish Week (10 November 2009), c39_al7230/News/International.html. "Survivors, liberators, leaders mark Auschwitz liberation," (28 January 2010), 1033527/l/.html. By way of contrast, on a similar occasion four years previously, Netanyahu's predecessor Ehud Olmert described himself as "prime minister of the state of Israel and the leader of the Jewish people here" (my emphasis); see


Massad, "Policing the academy," AlAhram Weekly, No. 633 (10-16 April 2003),
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Goodyear does in fact have a well-earned reputation for being foul-tempered; see "Researchers fear 'stagnation' under Tories," The Globe and Mail (2 March 2009, updated 10 April 2009), national/article975257ece; and "Maybe a 'time out,' Minister?" Dawg's Blawg (2 March 2009),

122 "One size doesn't t all," National Post (25 February 2010), http:// 123 Kathleen and Bill Christison, Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation (London: Pluto Press, 2009), pp. 136-37. 124 Ibid., p. 137, quoting Richard Falk, "Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust," ZNet (5 July 2007), 4226. 125 Ibid., p. 137. 126 Gideon Alon, "Lieberman blasted for suggesting drowning Palestinian prisoners," Haarett (8 July 2003), o=315541.
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"LIEBERMAN, AvigdorIsraeli Politician and deputy prime minister," Electronic Intifada,; Jonathan Cook, "Israel's Dark Future," Electronic Intifada (20 January 2007), http:// Tim Butcher, "Israeli minister vows Palestinian 'holocaust'," The Telegraph (29 February 2008),; "Israel warns Gaza of 'shoah'," Reuters (29 February 2008),; James Hider, "Israel threatens to unleash 'holocaust' in Gaza," Times Online (1 March 2008), article3459144.ece. It does not seem likely that Vilnai thought of the preceding days' events, in which one Israeli was killed by rocket re, and thirty Palestinians by Israeli attacks, as a "shoah." Perhaps he was using "shoah" to translate the Arab work "nakba," which also means "catastrophe," and also has a specific historical referenceto the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians which accompanied the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. But a "greater nakba" would also be a genocidal act. Juan Cole, "Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies," Informed Comment (24 February 2010), 2010/02/harvard-professors-modest-proposal.html. Martin Kramer, "Superuous young men," Sandbox (7 February 2010), http://