7 July 2012

Answering Free Dominion: Part I

When we write an article in which Free Dominion is mentioned, it is often the case that they respond in some way. Usually with nasty names with what we could only assume to be spittle flying forth from their mouths in something approaching, though not quite reaching, apoplectic rage.

They don't seem to like us all that much.

Usually we ignore what they write about us, but after reading some of the responses to our article regarding the JDL fundraiser for Free Dominion on the thread, "Anti-Racist Canada member joins FreeDominion - Breaking !!" we felt that it might be useful to address some of what they have said about us. In fact the nature of the responses might necessitate a few different posts on our part.

To review, we noted the irony --- one might even call it hypocrisy --- that the JDL is being held up as a champion of free speech when Meir Weinstein in his capacity as the National Director of the Jewish Defence League worked to make sure that George Galloway, a sitting British MP who was once a member of the governing Labour Party (before they kicked him out of the party) could not enter Canada to speak while at the same time championing Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch party Partij voor de Vrijheid who was at the time accused and soon to be put on trial for inciting hatred and discrimination towards Muslims (he was acquitted in June 2011). 

One of our Free Dominion friends noted that these facts did seem to indicate that the JDL's commitment to freedom of speech was less than satisfactory:

Thankfully "shiva" was there to set him straight:

Shiva's direct response to us was, well, it was just plain mean!

Well, sticks and stones, right.

But since shiva was kind enough to respond to us directly, we decided that we would return the favor.

Listen you morons,

Ouch. That just stings.

that "windbag" you love to hate is the leader of the third largest party in the Netherlands.

Right. Geert Wilders is indeed the leader of the third largest party in the Netherlands. But why should that influence our perception of him?

After all, George Galloway is an elected MP in the British House of Commons.

Hamas is the governing party in Gaza.

Hezbollah members sit in the Lebanese parliament.

Hell, Adolph Hilter was the leader of the Nazi Party when it was the largest political party in the Reichstag.

So, shiva, appeals to authority really don't mean a hell of a lot when you get to this level of demagoguery.

He doesn't HATE Muslims but rather, he has a problem with the radical elements of Islam and apparently a significant number of the Dutch population agree with him.

You know it's funny, but this is almost exactly what we hear from people in racist groups. They don't hate Blacks or Jews or homosexuals. No, they just feel that these groups should be excluded from social and civic life because they are  inferior, parasitic, and/or deviants. That's all.

And if we're going to go with the idea that receiving votes = validity of ideas, we'll remind you again that Gorgeous George has received a plurality of the votes in his constituencies since 1987.

Hamas won enough votes in Gaza to form a government.

Hezbollah has had enough votes to warrant cabinet positions.

Hitler received 35% of the vote in the 1932 presidential election. And if you're into election results as validation of the philosophy of a political movement, take a look at this:

Chart taken from Wikipedia.

So again, if these individuals and groups can convince enough people to vote for them, why should we be impressed that Geert could convince some in the Netherlands to vote for his party?

As for Galloway, his travel problems are related to his tendency to get caught on video fundraising for known terrorists, an action which would be an ACTUAL crime.

Only the willfully blind could conflate the two situations.

Well, that certainly was the claim, wasn't it? However Galloway has never been put on trial and has not been convicted of anything.

Geert on the other hand was accused of a crime and was put on trial though he was ultimately acquitted.

Don't get us wrong. We do not like George Galloway. One of our members refereed to him as a douchenozzle, and that might have been the kindest thing that has been said about him on our end.

However, if you are going to claim the JDL as champions of free speech you simply can't, as "fourhorse" puts it, "suck and blow at the same time."

But you know what? We're feeling magnanimous today. You want to believe this is comparing apples and oranges, we'll play that game.

So how about we compare apples and apples?

The Jewish Defence League was founded in New York in 1968 by Meir Kahane with the goal of protecting Jews from anti-Semitic attacks (good). Not long after, the JDL became much more extreme and was eventually implicated in a number of attacks (including bombing, attempted murder, and perhaps murder itself) not only on boneheads, but Soviet diplomats and Arab activists (not good). Kahane himself was arrested and latter convicted after pleading guilty to conspiring to manufacture explosives with the intent of attacking Soviet targets in the United States (he received a 5 year suspended sentence). He eventually emigrated to Israel where he was frequently arrested.

Kahane soon became politically active. He formed the KACH party and in July 1984 his party received 1.2% of the vote, just above the threshold to take a seat in the Kenesset. Eventually KACH would be banned as a racist party (a large part of the platform included stripping citizenship from non-Jews, forbidding marriage between Jews and gentiles, and expelling Arab-Israelis and Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza by force if necessary) and constitutionally prevented from participating in the 1988 election.

However, just prior to KACH's electoral breakthrough (such as it was) in the Israeli election, Kahane was invited to speak in Montreal. Based on his convictions in the United States and Israel (for REAL crimes, shiva), the Canadian government barred his entry into Canada.

Meir Halevi, who we know better as Meir Weinstein, suggested that Kahane would instead enter Canada to speak illegally

Ottawa Citizen - May 19, 1984

When the Canadian government continued to refuse Kahane entry into Canada, Meir and the JDL asked for the Israeli government to intervene on his behalf.

Ottawa Citizen - Nov 15, 1984

In 1985 when Kahane was invited again to Canada, Meir had this to say:

The Montreal Gazette - Oct 18, 1985
Meir Halevi, national director of the Jewish Defence League, said in an interview from Toronto that the government would he setting a double standard by barring Kahane while allowing entry to such figures as Terzi or the fiery Protestant leader Rev. Ian Paisley from Northern Ireland.

Just for the sake of comparison, here's what Meir has to say about Galloway again:

Meir Kahane was assassinated by an Muslim extremist while he was in New York in 1990. In 1994, Baruch Goldstein who had been a member of the JDL in the United States and an active member of KACH after emigrating to Israel, murdered 29 Palestinians. KACH and Kahane Kai were subsequently banned in Israel and added to the list of terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department; Canada would add KACH to the list of terrorist groups in 2005.

Another very brief example.

Let's say that ARC attempted to have a racist group known for engaging in violent rhetoric (and some of ther members in actual violence) banned from entering Canada. How might you at Free Dominion react to that information?

Right. We hate freedom. Gotcha.

So how about if your friends in the JDL tried to have a hate group banned from entering Canada?

Hey! Guess what?

Edmonton Journal - Sep 20, 1986

On this point we can actually agree with the JDL. In fact, given the history of violence the Aryan Nations has engaged in the past 30 years, we aren't sure why it hasn't been designated as a terrorist organization.

But then again, we hate freedom.

Shiva finishes with this:

These strange bedfellows you speak of share a belief in freedom, something you clearly don't value.

We can discuss that shared belief in freedom you've written about a little later.


Harry Abrams said...

What a piece of work that Galloway fellow is!

Many of us have seen the video of him handing over bundles of cash to that Hamas terrorist warlord.


Sometimes I agree with Mr. Weinstein, usually I don't, but even so it deserves mentioning today that the history of JDL in Canada is markedly different and so much less violent than in the US... Enough to suggest that it's been almost completely a different operation. Which of course is why I'm confounded that Weinstein would side with a nut like Fromm on any issue....but that's his business...

I really enjoyed this article today, but would find it even more helpful if the news articles were dated so that we could get a better sense of the timeline. Especially because so many of the issues depicted were years apart from each other.

Good job! A lot of research!

Nosferatu200 said...

That is an easy fix. I'll add the dates to the articles asap.

Harry Abrams said...

Well here it is about 8:30 am on Sunday morning, and our "friends" at that other blog have already been hard at work. I think they read and consider ARC with greater regularity than most of the rest of us do!

A few more thoughts about Weinstein's JDL and this tragic/comic situation playing out at hand.

As a teenager in Montreal in the late 1960's, my B'nai Brith youth group received a friendly visit from a JDL recruiter/organizer. I don't remember the fellow's name or many particulars, but It was at a time when the FLQ separatist forces were staging violent protests, and blowing up things. People were getting hurt, even killed. Aspects of this nationalist movement were very antisemitic. It made sense to at least listen to what this fellow had to say. Because we all knew that if the police and other regular authorities couldn't control this phenomenon, then it could very well, as history had shown many times, be left to us to defend ourselves as well as we could.

The fellow brought along a few pieces of "street fighting gear." A motorcycle helmet with a darkened face shield, a police-style truncheon. Protective clothing. He seemed a little crazy. We didn't go for it.

Years later, and here in Victoria we made our own local arrangements for citizen night patrols (in touch with police) to protect the synagogue and our Jewish cemetery, after a series of threatening desecrations.

So I approach this issue with respect. To be fair, I think that Weinstein is supporting the Fourniers in this scrap because it's with Bagelow, and only incidental that Fromm has chimed in.

My own view is that this whole thing has been a comedy of compounded errors from day one. Freedom of speech?

No. Hardly the issue. There's a lot of drive-by bad-mouthing that comes off of that Freedo blog. Sometimes it can be directly answered, other times not. Sometimes if you ask Connie nicely enough, she'll fix the problem or at least put your rebuttal alongside whatever stupid remark was made. But sometimes they'll get on their hind feet and "make a stand." Or worse yet.. paint themselves into a very expensive corner. Whatever. I really don't think the Fourniers themselves are racist.

But accepting Christie's "free speech" award, knowing as they had to, that most of its earlier recipients were some very bad actors, was a mistake.

Anonymous said...


any chance of responding to this article that is flooding the news in google?

the aryan guard were giving free speech and look what the results of that were

Anonymous said...

"Enough to suggest that it's been almost completely a different operation." That's really BS Harry. Weinstein has been involved with the US JDL since he joined the JDL in the last 70s. He was a close friend of Irv Rubin and brought him to Toronto several times. He's never has one ill word to say about Meir Kahane or Rubin. The fact that the Canadian JDL are low level thugs who have stayed away from the use of guns and bombs that their American counteparts is just a difference in degree, not of essence, and the fact that Canadian Jewish groups tolerate and even co-sponsor events with the JDL is a disgrace. Your argument is a bit like saying we shouldn't be concerned about Al Qaeda Canada (should such a group be formed) because even thought they are in ideological lockstep with the rest of Al Qaeda they haven't actually killed anyone yet.

Harry Abrams said...

OK Hi I'm back.
Re: Andrew Coyne & S319. Yeah well, he's on with the old position that I have seen many journalists and media people do..basically it's a give everyone a big printing press and you don't have to worry about hate propaganda. Well I don't think the fellow really understands what hate propaganda really is.
First of all hate propaganda is not simply expressing a contrary or upsetting opinion. Hate propaganda SHUTS DOWN discourse. Is intended to humiliate, isolate and threaten whoever has been targeted. Also it CANNOT BE ANSWERED THE SAME WAY IT WAS ISSUED. Which makes a world of difference.

Try this. It was written by David Matas, who happens to be the Honorary Legal Counsel for B'Nair Brith, but he does other work as well. He's a leading expert on this subject. At about pages 45-46 he gets into what defines material that would be caught by Section 19 of the Criminal Code.

Harry Abrams said...

Re: JDL. I can understand the writer's concern, but asking us to condemn Meir Weinstein because he didn't do something that you thought he should have? I don't think that's reasonable. Meir Kahane and Irv Rubin were who they were. Both were molded and responded to unreasonable and ongoing hatred in ways that I probably wouldn't if there was any kind of non-violent alternative available. Kahane was very firm in that he believed that the Arabs would never accept Jews or a majority Jewish state in the Middle East, and that no deal could ever be made and the Arabs would always continue to try and kill the Jews, and delegitimize Israel any way they could. Sad to say, he hasn't yet been proven wrong. Sometimes, violence is the only answer. Which is why I would much rather it happen if it must with a duly sworn civilian police force or uniform-wearing army acting on as legitimate an authority as possible. Also Weinstein and the Cdn. JDL simply have not been involved in much physical violence that I've heard of. So unless you have some news or proper evidence, then there's not much point in accusing them of being thugs. Having said that, there was an unsavoury project that the JDL was involved in a while back, something about showing a Dutch movie that had some kind of music track and quoted horrible sounding passages from supposedly Islamic scripture. Well nearly all old religions have scripture with violent arcane language in them. The Judeo- Christian bible has plenty. To selectively quote it, isn't really hate mongering, but it's just not a nice thing to do, in my view, and certainly doesn't further any helpful discussion.