Smitherman’s Campaign Lied to the Jewish Community

When I started this blog, it was to write about advertising.

Then I made one post expressing my concern about what the election of George Smitherman as mayor would mean for Toronto’s Jewish community and things took a strange turn.

A group of Smitherman supporters sent out letters and made blog posts. They attacked me, they lied about me, they attributed statements to me that I never made (and that they know I never made).

In their desperate defence of George Smitherman, they twisted facts, they denied his public record and they hoped that this would be enough to confuse the Jewish community into thinking that Smitherman was an acceptable choice.

Do you know my favourite thing about the Internet? It makes it so much harder for people to get away with lying. With everything available a few clicks away, it makes it that much harder to run from your words, deny things you’ve said or mislead people as to your record.

Smitherman’s campaign seems to be learning this lesson too late.

In the letter they sent out attacking me, they denied that Smitherman  had announced  support that he’d received from the anti-Israel Canadian Arab Federation. So in a follow-up post (found here: I linked to posts on his website and on his Twitter feed showing that he did, in fact, do so. Why would he be proud to publicize support from a coalition that included this group?

His supporters claimed that nobody from the Canadian Arab Federation supported his campaign, I was able to link to an article (found here: in which the VP of the CAF, Ali Mallah, does indeed encourage Torontonians to vote for Smitherman.

One of the biggest lies in the letter from Smitherman’s supporters had to do with Smitherman’s position on the group “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid”.

Their letter claimed that I said “that George refused to speak out against the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) protest group.”

That’s a blatant lie on its’ own, given that this is what I actually wrote: “While candidates Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi stated that city funding should be revoked if this group is again permitted to participate, Mr. Smitherman refused to join in this call.”

His supporters included a quote Smitherman made rebuking this group to Sue-Ann Levy of the Toronto Sun.

Just yesterday, however, Smitherman met with a different publication; this time, a gay rag named Xtra, a trashy publication that earlier in the campaign called for the homosexual rape of Rob Ford.

Smitherman was asked about the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and their participation in the group.

Here’s what the report had to say:

“when asked if he thinks Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) ought to be allowed in the Pride parade or not, instead of a simple “yes” or “no,” Smitherman would say only that it is “a question the broader community has to grapple with. We grappled on this for some time, but he would not be boxed in.”

You can see a video that interview below.

You’ll notice that Smitherman clearly avoids saying that no taxpayer money should go to the parade if this group is again given a platform to spread their anti-Israel message.

That’s bad enough but it actually gets worse. Smitherman actually defends this anti-Israel group and praises the leaders of it.

Starting around the 4:20 mark of the video,  you’ll see Smitherman agree that the two leaders of QuAIA are “longstanding queers with illustrious records.” (note: he means that as a compliment).

Shortly after, at the 4:40 mark, he says of the group: “there are lots of people that I have respect for there.”

Later, at the 5:08 mark, the interviewer states that this group is “not dangerous, not hate-fueled, not anti-Semitic.” Smitherman responds that he “makes no quarrel with that.”

This is very interesting, isn’t it?

When Smitherman did an interview with a Jewish reporter from a conservative, mainstream newspaper he was willing to criticize the group. Then, during an interview with a gay publication and an interviewer who clearly supports the group, Smitherman praises its leaders and speaks of his respect for them.

You’d almost think he was one of those politicians trying to play both sides of an issue and changing his position around to suit different audiences.

At a previous debate, when asked about his position on the inclusion of “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” in the parade, the best Smitherman would offer is that the issue was “complex.”

To his credit, his opponent Rob Ford, had a very different take:

“Actually I think it’s pretty straightforward, it’s not complicated at all. There’s zero tolerance, and as mayor I’m not going to give them a dime,” Mr. Ford said. “We’re not going to tolerate any hate crimes.” (full article
In their letter attacking me, Smitherman’s supporters say the following: “We appreciate his ongoing care and outspokenness on issues of concern to Jewish voters.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find it troubling that he expresses his “ongoing care” by lying to us.
When our community has needed him – whether it was supporting equality in education or standing up against taxpayer funding of anti-Israel messaging – George Smitherman has turned his back on us. Now we turn our backs on him.

89 responses to “Smitherman’s Campaign Lied to the Jewish Community

  1. Oh come ON. I’m neither a Smitherman supporter nor a member of the gay community, but I am a Jew and I find this entire post outrageous. So Smitherman doesn’t want to pull city funding that could jeopardize the entire Pride Week event simply because some people don’t like QAIA – big deal! That’s a reasoned and rational response to what is indeed a complex issue: it neither condones nor condemns anyone involved. Shutting down a massive event that benefits the city in many ways simply because one group doesn’t like the message of another group is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There’s no sense in it.

    We live in a democracy and just as we Jews have a right to express our political opinions, QAIA has every right to express its political opinion as well. Just because a group calls Israel out on its behaviour – and there are many who agree – doesn’t make it anti-semetic. QAIA doesn’t promote hate or break the law in any way, it supports the rights of the oppressed. You really should educate yourself on QAIA before making sweeping statements accusing the group of being “anti-Israel”.

    And don’t kid yourself – Rob Ford isn’t standing up for Jews, he’s simply looking for any way he can find to deny funding to the Pride Parade. I suppose you support that approach. Better to discriminate against gays than Jews, eh?

    You’re a complete hypocrite.

    • This is the kind of support Smitherman attracts.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        What part of “I’m not a Smitherman supporter” did you miss in my first sentence? Shoot, I don’t even have a vote in Toronto!

        Such a pathetic response it’s not even funny. Rational arguments clearly evade you.

      • radiofreecanada

        Defending his position if not his candidacy.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        So what? His position on this is RIGHT. Yours is ridiculous, and indefensible.

    • Hats off to you Sarah Goldberg!
      Joshua’s original piece was forwarded to me by a Jewish friend who – clearly – did not check the content very carefully, nor gave much thought to its implications. I’m not a George Smitherman fan either (and quietly wished Naheed Nenshi was on our list of candidates …), but found Josh’s contrived and underhanded smears against Smitherman (and Obama …) absolutely appalling and damn close to hate mongering!

      Like it or not, George is running for mayor of Toronto, not for president of Israel! He’d be nuts not to accept a nod from any significant group of voters (i.e. the Colour of Poverty), even if the CAF is one of its members and even if they did say some anti-Jewish things.

      Josh needs to be reminded about ‘pots calling kettles black’ and – more importantly – that Toronto genuinely strives to be a democratic, tolerant and accepting home to all its residents. Perhaps Josh should focus a little more attention on being a good Canadian & Torontonian!

  2. “QAIA has every right to express its political opinion as well.” They certainly do Sarah, just not on my dime.

    • Hey guess what Blazingcatfur (what’s the matter too afraid to use your real name??) – governments spend money on all kinds of things that I don’t agree with, but I recognize the world doesn’t revolve around me. Apparently you don’t.

      • That’s a typically petulant, typically leftist response and absolute nonsense of course.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        LMAO. Seriously? That’s your response? It would perhaps interest you that I am a member of the Conservative party, given your ridiculous retort.

        I do note that you have no counter-argument though. The funding supports the event, not QAIA. Your argument is akin to saying “I don’t think the city should fund Word on the Street because an author I don’t agree with is taking part” or “I don’t think we should spend money fixing up Regent Park because some bad people live there.” Do you see how ridiculous that is?

      • That’s a crock Sarah and a tired one at that. You a member of the conservative party? I’ve seen too many dim witted leftists try that one out and you in particular don’t lie very well at all. Like most leftists you cloak your fascist intent that everyone adhere to your viewpoint alone by assuming an imagined “morally superior” position, in this instance your alleged unselfish regard for how your taxes are spent. That’s a pathetically weak effort Sarah, come back when you can at least lie a little better.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        Been both a Conservative and a Jew all my life, s/he who’s too chicken to use their given name. You can imagine whatever you’d like but it’s only a reflection of your small-mindedness.

        I object to all kinds of things my tax dollars are wasted on – the abuse of animals at the Calgary Stampede, the buying of votes in Quebec, paying by-law officers to measure how tall my neighbour’s grass is or count how many cars are in my driveway, useless, bike lanes, etc. etc. etc. But I have a broad enough mind to accept that no government operates according to my likes or dislikes.

        If only you had the same capacity for rational thought.

      • Nonsense Sarah, that’s exactly what you suggested, in fact you trumpeted the imagined moral superiority your own largesse bestowed upon you, and gosh darn I should just stop disagreeing and embrace your enlightened world view. No thanks.

    • That’s a stupid response Sarah, not unexpected from you however. I’m begining to suspect you don’t even believe yourself. Demanding that everyone subjugate themselves to the whims of government is in no way conservative. As I said you lie poorly.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        Um, can you read? I never demanded everyone subjugate themselves to the government, I made the point that my tax dollars are spent on things I don’t agree with. Your original objection was that you didn’t want your tax dollars to be spent on something you don’t agree with (I have to assume that means you don’t agree with the gay pride parade, as it is what gets government funding, not QAIA). My point is that there’s always something to object to that government funds are spent on – but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be spent.

        Got it yet?

  3. The only hypocrites and pathetic people here are self-hating jews like yourself & the QAIA.

    • LMAO – calling people who see the bigger picture “self-hating Jews” is always the last gasp of an idiot with nothing constructive to say…. Newsflash – I’m a very proud Jew. I just don’t hide behind accusing people of anti-semitism if they’re critical of Israel when it is deserved.

  4. I’m not Jewish, or gay – just a common or garden democrat. Neither you nor the interviewer at Xtra appear to have understood Smitherman’s point of view with regard to QAIA (although I suspect you both have other – albeit different – agenda).

    What he actually says is that the issue is not about QAIA, but about whether the Pride organization – which has previously been political only with regard to issues that are germane to the gay community (such as HIV/AIDS funding) – now wants to admit activists from the broader political spectrum, on issues that do not relate specifically to the gay community.

    He goes on to say that this is a significant issue in terms of the future ‘mandate’ of the Pride organization and one that the community has yet to resolve.

    This is in fact a well reasoned response to a question that was, I suspect, designed to trip him up within the gay community. It is the response of someone who thinks a little deeper about the issues than the knee jerk, populist, bumper sticker politics practiced by Rob Ford.

    Smitherman does not at any point, or in any way suggest that he has any affinity for the QAIA, he merely acknowledges, in response to a direct question from the interviewer, that he respects two individuals who are involved with the organization.

    In our enlightened times I should have thought it permissible to acknowledge someone’s personal attributes while disagreeing with their politics.

    It appears you have a prominent platform within the Jewish community. Given that, perhaps you should stick a little closer to the facts.

  5. The whole notion of QAIA is odious. It diminishes greatly what South African Blacks had to endure. Apartheid? In a country where Arabs have seats in parliament. Where are the queers protesting stonings in Iran where being gay is against the law? I guess that’s not nearly as sexy as the time honoured tradition of Jew-bating.

    • Pity Sarah hasn’t read your comment Mark. Buy it’s doubtful she’s capable of recognizing her own hypocrisy.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        Oh I’ve read it, s/he who is too afraid to use their given name. It’s based on ignorance of what QAIA is about, what its mission is and what “apartheid” actually means.

        Perhaps you too should do some research before getting your knickers in a knot over something you so obviously do not understand.

        I don’t think you give a shit about this issue – I think you’d use any excuse to rip Smitherman apart, regardless of whether or not it’s rational/true.

    • Mark, educate yourself re: QAIA. Their FAQ page will clarify many of your questions:

      You may also want to read their explanation of the use of the term “apartheid”:

      And get to know more about their mission here:

      If you do that research you’ll discover that QAIA’s focus is on Palestinians. There are other groups who focus on other issues, like treatment of gays in Iran.

      And none of what they have to say is anti-semitic.

  6. Sarah … I’ve known equivocators like you all my life … left wing Stalin lovers who would have turned in their own family members to save the party. You make me ill. There’s a name for people like you … Kapo.

    • What an offensive piece of shit you are Mark. I’ll have you know that my grandparents were MURDERED at Auschwitz, and the only reason I am here is because my mother was smuggled out of the country disguised as the baby of a British couple who were friends with my grandparents.

      So stuff it up your ass you ignorant fool.

      • I admire your patience, intelligence and perspective Sarah! Unfortunately it is blatantly obvious that you are casting pearls to swine! You’re responding to people who prefer name-calling and evidently don’t have the brains or desire to consider a more thoughtful point of view. Your closing line is not your best work … but I expect it’s the only one these people can actually understand!

        All the best to you. B

  7. Thanks for proving my point Sarah.

  8. And by the way Sarah … my sister in law’s family was chased out of Egypt … just one of four million stories of Jews who knew all too well the sting of apartheid in the Middle East … people you couldn’t care less about … as long as you can march and show the world how liberal you are.

    • My husband is a Palestinian, Mark, so I think I know something about apartheid in the Middle East. Jews don’t have a lock on mistreatment you know.

  9. Voltaire's ghost

    Being anti-Israel and calling it apartheid is one of the litmus tests of being a “progressive.” You can’t be a proper modern socialist without harbouring a fanatical hatred for Israel. If you’re a Jew, you get bonus points for showing how you value your anti-colonialist, anti-USA, and anti-capitalist cards more than the right of Jews to have a homeland, or of the right of people bombarded by anti-democratic enemies bent on their destruction to defend themsleves.

    If your Jewish and gay, you get double bonus points for not only showing you value your dimwitted ideology over Israel, but also over your sexuality, since Israel respects gay rights, but the people you’re siding with would kill you for practicing your sexual preference.

    Israel has universal enfranchisement and does not practice racial segregation. It is not an apparhid state. Thomas Friedman, no great fan of Israel, wrote, “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.”

    This is the form of anti-Semitism praciced by the vile bigots of “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.” They also hate Ford since some of the main members of that bigoted anti-Israel group are regular beneficiaries of the cliquish arts grants that will be scrutinized under a new administration.

    Smitherman is absolutely NOT anti-Semitic, but he’s a self-interested, opportunistic politician who can’t be trusted to reveal the truth if he thinks it will cost him votes.

    Pantalone and Ford, whether you agree with them or not, at least both merit respect in that they will tell you what they honestly believe. Smitherman will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. He learned that at McGuinty Academy.

  10. Sarah is a deceitful hypocrite of the worst order Mark.

    • Actually, Voltaire’s Ghost (yet another poster too chicken to use their given name), Israel does practice segregation, both in the form of the wall (which doesn’t follow the accepted borders) and in its refusal to allow Palestinians the right to return to their homeland.

      As for your claim that Israel respects gay rights, regardless of its promotional campaign trying to convince the world that’s true, Israel remains an exceptionally homophobic country. It also does not extend the limited gay rights that Israelis have to the occupied territories, which it controls, or do anything to support their struggle. That’s the height of hypocrisy if you’re supposedly pro-gay.

      And if you want to quote people re: apartheid, how’s this one:
      “If I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe events in South Africa.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    • How am I a hypocrite, s/he who’s too afraid to use their given name? For supporting the rights of Palestinians while being Jewish?

      • It’s your alleged concern for Palestinians while doing nothing for the plight of Gays throughout the Middle East where they are routinely murdered. It’s for your repulsive effort at moral equivalence in claiming that Israel is “almost as bad OMG!”

        That makes you a hypocrite. See? Easy as 123.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        Bullshit s/he who is too chicken to espouse ridiculous, ignorant viewpoints under his/her own name. I have a personal connection to Palestinians – and to gay Palestinians: my brother-in-law is one.

        That does not, however, negate my interest in supporting gay rights throughout the world. I’ve been actively supportive of the gay community since my cousin pulled me aside when I was 17 yrs old and told me she was gay. Five years later she was beaten within an inch of her life for being “different” and the year after that I joined my entire family and walked with PFLAG in Toronto’s gay pride parade.

        So again, how am I a hypocrite? Because I stand up for my beliefs?

      • It’s because you have no beliefs or principles that I can see Sarah, only a malformed ideology.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        I have very strong beliefs and principles, s/he who is too chickenshit to use their given name, and I live by them every day.

        I believe strongly in the right to free speech (apparently something you don’t).

        I believe strongly in the right to criticize Israel if it is deserving of criticism (apparently something you don’t).

        I believe strongly in not punishing a massive event because you disagree with a single element that is participating (something you obviously don’t understand).

        And I believe strongly in the rights of Palestinians, which are being oppressed by Israel (which apparently you are willfully blind to).

        What do you believe in? Your right to insult people without facts or provocation? Your right to make an ass of yourself? Your right to assume all sorts of nonsense about others, absent of proof? Your right to silence voices you disagree with?

      • That’s an impressive load of horseshit Sarah.

  11. You people are cartoons.

  12. Nicely played Voltaire.

  13. Perhaps the only salient point of the night was in Sarah’s original comment, trust me (I’m a WASP), Rob Ford ain’t a friend to any of youz guys.

  14. Thank you all knowing one Simon.

  15. You’re welcome blazingthingy

  16. Voltaire's ghost

    And as a WASP, you have special insight into Ford’s real motives that escape everyone else, including other WASP’s, because you read the secret hand signs? Or maybe you’re so convinced of your own superior insight that no one and nothing that contradicts you, like, you know, facts and stuff, could possibly be right. Time to get your prescription renewed, dude.

  17. I’m French and Irish, guess that makes me ok with Ford then. I’ll put in a good word for the rest of you.

  18. Simon you’re not Stephen Marche are you?

  19. “Being anti-Israel and calling it apartheid is one of the litmus tests of being a “progressive.” You can’t be a proper modern socialist without harbouring a fanatical hatred for Israel.”

    When you can tear yourself away from the sophomore’s dictionary of cliché perhaps we could discuss facts, dude.

  20. Simon is right Voltaire they aren’t “progressives” pseudo-leftists certainly, but not “progressive”

  21. Voltaire's ghost

    Let’s have people like Libby Davies, who has virtually no command of the facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict who has taken the most agressive anti-Israel position in parliament, Judy Rebick, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers who send delegations to express solidarity with Cuba and whose president, when asked about Hamas’ charter calling for the destruction of Israel, replied to the press “That’s what you say.” Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Syd Ryan, John Greyson, Linda McQuaig, I could go on, but you get the idea, the Canadian who’s who of half-witted polemical socialists in this country share your point of view. And they, like you seem to think that they have a special ability to see in to the minds of others without factual substantiation.

    Is that too much of a cliche for you, Simon/ Do you actually know what the word “cliche” means? Or does it have an extra, special meaning that only you and not the dictionary posseses, because after all, you know what lurks in the dark caverns of everyone else’s thoughts.

    • Sorry for the delay – had to go for a smoke.

      For someone who has taken up the mantle of Voltaire (satirist, ridiculer of religion and not a bad thinker) your logic is a bit haphazard to say the least. What on earth CUPW sending delegations to Cuba has to with any of this is beyond me. And yes it is clichéd, hackneyed, trite, what you will, to attribute the actions of a few individuals to an entire ideology.

      Perhaps Voltaire’s Cat would be a more apt moniker.

      • Voltaire's Ghost

        Let me help you out, Simon, since comprehension of separate facts and assembling them for conclusions doesn’t appear to be your strong point.

        CUPW sends delegaions in support of communist Cuba. CUPW is calling for the boycott of Israel.

        These two facts tie into the other convergences of Canadian “progressive” socialist movements having an anti-Israel bias as part of their core.

        But perhaps I’ve misunderstood you. Are you saying that is not the case? I would be happy to be proved wrong about that. By all means, tell me about a Canadian “progressive” /Socialist group that doesn’t take an anti-Israel stance. And as evidenced by you and our friend Sarah, who is claiming to be a conservative but sounds like she’s dissembling with that claim, a lot of our “progressive” friends seem to be consumed with ideology as a substitute for factual information.

  22. Sarah are you actively, publicly involved with QuAIA?

    • No I am not, but I support their right to march in the Pride Parade, especially given the parade’s history of political activism. It was started as a political statement, so ignoring that history because some Jews – not all Jews – object is absurd at best.

      • I was wondering, for someone with such strong views you have zero web presence and such an interesting background. Grandparents perished in the holocaust, a palestinian husband, a gay palestinian brother in law, a niece nearly beaten to death for being gay. That’s quite remarkable for someone who isn’t active.

      • Sarah Goldberg

        I do things – I just don’t write about it very often on the internet. And I’d be surprised as hell if my family’s history was posted anywhere, outside of a few notes I’ve written on my Facebook page. My husband barely uses email and neither he nor his brother speak much publicly about what they’ve endured.

      • Then it’s all the more remarkable that you found your way to this blog, this evening replete with a set of shopworn QuAIA talking points.

  23. Voltaire's ghost

    Pride can shoose to allow or disallow anyone it likes, but here’s a tip. We live in a democracy. We can express our views to our elected representatives. They choose how public funds get spent. If our democratically elected leaders decide that they don’t want to provide public funds to Pride if the anti-Israel group wants to participate then that’s their perrogative. If people don’t like that, then can elect other representatives.

    The issue is NOT whether Pride has the right to let “QuAIA” march but whether the city should fund Pride if they do. I’m content to let our democratic process establish that.

    • The issue is whether witholding funds from a massive event that contributes greatly to Toronto’s economy simply because a single group thinks it has a right to silence dissenting voices is a reasoned approach.

      It’s not.

      And to repeat, QAIA is NOT an anti-Israel group.

      • It’s an event that loses significant amounts of money and whose contributions to the local economy are as suspect as the laughably inflated attendance figures they claim every year.

        A secondary issue of only minor note is that Sarah Goldberg does not exist other than as an avatar to disseminate QuAIA propaganda.

      • Voltaire's Ghost

        “QAIA is NOT an anti-Israel group”?

        Oh, that’s right. They’re the pro-Israel group that wants to boycott and sanction Israel. My mistake.

        And the wall/security fence is a border, whether or not you recognize it. If it’s “apartheid’ then it’s doing a remarkably bad job, since 20% of the population of Israel is comprised of Israeli Arabs with full voting rights who are on the Israeli side of the barrier. And not allowing the great-grandchildren of people displaced in Israel’s War of Independence (that would be “the Catastrophe” in your terminology) who have lived outside Israel all their lives isn’t quite apartheid either. There were equal numbers of Jews who were forced out of Arab countries at the same time who also have no “right of return.”

        You might want to invest in a dictionary, Sarah and actually look up “apartheid”.

        Just kidding. I know you, like most of the hypocrites throwing around the “apartheid” label at Israel know it isn’t really an aparthied country, but you try throwing the term around to be inflammatory and get “activists” worked up. I doubt you’re stupid enough to actually believe what you’re writing. On the other hand..

  24. So let me get this right Sara. You married an Arab. And all you want is the Jews to get out of so-called palestine.

  25. Sarah isn`t there some kind of philosophical saying about “H/She protests to much? As a retired truck driver that you more than likely consider inferior to yourself all I can say is what I say to my peers when it is true. YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT. You can only operate on that if you can`t baffle them with your brilliance deceive them with your bull shit so long and I think you have reached the end of your string.

  26. Sarah, why do you refer to BCF (I’m very very lazy and it’s too many letters) with a repetitive and overly complicated reference to his user name not being his real name but only make on reference in regards to VG?

    P.S – I used my real initials. As I said, I’m very lazy.

  27. The progressive/regressive left are losing control and their hysteria abounds, Israel is the only democratic nation in the ME that fact is lost on the anti-semites gay or otherwise. You never see the progressive loopy left protest or hold rallies decrying the genocide victims of Darfur by the Arab Janjawaeed but if Israel kills on Palestinian in self defense the left screech and screem and foam at the mouth. Typical progressives, their priorities are forked up and they embrace Islamic Surpemacists’ dogma whilst demonizing Israel. Funny those arseholes can’t find their collective voices to condemn Hamas who routinely rounds up their Muslim enemies and tortures and kills them for sport.

    Anti-semites hiding behind their gayness.

  28. Voltaire’s Ghost: Oh I see, CUPW’s Cuban vacation was merely your way of establishing their ‘socialist’ bona fides.

    Correct me if I’m wrong (and I know you will) but wasn’t Israel founded in large part by Socialist Zionists? Haganah and Palmach, the military component of the defence forces during the war of independence were ideologically socialist were they not?

    I fail to see the logic in the idea that to be an idealogical socialist necessarily means one is either anti-semitic or anti the state of Israel. It’s more than a little naive to expect someone of a socialist bent to be a fan of the economic, social or foreign policies of governments run by hard right wingers such as Sharon or Netanyahu. That’s called politics mate, not racism or anti semitism.

    There are a substantial number of socialists actually living in the state of Israel who are loyal Israeli citizens, but who share much of the world’s antipathy towards the politics of the extreme right in Israel.

    • Voltaire's Ghost

      For the correction you asked for, Simon, while you are 100% right that Israel was, in large part founded by Zionist socialists. They made up and in some cases still do, the bulk of the kibbutz movement. And the labour movement was involved with the Zionist movement back then.

      But what we’re talking about is here, in Canada (and to a large measure in the US). Opposing the politics of Netenyahu does not make someone racist or anti-Semitic. Opposing the politics of Stephan Harper doesn’t make someone anti-Canadian.

      The difference being that the “Israel Apartheid” folk aren’t expressing themselves as anti-Netenyahu, but anti-Israel. The Liberal Party is completely anti-Harper but hasn’t called for international sanctions against Canada.

      The self-described “progressives” in Canada aren’t expressing themselves as opposed to Lukid policy but are attempting to deligitimize the entire country of Israel by framing the conflicty in false terms. Listen, if you actually read what they write and hear what they say, they hate the existence of Israel. They think it’s a “neo-colonial, capitalist, imperialist outpost.” So is North America, but therein lies some of the hypocrisy of western “progressives” and is suggestive of a particular bais based on the ethnic characteristics of Israel. How many western countries, if they were attacked, would get the same sort of vicious criticism that Israel has for defending itself? The US blasted the government of Afghanistan out of Kabul and overthrew the government of Iraq in the last 10 years for provocations that were less than Israel has endured from the Palestinians.

      • “We call on the Israeli government to:
        end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall;

        recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

        respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

        This is from the “Our demands” section of QAIA web site. By virtue of the fact that they “call on the government of Israel…” they by definition recognize Israel as a sovereign state.

        They do not call for the delegitimization of the state of Israel. It is an entirely different question as to whether fulfillment of their demands is either unreasonable or contrary to international law or existing treaties or UN thingies.

        My original comment was merely to point out that I believe the facts were misstated as they related to the Smitherman interview. Equally you misstate the facts when you say that QAIA calls for the “delegitimization of the state of Israel”.

        Ahmajinidad calls for the delegitimization/destruction of the state, Hamas does but QAIA don’t. Conflating all negative positions with regard to Israeli government policy/actions with the most extreme positions is not merely inaccurate but diverts attention from the more serious issues.

        One way or another I highly doubt whether Queers against anything will have a whole lot of effect on the international political scene. Which, by the way was essentially Smitherman’s point, that “queer politics” should be about “queer issues”.

        They might as well be Cunniliguists Against Israeli Apartheid.

  29. I didn’t realize Goldberg was a Palestinian name. That must be your maiden name. What is your married name?

  30. You’re a smart one Simon. That’s correct – my name is androgenous. But why label people based on their gender? That’s gender apartheid.

    • I merely asked for the same information as you asked Ms. Goldman. And no sadly not smart, just interested in understanding issues rather than venting spleen and hurling insults.

  31. BCF

    “Goldberg is a old palestinian name, Sarah ancestors came over on the Mayflower Mavi Marmara.”



    Good one! It seems to me that this little chickie is vewwy, VEWWY angry and she’s got ALL the progs’ venomous talking points down pat including the self-victimization in her and hubster’s pathetic life. Marrying a Fake-astinian was the icing on her pity cake for me.

    Critical thinking has been lost on this little self-hating cupcake I think.

    Sad that.

  32. Simon – if you’re interested in learning about issues, you’ll have to recalibrate your understanding of what constitutes hard right-wingers. Perhaps you’re really an innocent and don’t consider that charge against Netanyahu as venting spleen and hurling insults.

    Understand what a hard right-winger is. That is someone who seeks to impose their religious views on you, thinks homosexuals should be thrown off of tall buildings, and would attempt to behead you if you insulted their religion.

    I find it very strange that the morally superior left makes common cause with those people who would slaughter them en masse. So, yes Simon, I would agree that you are “sadly, not so smart”. Every hear the term useful idiot?

    • Getting Christian Phalangists to do your dirty work in Sabra and Shatila is plenty enough to warrant the label right wing (well actually war criminal is a better label) for Sharon.

      Likud is acknowledged to be the main right wing party in Israeli politics (ex of the myriad wingnut religious extremists). Sharon and Netanyahu are right wing. Netanyahu’s famous three ‘nos’ with regard to any negotiations with the Palestinians mark him an intransigent from the right wing. His attitude to the settlements mark him as a right winger.

      You have an egregious understanding of what constitutes left and right politics. A position on homosexuality has nothing to do with it. You are getting confused with religious extremists. Not the same thing at all.

      Chuck all the little insults you like but don’t presume lecture me.

  33. Simon, please.

    You’ve spent your professional career sifting through bullshit, finding nuggets of truth that corporations can spend millions of advertising dollars on.

    And here, you’re being duped by Sarah’s “I’m a Conservative, no, really” b.s?

    Beyond that is the historical ignorance of her beliefs, not to mention her natural bias. A very confused person to say the least.

    Come on man. You’re on the wrong side of the tracks on this one.

    Much more egregious is Smitherman’s basking in the light of Justin Trudeau’s endorsement. Out-of-touch, elitist ‘prog’ Liberal at his finest.

  34. Pete: nice to hear from you. You’ve spent a lifetime developing original creative work and yet somehow manage to fall into cliched political name calling. If you read my comments from the beginning you will see that I made no reference to Sarah’s post at all. I merely commented on what I believe to be Josh’s misinterpretation of what Smitherman said in his interview with Xtra.

    My only reference to Sarah’s comments was that I agreed with her assessment that Ford was likely not a good candidate for any minority interests in the city. So I’m not sure in what way I’ve been ‘duped’ by anyone. I’ve held that view ever since Ford first made an arse of himself in council.

    I have no feeling one way or the other on Justin Trudeau’s endorsement. He’s a liberal supporting a fellow liberal, in a tight race. So what’s the big deal?

    And I’ve never understood the problem with elitists (if by which you mean well educated, articulate, thoughtful, even wealthy) being in government. They tend to have a rather better handle on the issues than the plebs in my experience.

  35. One question Sara, do you know Andy?

  36. Simon, good to hear from you as well, my friend.

    The only political name-calling was in reference to Smitherman. And I stand by it.

    Elitist prog, to me at least, means a pompous, self-interested, political class of whores who look down condescendingly on the electorate. Which the lefty Liberals in Canada have a long-standing patent on.

    “The natural governing party” comes to mind. So does the “Pizza and beer” comment directed at westerners by Martin’s mouth piece, Scott Reid.

    I agree with you that Ford may not be good for minority interests. But it’s about time the actual tax payer was delivered some value. Rather than the massively growing forced contributions being divided up between mostly none tax paying special interest groups.

    Not to mention, union settlements, politicians salaries and lavish expenses.


  37. As I suspected Sarah Goldberg is a fraud, this is the e-mail “it” posted from:

    What a despicable hypocrite.

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