Politics is supposed to be “the art of the possible,” the means by which a citizenry debates and discusses the best way to govern itself. This art presupposes a free society where knowledge is respected, debate is rational, dissent is encouraged, and truth is the property of no single interest group. Only in a closed society, like a police state or theocracy, do the opposite conditions prevail.
Much of the reaction on Facebook to my column “Will Canada’s social-democratic party be able to prevent a leadership coup?” reinforces my conviction that Canada now belongs in the latter category. As usual, my detractors resort to insults and misrepresentations to try to discredit me, but they fail to address the substance of my argument. Their inability to find any errors of fact in my writing is a kind of compliment, I suppose, but character assassination, however inept, is still odious and needs to be called out.
It is therefore my dubious honour to introduce to you Michael Laxer, whose inept attack on me typifies our police-state mentality and the bankruptcy of political discourse. Laxer, a self-proclaimed leftist, posted his diatribe on the Facebook page of Sid Ryan, the courageous leader of CUPE Ontario, who in 2006 endorsed the anti-Israel boycott.
In the event that any NDPer found Laxer to be the least bit convincing, or still doubts that Thomas Mulcair represents a threat not only to the NDP but also to Canada allow me to respond. Laxer’s citations from my article and his comments are in italics.
1. “The NDP, therefore, is the only apparently ‘Canadian’ governing choice that voters have, but even this modest fig leaf will be blown away if the blatant Israel-firster Thomas Mulcair becomes party leader.”
They put an emphasis on Canadian??? So as a supporter of Israel (which I am often not) he is now not Canadian? In what sense? Are those who are sympathetic to, say, Vietnam, not Canadian [sic]?
First, Laxer’s claim that he is often not a supporter of Israel is hard to take at face value given that his language throughout reflects the same non-cognitive hysteria one would expect from the most dedicated hasbarat.
Second, Laxer quotes me out of context. The “therefore” in the first line refers to the previous paragraph where I contrast the NDP leadership with those of the other two major parties: “As it stands, the NDP is the only major national party not led by an avowed zionist. Stephen Harper leads a cabal of governing ‘Likudniks,’ who value subservience to Israel above all else, and the interim leader of the ‘Labour-Zionist’ Liberals, Bob Rae, is on the board of the Jewish National Fund, an organization so criminal that it has been condemned in Israel as racist.”
My comment had nothing to do with Mulcair, as Laxer implies.
Third, Laxer engages in misdirection and dissembling. The equation of sympathy for another country is not relevant to the issue of Mulcair’s self-confessed uncritical support for Israel. It is Mulcair’s dual loyalty that I condemned, not innocuous “sympathy.”
2. “How this walking advertisement for sedition found a home in a left-of-centre, social-democratic party is bizarre. The NDP, after all, still cleaves to the quaint notions that the federal government should defend the Constitution, uphold the rule of law, oppose military aggression, stand up for victims of human rights abuses, and generally serve the public good. Such high-minded ethical standards clearly distinguish it from both ‘Likud’ and ‘Labour,’ which are financially and politically indentured to the Israel Lobby.”
So now he is a seditious traitor? Really? And a dupe of the “Israel Lobby”?
Yes and no—“yes” Mulcair is seditious; “no,” he is not a dupe. I never said that. Mulcair gives every indication of being a willing agent of the Israel Lobby, which is why his dual loyalty should disqualify him from running for the leadership. Putting words into my mouth is another zionist tactic that Laxer commits time and again. I guess he couldn’t find any errors in my essay so he had to inject his own. Note, also, that Laxer does not comment on my careful distinction between the NDP and the two Zionist parties.
3. “Outremont has a substantial Jewish population, more than 20%; in the larger Labour riding of Mount Royal just to the south, represented by Israel-firster extraordinaire Irwin Cotler, it is 36%. If the NDP expects to make inroads into Quebec it is logical for it to compete for the Jewish vote, but how far is the NDP prepared to go to mortgage its principles for electoral advantage?”
This is race baiting…plain and simple.
Hardly. I present simple statistics about Montreal’s voter demographics, but Laxer ignores them so that he can accuse me of endorsing something that doesn’t exist. Jews do not constitute a “race.” Israeli professor Shlomo Sand has even shown that the very idea of a “Jewish people” is a manufactured illusion. Laxer is doubtless unaware that the idea of a Jewish “race” was invented in 1873 by Wilhelm Marr, an anti-Jewish German journalist. To denigrate the Jews as a people, Marr had to re-invent them as an ethnic, not a religious, group; hence, he coined the term Semitismus, based on the linguistic term “semitic.” By this linguistic corruption, Marr was able to attack not only Jews but the larger concept of Jewishness.
What Laxer wrote is stupidity, plain and simple.
4. “1) Can Mulcair be trusted to put loyalty to Canada and the NDP ahead of his loyalty to Israel?”
This is a disgusting comment. Beneath contempt. Does anyone really want to pursue its implications and undertones?
Actually, it’s a simple question based on Mulcair’s own words and actions, and it’s implications and undertones must be pursued. The whole point of my original essay was to call NDP members’ attention to Mulcair’s dual loyalty and the threat that he would pose to Canada if elected leader. I’m beginning to think Laxer might also have a dual loyalty to Israel. It would explain his febrile, non-cognitive ranting.
5. “If you answered 1) no; 2) yes; and 3) yes, then you can proudly claim to be a member in good standing of a national, Canadian political party.”
This appeal to nationalism makes me sick. What the fuck are you talking about? Opposing Israel makes you a good “Canadian” and a member in good standing of a “national” party? WTF? A “Canadian” party is what…a party with no Jews? And if you do not agree you are…what exactly? This is anti-semitic nonsense.
Laxer commits a standard zionist deceit: presenting a true statement in a negative light to make it appear false or morally unacceptable. Yes, opposing Israel is what good Canadians have to do. Canada is (theoretically at least) a democracy based on the rule of law; Israel is built on a contempt for humanity and for everything Canada is supposed to stand for. My belief that a Canadian national party should place Canadian law over Israel’s self-interest somehow offends Laxer. I wonder why.
Second, I never said a Canadian party should have no Jews. This is sheer fabrication. Third, invoking the canard of “anti-semitism” (see above) amounts to an admission of defeat.
6. And BTW, the photo comparison in the article is vile and worthy of Julius Striecher [sic] in trying to create a “look”. Really? In this day-and age? To put up a photo whose sole intent seems to be to say he looks like a Jew? Disgusting!
The photo comparison he refers to is here. Let me be clear: whenever I see a picture of Mulcair I instantly think of Avigdor Lieberman, and the equation is entirely valid. After all, Mulcair supports anything Israel does, so he supports Lieberman’s well-known criminality. By the way, I did not “create a look” and certainly did not imply that he “looks like a Jew.”
7. And then the author…
Here you get his anti-semitism in pure form…including putting ‘orthodox’ beards on the faces of politicians to show what ‘Jews’ they really are and his ‘book’ about how Jews are ‘Parasites’ within the ‘host’ of America. As leftists, we should know better!
Based on this passage I could sue Laxer for libel since it is entirely erroneous and malicious, Where he got the idea I put orthodox beards on politicians to turn them into Jews is anyone’s guess. I have never done so and have no idea what he’s talking about. My book does not claim that Jews are parasites preying on the American host. The parasite is the Israel Lobby, which includes Christians as well as Jews, as my cover demonstrates.
By having nothing relevant or rational to say by way of criticism, Michael Laxer ends up reinforcing my depiction of Thomas Mulcair as an Israel apologist whose dual loyalty would bring shame upon the NDP and pose a threat to this country.
If the NDP opposes Stephen Harper’s disgusting servility to Israel, it makes no sense for the NDP to elect its own servant of Israel, regardless of how well some might think he would do against Harper. Canadians need at least one Canadian party to vote for. As I asked last time: “How far is the NDP prepared to go to mortgage its principles for electoral advantage?”
If you are an NDP member planning to vote at the convention, how do you answer for yourself?