Things started at a July 18 demonstration in Montreal, when a small group of young Lebanese showed up with a sign that read “Peace for Lebanon and Israel” . They were shouted at and shoved around and driven off. Their sign was torn up. The event then proceeded, with people carrying placards that bore the flag of the fascist organization Hezbollah and pictures of Hezbollah's rabidly anti-Semitic leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
Before the month was out, you could fairly mark July 2006 as one of the most squalid months in the history of the “left” in Canada.
On July 22, at a Toronto rally sponsored by the Canadian Peace Alliance, there were Hezbollah flags, strapping young men in Hezbollah T-shirts, Nasrallah's fat, stupid face in placard-sized photographs, and pictures of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier and lyncher of homosexuals.
To be clear about the depths of this squalor: Hezbollah glorifies death and war to the point of making pornography out of it, calls Jews the descendants of “apes and pigs” , and happily disseminates such fascist classics as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Nasrallah himself is helpfully unambiguous about his hatred of Jews: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak, and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology, and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say 'the Israeli.'?”
To be clearer: while the Canadian Peace Alliance has been busy with its “Don't Attack Iran” campaign, Ahmadinejad's regime, which is explicit about wanting Israel obliterated, has been busy funding and arming Hezbollah and trying to assemble a nuclear arsenal for itself.
Meanwhile, in Vancouver, on the same day that trade unionists and “peace” activists were marching under Hezbollah banners in Toronto, about 300 people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery for a rally cosponsored by Vancouver's StopWar Coalition. The rally's main speaker was Rafeh Hulays, who has openly declared in a letter to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that Hezbollah's kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers””the event that set off all the bloodletting in Lebanon””was “legal, moral, and necessary” .
Shortly after his July 22 address to the Vancouver peace rally, Hulays was again writing to Haaretz, admitting that he didn't believe in peace anyway. “I no longer do,” he wrote. “There are many monsters that need to be dealt with. Israel happens to be the biggest, ugliest, and most dangerous.”
A week later, the StopWar Coalition held another demonstration on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this one to protest “Canadian complicity in Israeli war crimes” . This time the featured speaker was Hanna Kawas, who openly campaigned against Ottawa's 2003 decision to ban three notorious Palestinian terrorist groups. The StopWar Coalition joined him in that effort.
Odd thing for an antiwar group to do, you might say, since war is the reason these terrorist groups exist.
But this isn't about peace at all””peace is just code for opposing Israel. This is about war.
Actually, two wars.
One is the just struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, for their own state, and for peaceful coexistence with Israel. The other is an Islamist war against modernity, against liberalism, and, as always, against the Jews. In that larger war, the Palestinian cause is a cover, the Palestinian poor are fodder, and there is no shortage of useful idiots to make light work of it all.
Take the famous British demagogue George Galloway, for instance. While Nasrallah's face was being paraded around downtown Toronto on July 22, Galloway, at a similar rally in London, fairly screamed these words: “I am here to glorify the leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.”
Then there are Galloway's friends in the Socialist Workers Party, whose Canadian affiliates provide the key staff positions for the Canadian Peace Alliance, the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, and the War Resisters Support Group. And on it goes.
Still, StopWar is perfectly entitled to argue that pro-war, fascist Jew-killers should be allowed to raise money, propagandize, and otherwise operate freely in Canada. Argue away, you might say to StopWar. Just not in my name.
But that won't quite do if you're a member of the B.C. Teachers' Federation, or the Hospital Employees Union, or the Vancouver Green party, or the New Democratic Party, or the United Church of Canada. If you belong to any one of about 160 organizations that StopWar lists as endorsing members, or if you simply happen to live in Vancouver or Burnaby, then StopWar is speaking in your name.
And don't you dare try to speak for yourself about these things. You will be told you don't know what you're talking about, or that you've “bought into” something called the neoconservative agenda, or, worse still, that you're a Zionist.
So, in July 2006, while Israel was fighting for her very life, and Lebanon and Palestine were being ground to bits, and Iraq was descending deeper into a hell of throat-slitting and suicide bombing, Canada's “antiwar” left had openly opted for war.
And the words on the placards left no doubt about which side it was on: “We Are All Hezbollah” .