Paul Martin   Letter 09   14-May-2004   Please dismantle the CHRC hate-messaging unit
"cloth heads",
"rag heads",
— Robert Fisk

Prime Minister Paul Martin

14 May 2004

The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON    K1A 0A2

Mr Prime Minister:

At issue is whether the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) allocates in the order of a million times the resources to supporting Jewish complaints of hate messaging as it does to supporting Ukrainian or German or Arab complaints of hate messaging.  Four months ago, I requested data from the CHRC which would permit evaluation of this hypothesis, but to no effect as yet.  Public scrutiny of the requested data is important because it would begin to answer the question of whether the agency entrusted with the task of ridding Canada of discrimination and racism is itself the leading practitioner of discrimination and racism not only within your government, but within Canadian society.

The only conceivable justification for allocating almost all CHRC hate-messaging resources to the support of Jewish complaints would be that Jews are the targets of almost all hate messaging.  Such, however, is unlikely to be the case.  In fact knowledgeable observers summarize the situation as being quite opposite:

By now Jews in the US are the most privileged and influential part of the population.  You find occasional instances of anti-Semitism but they are marginal.  There’s plenty of racism, but it’s directed against Blacks, Latinos, Arabs are targets of enormous racism, and those problems are real.  Anti-Semitism is no longer a problem, fortunately.  It’s raised, but it’s raised because privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98% control.  That’s why anti-Semitism is becoming an issue.  Not because of the threat of anti-Semitism; they want to make sure there’s no critical look at the policies the US (and they themselves) support in the Middle East.
Noam CHOMSKY, Anti-Semitism, Zionism, and the Palestinians, FromOccupiedPalestine, 11-Oct-2002  www.fromoccupiedpalestine.org/node.php?id=116&PHPSESSID=9c35e3147896d6707671c9c86a1a6ebb

British Journalist Robert Fisk, in turn, goes so far as to assign blame for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners to the hate propaganda against Arabs and Muslims that saturates Western society:

Weekend Edition
May 1 / 3, 2004

Victims of Our Own High-Flown Morality
The "Good Guys" Who Can Do No Wrong

Why are we surprised at their racism, their brutality, their sheer callousness towards Arabs?  Those American soldiers in Saddam's old prison at Abu Ghraib, those young British squaddies in Basra came — as soldiers often come — from towns and cities where race hatred has a home: Tennessee and Lancashire.

How many of "our" lads are ex-jailbirds themselves?  How many support the British National Party?  Muslims, Arabs, "cloth heads", "rag heads", "terrorists", "evil".  You can see how the semantics break down.

Add to that the poisonous, racial dribble of a hundred Hollywood movies that depict Arabs as dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy and violent people — and soldiers are addicted to movies — and it's not difficult to see how some British scumbag will urinate into the face of a hooded man, how some American sadist will stand a hooded Iraqi on a box with wires tied to his hands.

The sexual sadism — the bobby-sox girl soldier who points at a man's genitals, the mock orgy in Abu Ghraib prison, the British rifle in the prisoner's mouth — might be a crazed attempt to balance all those lies about the Arab world, about the desert warrior's potency, the harem, polygamy.

Even today, we still show the revolting Ashanti on our television stations, a feature film about the kidnapping of the wife of an English doctor by Arab slave-traders, which depicts Arabs as almost exclusively child-molesters, rapists, murderers, liars and thieves.  It stars — heaven spare us — Michael Caine, Omar Sharif and Peter Ustinov and was made partly in Israel.

Indeed, we now depict Arabs in our films as the Nazis once depicted Jews.  But Arabs are fair game.  Potential terrorists to a man — and a woman — they must be softened up, "prepared", humiliated, beaten, tortured.  The Israelis use torture in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.  Now we torture in Saddam's old jail outside Baghdad and — for this is where British soldiers beat a young Iraqi to death last summer — in the former office of Saddam's most murderous chemical warfare fascist, the awful "Chemical" Ali.


We are all victims of our high-flown morality.  "They" — the Arabs, Muslims, "cloth heads", "rag heads", "terrorists" — are of a lesser breed, of lower moral standards.  They are people to be shouted at.  They have to be "liberated" and given "democracy".  But we little band of brothers, we dress ourselves up in the uniforms of righteousness.  We are marines or military police or a Queen's regiment and we are on the side of good.  "They" are on the side of "evil".  So we can do no wrong.
Excerpted from Counterpunch www.counterpunch.org/fisk05022004.html

Awaiting evaluation by CHRC data, then, is the hypothesis that the Canadian Human Rights Commission directs its resources to those who need them least, or one might say to those who have the greatest power to command them.  The degree of CHRC discrimination might be so extreme that the CHRC has never in its history supported a single Arab complaint of hate messaging. 

And that might not be the worst case — the worst case might be that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has never in its history supported a single Ukrainian complaint of hate messaging.  This is worse because however much Arabs have hate propaganda heaped on them, Ukrainians have even more, as can be demonstrated by means of a comparison of what happened in instances of Jews ascribing Palestinian and Ukrainian behavior to genetics.

In the first case, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, Ze'ev Boim inserted into his speculation about the cause of Palestinian behavior the question "Is it some genetic defect?"  Although Boim's rhetorical question elicited a little sympathy, it mainly brought forth a firestorm of outrage, which included calls for him to retract, apologize, and resign, as is described by Yair Ettinger writing for Ha'aretz:


Last update - 01:29 26/02/2004

Ze'ev Boim's 'Arab genetics' slur sparks outrage
By Yair Ettinger

Ze'ev Boim, the deputy defense minister, yesterday created a firestorm of outrage by rhetorically asking: "What is it about Islam as a whole and the Palestinians in particular?  Is it some form of cultural deprivation?  Is it some genetic defect?  There is something that defies explanation in this continued murderousness."

Boim's office issued a statement later in the day saying his comments, made at a memorial service for the victims of the 1978 coastal road massacre, were taken out of context.  But the excuse fell largely on deaf ears as voices rose in the Knesset calling on him to retract and apologize at the very least, while others called for his resignation.

Jamal Zahalka, MK (Balad), responded: "Whoever says Palestinian behavior is caused by a genetic defect has a brain defect himself, as well as the values of a racist fascist ...  Boim gives racism a bad name, and is returning to the same primitive, sickening and dangerous racism from which the Jews themselves suffered for many generations."  Zahalka demanded that the law against racism be enforced on Boim.

Vilan Avshalom, MK (Meretz), also condemned Boim.  "What is this, a Mein Kampf?" he said, demanding that Boim retract the statement.  Vilan noted that Boim was a high school principal before becoming a Likud politician, and said he was worried about the school system if that kind of racism was prevalent in school administrations.

Ophir Pines-Paz, MK (Labor), also called for Boim's resignation if he did not apologize, while Ahmed Tibi, MK (Hadash), said he'd prefer that Boim not resign, "because he's an asset to proving the Palestinian case that the Israeli government is embracing fascists."

However, Yehiel Hazan, MK (Likud), supported Boim.  "What Ze'ev Boim said, it hasn't been researched, but according to my experience this is true.  I think he is correct.  It is well known that Arabs have been slaughtering and murdering Jews for more than a generation.  I think this it is in their blood.  It is something genetic.  I have not researched this, but there is no other way to explain it."  Hazan added, "don't believe an Arab, even one who has been in the grave for 40 years."

Meimad leader MK Rabbi Michael Melchior slammed the statements as racist and contrary to the tenets of Judaism.  He likened them to claims of genetic flaws linked to Jews by the Nazis and others throughout history.

Ronni Bar On, MK (Likud) was one of the few MKs on the right who openly criticized Boim.  "His comments are not worthy of anyone from the movement of Ze'v Jabotinsky, and certainly not of Jews, who in the past were labeled as genetically defective.  As soon as genetics is mentioned, murder and other horrible things become allowed."  Bar On called on Boim to apologize and retract his statement.

Mussawa, the Arab civil rights group, warned that the Boim remarks "opened the floodgates to racism."

In contrast, Morley Safer of 60 Minutes similarly broached the possibility of a genetic origin of Ukrainian behavior in his statement "The church and government of Ukraine have tried to ease people's fears, suggesting that things are not as serious as they might appear; that Ukrainians, despite the allegations, are not genetically anti-Semitic."  To Morley Safer's statement, there was a firestorm of outrage, but only from Ukrainians.  From the Jewish side, the only rebuke to Morley Safer's genetic theorizing came from I. M. Levitas, head of the Jewish Council of Ukraine, and published only in a Ukrainian newspaper, who disapproved, but did not firestorm, did not demand an apology or retraction, and did not demand resignation:

Jews, perhaps more than others, should avoid throwing blanket insults and accusations at other peoples because they themselves — as a people and not as individuals — have been blamed by the Fascists for all sins.  Why do you, then, proclaim all Ukrainians to be genetic anti-Semites?  Why, in addition to talking about the police did you not also talk about the rescuers of Jews, did not show a single one of them?  And in Lviv, there are many of them.  Is it that you couldn't find any, or that you didn't want to look?
Michael Jordan Letter 04 12-Jul-1996 Levitas letter to Za Vilnu Ukrainu www.ukar.org/jordan04.html

Approaching ten years after Morley Safer first offered his personal synopsis of the latest genetic theorizing on Ukrainians, and despite unrelenting complaint from the Ukrainian side, neither he, nor 60 Minutes, nor CBS has budged an inch.  The principle that Jews can use the mass media to say whatever they want about Ukrainians remains unshaken.

It would appear, then, that it is quite permissible to raise the possibility of Ukrainians being genetically anti-Jewish before an audience of 30 million, and somewhat less permissible to raise the possibility of Palestinians being genetically anti-Jewish before the Israeli Knesset.  Somewhat less permissible, but still permissible, because, after all, genetic theorist Biom did receive some support from the Knesset, and never did apologize or retract, and certainly was not forced to resign.  Some might think that the only "firestorm" his words created was closer to a waft of warm air.

Absolutely impermissible, of course, would be any comparable statements against Jews — no Canadian Parliamentarian suggests that Jewish violence in the Middle East is caused by a genetic defect in Jews, and no television broadcaster stands before an audience of 30 million to say that "The synagogue and government of Israel have tried to ease people's fears, suggesting that things are not as serious as they might appear; that Jews, despite the allegations, are not genetically predisposed to usury."

To give a second example, in January 2004, BBC TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk was fired for having been "inaccurate by mixing up what is Arab, Muslim and Iranian" and for having "failed to distinguish between the terrorists who carried out the 11 September attacks and the 200 million ordinary Arabs."  But if TV presenters were fired for the comparable lapses regarding Ukrainians, there would be few presenters left — as for having been, say, "inaccurate by mixing up what is Ukrainian, Catholic and Russian" and for having "failed to distinguish between the perimeter guards of WW II and the 50 million ordinary Ukrainians."

Funding Jewish complaints of hate propaganda a hypothesized one million times as generously as funding Arab complaints of hate propaganda, then, may be an injustice and an indicator of CHRC racism.  The comparable underfunding of Ukrainian complaints may be a greater injustice, and a stronger indicator of CHRC racism.  The overfunding of Jewish complaints is the other side of the same coin.

If inequitable funding were the CHRC's sole defect, it might be corrected by diverting the bulk of CHRC hate-messaging resources to the support of Arab and Ukrainian complaints.  However, the corruption of the CHRC runs deeper than inequitable funding.  Also odious is the CHRC laboring to overthrow the Western tradition of protecting truthful utterance.  Also reprehensible is the CHRC adopting, in Noam Chomsky's words, the "familiar Stalinist-fascist doctrine that the State has the right to determine historical truth and to punish deviation from it."  Also deplorable is the CHRC ignoring the giant conduits of hatred — the press, radio, television, movies — and concerning itself with suppressing low-traffic web sites that not one Canadian in a thousand has heard of.  So totally antagonistic to Western values is the CHRC, in other words, that if the Canadian Jewish Congress and sister organizations made room for others at the CHRC wicket, possibly no other ethnic or national or religious group would step forward to apply.

In other words, an examination of the fiscal evidence awaited from the CHRC may begin to reveal a CHRC corruption so profound as to be curable only by a removal of § 13 from the Canadian Human Rights Act, and by a dismantling of the CHRC hate-messaging unit.

Lubomyr Prytulak