Michael Coren: Amnesty International. What went wrong?
Thanks to Vlad Tepes
Peace Studies at McMaster UniversityÂ â€” non-violence, Gandhi peace events, love and peace â€” who could possibly take exception with such positive messages of global tolerance and efforts to make the world a peaceful place to live? Who would dare challenge this facade of eternal goodness and inclusion? Well, allow me to interject to explain why, in our Orwellian world, peace does not mean what it should and how a department has been hijacked by a monomaniacal agenda that concentrates on criticism of one democratic country and treats tyrants and terrorists as if they were angels. This is an agenda copied from what they do in the UN where peace has also been turned on its head to mean the enabling of: war, terrorism, historical revisionism, moral relativism, and support for groups that are anti-Western. This Peace Studies department must be viewed and scrutinized in the context of Israeli activist and sometimes-government-minister Natan Sharansky’sÂ “3D test of Anti-Semitism: Demonization, Double-Standards and Delegitimization.”Â Confronting free and law-abiding countries and ignoring real tyrants as if they do not exist is now acceptable behaviour to certain academics and administrators who hide behind the false banner of “peace” to convey their love of concepts of non-peace, war, hate and envy. The custodians of higher education at universities, if they have anything to say at all, which is rare, hide behind free speech and academic freedom to slough off criticism of the campaigns being waged under their willfully blind leadership.
First, the good news from a Canadian perspective: Our government has come out against the anti-Semitism masking itself as anti-Israelism on our campuses. See:Â “Canada Gets Tough on Anti-Semitsim”. The following are guiding principles â€” excerpts derived from an (almost) all-party committee of a working group connected to our Canadian Parliament: “The Inquiry Panel’s conclusion, unfortunately, is that the scourge of anti-Semitism is a growing threat in Canada, especially on the campuses of our universities.” Also of note in the report: “They [universities] should put an immediate end to hateful and fallacious events like Israeli Apartheid Week; they should state unequivocally that freedom of speech should not be abused to provide a cover for anti-Semitism…”
Now the bad news:
These anti-Semitic events are expanding and more frequently coming under the umbrella and banner of the university; giving cover to radicals, some churches, pro-Palestinian groups and unions. There has been a movement in the past 3 years to prevent the vile presentations by student and interloper groups on campus by instead sanctioning the same kinds of lies in presentations made under official academic venues such as the Center for Peace Studies at McMaster University. The radical groups are all still there under their various names and acronyms with many financial backers (they have lots of funds from goodness knows where) but they hide behind legitimate university departments and politicians to make themselves credible in the eyes of the campus and community. Thus aÂ Richard FalkÂ can be invited as a guest speaker by a committee of 14 university and community members with recommendations made by the Peace Studies Department heavily influencing the committee’s decision on whom to invite. And Peace Studies Department takes every opportunity to invite speakers who present the worst forms of outrageous accusations and propaganda against Israel. Never have they invited anyone to refute the propaganda and yet they have been informed by strong arguments and respectful entreaties many times. It seems to me that the Peace Studies Department has become the Department of Islamic Appeasement and Israel Hate.
Speaking of the Gandhi lecture series, I asked the Chair of theÂ Gandhi Peace FestivalÂ why an event with Gandhi’s name attached to it has adopted such an Islamist perspective this year. Here is what he said: “We do not require of our speakers necessarily to talk about Gandhi or that they believe in nonviolence.”
This raises some very serious concerns, especially with the following people of distinction and importance throwing their support behind this festival in our community: The mayor; McMaster’s Centre for Peace Studies; and McMaster Univeristy’s president.
The speakers, with the blessings of the above dignitaries, included Richard Falk, a known Israel basher who was recently in the news for ananti-Semitic cartoonÂ he published and then reluctantly removed; Atif Kubursi, a professor who often castigates Israel rather than his country of origin, Egypt, known for its brutalization of Christians and its current problems moving from a Mubarak dictatorship to a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold; and Professor Hilal Elvar, speaking on the topic of “Islamophobia” which some have pointed out is a false and meaningless propagandist term designed to create tensions between Muslims and everyone else by blaming non-Muslims for just about everything but never holding Islamists responsible for any of their own problems. These have become global problems including sharia, honour killing, intolerance, terrorism, misogyny, mass murder against other Muslims and global jihad. There were also other speakers outside of the framework of the Gandhi festival this past week, but sharing the same theme, which in its entirety has been misnamed “Peace Week.” including “Jewish” activistÂ Amira HassÂ who has been known to present an entirely biased, misleading, hateful and angry view of Israel as an occupier.
In case you have not noticed, the universities love bringing in the “Jews” to bash their own and Israel; and, unfortunately, the self-haters are all too numerous and willing to damn their own people while ignoring history, truth and reality. This tactic of inviting “Jews” to rip apart their own replaces the balanced perspective that university officials claim they present. If a Jew says Israel is wrong then I guess that it must be true â€” according to the Peace Studies people. The tolerance for Israel hate is boundless as I found out when confronting a Peace Studies professor who grinned from ear-to-ear as he told me that there was no plan nor bias in his department’s choice of speakers for the Gandhi event or in previous years in venues such as the Bertrand Russell annual speakers series â€” even though not one speaker was chosen to present the Hindu or Judeo-Christian perspective on Gandhi. Even Hindu events have been hi-jacked by the love for Islamism and the sympathy for the terrorism that has grown into a sickness and neuroses infecting some key departments on campuses.
In the new world order, where “Peace Studies” is no longer about peace, I suppose that it is now sadly appropriate for the Gandhi Peace Festival to have speakers who the chairman reminds us, do not have peace on their minds at all.
There is some hope that we can reverse this ship of hate heading for a post-modernist iceberg that is about to sink all of us. Certainly our own Conservative government is on the right side and university officials will no longer be able to tell me, as I was told by the provost (protected by her body guard) that the university will do nothing unless and until the government outlaws Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). Now she has no excuse because the government has given her and others a stern warning: Do something now; it is your responsibility; do not hide behind your lame excuses of free speech and academic freedom to present university-sponsored, one-sided hate events.