Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Oh Sure, Blame the Recession

B'nai Brith Canada claims the recession is behind what it claims is a marked increase in anti-Semitism in this country.

"Any time there's bad economic times, the Jews get blamed for it," said Marvin Kurz, national legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, which released yesterday an audit of reports of anti-Semitic incidents made to the group.

"The ancient tie between Jews and money that predates Shakespeare and Shylock continues to be stuck in some aspect of our collective memories."

In the audit released, B'nai Brith stated that anti-Semitic incidents in Canada jumped by 8.9 per cent last year to 1,135, a high for the 27 years the group has recorded the reports. Almost half, 547, were in the last four months of the year as the economy worsened.

Define "incident." With the new, improved and vastly expanded definition of "anti-Semitic" that includes legitimate criticism of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. Having blamed the increase of anti-Semitism on the recession, Mr. Kurtz seemed to trip and stumble when he then blamed it on anger toward Israel:

"Whenever something happens in Israel, anti-Semitism in Canada and around the world increases," added Kurz.

Middle East tensions – often a trigger for anti-Semitic behaviour in past years – were largely absent throughout the fall, the audit states. However, once fighting broke out in Gaza in December, there was another spike in incidents.

Across Canada, there were 151 incidents in December, 70 of which coincided with fighting in Gaza and 36 of which occurred in the closing days of the year, as tensions in the war-torn area heightened.

...In the audit, B'nai Brith calls for tougher restrictions on racist groups and their symbols, and suggests that racist motivations be given greater prominence during the investigation of a crime, rather than just at sentencing.


Anonymous said...

Why do Jews think they are above any kind of objective criticism? They ought to be thankful to countries like Canada who helped them realize their country. It seems they are not able to see beyond the word anti-semitic. Do they think they are the "superior" race without making bad decisions? A. Morrs

The Mound of Sound said...

Blaming Jews for the machinations of the pro-Israel lobby isn't fair. There are a lot of Jews steadfastly opposed to what's going on, just as there were so many Americans who opposed Bush/Cheney.

Some of the most informed, effective critiques of Israel's oppression of the Palestinians comes from Israeli human rights groups. They present an abundance of precise information and clear, well-reasoned arguments.