The Avalanche – Snapshot 44 – Aug 23, ’19

Sydney Nestel

An email that I received (Thursday, August 22, 2019) from Independent Jewish Voices Canada follows:

Dear friends,

There is a major international effort underway by Israel and its lobbyists to brand criticism of Israel and Palestine solidarity activism as antisemitic.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably in the know about this. But I wanted to make sure you fully understand what is at stake here. And that you know what YOU can do to help.

This month’s big targets have been US congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who–with Trump’s blessing–were banned from going to Israel on account of their criticism of Israel, and more to the point, because of their alleged antisemitism (“they hate Israel and hate Jewish people” says Trump).

We all know who the real antisemites are, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Israel and its lobbies around the world are set on shutting down support for Palestinian human rights, no matter how low they need to go. Their strategy: equating anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel as the “new antisemitism”. Their chosen tool: the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The IHRA definition is sold to public officials as “the gold standard” in defining and fighting antisemitism–when, in fact, it is actually a poorly written document, whose main purpose is to silence supporters of Palestinian human rights. The aim is to have it adopted by as many public institutions as possible, in hopes that this will make challenging Israel on its racist policies beyond the pale of acceptable discourse, and ultimately to shut down our movement.

Unfortunately this tactic has proved effective. Which mainstream politician, after all, does not want to fight–or at least be seen as fighting–antisemitism? Especially now when real incidents of antisemitism (mostly associated with white supremacy and having nothing to do with Israel-Palestine) are on the rise. So when Zionist organizations, like the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) or B’nai Brith Canada, suggest to Canadian politicians that they should help fight antisemitism by adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, most politicians agree–without looking too hard at the details or implications of the IHRA’s text.

This strategy, has been used most successfully in the UK where demonstration have been banned, events shut down, and individuals dismissed–all based on the IHRA’s equating advocacy for Palestinian rights and criticism of Israel with antisemitism. It has also been introduced in the U.S. in proposed laws at both the federal and state levels.

This strategy is now being aggressively promoted here in Canada. Recently the federal government adopted the IHRA definition as part of its “Anti-racism Strategy”. While this does not have the force of law, it will be used to allocate–or deny–federal funds to nonprofits and it will be used to “develop educational materials”.

Even more worrisome is that CIJA and B’nai Brith have set about a campaign to have the IHRA definition adopted by municipalities, police forces and universities. These institutions will be encouraged to deny permits and facilities to any individual or organization that crosses their red-lines. So any organization–like IJV and many of our allies–that calls Israel racist, or points out that it was founded on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, could be denied the right to rent a room in a library, or a permit to use a park. Police would be trained to understand anti-Israel demonstrations as a form of antisemitism/racism and hate speech.

Last month, a motion to adopt the IHRA definition was recently proposed at Vancouver City Council. Thanks to quick and effective mobilization by IJV-Vancouver and our allies, the motion was defeated! The issue has now been referred to committee with the goal of developing recommendations to stamp out all forms of racism. This was a HUGE preliminary victory for us that sent a strong message to the Israel lobby! But Vancouver was just the beginning.

We have reason to believe that a motion to adopt the IHRA definition will soon be introduced at provincial and municipal governments, and at universities throughout the country. And we need your help to make sure they’re defeated, just like in Vancouver.

Rather than wait to hear about motions passing after the fact, I encourage you all to get in touch with your public representatives–municipal councillors, provincial MPPs/MLAs/MNAs, university reps–ASAP to express your concerns and ask them to keep you in the loop on this file. You can find all you need on our #noIHRA campaign website, including helpful resources and a grassroots lobbying toolkit featuring specific instructions for what to ask and say.

Let us know about your plans and how it goes, or if you need help and/or coaching. You can contact us via our #noihra campaign email:

Thanks in advance!

The bolding in the above email is mine.

“Finland “Winning the War on Fake News” By Teaching Children To Believe Mainstream Propaganda” by ? (South Front)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In May 2019, in Helsinki, Finland at the Espoo Adult Education Centre, lecturer Jussi Toivanen, who is the Chief Communications Specialist at Finnish Prime Minister’s Office spoke about misinformation and “Russian propaganda.”

Jussi Toivanen’s course is part of a program of the Finnish government which has been on-going since 2014. Two years before Russia allegedly meddled in the US elections, thus Finland was ahead of the curve on Russian hysteria…

Allegedly, Russian trolling ramped up in 2015, and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto called on every Finnish citizen to take responsibility and fight false information. That, of course, by itself wasn’t enough, so American help was needed.

Toivanen then said something that’s been becoming and more apparent – the targets of propaganda need to taught from very young age to only believe the Western propaganda, any other kind is inherently wrong and evil, but the US-fabricated one can’t possibly be fake news.

related: “US experts gird Finnish officials for information war” by ? (RT News)

Jonathan Cook

“Sur Baher home demolitions illustrate a vicious spiral of oppression in Palestine” by Jonathan Cook (Jonathan Cook)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Recent events have shone a spotlight not only on how Israel is intensifying its abuse of Palestinians under its rule, but the utterly depraved complicity of western governments in its actions.

The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House two-and-a-half years ago has emboldened Israel as never before, leaving it free to unleash new waves of brutality in the occupied territories.

Western states have not only turned a blind eye to these outrages, but are actively assisting in silencing anyone who dares to speak out.

It is rapidly creating a vicious spiral: the more Israel violates international law, the more the West represses criticism, the more Israel luxuriates in its impunity.

This shameless descent was starkly illustrated last week when hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, many of them masked, raided a neighbourhood of Sur Baher, on the edges of Jerusalem. Explosives and bulldozers destroyed dozens of homes, leaving many hundreds of Palestinians without a roof over their heads.

During the operation, extreme force was used against residents, as well as international volunteers there in the forlorn hope that their presence would deter violence. Videos showed the soldiers cheering and celebrating as they razed the neighbourhood…

Rather than end such criminal practices, Israel prefers to conceal them. It has effectively sealed Palestinian areas off to avoid scrutiny.

Omar Shakir, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, is facing imminent deportation, yet more evidence of Israel’s growing crackdown on the human rights community.

A report by the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign last week warned that Israel is systematically denying foreign nationals permits to live and work in the occupied territories, including areas supposedly under PA control.

“The real threat to our democracy is…” by Maude Barlow (The Council of Canadians)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

You have probably heard about the disturbing documents the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently released that reveal that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, and the RCMP shared information about peaceful protestors with corporate oil executives.

The heavily redacted text – where the Council of Canadians was named repeatedly – showed these public agencies not only gathered information about people who attended community meetings and joined rallies to speak out against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, they put the information directly in Enbridge’s hands…

The collusion between CSIS, a publicly funded agency, and Big Oil is deeply disturbing – this agency is spoonfeeding the already-too-powerful fossil fuel industry even more tools to quell our dissent. And what’s even more disturbing? The BCCLA had to fight for five years to get this information released.

Indeed. Maude is right, but the Council of Canadians clings to certain myths and I’d love to hear Maude explain why. The Council of Canadians isn’t at all alone in refusing to acknowledge that ‘our democracy’ doesn’t exist. Her’s isn’t the only org that clings to the myth that there isn’t a global government called Corporatocracy even as all these supposedly leftwing and/or progressive orgs themselves shovel out tons of articles proving it! Another myth that the liberalish Council clings to, according to Yves Engler, is the myth of Lester Pearson the peacekeeper.

Andrew MacLeod

“You Must Be This Conservative To Ride: The Inside Story of Postmedia’s Right Turn” by Sean Craig (Canadaland)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It was not out of the ordinary at Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, for editors to have their knuckles rapped for failing to meet the political expectations of the company’s conservative management.

In 2015, after the federal election that brought Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to power, Andrew Potter, then editor-in-chief of the Ottawa Citizen, was called to the company’s head offices in Toronto.

There, Lou Clancy — then Postmedia’s senior vice president of content — told Potter that his paper was too “anti-conservative,” according to three sources. When Potter asked for specific examples of coverage that could be improved upon, Clancy could only cite a single editorial cartoon…

But October 2018 was different. October 2018 was the start of something unprecedented.

Several editors at the National Post — Postmedia’s flagship newspaper with an explicitly conservative political mandate, where I reported on media from 2016 to 2017 — were summoned to a meeting on the 12th floor of the company’s headquarters.

There, according to three sources familiar with the meeting, company president Andrew MacLeod told them that their paper — which launched in 1998 to serve as the voice of thoughtful, modern Canadian conservatism, and which many would argue remains so — was insufficiently conservative…

“But really!?” one editorial employee remembers thinking when they were briefed on the meeting. “The National Post not conservative enough?!”

Postmedia has declined to comment on most of the details in this story…

What has happened, according to interviews with over 30 current employees and more than a dozen former employees — ranging from reporters to editors to corporate staff — is that Postmedia has given a directive for all of its papers to shift to the political right, in an unprecedented, centralized fashion…

Not one staffer would speak on the record, almost universally due to fear of reprisal from management. “Write that in your story,” said a former senior employee. “That says it all, everyone is afraid to talk.”

This perhaps speaks to confusion I have experienced, and which I think it’s safe to assume others experience, over the labels that individuals and groups apply to themselves and to others. As Noam Chomsky explains, The Republican Party was once a genuine Party – as opposed to a radical insurgency – and Conservatives used to be a lot more reasonable. They still believed in inequality but, at the same time, took some ownership toward the poor. Neoliberal capitalism, in which social safety nets have been shredded, has seen the Right become compassionless and simply maladjusted and inhuman. Now, If there are those who still self-identify as Conservative, who hew to pre-neoliberal Conservative ideas such as genuine compassion for the needy, Why can’t they make it clear that they are not rightwing, as in fascist? Are they faking it? I think in some cases they are. There are clues. They are happy to spread confusion about terms like ‘progressive’ and ‘socialism’. I view those who self-identify as Conservative, but sow such confusion and do nothing to dispel it (where they have some control, which they do, for example, on their own websites where there’s commenting by visitors allowed.) as rightwing, which is not a moral equivalent of leftwing. Rightwing is evil. It’s fascist. Progressives do their part in sowing confusion, letting the Right off the hook by treating it as a moral equivalent of the Left.

Real progressives do not claim that Bernie Sanders is a socialist. He’s not. People, however they self-identify, who call (without qualification) Bernie Sanders a socialist are liars. I watched a recent Project Veritas show, hosted by James O’Keefe, in which he interviewed a brave Google whistleblower, Zach Vorhies (a keeper show, for sure), and was flabbergasted when he referred to Google’s censorship operation as “progressive.” He didn’t qualify his statement. Whatever motivated him to describe something that’s the opposite of progressive as progressive, that is an example of what I call brain rot. It’s dishonest and it’s evil. It’s an attack on goodness. What’s next? Will James condemn some evildoer’s behavior and describe it as “good” at the same time? Dave Cullen, on Bitchute, talks about a confab of fake socialists (Democratic Socialists of America) in one of his shows, making fun of their weirdness (and boy are they weird!). He exclaims Aterall, They are socialists!” They are no more socialists than Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Donald Trump are socialists. Or Christians. Dave doesn’t want to think about, and talk honestly about, that. That’s his call, but that makes him a faker. That’s a subscription I know longer have on my Bitchute channel.

Darkness is its own reward. You may start off clever enough, or clever enough in your own mind, when you go down the cramped and narrow road of no rules or boundaries (which leads to destruction), for personal gain, but you will only end up dumb as a post eventually. You can’t take up the practice of lying, to yourself and to other others – disconnecting from reality – and not end up utterly clueless.

“Media Blackout on Brazil’s Anti-Bolsonaro Protests” by Brian Mier (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of 211 cities on August 13 to protest far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s austerity cuts and privatization plans for the public university system. It was the third in series of national education strikes, dubbed “the Education Tsunamis,” organized by national students unions together with teachers unions affiliated with the Central Ùnica de Trabalhadores (Unified Workers Central/CUT)—the second-largest labor union confederation in the Americas…

In short, it seemed like the perfect feel-good event for newspapers like the Guardian and the New York Times to share with their liberal readers. After all, after the US, Brazil is the most populous, largest in area and wealthiest nation in the Americas. After all, both newspapers have taken editorial positions against Bolsonaro, and regularly criticize his environmental and human rights abuses. After all, both papers have run numerous articles celebrating the spirit of the young protesters in Hong Kong and Venezuela in recent months, complete with inspiring quotes and photographs from the ground.

Unfortunately, this didn’t turn out to be the case. The Guardian, which ran two articles about smaller pro-Bolsonaro protests in May, with photos of protesters shot from below to make them appear heroic, did not even mention it. The New York Times ran a 129-word stub from the AP that low-balled the number of cities where protests took place, and says they were smaller than the Education Tsunami protests in May (factually correct, but contextually misleading, since they were still huge)…

Underreporting of left protests is such an ongoing problem in the Brazilian media that for the last five years, activist/media collectives like Midia Ninja and Jornalistas Livres, which have millions of social media followers, have sent volunteers to all of the major protests around the country to film and photograph crowd sizes. Labor unions now do the same, and everyone shares the information online.

Liberals are usually dogs, but not because liberalism is bad. When Chris Hedges wrote “Death Of The Liberal Class,” it wasn’t because liberalism became evil or changed. The thinking and behavior of many of those who self-identified as ‘liberal’ changed. Chris Hedges doesn’t rail at liberalism. He rails at betrayal (and then betrays God by embracing the darkness of Babylon The Great, which is global false religion, which includes fake, mainstream Christianity.) This kind of reporting adds to the confusion being deliberately sown by agents of chaos.

© Reuters / Kim Kyung-Hoon

“YouTube axes anti-protest channels as US Ministry of Truth battles China over Hong Kong” by ? (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

YouTube has disabled 210 channels for posting content related to the Hong Kong protests “in a coordinated manner,” following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter in restricting its arbitrary censorship to pro-China accounts.

© Reuters / Dado Ruvic; Reuters / Aly Song

“‘Sowing discord’ again? Twitter wades into Hong Kong protests with hunt for ‘Chinese bots’” by ? (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In another high-profile purge, Twitter has announced the deletion of nearly 1,000 accounts from its platform, citing fears that “Chinese bots” are “sowing discord” in Hong Kong after months of heated protests there.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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