THE FARBER QUESTION
by Mark Steyn
In my piece on the Itamar massacre, I made a passing reference to "the sad, irrelevant fool" who heads the Canadian Jewish Congress, twittering away about irrelevant "ugly anonymity" online but with nothing to say about the decapitation of a three-month old Jewish baby - for the crime of being a three-month old Jewish baby. The Closet Conservative goes further and posts a screen shot of the CJC website from yesterday morning.
I don't pretend to any expert knowledge of the CJC. Indeed, I barely gave Bernie ("Nobody Knows I'm Jewish") Farber a thought until, in the course of my battle with Canada's "human rights" regime, I discovered the CJC is the Dominion's most prominent non-government proponent of speech censorship. When Ezra Levant and I testified before Parliament on Section 13, some CJC bigshot (I forget which) turned up to gladhand the Liberals and other pro-censorship types. He and Ezra got into a bit of a ding-dong in the lobby which ended with Ezra telling the bigshot, "You're a Jewish book-burner." Which is true. And not an activity any self-respecting Jew should be engaged in.
Nevertheless, granted our differences, one is struck by the woeful narcissistic triviality of that CJC front page from yesterday - "Parliament Unites to Celebrate Canadian Jewish Congress", "CJC played core role in creation of Charter of Rts", "Unveiling of Plaque Commemorating National Historic Significance of the Founding of CJC". The headlines that aren't merely self-absorbed are fighting last century's battles: "The proliferation of offensive allusions to Nazi Germany in recent years is disturbing."
Perhaps this would have been sufficient in more placid times. But, given the resurgence of an ever more open anti-Semitism in Canada and the wider west, the CJC's priorities represent not just complacency but a kind of decadence. They are in stark contrast to those of the Hillel members I met recently in Vancouver, who've become very deft at putting together smart, witty rapid responses to George Galloway, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid or whatever this week's fashionable provocation happens to be. They do terrific work defending Israel in the poisonous atmosphere of Canadian college campuses - an atmosphere for which the complacency of the Farber regime bears some responsibility. In Quebec, Point de Bascule is likewise actively engaged battling the real threats to Canadian Jewry. It is bizarre that the CJC has found itself on the side of those who wish to silence the most effective defenders of Israel in Canada, but it is shameful that it has so little to say about these matters itself.
A few months ago, I read Howard Jacobson's novel The Finkler Question. Jacobson, with whom I shared space on the pages of The Independent and the chat-show sofas of the BBC many years ago, is a more or less conventional liberal, but he is also a British Jew who disdains to join the near universal "anti-Zionism" of the London chattering classes. The eponymous Finkler, for example, is a telly celebrity who founds a group called "ASH" - short for "ASHamed Jews". The novel pulls its punches toward the end, but not before this brief passage, in which a character goes on the Internet, finds a site that catalogues anti-Semitic incidents by country and is amazed to find that Canada is included on the pull-down menu:
Canada? Yes, Canada.
And [he] read that in the course of Canada's now annual Israeli Apartheid Week events held on campuses throughout the country security officers roughed up Jewish hecklers, one of them warning a Jewish student to 'shut the fuck up or I'll saw your head off'.
Was that a home-grown Canadian deterrent, he wondered, sawing Jews' heads off?
What do Canadian Jewry have to show for the Farber years? The Closet Conservative writes:
I am once again embarrassed that Bernie M. Farber, the loathsome Jewish liberal who never met a multicult project that he didn't love apparently has a job for life as the "leader" of our community.
He is a disgrace, and all of the Canadian Jews and United Jewish Appeal donors who enable this particularly uninspired, leftist gimp to continue be the "professional" tail that wags the dog of the "organized" Jewish community of Canada should be ashamed of themselves. Who gave him a job for life> Who is satisfied with this grovelling emasculated dhimmi Jew being the face of our community to the entire world?
Those who enable and celebrate Bernie, and the attitudes and performance of the Canadian Jewish Congress have made the Jewish community of Canada into the ultimate caricature of the loathsome powerless, eunuch Jew.
Oh, speak for yourself. It's worked out swell for what Ezra calls the Official Jews. Jewish babies are being decapitated and Ministers of the Crown who seek to defend Israel are prevented from speaking at Toronto universities, but Bernie's on the case of some schlub in a basement in Swift Current who has a blog with a swastika on it, and surely his Order of Canada will be in the mail any day now - or is it the Diamond Jubilee Medal?
[UPDATE: Here's a video of CJC President-for-life Farber greeting Khurrum Awan, sole surviving Canadian Islamic Congress sock puppet, at a "Combating Hatred" confab. Turn up the volume and you'll hear Bernie, Canada's leading cheerleader for state censorship, kibbitzing with Khurrum about how the "hard right" have made people afraid to exercise their right to "free speech". What a disgusting and dishonest buffoon. Why don't you just cut to the chase and make it the Canadian Islamic and Jewish Congress, and appoint yourself Vice-President (Useful Idiocy)? One day, the last seven elderly Jews living in the Toronto Farber helped build will curse his memory.]
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