Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Creating Anti-Semitism Since 1965"

If you have ever met a neo-Nazi, you know they are not the ones who are going to be taking power in this country & shipping all of the Jews, gays & retarded people into death camps. No, the neo-Nazi is going to be on Greyhound, on meth or trying to drink beer on the bus without being caught. Maybe he is going to be caught shop-lifting or he's going to be locked out of his baby momma's house, wandering the streets cursing the day he was born. Simply put, the neo-Nazi is not a winner, it is not the winning strategy for success in this country, it's not even a losing strategy, it's not even a strategy, it's a losing proposition for all. The Nazi skins in San Francisco had a black lady skinhead as their leader & the whole American thing came out of the Punk & Hardcore scene & is a thousand times less dangerous & threatening to society than Punk Rockers, who are also "NOT A THREAT" (Profane Existence eat your heart out). But, Neo-Nazis make GREAT bogey men. A largely non-existent foe, mostly found in jail or getting ready to go back to jail, or trying to sequester themselves off in isolated corners of the nation, the Neo-Nazi is the focal point for an enormous host of powerful organizations that use them as a specter to motivate their flock.

By Ezra Levant
(From a letter to the Ottawa Citizen from Levant, April 27, 2009) This letter has been removed from the Ottawa Citizen website.

In 1965 and 1966, the Canadian Jewish Congress helped organize the fledgling Canadian Nazi Party. That sounds crazy, but it's true, and I wrote about it in Shakedown, my new book about Canada's human rights commissions.

In a letter to the editor in the Citizen last week, the CJC's current co-president, Rabbi Reuven Bulka, called my book's description of the CJC's role "fiction." He said all the CJC did for the Nazis was buy them a bottle of rum.

It's true that the CJC did buy drinks for Nazis in the 1960s. That's pretty strange in itself, and I'd like to hear more of Rabbi Bulka's thoughts on spending Jewish charitable donations that way. But the CJC did a lot more than that: they hired an ex-cop named John Garrity to go to work for the Canadian Nazi Party.

Garrity helped organize that rag-tag band of losers, though they never amounted to anything except for fodder for the press.

There were only a dozen active Nazis when Garrity joined them and they weren't really a political party. He called them "harmless misfits," and they were -- their leader, John Beattie, was a nervous, gaunt, unemployed 24-year-old clerk who spent much of his time dodging angry Jews who tried to beat him up. (One of Garrity's jobs was to help Beattie escape street fights.)

Garrity brought more than just rum to the Nazis. He brought with him pretty much the only organizational talent the group had. They put him in charge of membership. Garrity called himself the "Heinrich Himmler" of the party, and a "Nazi leader for the Jewish Congress."

I'd like Rabbi Bulka's thoughts on that, too.

Of course, Garrity helped his paymasters at the CJC, too, giving them information about the names of party members and donors. And when Garrity finally quit the Nazis, he wrote a tell-all about his adventure in Maclean's magazine.

Garrity larded that report with personal insults toward Beattie and the Nazis. But he did acknowledge that they had never done, or even contemplated doing, anything illegal. All of the violence he witnessed was directed at Beattie, usually by Jewish vigilantes. "Sadly, it is the ... anti-Nazi extremists who, in their attempts to destroy Beattie, provide him with most of the publicity he craves. If it weren't for the riots and the assaults and the public protest meetings they hold, there'd be no real news in Beattie," Garrity wrote.

And that is the importance of this story and why I put it in my book about human rights commissions. Beattie hadn't done anything illegal. He was just a loser who believed in a discredited ideology. But the CJC wanted to bring in political censorship laws and I believe they needed to build up the threat to persuade Parliament to abridge Canada's freedom of speech.

Garrity puffed up a group of Nazi nobodies into a national menace, first through organizational support and then through spectacular media publicity. And, sure enough, Parliament enacted section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which censors offensive speech.


That's become a pattern. Twenty years after the Canadian Nazi Party vanished, CSIS, Canada's spy agency, inserted an operative named Grant Bristow into another rag-tag racist group called the Heritage Front.

Unlike Garrity, Bristow didn't play second-fiddle.

He became the boss, turning the Heritage Front into Canada's leading white supremacist group. This time it wasn't just Jewish money that was spent propping up neo-Nazis -- all taxpayers paid for it.

Which brings us to the present day -- and back to Rabbi Bulka and the section 13 censorship law. Canada's largest customer of section 13 is Richard Warman, who has been the complainant in all but two cases heard by the tribunal this decade. The CJC was so impressed that they gave Warman an award.

But, in a stunning human rights tribunal ruling last month, Warman himself was rebuked for posting anti-Semitic comments on Stormfront, a neo-Nazi website, including a message calling Jews "scum." Warman has stated that he was attempting to gather information on real Nazis, but the tribunal called his actions "disappointing and disturbing," and ruled that he risked encouraging more hateful messages himself.

Warman's actions appalled the tribunal, but apparently not the CJC. Just as the CJC did with Garrity, Nazi opponents continue to stir up neo-Nazi incidents -- as if there aren't enough real threats to Jews as it is.

Perhaps Rabbi Bulka can explain that one, too. (End of letter)

I'm pleased that the Citizen gave me so much room to reply. In doing my research I found out a lot more about the CJC's role in building up the Nazi Party -- one of the craziest stories I've ever come across. I think it's fascinating from so many angles: politically; religiously; legally; historically. It really is stranger than fiction. I think there's enough material there to form an entire book in itself -- especially when added to the CJC's discreditable conduct in the Grant Bristow affair, and their ongoing, unseemly relationship with Stormfront member Richard Warman. Incredibly, the CJC still stands by Warman even after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal condemned him for his anti-Semitic propaganda. You'd think that would be something the Jewish Congress might care about.

My only quibble with the Citizen is with the headline they put over the op-ed: "Neo-Nazis are best simply ignored". I don't believe that and that's not the message of my op-ed. It's a false dichotomy to set up the only two alternatives as "ignoring" Nazis, or doing what the CJC does (building them up, then getting the government to prosecute them). I think there are plenty of other options, such as rebutting and debating neo-Nazis, campaigning against them, teaching against them, politicking against them, etc. That takes more work than the lazy CJC would do -- they're too busy campaigning against global warming.

Part of me hopes that Burny [CJC CEO Bernie Farber] will write another historically revisionist reply for Rabbi Bulka to sign, so I can take another whack at them. But the more collegial part of me hopes that Rabbi Bulka will cut his losses and stop covering for his organization's bad behaviour 40 years ago -- and their bad behavior today.

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