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Monthly Archives: January 2014

JOHN CHUCKMAN

LETTER TO CBC RADIO’S SUNDAY EDITION ON INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL GOLDHAGEN

Michael Enright is such a fair-minded man, and one articulate in his fair-mindedness, when it comes to most things. Is it too much to ask that that fairness be applied and heard consistently?

The characteristics of a fair-minded person are just a few, and they comprise the gold standard if you will. He or she is willing to discuss almost any topic. He or she is willing to listen to all sides of an issue presented by others. And he or she is open to being convinced he may have been wrong, at least in part.

I think by this set of criteria that Michael and his producers fail, and rather consistently, on a long term basis when it comes to the related topics of Israel and anti-Semitism.

How many times over, say, the last half dozen years has Michael’s program had an articulate spokesperson for Palestinian rights and grievances? I can tell you: close to, if not actually, zero times.

How many times has the program had spokespeople for Israel’s interests or on the much-abused topic of anti-Semitism? I haven’t counted, but I know that it likely would average to as much as once a month.

That may seem to you not excessive, but I think it represents a continuing, subtle, and genuinely unfair practice. One supposes you don’t make it more regular, say every week, because you understand that heavy repetition of these views would generate hostility in your audience. But the issue of unfairness still is glaringly clear here.

Even as you read these words, Israel prepares to seize more of the West Bank and Jerusalem. No compensation is even given to those whose homes and farms are seized for the flimsiest excuse. And when they protest or resist, they are abused, arrested and often imprisoned. Every day millions of Palestinians, never having done anything against the Jewish people, are treated like the residents of an unrelenting police state.

So, how is it that Michael and his producers believe, as they apparently do, that there is only one side in these matters?

The very definition of the word “liberal” does not make it possible for a true liberal to accept these ugly practices. Yet invariably, when anyone objects to Israel’s behavior, he or she is labeled an “anti-Semite” by the government of Israel and its many apologists abroad. It is a dirty and abusive and inherently unfair tactic.

It is this practice which explains illusory increases in anti-Semitism in “statistics” compiled by Israel’s apologists.
I’m sorry but I do not apologize for speaking against the practices of one of the meanest-natured governments on the planet and that does not make me or millions like me any more anti-Semitic than Michael is.

So, please, if you cannot deal with this set of issues fairly – and history indicates you cannot – leave it alone entirely.