Archive for May 11th, 2017

Self-censorship on Israel

May 11, 2017

The Star reached a new low on March 24 when it allowed its columnist Rosie Dimanno to launch a vile attack on the distinguished international jurist, professor Richard Falk. Dimanno’s shocking screed should have never passed a discerning editor’s desk but the Star for years has allowed Dimanno to opine on almost every subject. Like the US ambassador Nikki Haley who also went after Falk at the UN, Dimanno did not have any idea  of Falk’s scholarship and international reputation.


His crime: he, a Jew, openly criticized apartheid Israel.

The Star, I am sure, received countless letters of disgust at such an ad hominem attack yet not one letter appeared in print including the one I sent.

The newspaper business today is suffering huge losses and almost all print journals including by the way the supposed liberal weekly NOW Magazine are almost paranoid about printing anything negative about Israel.The threat of a boycott makes them all wiggly.

My letter to the Star like several others went into the delete file:

We’ve known for years that Rosie Dimanno is an expert on all subjects—global politics, the Leafs, Blue Jays, etc. No subject is beyond her wide-ranging insights,  arrived at after years of study and travel. Friday March 24 however our Rosie reached a new low, labeling   Richard Falk, distinguished professor of international law and United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights a ‘self-hating Jew.” Is a “self-hating Jew” someone who dares criticize Israel’s  shameful human rights record?

These days there seems to be thousands of self-hating Jews, nourished on a culture of human rights who are embarrassed by a state calling itself Jewish.Dimanno is sadly out of her depth as she usually is when she leaves the locker room of the Leafs and the Jays.She and the Star owe professor Falk an apology.

The Star in the age of diminishing revenue and subscribers bravely attempts to stay true to its Atkinson principles of “comforting the afflicted and inflicting the comfortable” searched for a way out of its dilemma. They refused to print the many letters, then waited 2 months to give Falk a platform, a reasoned, dispassionate article  called “the hazards of criticizing Israel” which it published on May 9 and whichI will comment on in the future.

Needless to say, the Zionist thought police are even more virulent when it comes to Jews who criticize Israel. I know many Jews who simply walk a way from this issue—including many rabbis. They simply refuse to deal with such a polarizing subject. They can’t stand the heat so they get out of the kitchen, in this case the gift of the prophetic vouchsafed to Jew in the Hebrew scriptures.

The many brave Jews of conscience who refuse to be muted have had to launch their own platforms of dissent as their principled criticism simply will not be tolerated in the synagogue.

One such person was the feminist writer Naomi Wolf whose heart was broken over the last massacre of innocents (over 500 women and children) in Gaza 2014


“I went to synagogue last Friday night and had to leave because I kept waiting for the massacre in Gaza to be addressed….. Nothing. Where is God? God is only ever where we stand with our neighbor in trouble and against injustice. I turn in my card of faith as of now because of our overwhelming silence as Jews…..I want no other religion than this, seeing rather than denying myneighbor under fire and embracing rather than dismissing those targeted with annihilation and ethnic cleansing.”


In Canada many Jews of conscience, appalled at Israel’s behaviour, and marginalized in their synagogues, had to move beyond to speak their Torah truths of tzedek, tzedek tirdof—justice, justice you shall pursue (Deut 16:20). Now we have the Independent Jewish Voices begun by a young Jew nourished in the bosom of the synagogue. Now he is a paraih and victim of scurrilous attacks by other Jews and superficial writer like Rosie Dimanno