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Ezra Levant. Photo: screenshot Rebel Media

Ezra Levant sued for libel by CJPME over BDS campaign

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has filed December 22, 2016 a libel action against Ezra Levant the co-founder of The Rebel Media, ipolitics.ca reports.

Seeking $100,000 in damages and $20,000 for punitive or exemplary damages, CJPME alleges that Levant defamed the organization by comparing its activists to Nazis and calling them “Jew-baiters” when he denounces their call to boycott Israeli product as part of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign.

According to ipolitics.ca report, CJPME emphasized that BDS “is not a criticism or attack on Jewish people or upon any person because of their religion or ethnicity,” and that the group “decries hatred, violence, racism and religious targeting of Jewish people in Canada and throughout the world.” The also it doesn’t claim to be a charity, and only its sister organization, the CJPME Foundation, is a charity.

CJPME’s libel action refers to a post on The Rebel (September 2016) entitled “Tax dollars subsidize Jew hatred in Canada. Help fight back against the Jewish boycott!” Levant asked readers to sign a petition against CJPME and wrote among other things the following:

The Nazis didn’t move straight to killing the Jews. First, they denormalized them, they dehumanized them.

For example, Nazi street thugs would stand outside Jewish-owned stores with signs saying, Don’t Buy From Jews. It was partly about causing financial pain to Jews. But it was mainly about making it normal, in polite company, to hate Jews and treat them atrociously — to soften up public opinion for what was to come next.

Well, they’re back, the extreme anti-Semites pushing the “Don’t Buy From Jews” attack. But they’ve made a few 21st-century improvements.

First of all, they don’t use the original German phrase, Kauft Nicht Bei Juden, they call it “boycott divestment and sanctions” now, or BDS.

They dropped the word “Jew” from their slogan — they use other code words, like “Zionist” or Israel”. But really, how different is “don’t buy anything from Jews”, versus “don’t buy anything from a country of Jews”.

I note that these activists do not have any other boycott campaigns. They don’t boycott China, the world’s largest dictatorship. They don’t even boycott Saudi Arabia, the most oppressive regime in the world, where women are treated like dogs.

Just the Jewish state is boycotted. Israel is an imperfect country, as all countries are, as all people are. But Israel is the one liberal democracy in the Middle East, the one safe, stable oasis of human rights, where Muslim citizens have the same civil rights as Jewish citizens and Christian citizens. Where Muslim citizens have more rights than they do in Muslim countries.

So that’s the BDS movement — they’re anti-Semites.

If you call for boycotts on Jewish products, you’re suspect to begin with. But if you only call for a boycott of Jews — and no-one else, including Muslim countries that are far worse — you meet the dictionary definition of anti-Semitism. It’s not the products you hate. It’s the Jews.

So when a Canadian anti-Semitic group with the Orwellian name of “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East” (CJPME) uploads a video to the internet calling on their supporters to go into stores, on private property, and to tamper with Jewish products, and to place little anti-Semitic stickers on those products, to confuse or scare or pressure customers into joining their boycott — that’s when we need to fight back.

What should we do about these modern Jew-baiters? Well, we don’t believe in censorship, even for odious, racist ideas. It shouldn’t be a crime to be anti-Semitic. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight back against them using other means — like exposing them, debunking them, and in the case of CJPME, demanding that they no longer be subsidized by Canadian taxpayers.

Yes, that’s right: CJPME has Canadian charitable tax status. To spread anti-Semitism.

Is that charity work? Putting “warning” labels on Jewish products? Trespassing on private property for the purpose of interfering with those stores?

And what does the criminal code have to say about that? Section 430, in a section called criminal mischief reads as follows:

[430(1)] Every one commits mischief who wilfully destroys or damages property; renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective; obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.

I don’t think these anti-Semites are destroying property or making it dangerous. But they’re definitely trying to obstruct, interrupt and interfere with property — the Jewish goods in question, and the store and its operations in general.

We need to fight back, and we will, in two ways:

1. We’ve launched a petition calling for the removal of CJPME’s charitable status, which you can sign below.

2. But to make the case stronger, we hired a great civil liberties lawyer, Sonya Shikhman, to help fight back against CJPME.

I promised her that I would try to raise $2,500 to retain her as a lawyer, with the goal of fighting back. I told her I’d try to crowd fund her fee, so please click here to help us pay the legal bill.

The Nazis had the audacity to stand there, in person, while being anti-Semitic. Today’s anti-Semites are more the hit-and-run types, sneaking into stores, including into Jewish stores, to essentially vandalize the place.

Join our fight against BDS. Sign our petition below; and help chip in the $2,500 to hire our civil liberties lawyer, Sonya Shikhman, our freedom fighter.

The Petition

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East must be stripped of their charitable status.

CJPME boycott campaign against Israel

The following are excerpts from CJPME boycott campaign against Israel as appeared on its website on January 5, 2017:

NEW CJPME BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN

CJPME has recently launched a sticky note boycott initiative! CJPME is offering free packets of BDS sticky notes to Canadians wanting to discourage the purchase of products produced in Israel and its illegal “settlements.” Sign up to get your FREE sticky notes now!

Wondering where to put your BDS sticky notes, please take a look at CJPME’s recommended Canadian list of stores and products to target…

BDS SUMMARY FLYER

Click here to access CJPME’s recently issued one-page flyer on the BDS movement. On the first side, we show how BDS aligns perfectly with international law and Canadian policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the second side, we provide the maps of Palestinians dispossession, as well as answers to frequent questions and criticisms of BDS.

BOYCOTT CENTRE RESOURCES

Welcome to CJPME’s Boycott Centre. This Centre provides a consolidated list of resources and tools for individuals who wish to contribute to the growing economic pressure on Israel to respect international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.

While the resources and tools are oriented to CJPME’s Canadian constituency, CJPME believes that most of the resources and tools provided in these Webpages can be leveraged easily by anyone interested in promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel.

See an up-to-date list of all Canadian organizations applying economic pressure on Israel, whether by adoption of BDS, or via other means.

Understand the legal and moral justification for the boycott of Israel, then start boycotting.


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About CIJnews Staff

CIJnews Staff
CIJnews is an independent, dynamic and reliable online news source that serves the Canadian Jewish and Israeli communities and provides an uncensored platform for the spectrum of voices.

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