The B’nai Brith, historically one of the most partisan supporters of Canada’s human rights commissions, has made a dramatic break from the human rights industry, “urgently” calling for a “major overhaul” of Canada’s human rights commissions. You can read the full text of their press release on the subject here.
The B’nai Brith is Canada’s oldest and largest Jewish service club, dating back to 1875.
Frank Dimant, the Executive Vice-President of BB, said “we have to ensure that commissions do not become abusers of the very human rights they are charged with protecting” — a clear shot at the HRCs’ continuous violation of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, as well as their well-documented procedural abuses and corruption. The Canadian Human Rights Commission, for example, is now under four different investigations, including by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
David Matas, BB’s senior legal counsel, was also quoted in their press release, pointing to several illegal and abusive traits of HRCs, including that the same complaints can be filed with multiple HRCs, as was done by the anti-Semitic Canadian Islamic Congress in their complaints against Maclean’s magazine and Mark Steyn. According to Matas, “Commissions cannot become avenues of harassment in which complaints are simultaneously made in several jurisdictions. The remedy is to introduce rules that will allow for one jurisdiction only.”
Matas also suggested deep re-education for the HRCs’ corrupt censors, accusing them of ignorance and anachronism. “The remedy for ignorance is education and training. Investigators must be required to undertake compulsory in-house courses that meet these needs. They must always be able to distinguish between hate and protected political speech,” he added. That’s a pretty clear shot at political censors like Richard Warman and Dean Steacy, the latter of whom actually testified that free speech is not a Canadian value — despite its entrenchment as a “fundamental freedom” in our Charter of Rights, our Bill of Rights, and our inherited unwritten U.K. constitutional corpus.
Finally, Matas called for costs to be awarded against clear nuisance litigants, like the CIC and the Jew-bashing imam Syed Soharwardy, who simply walked away from his Alberta HRC complaint about the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, after saddling taxpayers with $500,000 in costs, and me with nearly $100,000 in costs (another, identical complaint, continues against me.)
Matas said: “Costs must be levied against those whose clear aim is to abuse the system by launching attacks designed to harass bona fide respondents. This would be a deterrent against those who deliberately seek to hijack and corrupt the human rights system in pursuit of their own ideological bent.”
Again, you can see the entire release here.
This is enormous, because it ends the false unanimity amongst Canada’s “Official Jews” in support of HRCs. As I’ve written here, most real Jews are not for censorship; it’s just the personal obsession of a few “Professional Jews”, like Bernie “Burny” Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Leo Adler of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
It’s not surprising to me that B’nai Brith was the first to bolt the troika of Jewish groups that has turned a blind eye to the HRCs’ corruption. As I wrote several months ago, as the HRCs continue to beclown themselves in the public square, those who are allied with them will start to incur political damage, especially with this Conservative government. (The CJC, with its impeccable Liberal connections, doesn’t much care.) But I don’t think the B’nai Brith’s about-face was done to please the government; I think it was done in response to the B’nai Brith’s own constituency: grassroots, severely normal, Canadian Jews.
Unlike the CJC, and certainly the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the B’nai Brith actually has active members, and local branches across the country, made up of volunteers. They’re like the Jewish Rotary Club — normal. They’re not a hot-house of professional political lobbyists like Burny, who has his own political agenda, and is using the CJC’s name and reputation to prosecute his own hobby-horses. Grassroots Jews know that the real threat in 2008 isn’t a handful of teenaged kids talking tough about being Nazis in some website fantasy — really, the political equivalent to an online fantasy role playing video game. The real threat is a wave of radical Islam both internationally and here in Canada — including the CJC’s new ally, the Canadian Islamic Congress. The B’nai Brith understands — as David Matas makes crystal clear — that the Canadian Islamic Congress is an illiberal, abusive, human rights-violating enemy of Canada and enemy of the Jews. The CJC? Well, the CJC’s newest legal committee member, Warren Kinsella, actually gave help and advice to the Canadian Islamic Congress. I’m guessing that if a B’nai Brith officer tried that, he’d be fired the next day.
I am excited that the B’nai Brith has so publicly broken ranks with the rest of the Professional Jews, and has clearly accused not only the Canadian Islamic Congress of harrassment, but has taken pretty dead aim at the CHRC and its investigators, too.
But, even amidst my enthusiasm, I must still acknowledge some depressing realities:
1. The B’nai Brith remains an intervenor against Mark Lemire in the Warman v. Lemire nuisance suits\ that is clearly as abusive as anything the Canadian Islamic Congress has filed;
2. In that Lemire case, the B’nai Brith’s lawyers have conducted themselves in lock-step with the CJC and the CHRC, including supporting the section 13 thought crimes provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
3. The B’nai Brith has stopped short of calling for the abolition of section 13. In other words, they have not taken that final step of realizing that censorship is not a Jewish value, it’s not healthy for a liberal democracy, and it has only served to discredit the B’nai Brith — and make anti-Semitic nobodies into glamourous international celebrities.
Still, this is a huge step — the first and hardest step. The B’nai Brith has announced today that they no longer drink the human rights industry kool-aid. They’re not going to continue turning a blind eye to the corruption and abuse that’s rampant in the industry.
I expect two things will happen:
1. The human rights industry will respond with execration, demonizing B’nai Brith and Dimant and — as Kinsella usually does — accusing them of being supporters of Holocaust deniers and white supremacists. I know that sounds nuts, but ad hominem attacks are really all the intellectually bankrupt HRC industry has left.
2. I also expect that real Jews, normal Jews, grassroots Jews, Jews who lead normal lives — as opposed to the Official Jews, the Jews Who are Jews for a Living — will respond with enthusiasm, and that the B’nai Brith will attract both money and people away from the CJC.
I hope that the B’nai Brith will find its new path so rewarding — intellectually, morally and politically — that it will, in time, take the final step and acknowledge that the section 13 “thought crimes” law is unsalvageable, and should be abolished altogether.
Why don’t you take a moment and send Frank Dimant, BB’s boss, a letter of encouragement. Understand how hard it must have been for him to repudiate decades of collusion with the human rights industry. Wish him well in the weeks ahead, when he’ll be abused by his spurned lovers in the HRCs, and the dhimmis in the CJC. And tell him that he speaks for Canadians — Jewish and Gentile — and for Canadian (and Jewish) values of true civil rights much more than the corrupt poseurs at the HRCs.
You can e-mail Dimant here.