Criminalizing Holocaust Denial Won’t Help Combat Canadian Anti-Semitism

April 25 2022

While Terry Glavin does not count himself an adherent of the “libertarian” position that outlawing the expression of loathsome ideas is in all cases a mistake, he nonetheless opposes a recent measure before the Canadian parliament that would make it a crime to deny the Holocaust. Glavin argues that the new legislation would be redundant, given Canada’s existing hate-speech laws. But he also points to a larger problem:

The thing about anti-Semitism is that it is not only the oldest of bigotries. It’s that it’s a conspiracy theory: the Jews are sinister capitalists, but they’re Communist plotters; they’re non-conforming rabble, but they move among the Gentiles unnoticed; they have no rightful place in the Holy Land, but they have no rightful place in Europe or the Arab countries they fled to escape the pogroms and massacres of the 1930s, either.

Anti-Semitism tends to attribute a dark and occult sort of power to the Jews, and it manifests not only in what the author Ben Cohen calls “Bierkeller” anti-Semitism—the persistent 20th-century anti-Semitism of the lout and the yob—but in the “bistro” anti-Semitism of the 21st century, which is routinely incubated in the discourse of “anti-Zionism.” Anti-Semitism is sufficiently informed by its older iterations that we can be fairly sure that it will take the Trudeau government’s commitment to criminalize Holocaust denial as evidence of the hidden power of the Jews.

The point here is that anti-Semitism may be ineradicable. It’s difficult to situate it as a sociopathic feature of so many cultures without trespassing from the language of the secular. It’s hard to describe the Holocaust in any lexicon that does not contain words like “evil.”

This isn’t a case against criminalization. It’s just a recognition that if it’s the suppression of anti-Semitism we’re going for here, criminalization isn’t going to work.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Canada, Holocaust denial

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy