How Canadian Anti-Racism Efforts Elevated an Anti-Semitic Bigot

Since 2016, the Canadian government has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to an anti-racism consulting group run by one Laith Marouf and his wife. Marouf—whose organization has been tasked with “building an anti-racism strategy” for Canadian broadcasting—has a longstanding record as an anti-Israel activist, and his Twitter feed is filled with vulgar and violent invective aimed at Jews, the U.S., and Canada. Nor does he appear to have qualms about hurling racial insults at Barack Obama and Colin Powell. Jonathan Kay comments:

One might imagine that [this track record] would have career-limiting implications for Marouf, a Syrian citizen whose father had been sent to Montreal on diplomatic assignment by Hafez al-Assad’s regime. Yet Marouf somehow managed to scratch out a Canadian career as a community activist, equity officer, radio host, and, most recently, government-bankrolled anti-racism consultant—all without making any effort to hide his anti-Semitic views. As well as posting hateful comments on social media, he’s also become a regular on Russian and Iranian propaganda outlets, spouting conspiracy theories about Israel, the war in Ukraine, and the Zionist machinations of the international media.

Since this story broke last week, I’ve heard a lot of [Justin] Trudeau’s critics suggest that the Marouf saga proves that Canada’s Liberal government harbors an anti-Semitic agenda. But I reject that accusation. The more likely (if also more banal) explanation is that the Liberals—like the progressive, wealthy, white-collar class from which the party recruits its senior cadres—has devoted so much time and bandwidth to anti-racism, intersectionality, decolonization, and other academic group-based theories, that they’ve simply lost sight of the basic need to evaluate ideas and human beings on their own merits.

For all I know, in fact, a truly expert Liberal intersectionalist applying a maximalist formulation of anti-racism might even be able entirely to rationalize Marouf’s hatred of Jews—at least the white ones—on the basis that his animus is rooted in an emotionally legitimate reaction to the historic oppression of his Arab ancestors. One of Marouf’s more inspired masterstrokes in this regard was to ensure that the words “white” and “Jewish” tend to appear side-by-side in his harangues, which, by the most generous interpretation, can be taken to suggest that all he is guilty of is calling out white supremacy.

The facts of Marouf’s case are so bizarre that some Canadian politicians and pundits may be tempted to dismiss it as a one-off farce. But that would be a mistake, because the scandal surrounding this one man provides an opportunity for the country’s policymakers to scrutinize seriously the value proposition offered by the whole cottage industry of anti-racist experts, consultants, and profiteers who’ve put their palms out to government in recent years.

Read more at Quillette

More about: Anti-Semitism, Canada, Political correctness, Racism

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy