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

Aug. 29 2022

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

Russia’s Alliance with Hizballah Is Growing Stronger

Tehran’s ongoing cooperation with Moscow has recently garnered public attention because of the Kremlin’s use of Iranian arms against Ukraine, but it extends much further, including to the Islamic Republic’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah. Aurora Ortega and Matthew Levitt explain:

Over the last few years, Russia has quietly extended its reach into Lebanon, seeking to cultivate cultural, economic, and military ties in Beirut as part of a strategy to expand Russian influence in the Middle East, while sidelining the U.S. and elevating Moscow’s role as a peacemaker.

Russia’s alliance with Hizballah was born out of the conflict in Syria, where Russian and Hizballah forces fought side-by-side in an alliance with the Assad regime. For years, this alliance appeared strictly limited to military activity in Syria, but in 2018, Hizballah and Russia began to engage in unprecedented joint sanctions-evasion activities. . . . In November 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury exposed a convoluted trade-based oil-smuggling sanctions-evasion scheme directed by Hizballah and [Iran].

The enhanced level of collaboration between Russia and Hizballah is not limited to sanctions evasion. In March 2021, Hizballah sent a delegation to Moscow, on its second-ever “diplomatic” visit to the country. Unlike its first visit a decade prior, which was enveloped in secrecy with no media exposure, this visit was well publicized. During their three days in Moscow, Hizballah representatives met with various Russian officials, including the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. . . . Just three months after this visit to Moscow, Hizballah received the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov in Beirut to discuss further collaboration on joint projects.

Read more at Royal United Services Institute

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Lebanon, Russia