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Housefather, horsefeathers, and Genocide cheerleading

LEFT JAB by John Bell

December 21, 2023
In October a hitherto nondescript Liberal MP took it upon himself to become parliament’s loudest, unquestioning cheerleader for Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza. Anthony Housefather is full of horse feathers.
Oh he had plenty of allies. Virtually every elected official, from Toronto’s newly minted “progressive” mayor Olivia Chow, to Ontario’s top Mafioso Doug Ford, to the Canadian association of Chiefs of Police, were quick to denounce the almost immediate solidarity rallies with Palestine as “hate” events. Keffiyeh shawls became “hate scarves”. Chanting “Palestine will be free” became "hate speech".
PMJT rushed to the podium and restated Canada’ unswerving support for Israel. Support isn’t just words, Canada exported $21,329,783.93 in military goods to Israel in 2022. Even when adjusted for inflation, this makes 2022 the third-highest year for Canadian military exports to Israel on record.
This “unswerving support” has been subtly building and fostered for decades. The Israeli lobby has been tirelessly organizing “good will” trips for MPs, provincial politicians, trade officials, sympathetic academics and, disturbingly, a long list of police officials, RCMP functionaries and security experts.
In 2005, under the then OLP McGuinty government, a 6-person police delegationjourneyed at Israel’s expense, to study ways to enhance Ontario’s security measures. 
Those "enhancements” came in handy a few years later when Toronto hosted the G20 summit in 2010. The result was the biggest single abuse of human rights in Canadian history, squandering billions of dollars and involving over 20,000 cops and security agents. 
Housefather didn’t ride out to Israel alone. His posse included Tory Deputy Leader Mellissa Lantsman, far-right Con Michelle Rempel Garner, Tory MP Marty Morantz and Liberal Marco Mendicino. They were accompanied by about 60 Canadian Zionist supporters and business-people, no doubt to carry souvenirs and guide them through the segregated, apartheid road system that can be so pesky for visitors.
The junket, which the CBC report called “quietly planned” was not quietly received. Although not met by war-criminal Benjamin Netanyahu himself, the MPs were briefed by the next-worst things, top military advisors and far-right politicians.
"I want to make sure that it is clear to Israelis that Canadians support them." Horse-feathers brayed.
The trouble with his widely reported statement is that it just isn’t true. Support for Palestine has been gaining steadily for decades, especially among young people. Crucial has been the slow-but steady call for non-violent solidarity measures like the tactics that help defeat apartheid South Africa – Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment. And decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian communities by ultra-Zionist “settlers” created a PR nightmare for the state that wanted to keep its ethnic cleansing ambitions on the low-down.
According to James Kafieh, VP of the Palestinian Canadian Congress, "Canadians do care about human rights, and they can see the contempt for human rights that's evident in the present government as it relates to Palestinians. Ordinary people see the slaughter."
“There's been polling in recent years that shows that rank and file ordinary Canadians are way ahead of their government. Regardless of which political orientation they have, whether they're Conservatives, Liberal, NDP, Green or Bloc, they are far more supportive of the Palestinian cause than is the Government of Canada.”
Of particular concern was a growing cohort of young North American and European Jews willing to break with the Zionist playbook. Here in Canada groups like Independent Jewish Voices and Canadians For Peace and Justice in the Middle East have been invaluable resources. The recenty formed Jews Against Genocide is cementing that growing movement. 
IHRA: Anti-Israel = anti-Semitic
The Zionist lobby group International Holocaust Remembrance Association recognized the dangers implied by the changes in attitude, and has been stealthily working to introduce bogus laws that conflate criticism with of Zionism and the actions of the state of Israel as anti-Semitic.
The introduction of Bill 168 in Ontario in 2020, is dangerously instructive. It uses vaguely worded language to actually blunt the fight against real anti-Semitism, which is primarily the work of a resurgent far-right, neo-Nazi movement, and shift the blame to Palestinian Human Rights solidarity and legitimate criticism of Israel.
It laid the basis to attack academic freedom in schools and universities. It was used to censor and attack student-run Palestine solidarity events on university campuses. It took place alongside a general rising tide of Islamophobia, being fostered by government complicity with the “war on terror” emanating from Washington.
Israel was Western imperialism’s “loyal little Ulster in the Middle East” and could do no wrong. Contempt for international law grew. Israel dropped all pretense of allowing the existence of any Palestinian state entity, not even a ghetto/prison Bantustan like Gaza. A series of increasingly blood-thirsty, corrupt and fascistic Israeli coalition governments came and went. Ethnic cleansing and genocidal rhetoric increased.
And the suffering and misery of the people of Gaza increased – deprived of water, power, work and respite.
The ruling class thought it had its ideological ducks in a row, and went about its business.
And in less than a week the whole thing blew up in the faces of Washington, London, Ottawa and Israel. Innocents were being slaughtered and the word was watching, worse, the world was taking action. IRHA or no IRHA, the taboo against criticizing the apartheid state of Israel was broken for good and all time.  
Housefather – MP for who?
Governments panicked and shrilly denounced massive, peaceful solidarity rallies, but their insincerity and desperation was palpable. They lied, recycled atrocity stories from previous war-drives and were swept aside. Millions marched, blocked banks, occupied arms factories. Indigenous people blocked shipping routes and disrupted trade.
In Canada petty vandalism of a bookstore was hyped as an anti-Semitic hate crime. A few activists were dragged from bed in pre-dawn raids. Lawyers and doctors who expressed solidarity with Palestine were threatened with dismissal and placed on a new-McCarthyist black list.
But only the most zealous Zionist crackpots were buying it.
The junket to Israel led by MP Housefather mentioned at the top of this story was not his first. As a rookie MP, within 7 days of his election he was jetting – all expenses paid of course – to Tel Aviv for a meeting of the World Jewish Congress. You would think that a rookie MP would be learning the ropes about how parliament works and how to represent their constituents. Young Housefather was clear from the git – gowhere his duties lay: “As a Jewish parliamentarian, my constituents expect me to be interested in that.”  
So even as popular support for Palestine was growing, as irrefutable evidence was mounting of a brutal one-sided campaign of genocidal ethnic cleansing, the crises in Ottawa, Washington and the corridors of Oligarchic power were deepening.
Through it all, the right of Israel to impose its will is challenged. In fact, the legitimacy of the sub-imperialist settler state imposed on the region in 1948 is being legitimately re-evaluated.
So here we are. Would-be McCarthyists like Anthony Housefather take it upon themselves to implore Canadian universities to crack down on academics and students who speak and demonstrate in solidarity with Palestine. 
Housefather has quickly earned the reputation as "Netanyahu’s right-hand man“ in Ottawa. Even as Trudeau has to bow to the movement’s demand for ceasefire, Housefather contradicts him and becomes more shrill.
While this will earn him a solid place in the Zionist lobby, choosing just now to be a tin-pot McCarthy is a questionable career move.

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