1. Important Links
2. Context For This Article
Free speech is under attack again, and this time it comes from the Zionists, trying to push their version of anti-Semitism laws. Iqra Khalid was heavily criticized for pushing her Islamophobia motion, M103 a few years ago, but this gets a pass from the media and from public scrutiny. Both are horrible pieces of legislation,
3. Criminal Law Exclusively Federal
Under Section 91(27) of the Constitution, criminal law is exclusively the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. This means that the Ford Government couldn’t actually criminalize criticism of Jews, even if they wanted to. Still, it’s pretty chilling to put this on the books in Ontario, even if it is meant to be symbolic.
This is address the elephant in the room: jurisdiction in the event of potential criminal law changes.
4. Text Of Bill 168
Will Bouma and Robin Martin, the sponsors for Bill 168, which was actually a private member’s bill.
Bill 168 2019
An Act to combat antisemitism
Preamble Antisemitism is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted strategy, encompassing a range of ministries and agencies. For that reason, it is desirable to require the Government of Ontario to implement a whole-of-government approach in combating antisemitism. As part of that approach, it is desirable to apply a consistent interpretation of Acts, regulations and policies designed to protect Ontarians from discrimination and hate amounting to antisemitism. Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1 In interpreting Acts, regulations and policies designed to protect Ontarians from discrimination and hate amounting to antisemitism, the Government of Ontario shall be guided by the working definition of antisemitism and the list of illustrative examples of it adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance plenary on May 26, 2016. Legislation Act, 2006 amendment
2 Section 87 of the Legislation Act, 2006 is amended by adding the following definition: “antisemitism” has the meaning set out in the working definition of antisemitism and the list of illustrative examples of it adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance plenary on May 26, 2016; (antisémitisme”) Commencement
3 This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent. Short title
4 The short title of this Act is the Combating Antisemitism Act, 2019.
EXPLANATORY NOTE The Bill requires the Government of Ontario to be guided by the working definition of antisemitism and the list of illustrative examples of it, adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance plenary on May 26, 2016, when it interprets Acts, regulations and policies designed to protect Ontarians from discrimination and hate amounting to antisemitism. The Bill also amends the Legislation Act, 2006 to adopt that working definition.
The text is pretty clear. Ontario (if this law passes) is to be guided by the working definition of anti-Semitism as provided by the IHRA. Interestingly, the bill doesn’t say what that definition is. So let’s take a look for ourselves.
What is it exactly that Ontario will be signing up for?
5. IHRA Definition Of Anti-Semitism
On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:
Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Don’t worry. While this sounds pretty vague, it is about to get much, MUCH more detailed in what exactly counts as anti-Semitism.
To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
- Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
- Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
- Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
- Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
- Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.
Just reading the definition provided, it has to be asked: what DOESN’T make the list? What ISN’T anti-Semitism according to these people?
When it refers to anti-Semitic acts as criminal, is that in indication that criminalization of “anti-Semitism” is where they intend to go with this?
6. Status Of Bill 168
It’s already had its second reading. Not too far to go. Considering Ford has a majority government, he should encounter little resistance in getting Bill 168 passed and signed into law.
7. CIJA Lobbied For Bill 168
CIJA, the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (the Israeli lobby), is found in the Ontario Lobbyist Registry as attempting to influence the Ford Government to pass Bill 168.
8. Double Standard For Islamophobia Motion
A few years back, there was a huge public stink when Iqra Khalid, a Pakistani Muslim and “paper Canadian”, got M-103 passed at the Federal level. This was a (supposedly non binding) motion to combat Islamophobia, but without defining what it actually was.
Why no media outrage over this? Is it because of the Jewish influence and power in the media that the story is buried? I guess that’s anti-Semitism to ask that.
Should this ever come to pass, what’s to stop the Feds (or any court) from using it as a precedent to push binding anti-Semitism laws? This is a scary step to take.