Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Shoshana Berman, please explain this

Troubling rhetoric from a Liberal blogger:
[Bill Graham's] comment about Canada needing to be "neutral" in this current conflict, was anti-semetic by default, from a man who voted to continue our combat mission in Afghanistan. Given the views of the terrorist Hezbollah about women and gays, I would also say that this comment is mysogynistic and homophobic by default. Canada and the Liberal Party do stand up against terrorism. We do stand up for the rights of women and gays and the freedom of religion not terrorism. We are not neutral....It is entirely possible to say I/We support Israel and its right to defend itsel against terrorists, if not necessarily all of its actions. Unfortunately, that is not what Mr. Graham said.

I personally believe the "neutral" comment is about gaining votes in the radical Muslim constituency.
1) Calling for Canada to be "neutral" in a dispute between Israel and Hezbollah is not "anti-semitic by default", whatever you believe Canada's proper role to be. This is the same BS spewed by the right when they said anyone who opposed the Iraq war was "pro-Saddam", and this kind of rhetoric should be beneath the progressive community.

2) The war having ended (for now) and the scores being tallied, it's pretty clear Israel would have been better off if they had shown more restraint, as the "anti-semitic by default" camp advocated. Somehow, anti-semites were advocating the policy that would have benefited the state of Israel. That may sound weird, but I guess Liberals are just smarter than us default anti-semites.

3) It is possible to recognize that Hezbollah, the Palestinians, or the Syrians all have some pretty despicable views, and still believe that they nevertheless have legitimate grievances against Israel, just as it is possible to recognize that Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorism and war, but harshly criticize the means Israel uses if you believe it to be too harsh or even self-defeating. Nothing in the above paragraph is incompatible with the words "neutral" or "neutrality."

4) The idea that Bill Graham took the position he did to win the Muslim vote is silly. The belief that Graham took the position he did to court the left, and further divide the Liberals from the Conservatives, is far more rational. But that would get in the way of petty accusations of anti-semitism.

5) This compulsion to pick sides in every fight is far, far more dangerous than neutrality. Canada has no means to help bring this problem to a resolution, so hewing to one side or the other is, frankly, short-sighted. I know a lot of people would love for us to come down hard against one side or the other, but the reality is that the future is certain to include both Israel and (in some form) Hezbollah so alienating one group to please the other will simply make Canada's work in the Middle East harder for no good reason.

Finally, this is bizarre:
...several MP's are coming very close to displaying the same hate for Jews unchecked.
Please, Shoshana, give us names, quotes, and references for any Liberal MPs - for that matter, any MPs at all - who you believe to be "very close to displaying" hate for Jews. Otherwise, apologize for that slander. As you say, enough is enough.

(As a blogging NDPer, I'm coming to the defense of Liberal MPs being slandered by another Liberal. Weird.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Son feared mom, court hears;
Fourteen-year-old boy was scared his mother 'might hurt me . . . if I stayed'
By Scott Tracey
April 21, 2006
Guelph Mercury

A Guelph mother held her teenage son in a headlock while cutting off a chunk of his hair, then grabbed the boy by the jaw before saying she wished she'd had an abortion, a court heard yesterday at the start of the woman's trial.

Sacha Fabry, 14, testified he was at his mother Shoshana Berman's home last Sept. 5. The boy said his mother asked him to come into the front room of her home so she could cut his hair, and that he refused and said he did not want his hair cut.

The diminutive boy told the court Berman reacted to this by repeatedly swearing and calling him names, including "jerk" and "bastard."

Fabry said his mother grabbed him by the arm and dragged him into the front room, where she pushed him into a chair.

The boy said his mother pulled a towel tightly around his neck, and when he complained it hurt, the woman instead grabbed him in a headlock.

Fabry said he continued to struggle and put his hands on his head in an attempt to prevent the haircutting. He said Berman pulled his hands away and quickly snipped off a large chunk of hair from the back of his head.

The soft-spoken boy said he went into his bedroom and his mother followed him, still carrying the scissors.

Fabry said his mom pushed him against the wall and then grabbed him by the jaw, lifting him onto the tips of his toes. He testified his mother said if he did not co-operate and let her continue cutting his hair she would kill him.

Fabry said Berman was "extremely angry" during the exchange, noting her face was red and he could see the veins popping out on her neck.

The boy said his mom finally went downstairs, calling out behind her, "I wish I had an abortion."

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Berman, who has pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon and has not yet presented her defence evidence, shook her head during much of her son's testimony.

Fabry said he packed a few things and left the house, walking to a nearby pay phone where he called his father, Peter.

Berman and Peter Fabry are divorced and until these allegations had joint custody of their son.

Sacha Fabry said his dad told him to go to the police station, where he met his son a short time later.

The boy said his stepfather was outside the home cutting wood at the time of the alleged assault.

He said he did not tell the man what happened inside because in the past he would get blamed when his mother was angry at him.

Berman is representing herself, but Douglas appointed local defence lawyer Joe Fera to cross-examine Sacha Fabry to prevent the woman from questioning her own son.

Under cross-examination, Fabry conceded there were differences between his statement to police and his evidence in court, including the nature of the profanity his mother is alleged to have used.

Fabry explained he was not comfortable telling police the precise words Berman used, so withheld some of them when giving his statement.

While at one point on the videotaped statement Fabry said he was not concerned his mother would hurt him, he insisted yesterday he was "scared that she might hurt me . . . if I stayed," which is why he left the house.

The trial will continue Oct. 30.

Berman objected to the lengthy adjournment "for the sake of my son," but Douglas explained this is the first available court date when there is sufficient time to hear the rest of the evidence.

Assistant Crown attorney Judith MacDonald said she has two more Crown witnesses, while Berman said she will be calling four or five defence witnesses including herself.