PM Justin Trudeau made an absolute fool of himself by dragging in the BDS movement with his apology to the Jewish community for Canada who in 1939 rejected the troop ship The Saint Louis carrying refugees fleeing Nazi terror.
Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada responded with the intelligence and analysis Trudeau lacked
Canada should apologize and make amends for its racist and anti-Semitic history. And surely, one of the most shameful aspects of Canadian history, which is often by the way whitewashed in comparison to the U.S., Canada tries to market itself as somehow more enlightened than the United States. It’s not true of course. William Lyon Mackenzie King, who was the Canadian prime minister at the time of the St. Louis, was a notorious racist and anti-Semite. And in the phrase of a senior government official at the time in regard to Jewish refugees, the phrase used by the Canadian government is “none is too many.” In other words, they weren’t prepared to tolerate a single Jewish refugee from Nazi Europe.
So it’s right that Canada should make amends and make restitution to the victims of its official anti-Semitism, and of course principally, to its Indigenous people whom it continues to oppress. What is deeply cynical, however, is using this apology to one group of wronged and oppressed people in order to justify and advance the oppression of another group of wronged and oppressed people, in other words, Palestinians.
.Pro-Israel Jewish groups in Washington are doing exactly the same as Justin Trudeau did, which is to use the outrage and horror at the Tree of Life synagogue massacre to justify further crackdowns on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, which had absolutely nothing to do with it.
It’s utterly despicable. I mean, the Palestinian Solidarity Movement and Palestinians have always been loud in their opposition to right-wing racism, to anti-Semitism. The BDS movement has been very clear in official statements and in statements by many activists and intellectuals and scholars and writers that this is an anti-racist movement, that it stands in solidarity with the Jewish people against anti-Semites. But whereas Palestinians and their supporters often find ourselves standing with our Jewish comrades against racism, we see time and again, Israel and its supporters lining up with the racists and inciting against the left-wing Jewish activists. And we saw that as well, that the right-wing Israeli media was attacking left-wing Jewish activists and claiming that they brought this attack on themselves by supporting, bringing refugees and immigrants into the United States.