Ali Abunimah is a 47 year old Palestinian-American journalist who reflects the dramatic emergence of articulate Palestinian spokespeople.The Chicago native, a Princeton grad is also the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Palestinian-Israeli Impasse a defense of the one state solution. As well The Battle for Palestine is an excellent primer on the massive injustice done to the Palestinian people. Maybe just as important is his important blog The Electronic Intifada https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah an excellent resource for all interested in justice in Israel/Palestine.
Recently Abunimah handed Prime Minister Trudeau his head in an interview on The Real New. Here he called Trudeau’s comments on BDS “a cynical, despicable smear.”
I spoke to The Real News about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s renewed attacks and smears against the BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement for Palestinians rights.
During a town hall meeting at Brock University in Ontario this week, one questioner asked Trudeau to retract his previous smears that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic.
Instead, the Liberal Party prime minister doubled down, claiming that the anti-racist BDS movement targets Jews.
Trudeau asserted “that anti-Semitism has also manifested itself not just as targeting of individuals but it is also targeting a new condemnation, or an anti-Semitism against the very state of Israel.”
Trudeau’s refusal to distinguish between Jews and Judaism on the one hand, and Israel and its state ideology Zionism, on the other, is, I told The Real News, itself an anti-Semitic move.
The prime minister also repeated the claim that “Jewish students still feel unwelcome and uncomfortable on some of our college and university campuses because of BDS-related intimidation” – a frequent smear by Israel lobby groups aimed at criminalizing Palestine solidarity activism by students.
I told The Real News that Trudeau was spouting a pack of lies about the BDS movement and echoing Israeli government talking points.
While he is claiming to defend “Canadian values,” I said that Trudeau is actually smearing Canadians, including Jewish Canadians, who fully support Palestinian rights.
Trudeau is taking his cues from Canada’s powerful Israel lobby – indeed in his answer Trudeau cited as one of his sources his “friend” Irwin Cotler, one of Canada’s top pro-Israel propagandists.
Canadian and US Israel lobbyists greeted Trudeau’s latest pandering with glee:
So did Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs who is leading Israel’s covert efforts to try to sabotage the BDS movement, including by spying on and smearing citizens in democratic countries merely for exercising their free-speech rights:
However, as opinion surveys show, Trudeau is out of step with a majority of Canadians who view BDS tactics as a reasonable way for Palestinians to pursue their rights in the face of the complicity and inaction of the so-called international community.