Israel Resource Review 18th Febuary, 2009


Canadian Immigration Minister Fighting Anti-Semitism Criticized
David Bedein

A Canadian member of parliament who helped organize a conference meeting this week in London to confront the problem of anti-Semitism has himself become the target of an anti-Semitic attack.

The purpose of the conference is to educate and mobilize parliamentarians worldwide to combat anti-Semitism.

Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney, a devout Catholic, has received attacks from Khaled Mouammar, president of the Canadian Arab Federation, who denounced him as a "professional whore" for Israel.

This came after Mr. Kenney criticized the presence of Hezbollah and Hamas flags at anti-Israel rallies in Toronto.

Ironically, that same federation received a $447,297 contribution from Mr. Kenney's ministry to operate a settlement program in Toronto for two years, teaching new immigrants language and job-searching skills.

Mr. Kenney said he has asked department officials to weigh comments made by groups when evaluating funding applications and added comments made by Mr. Mouammar would affect its contribution when the current one expires in March 2010.

Addressing the conference in London, Mr. Kenney said, "My proudest moment as minister was a year ago this month when I announced on behalf of our government that Canada would withdraw, and has withdrawn, from the Durban II process. We did so deliberately. We did so after having participated in the initial preparatory meetings. We did so being fully conscious of Canada's tradition as an international champion of tolerance, pluralism and mutual respect. And that's precisely why we withdrew from the Durban process."

Canada withdrew from a process that Mr. Kenney said has Iran and Libya both sitting on the organizing committee, nations that are sworn enemies of Israel, and the Iranian president "has repeatedly engaged in inciting genocide against the Jewish nation."

"Many of the key organizing meetings were set, no doubt coincidentally, on Jewish high holidays to diminish the participation of Israeli and Jewish delegates," Mr. Kenney said. "[It is] a process which re-invited to participate all of the NGOs that turned the original Durban conference into the notorious hate-fest, including those responsible for circulating copies of the Chronicles of the Elders of Zion and organizations which outside the conference venue held up portraits of Adolf Hitler, and a conference which as well re-invited those NGOs made it difficult or impossible for Jewish NGOs to come as observers, including the Canadian Council on Israeli and Jewish Affairs."

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