(FINAL) DAY 26 UPDATE: ‘Blue Beret’ vigil at London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque re support for ‘Canadian Boat to Hamas’

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The ‘Blue Beret’ vigil ended Monday, July 18th (Day 26).
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July 02/11, Day 10 of Mark Vandermaas's 'Blue Beret' vigil to protest London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn. Boat to Hamas, London, ON, CanadaABOUT THIS PAGE: This page is for updates and photos related to former U.N. peacekeeper Mark Vandermaas’ campaign of daily protests against the support given to the Canadian Boat to Gaza by the London Muslim Mosque.

For background and supporting references, see:

STANDING OFFER TO CANCEL ‘BLUE BERET’ PROTESTS – See Day 7 update for details.

 INVITE MARK VANDERMAAS TO SPEAK –  I would love to share the ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ message with your church or organization:

Blue Beret vigil in the media

PROTEST INFO: Blue Beret vigil ended Monday, July 18th (Day 26)

Final days of Blue Beret vigil:
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  • Monday, 10:00 – 11:00 am: daily Blue Beret vigil
    London Muslim Mosque, 151 Oxford St. W., London, ON [MAP]
  • Monday 11:30-1:00 pm: London Free Press
    369 York St., London [MAP]

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MARK: If you decide to join me…

The purpose of these protests is to share the truth about Israel’s unique United Nations creation and its fight for survival  by doing so in a positive, peaceful, firm fashion so others will understand what it will take to truly bring peace between Israelis and PalestiniansBirmingham_may04-63_dogs, and protect innocent civilians in the interim. I would appreciate it very much, therefore, if you would please review these 2 items before deciding to participate:

  • Blue Beret protest guide: ‘OUR GOALS TODAY’ [PDF]
  • Provoking Violence? Lessons from Dr. King and the Little Rock Nine‘ [LINK] [PDF] [VIDEO, 9:24] (Mark Vandermaas speech, March for Freedom, Caledonia Lions Park, ON May 24/09)

VoC 21 minute course: ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA 101

Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or a struggle for survival against genocidal anti-Semitism?

In this short course, which should take you no more than 21 minutes or so to complete, you’ll learn how to distinguish fact from fiction before entering into any debate on the Middle East issue, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you will most likely be the most informed person in the room:

Photo Credits: click here

(FINAL) DAY 26, Monday, July 18/11

110718 (FINAL) Day 26 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press.A terrific lady who has been with me nearly every day of the Blue Beret vigil joined me at the mosque from 10-11am. Just before leaving the lady with the hat and almost-matching vest to mine (photo R) came by for the first time to talk, offer support and get her picture taken with us.
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One final protest at the London-Not-So-Free Press
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110718 (FINAL) Day 26 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press.We then headed off, after a quick refreshment break, to close the vigil by spending an hour in front of the London Free Press – the paper that published 3 ‘puff pieces’ for David Heap (UWO) and Muhammed Humou (former Ops Mgr of the London Muslim Mosque), the two ‘delegates’ on the Canadian Boat to Hamas, but steadfastly refused to publish any stories about the Jews, Christians and others who came from as far away as Hamilton, Binbrook and Caledonia to help me hold the mosque accountable for their support for the mission to break the Israeli blockade keeping weapons from Hamas.
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Just to refresh your memory, this is what the LFP published about the Canadian Boat to Hamas:
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This is what they refused to publish:
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What did the Blue Beret vigil accomplish?
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  • 110718 (FINAL) Day 26 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press.Allowed me a daily opportunity for nearly a month to do what I could to counter the anti-Israel fabrications from the Boat to Gaza operators in my own small way (If you haven’t seen it yet, take this 21-minute course – ‘Anti-Israel Propaganda 101′).
  • Exposed the London Free Press editorial bias against Israel, and the importance of the role of alternative media in countering that bias.
  • Exposed – with key help from former journalist Leila Paul – the undue influence of Muslims in controlling editorial content at the London Free Press.
  • Mark Vandermaas (blue beret) w/supporters during Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim Mosque, June - July 2011Exposed – with key help from investigative blogger Blazing Cat Fur – the role of London Muslim Mosque in aiding war instead of peace via its support for the Cdn. Boat to Hamas.
  • Created network of relationships and sense of unity. Plans are being made to build on the Blue Berets for Peace initiative.
  • Brought Jews & non-Jews together to help public understand truth about Israel.
  • Shared thoughts re Israel & Middle East with a letter to Canada’s Ambassador to U.N. on Day 25 [PDF, 3p]
  • Provided training for new activists. Comment from one regular participant: “I feel much more comfortable now taking a truly activist role in whatever it is that concerns me.  That’s thanks to you and Gary [McHale].”
  • Obtained media coverage in mainstream (non-London) print media, local broadcast media, and key online outlets. The protest was covered by the legendary founder of the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington, and by Canada’s largest Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Tribune.
  • Had a lot of fun meeting new people, and learning from them.
Many thanks to…
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  • London Police Service CORE unit. I kept my promises and I kept them informed; in return they didn’t interfere with what I was trying to do, and I knew if I needed them they’d be there. Thanks to the OPP PLT for the introduction to the LPS unit.
  • London Muslim Mosque, taken during Blue Beret vigil/protest re support for Cdn. Boat to Hamas, June 2011London Muslim Mosque: I had absolutely not a single confrontation or even a hint of one from the mosque. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you seeing me there each day, but I appreciate the respect you showed for my right to protest.
  • Everyone who came out to support me: Jews, Christians, others from London and as far away as Hamilton, Binbrook and Caledonia. Thanks especially to the amazing Blue Beret ladies, especially one who was with me nearly every day right up to the end. Thanks to the Never Again Group for making 3 trips to London. Thanks to Jacob Peretz for being the first member of London’s Jewish community to stand with us. Thanks to Al Gretzky and Mary Lou Ambrogio of the the International Free Press Society. Thanks also to Pesach Ovadyah, Chair of the Jewish Defence League in London.
  • Rabbi Jonathan Hausman from Massachusetts for his very kind and very generous words of encouragement on Day 4, and for his offer to come to Canada to speak at an event with me.
  • Gary & Christine McHale support Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim Mosque, June-July 2011Gary & Christine McHale, Merlyn Kinrade, Bonnie Stephenson — the Caledonia contingent – for repeated trips to London. I’ve spent the last 5 years travelling back and forth from London to Caledonia, so it was wonderful to see Caledonia faces supporting the Blue Beret vigil in London.
  • Pat Woolley from Caledonia for making time to come out all by himself to be with me/us last Saturday (Day 24) to see the ‘divine invitation’ to attend the funeral service for a former RCR U.N. peacekeeper brother in arms — offered by a woman driving past us. Glad you got to witness that little miracle, especially given your role in leading me to become a Christian.
  • Mark Vandermaas w/supporter during Blue Beret vigil, June-July 2011Former journalist Leila Paul for her courage in allowing me to publish her emails between her and LFP Editor Joe Ruscitti which showed how editorial content in the paper was subject to undue consideration of Muslim interests.
  • Thanks to all of you who provided coverage that ‘mainstream’ media in London) refused to provide. Blazing Cat Fur; Kaffir Kanuck; Gary & Christine McHale/CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com; Bob Metz & Robert Vaughan of the ‘Just Right’ Show at CHRW 94.9FM at UWO; The Jewish Tribune; Peter Worthington of the Toronto Sun; Moose & Squirrel. (I’d put in links, but I’m falling asleep at the keyboard, guys and won’t last much longer.)

So, what now?

First, some time away from the computer to rest, catch up on sleep & recharge batteries. I thought it would be easy to stand every day for an hour and then get on with the rest of my work on the Caledonia issue. I was wrong(!).

After some R& R…

1. I’d love to present ‘Why I carry a Palestinian flag in my pocket‘ to your church, synagogue or organization. Email me at mark@blueberet.ca, or call 519.457.0709. You can find my ‘resume’ here.

2. Given Rabbi Hausman’s offer to come from the U.S. to speak at an event with me, I would like to use it as an opportunity to build on the Blue Berets for Peace initiative to create an event called, ‘Israel: The Case For The Defence‘ that would be presented in Southern Ontario universities this fall as a counter-point to the repulsive ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ events. If you can help with venues, sponsorship or promotion, let me know.

'6N' (SIX NATIONS) APOLOGY - Truth & Reconciliation monument 3. And, of course, there’s still plenty to do in Caledonia:

Thank you for following the Blue Beret vigil. I’ve been overwhelmed with your interest and support. If you’d like to be on my mailing list send an email to mark@blueberet.ca to let me know.

Mark

DAY 25: Sunday, July 17/11

110717 Day 25 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada.Just my wife and me today on a quiet Sunday morning. How I love that woman!
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One more day left
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Tomorrow will be the 26th and final day of the Blue Beret vigil. 10-11 at the mosque. 11:30-1:00 pm at the London Free Press building on York St. Addresses and maps above.
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Have you taken VoiceofCanada’s 21 minute course: ‘Anti-Israel Propaganda 101’ yet?
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Now recommended by Christians for Israel via Twitter, and Gary McHale who called it “…the best post I have ever seen on the topic – quite amazing.”
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My letter to Mr. John McNee, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations re anti-Semitic Richard Falk cartoon + related issues
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Also talked about Canada’s decision not to support a UN declaration of a Palestinian state:
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July 17, 2011                            BY EMAIL AND REGULAR MAIL

Mr. John McNee
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
885 Second Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY  10017 USA
canada@un.int

prmny@international.gc.ca

Dear Ambassador McNee:

I am a former member of the Canadian Forces who served as a peacekeeper with UNEF II, Egypt in 1978, and I am writing on three related matters.

I have become increasingly alarmed at the growth of anti-Israel/anti-Semitic incitement that has permeated world opinion, driven by deliberate historical revisionism intended to convince the naive and the gullible to view Israel as an illegitimate, bloodthirsty, colonialist aggressor against innocent Arabs rather than the victim it is of repeated Arab attempts to destroy her since Partition in 1948.

2007 July Richard Falk cartoon1. For the last 25 days I have carried a sign (see photo below) reminding my community that the U.N. has done right by Israel at important times, including: the 1947 General Assembly vote which created the original ‘two state solution,’ and the 2006 condemnation of the Hamas charter by the U.N. Human Rights Council. In short, I have been asking Jews to believe in the U.N., but this is a very difficult thing to ask of them when the organization tolerates the outrageous bias of Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, who published that repugnant cartoon on his blog showing a Jewish-American dog chewing on the bones of a Palestinian child while urinating on Lady Justice looking the other way in feigned disinterest.

110625 Day 3 Blue Beret vigil at London Mosque vs. support for Cdn. Boat to HamasMr. Gary Gerofsky, a member of the Never Again Group in Hamilton – which has three times made the trip to London to support my ‘Blue Beret’ vigil – has outlined his disgust with Mr. Falk’s egregious bias and poor judgement, and  points out that Mr. Falk has indeed apologized, not for inciting hate against Jews and Americans, but for insulting dogs with the comparison. He says this about the U.N.:

“I would suggest that this is the pinnacle of Jew hate for the U.N. in a long list of examples that show this organization as a world coalition of Israel bashers. Countries who have any respect for decency and civilized society must withdraw funding, membership and support from the U.N. until it has cleaned up its act.” — Gary Gerofsky

[…]
 
Read the rest of my letter here…
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  • Mark Vandermaas/Blue Berets for Peace letter to Cdn Ambassador to U.N., July 17/11 [PDF, 3p]
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References
Blue Beret vigil supporter’s letter to Hamilton Spec: “That’s why Gaza is what it is.”
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Stuart Laughton, who has made 3 trips with other NAG members from Hamilton to London to support the Blue Beret Vigil, and was with us on June 19/11 when we were finally able to place our Truth & Reconciliation monument at the entrance to the Douglas Creek Estates, recently had a letter published by the Hamilton Spectator (Unlike the London Free Press, the Spec does print the pro-Israel side, including one of mine on Day 5):
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Gaza’s Hamas government wants ‘more dead Jews’ above anything else

Re: Numbers don’t lie about Gaza’s conditions (Letters, July 11)
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The letter writer draws our attention to the stark facts regarding economic inequalities between Israel and Gaza, but fails to consider that Israel benefits in countless ways from the same freely functioning society and democratic governance that has created huge economic expansion here in the West.
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Gaza’s incompetent Hamas government is interested solely in pursuing the goals of its founding charter, which calls for the obliteration of all Jewry. The highly vocal representatives of Canada’s Hamas support network will never acknowledge it, but it’s not banks, universities and repaired sewers that Hamas longs for, but more dead Jews.
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That’s why Gaza is what it is.
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Stuart Laughton, Burlington
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Flotilla News – not that one…the one to liberate the real victims of oppression
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  • SUN TV (Ezra Levant w/Pamela Geller), July 07/11: Aqsa Parvez memorial + ‘The Freedom From Jihad’ aid flotilla
    project to liberate Christians in Islamic countries such as Egypt and Nigeria [VIDEO, 8:21]
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    From SDAMATT2‘s YouTube channel: “The Audacity of the Infidel will launch on September 11 from the New York harbor closest to the World Trade Center site. On board will be freedom fighters from all over the world, united in defense of human rights and human dignity against Islamic supremacist oppression. The mission is the first attempt by free citizens anywhere in the world to come to the aid of non-Muslims persecuted for their faith in Muslim countries.”

Thanks for the coverage

Day 24, Saturday, July 16/11

110716 Day 24 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada. Caledonia resident Pat Woolley w/London ladies.Three loyal ladies plus Pat Woolley from Caledonia who wore the ‘WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE’ shirt he was wearing in the now-famous photo of him (R)  confronting OPP officers June 10/06 which can be found in Christie Blatchford’s book, Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All Of Us.
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Today we had the nastiest confrontation to-date, and also the most amazing.
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060610 Pat Woolley vs OPP in Caledonia wearing his 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' Tshirt (This photo included in Christie Blatchford's book, 'Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us')Nasty: A carload of people drove by on the opposite side of the road screaming at us, laying on the horn, and giving us the famous one-finger gesture. They then turned around and drove up beside us on the same side of the road, again screaming and giving us the finger, their faces filled with rage.
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110716 Day 24 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada. Caledonia resident Pat Woolley w/London ladies.None of us could understand what they were saying, but we noticed they had two children in the car, a girl of about 8 and a boy about 12 who were learning from their ‘parents’ how to spew venom and hate at people they don’t know. It was sad, actually, to see the child abuse that was going on in the car. I’m not sure what they were so angry about; perhaps they were ‘peace activists’ upset with our opposition to helping Hamas get weapons with which to kill more Jews. I wish now that we’d had the presence of mind to take down the licence plate to report the parents.
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Amazing: A van slowed down to talk to us for a few seconds driven by a woman who said today was her father’s funeral, and he was a peacekeeper, too. She parked and we talked for a couple of minutes about her father’s service with the Royal Canadian Regiment, including his peacekeeping service in Cyprus.
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110716 Day 24 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada. Caledonia resident Pat Woolley w/London ladies.She invited my wife and me to attend the service and reception today and bring my U.N. flag which I did. It was an emotional time. Only those who have served in the military or have family in the military can truly understand the unique bond that we feel for one another – even those we’ve never met. When I was asked if I was family or a friend, I said ‘Don’ was my brother, but I didn’t know him or about him until that morning. His daughter knew exactly what I meant; she said, “Your brother by another mother.”
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RCR hatbadge: VRI = 'Victoria Regina Imperatrix' ('Victoria Queen and Empress')There was a colour guard from the local RCR association during the service, and it was, I could see, a great comfort to the family. Thanks guys. Nearly every one of them had ribbons on their chest testifying to the price they had paid for Canadian values.
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When Don’s daughter drove away after inviting me to be with them, one of the ladies who has been supporting the vigil said, “That’s what you call a divine invitation.” How true. You just can’t make stuff like this up. It was an honour to be asked to spend time with the family of the brother I didn’t know I had. Thank you so much for stopping today, Terry.

WESTMORELAND.

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING.

[…] This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

[Re-enter Salisbury.]

Two more days left in Blue Beret vigil
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Just Sunday and Monday remaining. 10-11 both days + 11:30-1:00 pm at the London Free Press. Addresses & maps at top.
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Hamas/Boat to Hamas promoter right inside Minister James Moore’s Canadian Heritage & Official Languages Ministry…
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What is going on inside our government when it is hiring terror group apologists who use government time and email to try to spread the gospel according to Hamas via intimidation vs. a Canadian veteran from Afghanistan? According to Kaffir Kanuck:
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a. Monzer Zimmo is ‘Financial/Business Development Advisor, Deputy Director General of Canadian Heritate,
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b. Zimmo sent Kaffir an email using his government email during working hours from a government IP saying he was “in the flotilla” and “raised money ($5000) for it,” and “if you don’t like Hamas, tough noogies.”
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c. Zimmo put a cartoon showing a Jewish devil-vampire in one of his articles (see links below) at the Uprooted Palestinians site — the same one that led me to create my first 21 minute course: ‘ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA 101’. If the article and/or cartoon is gone, email me (mark@blueberet.ca)and I’ll send you a page capture.
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It’s time to get serious about security on Parliament Hill. In a hurry. Please.

DAY 23, Friday, July 15/11

110715 Day 23 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, CanadaAnother day in the sun with one of my new friends (see Strength of a Woman  and a new face who says he’s a member of the Freedom Party of Ontario.

Tomorrow – a special supporter coming from Caledonia
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060610 Pat Woolley vs OPP in Caledonia wearing his 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' Tshirt (This photo included in Christie Blatchford's book, 'Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us')A very special person is planning to drive up from Caledonia to be part of the Blue Beret vigil tomorrow.
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Pat Woolley’s photo can be found in Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless. He’s pointing at the OPP officers lined up against the innocent residents on June 10/06 instead of the native militants ripping his town apart while wearing a shirt that says, ‘WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE.’
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Pat is the one who loaned me the Lee Strobel books (The Case For Faith; The Case for Christ; The Case for a Creator) that played a key role in me deciding to become a Christian, so please do come out to meet him if you can.
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Andrew Lawton does what the London Free Press would not do: tell the pro-Israel side of the Cdn Boat to Hamas
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Andrew LawtonThe editor of the Landmark Report, author/speaker/broadcaster Andrew Lawton, has published the op-ed submitted to the London Free Press by Gary McHale about the Blue Beret vigil which they refused to publish:
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Many thanks to Andrew Lawton, and also to Kaffir Kanuck for facilitating.
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TorSun Founder Peter Worthington hammers ‘journalistic negligence’ in Caledonia coverage, quotes Mark re ‘defacto’ suspension of the Charter/PSA protections for Caledonians
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Peter Worthington - TORONTO SUN PHOTOThe good news re Caledonia keeps on coming. Rec’d call from a Caledonia resident yesterday telling me that Peter Worthington had written a column that mentioned the Caledonia Victims Project, and which included several quotes from my writings (links & emphasis added):
Thank you so much for this, Mr. Worthington; if you only knew how hard we tried to get journalists to cover the real story of Caledonia(!). I guess that’s another book we’ll have to write, i.e. ‘Caledonia: The Dark Days of Canadian Journalism.’
To learn more about the McGuinty/OPP illegal peacekeeping mission on Canadian soil, and how it was justified by a public inquiry that wasn’t, please see:
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  • ‘Caledonia: No More Nightmares’ event, Ottawa, March 22/11, Mark Vandermaas presentation, Part 2 cont. – Caledonia Myths & Policy Issues: An Illegal Peacekeeping Mission on Canadian Soil [VIDEO #3, 9:39] [PDF, 36p incl. citations, begins p12]x
The Strength of a Woman (So, what’s our excuse?)
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It’s interesting to me that the Londoners who have come out to support the Blue Beret vigil have been (almost, but not quite) exclusively women. Look at the photo of the women on this page who are being guarded with soldiers with rifles as they protest in….well, you’ll have to look for yourself.
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The courage is simply astounding! Check out the photo & story, then ask…so, what’s my excuse for not standing up against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda?
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Flotilla News
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They’re keeping a low profile. No triumphant announcements of their return to Canada as they did on departure. Last post on the Boat to Hamas site:
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  • Canadian Boat to Gaza, July 09/11: The Tahrir Will Sail Again “We will keep coming by sea, by air, by land and in the media until the blockade collapses and Palestine is free.” (The days of flotilla voyages to make it easier for terror groups to kill Jews are done, over, ended, finished…but what else could they say?)
Here is a gem from the Boat to Hamas site I just discovered that made me smile. I imagine they must have been rather disappointed when the United Nations agreed with Israel that it really was legal for them to stop weapons from getting to Hamas. (See also ‘Lies, Damn Lies, and Flotilla Lies’ in DAY 22′):
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Thanks for the coverage
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DAY 22, Thursday, July 14/11

 110714 Bob Metz, Mark Vandermaas, Robert Vaughan, 'JUST RIGHT' Show. PHOTO: Robert VaughanNOW ONLINE:  Mark’s appearance on ‘Just Right’ Show, CHRW 94.9FM, University of Western Ontario today
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Spent just 1/2 hour at the mosque today in the sun with one of my loyal ladies so I could make it to the CHRW studio before 11.
110714 Mark Vandermaas PHOTO-Robert Vaughan, 'Just Right' Show, CHRW 94.9 FM, UWOBob Metz & Robert Vaughan did an outstanding job, as usual, going above and beyond the call of duty by sending Robert (R) down to the vigil site at the mosque to take a photo of me to go on their website. Robert also took the photo above using his remote camera gizmo. Thanks!
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GUEST: Mark Vandermaas – Blue Berets For Peace [WMA] [HQ MP3]
  • A Local Vigil: Countering Anti-Israel Hysteria
  • The Media: The Real Blockade To Peace In Gaza
  • What Humanitarian Crisis In Gaza? Biting The Hands That Feed Them
  • United Nations – For Or Against Israel?
Mentioned: Never Again Group (Stuart Laughton, Gary Gerofsky), Investigative blogger Blazing Cat FurLeila Paul, Gary McHale, Rabbi Jonathan Hausman
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Exodus poster WikipediaWe covered a lot of ground, due mainly to the great work of the hosts. Bob & Robert have had Gary McHale & me on their show in the past [LINK, LINK] to talk about our work in Caledonia, and they really did their homework today, again. The Exodus clips were the perfect accompaniment. I know you’ll find the hour well invested.
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Many thanks to Stuart from the Never Again Group in Hamilton for calling in. Thanks also to Gary Gerofsky and Steve Scheffer, also of the Never Again Group, for providing written quotes since they were not available to call in. You can read them below. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to work them into the show.  The NAG are a group of Jews/non-Jews who advocate for truth in the Israel-Palestine debate. They have supported our Caledonia work and have now driven to London three different times to support the Blue Beret vigil.
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STEVE SCHEFFER (Never Again Group)
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“I first met Mark Vandermaas in April, at a Hamilton synagogue where a memorial service for the Fogel family, brutally massacred by Palestinians in March, was being held.  Mark not only explained the importance of the Caledonia uprising to us as Canadians but also clearly demonstrated why that event should be of great and particular interest to the Jewish community.  Not too many people knew, and I certainly was one who did not know, that flying next to the Mohawk flag on the Douglas Creek Estates site was a Palestinian flag, brought there by members of the anti-Israel group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights.
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In 2008 I personally witnessed the venomous diatribe of SPHR at a so-called Free Speech Rally held at McMaster University during Israel Apartheid Week and was appalled to learn that this same group was now siding with the illegal and violent occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates.  Mark further pointed out that if governments and the police in Canada are allowed to get away with racially based two-tier application of the law, then what will stop them in the future from giving specific privileges and rights to other groups with perceived grievances and special demands.
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Throughout history, Jews have learned all too well what differential, racially based application of the law has meant to their survival.  We cannot let this happen in this country, ever.”
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Steven Scheffer
Burlington
Member, Never Again Group
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GARY GEROFSKY (Never Again Group)
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“I agree with Mark’s efforts to expose the fact that money was raised by a member of the London Mosque to support Hamas’ efforts to wage war and terrorism against Israel. There is NO humanitarian crisis in Gaza and this has been freely admitted by flotilla organizers. When the London Free Press provides no information on one side of the debate, that is tantamount to the intentional misinforming of the public in a matter of importance to the education of the entire community of London, Ontario, Canada.
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Gary Gerofsky,
Never Again Group
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Blue Beret vigil ends Monday, July 18th
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I committed to maintaining my vigil until the London ‘delegates’ on the Boat to Hamas – David Heap and Muhammed Humou – had returned to Canada, and it was my intention to end it by greeting them as they arrived at the Toronto airport. I can only assume, by the statements of the organizers in the Spectator op-ed below (Flotilla News), that they either have returned, or are about to return – without the fanfare of their departure.
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Since I have no way to verify their return, and since there have been a number of important developments in the Caledonia situation (outlined in yesterday’s update) that require my attention, I have decided to end the Blue Beret vigil on DAY 26 – Monday, July 18th. (DETAILS AT TOP OF PAGE).
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I expect there may be more Blue Beret protests in the future, but now is your last chance to stand with me against the anti-Israel propaganda spread by the Boat to Hamas supporters, and the support shown to them by the London Muslim Mosque.
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I’m very pleased to advise that one of those planning to be with me on Saturday is a Caledonia resident whose photo can be found in Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless. He’s pointing at the OPP officers lined up against the innocent residents instead of the native militants ripping their town apart while wearing a shirt that says, ‘WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE.’ To my Christian supporters who I’ve got to know so well over the past 22 days thanks to your loyal support — he’s the fellow who gave me the Lee Strobel books (The Case For Faith; The Case for Christ; The Case for a Creator) that led me, in large part, to become a Christian, so please do come out to meet him!
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Flotilla Lies
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Ignore the blatant lies/propaganda/spin in this article for a moment, please. Despite their silly assertion that support for the “popular movement is growing” the unapologetic national organizers of the Canadian Boat to Hamas have, apparently, decided NOT to announce their ‘triumphant’ return to Canada — as they did their departure. While the latest announcement from the tahrir.ca website dated July 09/11 states only “We will keep coming by sea, air, by land and in the media until the blockade collapses and Palestine is free,” the Hamilton Specator op-ed written by Wendy Goldsmith (watch her ‘occupy’ the office of London MP Ed Holder before getting arrested Jan 16/09) and Etab Lotayef states, “Many of our on-board delegates…have had to return to their busy lives in Canada…”
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Will these people ever stop inciting hate against Israel with their lies?
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LIE #1: “seriously undernourished children”
  • TRUTH: “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If you go to the supermarket there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach. The problem is mainly in maintenance and in access to goods, concrete for example.“ Mathilde Redmatn, Deputy Head, Red Cross in Gaza, April 2011 [Jerusalem Post, April 21/11, LINK]
  • TRUTH: “There is no starvation in Gaza. No one has died of hunger.“ Khalil Hamada, Senior Hamas official, Gaza’s Ministry of Justice, June 2010 [The Telegraph (UK), June 05/10, LINK]
  • TRUTH: According to a 2007 UNRWA study, 34.1% of Gaza males are obese, 41.6% of Females. By comparison, 19.8% of Israeli males are obese, 25.4 % of women: World Health Organization, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, Volume 16, No. 6, June 2010: Hyperglycaemia, hypertension and their risk factors among Palestine refugees served by UNRWA [PDF, 6p], [PDF – VoC download] (see Table 5: ‘Prevalence of Obesity,’ Gaza Strip and West Bank, Gaza: Palestine refugees)
  • TRUTH: According to the 2007 edition of The Economist’s ‘Pocket World in Figures’ for ‘Highest obesity’ (based on WHO statistics) men living in the West Bank and Gaza are the 8th-most obese in the world, and women are the 3rd-most obese. (Note that the WHO/UNWRA statistics cited above are for Gaza only while The Economist figures include both Gaza and the West Bank.)
  • TRUTH: The Economist, Pocket World in Figures, 2007 edition: Highest Obesity [PDF]

LIE #2: “Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza,” “an act of piracy,” “flagrant violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention”

LIE #3: Hamilton Spectator photo caption: “Canadian activists decided to put off their voyage for now” (Pardon?)
LIE #4: “Popular movement is growing” (Again…pardon?)
LIE #4: “baseless allegations were thrown at us: that we’re aiding terrorists…and that there are other ways to get the aid to Gaza”
Thanks for the coverage

DAY 21: Wednesday, July 13/11

Reminder: I’ll be on the JUST RIGHT radio show at CHRW 94.9 FM Radio tomorrow Live from the University of Western Ontario for a full hour between 10-11am. Many thanks to Bob Metz and Robert Vaughan for covering issues no one else in London wants to acknowledge.
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They’ve had Gary McHale and me on in the past, and so, in order to accommodate their schedule I offered to do what I would not do for any other media outlet: cut short my vigil by 1/2 hour so I can get to the studio on time. Tomorrow’s vigil will be from 10 until 10:30.
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London Free Press news – sort of (I’m confused, but in a good way)
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SunMedia has pulled out of the Ontario Press Council saying,

“The editorial direction of our newspapers, especially our urban tabloids, is incompatible with a politically correct mentality that informs OPC thinking, in the selction of cases it hears, and the rulings it renders.”

Darn, I was planning to complain to the OPC about the London Free Press’s politically correct reporting when the vigil was over, so I am left confused, but excited. Excited because it looks like the SUN papers are planning to join SUN TV in covering real new the others have refused to report for years. Confused because…I think you can figure that out for yourself.  .

h/t Blazing Cat Fur

Today.

110713 Day 21 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, CanadaAnother great day on Oxford Street with one of my loyal Blue Beret ladies who, despite suffering from a sore back, showed up again today to be with me — after spending nearly 3 hours with us yesterday, at the mosque and our London Free Press protest. What a trooper!
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I took the picture above before she arrived, but here’s one of my most favourite of photos taken to date that happens to be of her:
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Had two separate women stop to talk, each with 3 kids. One said she started reading the info I had given her and thanked me, saying it was very interesting.
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The other stopped because her little boy wanted to know who I was and what I was doing there every day. So, I gave mom some info and told the boy that I used to work for the United Nations which was started by countries like Canada to make sure people didn’t get hurt, and I was doing the same now, and that her mom would explain more later. Wow. Keep asking questions little buddy!
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Fabulous news – so much that it’s hard to keep up!
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There is so much good news to report on the Caledonia front that I haven’t been able to keep up with it because the vigil seems to take all my time (up most nights till 2 or 3 writing, answering emails, etc., and it’s important that you hear it even though you might think it’s unrelated. That’s because the slow progress that has now developed into a flood of good news shows that if you never give up the fight, you can and will win – so long as you stand on the side of truth and justice. Truth always rises to the top; it may take a while, but it get’s there.
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Witness the following selection of events in Caledonia:
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 And now…more vindication!
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Blue Beret vigil followers are the first to hear this:
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I’m pleased to report that Gary McHale and I recently settled our lawsuit for defamation with the Ontario Provincial Police Association over a Jan 18/07 news release they issued which accused us of inciting violence and hate in Caledonia. We have agreed on an apology/clarification confirming the Association had no evidence to support that statement. Both sides have signed, and we’re waiting for copies of the paperwork, and for our now-famous lawyer John Findlay to approve wording for an announcement, so I don’t want to say more. Took 4 years, but it was worth the wait. We still have outstanding lawsuits and a human rights complaint regarding our arrests Dec 16/06 while attempted to raise a Canadian flag in Caledonia.
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Lesson: the system works…if you use it. The problem is that most Canadians would rather whine about how ‘you can’t fight city hall’ than take peacefully to the streets, the courts, and the media to protect their rights:

So…stop complaining, take a stand, and stop worrying about getting people mad at you. Nothing good happens until someone gets angry about you confronting them about injustice they helped to bring about. Besides, the tension you’re worried about creating by standing up for what is right and true is already there. Here’s what Dr. King said in reply to those who said he was ‘creating tension’ with his ‘non-violent direct action’ marches and sit-ins in Birmingham:

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

You can read more from Dr. King’s letter here.

Flotilla News

Does anyone know where David Heap and Muhammed Humou are? Surely, the Canadian Boat to Hamas people will be announcing their triumphant arrival back in Canada, just as they announced their departure? Apparently not.

Last bit of nonsensical propaganda (Our Work Continues) from the Boat to Hamas people waxes on about their heroic effort to break “Israel’s illegal blockade” was on July 08/11 – the same day the National Post broke the story about the U.N.’s report that vindicated the Israeli government in the Mavi Marmara incident from 2010 and which declared the blockade of weapons to Hamas lawful. Imagine that.

Thanks for the coverage

DAY 20, Tuesday, July 12/11

At least ONE London media outlet wants to cover the Blue Beret vigil story

110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reportingMark Vandermaas has been invited to appear on the JUST RIGHT radio show on CHRW 94.9 FM w/Bob Metz and Robert Vaughan on Thursday, July 14th, 11-12am. Airs LIVE from University of Western Ontario.  Shows are available online afterwards.

Bob & Robert do a fabulous job of researching their topics. Mark and Gary McHale have appeared on the show in the past. Other JUST RIGHT guests have included John Thompson, Salim Mansur, William Gairdner, Rory Leishman, Lars Hedegaard, Ezra Levant and Ann Coulter.

Today’s mosque vigil and protest at London Free Press

Had a very good day, first at mosque, then London Free Press, new faces, Jews & non-Jews, Christians and non, from Hamilton, Binbrook, London. Thank you all, especially to Never Again Group, and Gary & Christine McHale who made the trip from Hamilton area for the 3rd time to stand with me during the Blue Beret vigil.
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I can tell you that support for the vigil and the idea of standing up to those who facilitate/excuse terror against innocents is growing slowly, but steadily each day. Connections are being made, relationships cemented and plans for further action in the works.
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No community interest here…nothing to report here folks…just move along
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I am sure it will not be much of a surprise to learn that not one reporter from even one media outlet – including from the London Free Press – came to find out why Jews and non-Jews were standing in front of London’s daily with signs saying, ‘LONDON-NOT-SO-FREE PRESS VS. ISRAEL! WHY?
We screwed two signs onto hydro poles across the street so LFP employees could see them from their windows. They couldn’t see us in front of the building but they could see the signs, and hear the honks of support.
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The running joke on the picket line is, ‘No…definitely no community interest in this story, folks. Oh, but look! Theres a kitty stuck in the tree…’
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Thinking, perhaps, of putting in an extra hour each day in front of the LFP. Nice spot. Shade trees. Wide sidewalks. LFP reporters and workers to meet and enlighten. Will decide after getting some sleep.
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Christine McHale took a lot of photos, but until she can get them to me, you’ll have to make do with mine:
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110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting  110712 Day 20 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada + protest at London Free Press re biased reporting

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‘Johnny Canuck’? (I’ve been called worse…much worse)

A snappy, if sarcastic roundup from Altlondon.org. I couldn’t find a URL for the story itself, so I’ve cut & pasted it here:

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‘Johnny Canuck-style protester at London Mosque to move information picket to London Free Press building this morning’


Freeper Editor-in-Chief Joey (The Bullfrog) Ruscitti (pictured above right [removed for VoC story])  has come under fire from local activists Mark Vandermaas (top center, wearing funky blue beret) and Leila Paul (pictured above left) for ass-kissing and showing no balls (wat dat?). Sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me. More delightful fodder for the never-ending Middle Eastern grist mill.

This story has all the necessary ingredients to jump-start a muggy July day in the boonies:

1. Mucho flag-waving in support of truth, justice and the Canadian way; 2. Accusations of fundraising to support Middle-East terrorists and 3. Private e-mails made public and a refusal by the York Street Rag Factory to publish opinion columns that might inflame London Muslims. Poor Joey Ruscitti, caught in the middle between a rock and a hard spot. What’s a Quebecor flunkie with a Leave-it-to Beaver haircut supposed to do?

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

TWO OBSERVATIONS: Joe Ruscitti hasn’t updated his online “Editor’s Blog” since November 16th, 2010, and Leila Paul doesn’t allow comments on her blog. Why dat?

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If you scroll down the home page of AltLondon.org (accessed 1031 hrs, July 12/11) you’ll find the alternative viewpoint to mine in the form of a news release by the nice folks at the Canadian Boat to Hamas project. Both sides of a story – isn’t that what newspapers used to do?

Stunning aerial views of Israel, incl. Jerusalem

(h/t Blazing Cat Fur)

  • Jerusalem Giant Screen, Sept 2010: Jerusalem – filmed in Imax 3D [VIDEO, 6:55]

Flotilla & other news

Our contacts are keeping ears to the ground in order to find out when the Boat to Hamas people are getting back. Apparently, I’m not the only one who wants to greet them at the airport when they come slinking home with their tails between their legs after being the objects of world-wide ridicule. I just can’t bring myself to get angry with them, though. The Boats to Hamas fiasco was the best PR Israel’s had in years.

  • The Elder of Ziyon (h/t Blazing Cat Fur), July 12/11: Fotidiot whining reaches a new level
  • FrontPage Mag, July 08/11: The Palestinian Muslim Money Hole MUST READ: Quotes surpising World Bank stats showing poverty levels of Palestinians in the West Bank (under the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas) are lower and/or comparable to citizens of other countries. Also details the waste of donated money by the PA after it “passed a law putting all imprisoned terrorists, even members of Hamas, on its payroll.”:
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    “But do “Palestinian People” really need billions more in aid? The World Bank report for 2011found that only 16 percent of the West Bank under PA control was living below the poverty line.”How serious is a 16 percent poverty rate? It’s better than the poverty rate in Washington D.C. which hit 18.9 percent. That means that politicians in Washington D.C. are diverting money that could have been used to help needy Americans a few miles from their offices, to help the comparatively better off terrorist populations in the West Bank.”Contrary to the barrage of news stories on the suffering of the Palestinians, the poverty rate for America and the West Bank aren’t that far apart. The California poverty rate is at 15.3 percent. And the national average at 14.3 percent is hardly that much better.”

Quote of the Day

Kaffir Kanuck pulls out the other ‘gem quote’ from Gary Gerofsky’s (Never Again Group) article Flotillas and boycotts, divestment and sanctions failures: RIP.

It begins, “As graying over-paid university professors and minor celebrities throw in their lot with Muslim co-propagandists and co-conspirators, we see how pathetic they are…” Read the rest here:

Thank you for the coverage (if I missed yours, pls send link)

DAY 19, Monday, July 11/11

110711 Day 19 Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim MosqueI have some work to do in order to prepared for tomorrow’s protest at the London Free Press, so this will be my shortest update yet. Quiet day on vigil at the mosque with one of my loyal ladies who has made the decision to come out as often as she can.

The real news, of course is the London Free Press’s continuing refusal to tell the other side of the Canadian Boat to Hamas story.

110711 Day 19 Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim MosqueFlotilla News: no time to do a roundup. Blue Beret vigil continues until David Heap and Muhammed Humou are back in Canada. Hoping to greet them at the airport as finale.

Hope to see you out tomorrow. Vigil at mosque, 10-11, then protest at LFP, 11-1pm. Details/maps at top.

Had a good day, new faces, Jews & non-Jews, Christians and non, some from Hamilton, Binbrook, London.

PROTEST CONFIRMATION – It’s on for tomorrow

I first announced my plan to protest the anti-Israel bias during the Gaza flotilla mission at the London Free Press on Day 15 (July 7th) of my Blue Beret vigil.
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In an attempt, on his part, to work with the LFP in good faith to try to make my planned protest un-necessary, Mr. McHale asked if I would be prepared to cancel the protest if he could convince LFP Editor Joe Ruscitti to print an op-ed setting out the facts I felt were not being reported. I agreed, and he attempted to work out the details with Mr. Ruscitti who advised he would make a decision by today.
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Unfortunately, he has decided not print Mr. McHale’s op-ed, citing a ‘lack of reader interest.’
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I am calling on all those who value good journalism free from bias and the undue influence of special interest groups to join me in front of the London Free Press building tomorrow from 11:15 until 1:00pm in protest against the paper’s biased reporting of the Gaza flotilla story.

Members of the pro-Israel Never Again Group from Hamilton and Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality in Caledonia are coming to offer their full support. They will also be joining me during my daily Blue Beret vigil at the London Muslim Mosque, and you are welcome to be part of this vigil as well.

Details

  • 10:00 – 11:00 am: Daily Blue Beret vigil, London Muslim Mosque, 151 Oxford St. W., London, ON [MAP]
  • 11:15-1:00 pm: London Free Press, 369 York St., London [MAP] There are parking lots in area. Do NOT park at LFP building.
  • Protest Instructions: before deciding to attend – especially at my daily vigil – I ask that you review the attached ‘OUR GOALS TODAY’ document [PDF]
  • Please…NO signs (I will bring), NO bullhorns, NO yelling, NO swearing, keep sidewalk clear.

DAY 18, Sunday, July 10/11

UPDATED 0843 July 11 — Sorry.  When I got up this morning I really thought today’s update was going to be a short one but, it didn’t turn out that way…

Protest at London Free Press, Tuesday, July 12th
(see DAY 16 for more info)

IMPORTANT: CHECK HERE FOR UPDATES BEFORE YOU COME

  • 10-11am: London Muslim Mosque, 151 Oxford St. W., London, ON [MAP]
  • 11:15-1pm: London Free Press, 369 York St., London [MAP]
crowd_laughing_at_village_idiot.jpg“As protest organizers disguise their objectives as legitimate protests against Israel, they come to the aid of terrorists who have slit the throats of their own people just as Hamas did to their brothers in Fatah. Imagine a young man going off on a flotilla expedition telling his father and mother that he is risking his life for the sake of terrorists. What responsibility does western society and media have to expose the pure anarchy that is involved in such a decision and that is rampant and goes unchallenged in universities, unions and in Islamist groups?”
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Well said, and well asked. That, of course, is the very reason why we are protesting at the London Free Press on Tuesday. See Day 16.

July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil, London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard). L-R: Former UN peacekeeper & Caledonia resident Merlyn Kinrade, Mark Vandermaas, Stuart Laughton (Never Again Group), Pesach Ovadyah (Jewish Defence League), Gary Gerofsky (Never Again Group)Gary Gerofsky is a member of the Hamilton-based ‘Never Again Group’ whose members have now made two trips to London to support the Blue Beret vigil. More photos: see Days 3 & 11. Thank you, Gary and to all members of NAG.

TODAY: A Blue Beret supporter’s dilemma: attend church or speak out in opposition to a London mosque’s support for a mission to break Israel’s weapons blockade against a terror group sworn to exterminate Jews

If talk about Christianity offends you, feel free to skip down to Flotilla News (it’s all good)

In my Day 10 update I responded to the concern raised by a relative of my supporters who didn’t feel it was ‘Christian’ for her to join the Blue Beret protest of the London Muslim Mosque’s role in aiding the mission of the Canadian Boat to Hamas [by helping it raise money and sending a ‘delegate on board (their now-former operations manager; see Day 14:  Toronto Sun founder…’)]. Another wasn’t sure if she should come to the protest or go to church.

This is how I responded…

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Everyone has to arrive at their own decisons, but Dr. King, who was himself a Baptist minister, addressed these issues in his eulogy for three of the four little Black girls murdered in the KKK bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama during which he partly blamed their deaths on the cowardice of Christian ministers:

“These children—unoffending, innocent, and beautiful—were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. And yet they died nobly. They are the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity. And so this afternoon in a real sense they have something to say to each of us in their death. They have something to say to every minister of the gospel who has remained silent behind the safe security of stained-glass windows.”

If ‘Christians’ are willing to remain silent while a religious institution in London actively supports an endeavour which, if successful, will result in weapons getting to a terrorist organization who will kill innocent Jews with them, then that will be on their conscience, but it will not be on mine, or those who choose to stand with me.

If ‘Christians’ are willing to remain silent about the innocent Palestinian lives that will be lost if Israel is forced, once again, to defend her citizens from Hamas weapons, that, too, will be on their conscience, but not ours.

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To Church or to Protest? A Christian makes a decision – and a difference

110710 Day 17 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada. Mark Vandermaas (Blue Berets for Peace) and Pesach Ovadyah (Jewish Defence League)Today, a woman who was with us on July 3rd (DAY 11) showed up to support the vigil along with Pesach of the Jewish Defence League in London. I certainly wasn’t expecting her to come, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her.

She explained that she remembered me quoting Dr. King’s words about people hiding behind ‘stained glass windows’ and had made the decison that rather than spend the morning in church behind those windows, she woulld spend the hour with us. She had also decided she wanted to donate what she would have ordinarily given her church to me and another (very deserving!) London activist because, as she said, she wanted the money to go to people who were out in the community doing something that mattered and who would be directly impacted by it.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn in the last five years is to allow others the pleasure of helping. Today was one of those remarkable coincidences we Christians prefer to regard as little miracles. I’ve seen too many of them to know today wasn’t an accident.

I’m a fairly new Christian (Dec 31/09) but it wasn’t the ‘church’ that led me to become one, it was the example of other Christians in Caledonia, in particular Gary McHaleMerlyn Kinrade and the now-famous lawyer for the Caledonia Class Action, John Findlay. And a resident there named Pat Woolley (whose picture can be found in Christie Blatchford’s Helpless) who opened my mind by loaning me copies of Lee Strobel’s books, The Case for Faith; The Case for Christ. I eventually bought them for myself along with The Case for a Creator. You can read some of my story here:

I have a deep suspicion of churches because not a single one in or outside Caledonia chose to speak out for the innocent victims. They ministered to the people of Six Nations to try to understand why they were angry enough to terrorize their neighbours, but refused to openly denounce the violence of the native extremists and the racist policing policies that were responsible for ripping their community apart.

CANACE report, Dec 2007: 'The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations'I challenge anyone who calls themselves ‘Christian’ to watch the videos from our Caledonia: No More Nightmares presentation, or read our 2007 Human Costs of Illegal Occupations report, and then explain to me how it was that so many of their number decided to hide behind their stained-glass windows while families suffered violence, intimidation, false arrests, suicide attempts, heart attacks, and attended counselling and medication to cope with the stress of living without police protection. (You can write to me at: mark@blueberet.ca)

  • HelplessByBlatchford project: Caledonia: No More Nightmares
  • CANACE report (Gary McHale & Mark Vandermaas), Dec 2007: The Human Costs of Illegal Occupations [PDF, 101p]

Mark Vandermaas speaks at 'Caledonia:No More Nightmares' presentation, Ottawa, ON, March 22/11There WERE Christians in Caledonia speaking out, but the churches were silent. We know of not even one that openly demanded that the government protect the innocent. Happily, we have been meeting with a pastor since late 2010 who read Helpless, and reached out to us. We hope, that with his help, we can work towards bringing about some healing by helping the people of Six Nations understand why they – along with the OPP, and Ontario government – need to apologize for their role in Caledonia’s misery:

Sometimes, those Christians who did speak out were ostracized for doing so.  In one sad case, a Baptist church actually refused to allow Gary McHale and his wife Christine to attend, an injustice that will, I suspect, be to their everlasting shame, just as it must have been for the eight white Alabama clergy members who signed the infamous letter – ‘A Call For Unity’ – asking Dr. King not to march in Birmingham because they thought the battle for justice should only be fought in the courts.

Dr. King’s reply was his April 16/63 ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ that now serves as an eloquent defence against those who would prefer not to confront uncomfortable truths:

I think I should indicate why I am here In Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.”

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. […]

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative. […]

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured. […]

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

What many people do not realize is that Dr. King was a Baptist minister first and foremost whose faith in God was the core of his civil rights work. His words and his works provide all the justification necessary for church members to go out into the community to speak out against injustice.

I was humbled by the fact that, today, one more Christian examined her conscience, and chose to spend the day in the hot sun with me, my wife and the Chair of the Jewish Defence League here in London to speak out for Jewish and Palestinian victims of Hamas.

Flotilla News & Opinion

I do not think that the BDS movement, the UN Israel haters, the Islamic terrorists and their leftist companions are going to disappear any time soon but they do seem to be eating themselves alive.”

Thanks for the coverage…

Day 17, Saturday, July 09/11

Three supporters with me today, including my wife. Lots of honks + one girl with her face screwed up with hate screaming something out of the passenger window that none of us could make out. Must be one of those loving peace activists – like on the Tahrir.

Made up a new sign – ‘UN: GAZA BLOCKADE LEGAL’ just in case the mosque leadership hadn’t heard the good news from yesterday:

In case you’re wondering, I’m just a poor activist with no money for pretty signs. Bristol board and a magic marker, cheap & fast – not pretty, but still gets the job done. During the five years of our work in Caledonia we never once had professionally-made signs, and things seemed to work out OK. Here’s one of them in the header photo of the Caledonia Victims Project site.

Protest at London Free Press, Tuesday, July 12th
(see DAY 16 for more info)

IMPORTANT: CHECK HERE FOR UPDATES BEFORE YOU COME

  • 10-11am: London Muslim Mosque, 151 Oxford St. W., London, ON [MAP]
  • 11:15-1pm: London Free Press, 369 York St., London [MAP]

Blue Beret vigil soon coming to a close

(Hat-tip to Blazing Cat Fur for these gems…)

They’re coming home:

AGIOS NIKOLAOS, GREECE—The Tahrir’s run for Gaza is over, for now.

Mired in paperwork that would delay a possible departure by at least another two days – and expecting more tie ups after that – organizers decided Saturday to make a call and withdraw from the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza.

“It was a good run, and we will sail again,” said David Heap, part of the steering committee and a professor of linguistics and French at the University of Western Ontario. “It looks like this boat is papered in for now.”

In a final meeting for the delegates who hoped to sail, Heap read aloud a message from Ziad Medoukh, a French professor at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza.

It was a thank you letter from Gaza, and Heap, 45, fought back tears as he read. […]

I’m sure Mr. Heap was very saddened that he didn’t get to play his part in  making it easier for Hamas to get weapons to kill Jews with by breaking a blockade the United Nations says is perfectly legal. (I’m guessing that’s yet another UN ruling they won’t be mentioning on the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid site.)

National Post’s David Frum’s assessment: it wouldn’t be right for me to just pull one or two quotes – you have to read the whole thing

A side-splitting, yet blisteringly-brutal assessment of the Hamas non-Flotilla and its great public relations contribution on behalf of the state of Israel. Laughed so hard I cried (then again, I am exceptionally sleep-deprived):

Can you help?

I said I would continue my vigil at the mosque until London’s ‘delegates to Hamas returned to Canada. If anyone knows what flight David Heap and/or Muhammed Humou are on please email me at mark@blueberet.ca. I really would like to greet them at the airport.

Caledonia and the Middle East?

March 22/11: Free Thinking Film Society & International Free Press Society bring Caledonia to OttawaNow that the Province has settled the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit, I thought I’d put together some references to help answer some important questions about why things went off the rails, and what needs to happen to get back on track t:

For those who wonder what Caledonia and the Israel/Palestinian issue have in common:

1. When you boil out all the outright lies and nonsensical arguments of ‘contextualized violence,’ both Caledonia and the Israel/Palestinian conflict are, at their root — rule of law issues,  well explained in this video by Dennis Prager:

  • ‘Prager University,’ Oct 24/10: The Middle East Problem [VIDEO, 5:59]

2. Would it surprise you to know that Palestinian activists were on the Douglas Creek Estates within two weeks of the occupation beginning? Or that on May 03/06 the Niagara Palestinian Association raised the Palestinian flag to fly alongside that of the Mohawk Warrior organized crime group flag?

Caledonia occupation site, May 03/11: Palestinian flag w/Mohawk Warrior flagOr that one of the Palestinian activists on the site – a woman named Jamila Ghaddar (Google her name) spoke for the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in 2008 – the group that met with Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood in 2007?

“In the months following, through cold and moments of exhaustion and worry we would raise our eyes to the swaying of the flags and think, we are one, and the winds carry our colours together from Jerusalem to the Grand River.”

Jamila Ghaddar, McMaster University Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, March 09/08

Thanks for the coverage!

DAY 16, Friday, July 08/11

ISRAELI BLOCKADE VS. HAMAS WEAPONS IS LEGAL

United Nations flagA good day for the UN, a triumph over those who would legalize violence against innocents, a good day for Israel, and a good day for the rule of law.

A very bad day for the those deluding themselves that making it easier for Hamas to get weapons to kill Jews with was the moral equivalent to marching with Martin Luther King Jr. (!?!). See Day 15 – From Flotilla to Fauxtilla to Floptilla – all the while dishonouring Dr. King’s memory’

London Free Press protest is on: Tuesday, July 12th, 10-1pm

I’m asking for people to join me at the mosque on Tues, July 12th for my daily vigil from 10-11am, then make our way down to the entrance of the London Free Press building until 1pm.

  • 10-11am: London Muslim Mosque, 151 Oxford St. W., London, ON [MAP]
  • 11:15-1pm: London Free Press, 369 York St., London [MAP]

Purpose is to protest LFP’s biased, anti-Israel coverage of the Canadian Boat to Gaza story – in particular, their steadfast refusal to not only cover the Blue Beret vigil, but the key facts about the mosque’s fundraising support, and the fact that their Operations Manager was listed on its website as one of the ‘delegate’s’ on the boat – until after they left Canada.

If you’re thinking of coming, please take a minute to read the 2 items listed in my ‘IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MARK’ section at the top.

IMPORTANT!: Before leaving to come down, be sure to check here for any changes/updates. Best to keep in touch by being on my email list. Send email to mark@blueberet.ca w/’Blue Beret’ in the Subject line.

TODAY – quiet on Oxford St., but stunning news to come home to…

110708 Day 16 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada.After 2 days on my own (with some great visitors) one of my Blue Beret ladies was back on the vigil with me. What a trooper! Lot’s of horn honks. Came home to discover the good news that the UN did right by Israel in confirming that she acted legally, and honourably in properly investigating the outrageous and (as it turns out) false claims of the so-called ‘activists’ on the Mavi Marmora.

The other stunning news I came home to was that our lawyer John Findlay, who is also the unsung hero who pushed the Caledonia Class Action lawsuit through the courts for 5 years, has reached a Court-approved settlement with the Ontario government on behalf of residents (many of whom didn’t support his quest for justice) to the tune of $20M.

knight-w-sword.jpgI was contacted by a Toronto Star reporter at the Queen’s Park Bureau for a reaction, and suddenly, the knowledge that the victims of Caledonia will receive some measure of justice thanks to a gutsy lawyer who also took our cases on when we had no money to pay him left me rather emotional as I tried to explain to her what I was feeling.

Mark Vandermaas said news of the settlement moved him to tears. The ex-member of the Canadian Forces was arrested on Dec. 16, 2006 as he tried to put up a Canadian flag across the street from the occupation site. “This is a special day,” Vandermaas said. “This proves the system works and people can fight back.” However, this is only partial vindication, he said. “Now we have to ask – how did it all go wrong?

After five years of fighting for justice in Caledonia, during which I and my associates were defamed, assaulted (2 put in the hospital, 1 w/brain injury after swarming by Six Nations smokeshack supporter),  nearly bankrupted, and arrested for trying to raise a Canadian flag, it was very satisfying to see yet another vindication for the victims.

Wow, what a day.

THE END OF THE BEGINNING! After 4 arrests & a 31 month campaign Canadians force OPP to respect their right to raise a Canadian flag in Caledonia.Lesson: Justice will prevail IF you never give up. Too many people get tired of the fight and are all too willing to surrender their rights and those of their children.

P.S. Gary McHale and I will have more good legal news from Caledonia to report, but it has to be approved by our lawyer.

Flotilla News

Thanks for the coverage…(if I missed your story it wasn’t intentional; pls send a link)

CAN YOU HELP? I’m getting a lot of readers through Facebook, so I signed up (Mark Vandermaas, mark@blueberet.ca) to see if I could find the page(s) so I could link back to it/them, but I’m finding it tough as a newbie to figure out how the site works, so if you’re posting/discussing the Blue Beret vigil on FB, send me an email if you can to tell me how to find it. Thanks.

Day 15: Thursday, July 07/11

TODAY

Had two visitors who made a special point of stopping to talk, having seen me at the mosque during the week. One was a Jewish fellow from Jerusalem named ‘Sagi’ who thanked me and agreed to have his picture taken.

'Sagi, an Israeli from Jerusalem poses w/Mark Vandermaas' UN flag, July 07/11, Day 15, Blue Beret vigil vs. London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Hamas

Sagi told me he experiences discrimination in some Muslim-run stores who treat him rudely because they know he’s Jewish. Served in the Israel Defence Forces. Enjoyed our time together.

He really appreciated the simplicity of the message I was trying to get out, ie., if someone can’t even accept that Israel is entitled to exist in peace as a Jewish state by virtue of the 1947 UN resolution, why continue the debate? Jacob Peretz, June 25/11, Day 3 of Blue Beret vigil vs London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn Boat to HamasYou can read more about our discussion in this new post based on resident Jacob Peretz’s letter to the London Free Press (Jacob was the first member of London’s Jewish community to stand with me; see Day 3):

The other visitor arrived just as I was getting ready to leave, so I spent a few minutes going over the basic points and gave him copies of my key handouts.

He seemed genuinely interested in what I was doing, and said, ‘so you’re trying to speak for both the Israeli and Palestinian victims?’ Right on. He gave me a wave as he drove off.

Upcoming protest at London Free Press

I’m still working out the exact timing, but I’m going to be issuing a call for a protest against the biased, pro-Palestinian coverage of the ‘Boats to Hamas’ fiasco by the London Free Press. Will be either Monday or Tuesday, 11:00 – 1:00, right after my daily vigil at the mosque on Oxford Street. Some Londoners seem particularly excited by the prospect of being part of an attempt to embarrass the LFP into taking editorial control back from the Muslim community and putting it back into the hands of journalists where it belongs. Be sure to see this if you haven’t already:

‘Blue Berets for Peace’ – the unofficial announcement  

At our London Free Press rally I’ll be announcing a new organization to build on my/our work in Caledonia, and on the Blue Beret vigil campaign. It will be called ‘Blue Berets for Peace.‘ If you want to be kept up-to-date, including about the timing of next week’s protest, send an email with ‘Blue Beret’ in the Subject line to: mark@blueberet.ca .

Leila Paul offers some very kind (if generous) praise

Click image to learn more about Leila PaulAfter we worked together until around 2:30-3:00 am yesterday getting her story and email exchange with the London Free Press put together and posted on VoiceofCanada, Leila was wrote a post of her own to tell readers of her blog why she decided to work with me. After 5 years of being smeared, jailed, assaulted and nearly bankrupted during our work in Caledonia, I do have to admit that it was nice to read, especially given Leila’s background, including a career as a TV news reporter and anchor in Canada and the United States, including stints with ABC, CBC, and BCTV:

“Here’s Mark’s story and you’ll see why he inspired me. His voice is indeed the Voice of Canada for if true patriot love had a voice, it would be Mark’s voice.”

Still, as I told Leila when I told her how much I appreciated her words: “As a Christian, I have to be careful not to get too full of myself because it has very little to do with me, and everything with God’s sovereignty, so if/when the time comes that someone tells this story, I will have to tell the truth that it wasn’t me at all, just as Gary McHale told Christie Blatchford in Helpless. In that vein, you might find this interesting:

P.S. Leila…if you think I’m patriotic, wait till you meet fellow peacekeeper, ex-RCN man Merlyn Kinrade.

Is the end of the Blue Beret vigil in sight?  

I’ve been having so much fun (despite serious sleep deprivation & some carpal tunnel from all the typing) meeting great people while countering, in some small way, the rabid, anti-Israel, anti-victim obfuscation offered up by the Boat to Hamas propagandists and some of their fawning media fans, that I am a little sad to report that the end of the Blue Beret vigil may be in sight. (Check out the Flotilla News below)

I’ve committed to maintaining my vigil until David Heap and Muhammed Humou (see also Day 14 update) come back to Canada. My plan is to be in the airport to greet them – in silence – as they come back from their despicable mission that has, ironically, been a spectacular PR victory for Israel, but especially for the Jews & Arabs who won’t die because of the weapons Hamas would have been able to use against Israeli citizens.

110706 Day 14 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada. 'Pete' from Harrisonburg, VA, USA stops by to say thanks.I forgot to mention in my Day 14 report that when the fellow from Virginia stopped to thank me, the first question he asked me was, “Are you Jewish?’ to which I replied, “No, I’m just a human being who thinks it’s wrong to hurt innocent people to get what you want. You don’t need to be Jewish to care about that.”

From Flotilla to Fauxtilla to Floptilla – all the while dishonouring Dr. King’s memory

This one says it all…

You know you’re in trouble when the very media you’ve attempted to court and manipulate tells you its a flop.”

“This year’s useful idiots included the usual aging peaceniks, left-wing university types, a few Jewish radicals, and the kind of people who show up to protest against logging and genetically modified foods. It doesn’t seem to bother them that Gaza is controlled by Hamas, widely regarded as a terrorist group. Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. It endorses The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic forgery that describes Zionist plans for world domination. (Too bad the journalists didn’t ask about that.) Hamas is backed by Iran. Its leader, Khaled Meshaal, is based in Syria, where, as you may recall, the regime of Bashar al-Assad is busy killing its own people. Hamas was among the few groups in the world to condemn the killing of Osama bin Laden.”  

[The side of the local London connection the London Free Press forgot to point out…]

“But the activists are unruffled by the Hamas connection. To them, the terrorists are all in Israel. They regard the suffering of Gazans as equivalent to the suffering of southern U.S. blacks under segregation, and the Gaza flotilla as the moral equivalent of freedom marches in Alabama. One of the passengers aboard the Tahrir was David Heap, a university professor whose father took part in the civil-rights movement. Mr. Heap says his father, too, was “ridiculed when he went to Selma to join Martin Luther King.”

“Alas, Khaled Meshaal is no Martin Luther King. And Gaza isn’t 1960s Alabama.”

NOTE: When Mr. Heap gets back to London, perhaps someone might send him some links to Dr. King’s writings on the subject of ‘non-violent direct action’ so he can try to grasp an elemental fact he seems to have missed: Dr. King was trying to stop the racists from hurting innocent people, not help make it easier for them.    If his twisted flotilla-esque logic of making it easier for Hamas to get weapons to kill Jews were applied to the U.S. civil rights movement he claims to be emulating, David Heap would not have been marching with Martin Luther King Jr. with love in his heart; rather, I suspect he’d have been running guns, ropes, wooden crosses and matches to the other side.

And so I say to you today that I still stand by nonviolence. And I am still convinced that it is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for justice in this country.

Martin Luther King, Jr., 'I have a dream,' March on Washington, Aug 28/63. Click for audio.And the other thing, I am concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice. I’m concerned about brotherhood. I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence.

For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.”

And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear.

I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who loves has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.”

It is disgraceful that anyone, let alone a guy whose father marched with the man who uttered these magnificent words, should invoke his name as justification for participating in a mission to make it easier for violent racists to carry out their stated plan to commit genocide.

Who am I to judge? For nearly five years we have been applying Dr. King’s teachings of non-violenct direct action to confront violent racists who have been actively shielded from the law, and for nearly that long we, too, have been ridiculed as outsiders for going to Caledonia – by the union radicals, anarchists, and anti-Israel groups involved in supporting native lawlessness against innocents. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the coverage…(if I missed your story it wasn’t intentional; pls send a link)

DAY 14: Wednesday, July 06/11

BREAKING: Free speech now subject to Muslim approval at London Free Press?
110706 Day 14 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada
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A) ‘Mark Vandermaas/LFP emails:
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I’ve released copies of the email exchange between the LFP’s editor Joe Ruscutti and me. You can download them here [PDF].
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B) The ‘Leila Paul’ emails (UPDATED):
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Click image to learn more about Leila PaulFormer journalist Leila Paul has contacted me through a 3rd party and given me explicit instructions to publish her interaction with LFP Editor Ruscitti in which he states – among other things – that he will not publish her opinion piece about the alleged terrorist connections to the funding of an Islamic Chair at Huron College at the University of Western Ontario until after he has a chance to meet with the Muslim community to try to persuade them to also write a piece. Ms. Paul’s piece was never published, but you can read it here [PDF].
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Read her reasons for speaking out here:
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.Toronto Sun founder Peter Worthington reports what the London Free Press won’t.
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110706 TorSun Worthington Blue Beret-MarkThe legendary founder of the Toronto Sun devoted 1/3 of today’s column to the Blue Beret protests in London:

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“[…] the London Free Press…has been giving short shrift to a protest organized by former UN peacekeeper Mark Vandermaas outside a London, Ont. mosque.
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Vandermaas claims that the mosque raised funds for the blockade-busting Canadian boat, and included a delegate aboard the boat, are refuted by Adeeb Hassan, chairman of the London mosque’s board of directors.
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Hassan says the mosque wasn’t involved in a fundraising dinner in its gymnasium — that it just rented the premises to the promoters. And the mosque’s ex-operations manager, Muhammed Hamou, is on the Tahrir on his own, and not representing the mosque.
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Fair enough. This was reported in the weekly Jewish Tribune.
Vandermaas’ vigil of almost two weeks has gained some support, but has largely been ignored. Thanks to the Greek Coast Guard, perhaps the Tahrir’s voyage is now over and Vandermaas can remove his blue beret and prepare for his next cause.”
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  • Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington, July 06/11: Flotilla should stay docked [PDF] (this article was never available online)
REBUTTING MOSQUE CLAIMS
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Some indisputable facts to counter the London Muslim Mosque’s attempt to distance themselves from my allegation they sent a delegate on the Cdn Boat to Hamas…
  • June 16/11: Canadian Boat to Gaza announces the delegates who will be aboard the Tahrir [PDF] In the announcement the CBG names just 11 of the people who will be on board, one of whom is “…Muhammed Hamou from the London Muslim Mosque.”
  • June 17/11: VoiceofCanada creates a PDF of the mosque’s Contact Us page showing Hamou’s positon as the Operations Manager and publishes story based on evidence from Blazing Cat Fur article. [LINK]
  • June 19/11: Delegates leave Toronto’s Pearson Airport
  • June 19/11: Google cache of mosque’s Contact Us page by Blazing Cat Fur showing Muhammed Hamou still listed as the Operations Manager.  [LINK]
  • Sometime after June 19/11: Mosque removes Hamou’s name and title from their website.
So, just to summarize: right up until after their Operations Manager Muhammed Hamou left Canada to sail on the Boat to Hamas, the London Muslim Mosque website had him listed as holding a senior position, and the Boat to Hamas people were describing him as representing the mosque.
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And, let’s not forget, the mosque isn’t denying they made space available for a fundraising dinner, but their defence is that it was just a rental agreement. Just a rental agreement with a group trying to raise money to make it possible for Hamas to get more weapons to kill more Jews.
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If, as they seem to be intimating, the mosque is renting to just anyone who asks, and they’re not discriminating based on a Hamas-friendliness factor, then perhaps they’d be willing to rent me a room so I can raise money for Jewish victims of Hamas war crimes? If someone wants to book it, I’m willing to come and eat and speak about how Israel was created by the U.N.
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Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
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About removing the blue beret, Peter…
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I appreciate the sentiments, but I’m maintaining my vigil until Dave Heap and Muhammed Humou come back to Canada. The last day will be spent at the airport greeting them as they come home. Peter Worthington has this to say, in part, about Mr. Heap and his companions:
“Unlike David Heap and the (un)happy travellers on the Tahrir, Greece has to live in the volatile Middle East and deal with Israel and Palestinians and the threat of terrorism.”
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TODAY
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110706 Day 14 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada. 'Pete' from Harrisonburg, VA, USA stops by to say thanks.Two people stopped by to thank me. The man in the photo is ‘Pete’ from Harrisonburg, Virginia who asked to pose with the UN flag after we talked for awhile. When I was walking back to my car another man stopped me and told me he’s seen me out on Oxford for a few days, and that he had driven back 4 blocks to tell me how much he appreciated what I was doing. People do care.
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The picture at the top shows the small Canadian flag I’ve added to go with the Israeli one I started with. I also have a Palestinian flag waiting in my pocket for a very special occasion:
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My Blue Beret ladies had other commitments today, so they were missed. Another great day on the Blue Beret ship while the Fauxtilla/Flotilla Boat to Hamas people go nowhere fast.
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DAY 13: Tuesday, July 05/11

LONDON FREE PRESS to mark vandermaas: NO REPORTING OF ‘BLUE BERET’ VIGIL OR RELATED EVIDENCE

UPDATED 10:16pm: It’s official – the London Free Press has decided not to report the ‘Blue Beret’ vigil – now in its 13th day – or the reasons behind it. Media release w/text of their shocking statement to follow.

In the meantime, you can read their latest puff piece about the London connection to the Canadian Boat to Hamas below. It was published yesterday on Day 12 of my vigil – before informing me they weren’t going to cover the story. I’ll have more to say tomorrow, but read their story from yesterday, then compare it to the source documents in the ‘BACKGROUND & REFERENCES’ section of my original media release to see what the LFP isn’t telling you and, apparently, doesn’t want you to know about the situation in Gaza and the London delegates:

UPDATE, 9:27pm: Photos from the event the London Free Press wouldn’t report on 

New photos from Day 11 (by Christine McHale). Yes, that’s another former Canadian  U.N. peacekeeper supporting the Blue Beret vigil – 75 year old Merlyn Kinrade who drove all the way from Caledonia. He served in UNEF I during the 1956 Suez Crisis.

       

Check out the rest of Christine’s pictures below, in Day 11.

TODAY

110705 Day 13 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, CanadaThe construction work and lane closure today slowed down traffic which gave drivers a better chance to read our signs, and two stopped for a minute, both saying they would like to come back to talk.

Netherlands eliminating taxpayer funding for anti-Israel groups

The Netherlands is taking measures to shut down taxpayer funding for groups who are attempting to de-legitimize Israel:

“The Dutch Foreign Ministry says it will implement “sweeping reforms” to prevent the transfer of millions of taxpayer euros from going to Dutch humanitarian aid organizations that fund anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities and non-government organizations (NGOs) that deny Israel’s right to exist. […]

“Debate over the issue heated up on June 15, when the heads of major Dutch NGOs were asked to testify at a special hearing convened by the Dutch Parliament “to discuss the activity of NGOs in Israel and Palestine.”

“According to a transcript of the event obtained by the Jerusalem Post, lawmakers heard the managers of leading Dutch NGOs defend BDS activities against Israel, as well as advocacy for a “one-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Flotilla News – the good news keeps coming

Thanks to Blazing Cat Fur for staying on top of all things ‘flotilla’:

DAY 12: Monday, July 04/11

110704 Day 12 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, CanadaGreat day in the sun with my favourite London ladies plus an unexpected surprise visit from Al Gretzky, Director of Communications for the Canadian Chapter of the International Free Press Society (now there‘s a London-based group that really deserves your membership support!).

All 3 were part of the two dozen or so people who gave of their time to come out yesterday and meet afterwards to exchange ideas!

More photos from Day 11 coming!

110704 Day 12 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, CanadaSpeaking of which, Christine & Gary McHale have sent out some spectacular photos from yesterday to all of us which put mine to shame, so I’ll be replacing most of my Day 11 photos with theirs (they were professional photographers before getting involved in Caledonia).

The joy on the faces of those who were with us yesterday – Jews, Christians and others standing together for the victims of Hamas  – is simply indescribable – you just have to see it to believe.

But, I can’t get the photos up till tomorrow because there’s some good news…

A Jewish leader outside London has invited me to meet with him tonight to discuss the ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ concept/vision:

London Free Press update

I emailed the editor of the LFP earlier today to ask for a meeting re lack of coverage. For now, he’s offered to talk to the 2 reporters who interviewed me since beginning the BB vigil. Super.  Much appreciated. As I said to him in my reply:

“I/we’ve worked with many journalists in connection w/the Caledonia crisis, so I know there’s no guarantee of coverage, you have the right to decide what and how to cover it, and that you’re in a crazy business with deadlines (never mind a long weekend), limited resources and people bugging you like me. Plus, I have great respect for the role of journalists in preserving democracy. That’s why I’m doing my best not to demonize the LFP when I report the facts to readers. I’ve specifically told people in my updates not to send ‘nastygrams’ to you – so I appreciate you looking into it.110704 Day 12 Blue Beret vigil vs. Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza, London, ON, Canada
I’m very proud to announce…the ‘Never Again Group’ of Hamilton is officially supporting the ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ vision
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Sorry you missed yesterday’s event? (You should be!). Some of the people from Hamilton’s ‘Never Again Group’ are coming again next Sunday, so you’re welcome to join us.
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(But…be sure to read the two items listed under the ‘IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MARK’ at the top first.)
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The Never Again Group is made up of Jews and non-Jews who are determined to speak out on behalf of the truth about Israel. Their name says it all, and their determination shows on their faces – check out the pictures from yesterday, Day 11.
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They have read Helpless, and have been watching and observing our work in Caledonia, and listening and learning about our Martin Luther King Jr. -based approach to confronting the appeasement of extremism.
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They were there unofficially as individuals supporting us on June 19/11 when the OPP and native occupiers finally respected our right to place our Apologies/Reconciliation monument in front of the occupation site to symbolize our belief that Six Nations owes the people of Caledonia an apology so true healing can begin.
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Thank you to the members of the Never Again Group for investing the time to meet with us, understand us, our work in Caledonia, why it matters to Jews, and for showing us how we can help further the cause of peace by helping you speak the truth about Israel so that we might prevent more victims, both Jewish and Palestinian, and by working to bring about healing and reconciliation in Caledonia.
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Stop by during the week
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You’re also welcome to join me throughout the week, too, even if it’s just to st0p by to say Hi. I’ll be there every day until the Boat to Hamas psgrs get back to Canada or Labour Day, whichever comes first.
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Flotilla News
  • National Post, July 04/11:  Michael Ross: Witless Hamas apologists denounce Israel from sunny Greece “Michael’s most interesting bio: “Michael Ross is a native of Victoria, British Columbia. He served as a soldier in the Israel Defence Forces prior to being recruited as an undercover agent in the Mossad. While working for the Mossad, Ross was a “combatant,” a term designating an agent working under non-official cover. He also operated as a case officer in Africa and Asia for three years, and was the Mossad’s counterterrorism liaison officer to the CIA and FBI for two-and-a-half years. Ross is a published writer, with articles recently placed in both the National Post and the Globe and Mail on Middle Eastern affairs and terrorism. He lives in Victoria.”

DAY 11: Sunday, July 03/11

UPDATED July 05/11: Great new photo collection from Christine McHale below.

UPDATE 1158 hrs July 03/11: Thanks to blogger/Cdn Forces Afghanistan veteran ‘Kaffir Kanuck‘ I just discovered the most amazing video explaining the facts about the Middle East situation in under 6 mins. It was produced by a graduate student of the Middle East Institute at Columbia university named Dennis Prager, and the only thing missing from it is the fact that the UN condemned the Hamas charter in 2006. Other than that minor flaw, it could be a ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ training video:

  • ‘Prager University, Oct 24/10: The Middle East Problem’ [VIDEO, 5:59]

—————————————
What a fabulous day! Before I get to the good stuff, let me say that the day was defined, in part, by who wasn’t there: London’s journalists, most notably the London Free Press who, it seems, have made a decision NOT to report the other side of the story about London’s connection to the Canadian Boat to Hamas.

Jews and non-Jews coming together to defend Israeli and Palestinian victims of Hamas

Today, I was absolutely thrilled to be joined by nearly two dozen people who came by the carloads from Hamilton, Caledonia, and London on a beautiful sunny day to help me share the truth about Israel, Hamas and the London Muslim Mosque’s connection to the mission to break Israel’s blockade of weapons to Hamas.

Everything was quiet, and everyone did a great job of watching for bikes and pedestrians so we could keep the sidewalk clear for them.

Afterwards, we met privately to discuss how to spread the ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ message:

This day was one of the best of my life.  Today’s pictures of people from different faiths and beliefs coming together to speak out together for both Israeli and Palestinian victims by defending the truth, and holding this religious institution accountable for aiding in war instead of peace says it all.

Thanks to all those who made the trip, long or short, to be with me today! Thanks again to the mosque and police for another ‘good news’ story. I know my London Police Service liaison reads the updates here.  Thanks also to Sparky for putting together the food.

Enjoy! (more pictures here, and Christine McHale has sent some spectacular photos that I’ll get up tomorrow. She and husband Gary are (were) professional wildlife photographers before deciding to put their business on hold – after investing a ton of money in equipment – to speak out for people in Caledonia.)

UPDATED, July 05/11: photos by Christine McHale

                                        110703 Day 11 'Blue Beret' vigil, London (Ontario) Muslim mosque re support for Cdn Boat to Hamas, London, Ontario, Canada  110703 Day 11 'Blue Beret' vigil, London (Ontario) Muslim mosque re support for Cdn Boat to Hamas, London, Ontario, Canada  110703 Day 11 'Blue Beret' vigil, London (Ontario) Muslim mosque re support for Cdn Boat to Hamas, London, Ontario, Canada

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Photos by Mark Vandermaas

July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)  July 03/11, Day 11 of Blue Beret vigil outside London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque, London, Ontario, Canada to protest its support for Canadian Boat to Hamas (raised money & 'sent' delegate onboard)

Dear London Free Press: where are you?

This former peacekeeper’s daily vigil outside London’s main mosque on a main street that has been ongoing for 11 days, and I’m not sure why the London Free Press has decided not to report the campaign or the  reasons why I began it.

Reporter LFP reporter Mashoka Maimona showed up to interview me and my supporters on Day 6 (Tues, June 28). You can see Maimona in the large pictures of me standing beside a huge Canadian flag brought by a supporter. She took lots of notes and my picture. I recall she put a star beside the fact that I, along with Gary McHale, are cited in Christie Blatchford’s book, ‘Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, And How The Law Failed All of Us.‘ Maimona told me she knew of the book, but hadn’t read it.

We spoke about today’s event during her interview, and she gave me her phone # and email address so I could keep her posted, which I have done each day. I covered, in some detail, in my Day 8 (Thurs, June 30) update, my concerns about whether or not the London Free Press was going to publish a story about the Blue Beret protests/vigil. They had already published what really amounts to a puff piece for the 2 Londoners going as ‘delegates’ on the Cdn Boat to Gaza, and even updated it with a Q&A interview with them from Greece.

Reporter Dale Carruthers interviewed me for the story, but chose not not only not to tell the story of my Blue Beret protests, but to also  ignore the back story.

Clearly, SunMedia’s London Free Press, the only mainstream daily newspaper in London, has made a conscious decision not to tell Londoners the other side of the local angle to the Canadian Boat to Gaza story. And that is a shame because Londoners don’t get to find out about how more and more Jews, Christians and others are coming to support the Blue Berets for Peace vigil – quietly, peacefully and with dignity.

Who is the ‘intolerant’ Christian in this story?

Sadly, one of my supporters wrote to tell me that a relative had posted something online saying she’d just driven by a group of ‘fundamentalist Christians’ by the mosque and, as a Christian, she was ashamed of their (our) “intolerance.”

(I’m not sure how our group of Christians, Jews and non-believers suddenly became ‘fundamentalist Christians,’ but she was 100% right about me being ‘intolerant’: I am unequivocably intolerant of all those in our community who support projects, the goal of which is to make it easier for a terrorist organization to murder innocent people.)

This hurried rush to judgement caused my supporter no small amount of stress, and so I sent a reply that included the same quotes from Dr. King, I included in yesterday’s update:

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Dear XXXXXXX,
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Please feel free to send this to your xxxxxxx and whomever else you believe would benefit from it.
.

[…] If others who call themselves ‘Christian’ are willing to remain silent while a religious institution in London works to support an endeavour which, if successful, will result in weapons getting to a terrorist organization who will kill innocent Jews with them, then that will be on their conscience, but it will not be on mine – or yours.

If ‘Christians’ are willing to remain silent about the innocent Palestinian lives that will be lost if Israel is forced, once again, to defend her citizens from Hamas weapons, that, too, will be on their conscience, but not mine.

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London Free Press – can we talk?

Given, that if the London ‘delegates’ on the Canadian Boat to Gaza mission are successful, it will enable Hamas to obtain more weapons to kill more innocent Jewish civilians, and given that if Israel has to defend itself from these weapons more innocent Palestinians will die in the crossfire, I had hoped the London Free Press would find the Blue Beret vigil and message worthy enough to tell Londoners about, and perhaps they will.

I’ll be writing to Editor Joe Ruscitti to ask for a meeting with their editorial board to see if we can address the issues holding the London Free Press from reporting this story, so please…no nastygrams. We’re just getting to the end of a long weekend, and since I haven’t heard back from the emails I sent to him and the reporter on Thursday (right before the weekend), so I’d like to hear what they have to say.

‘Blue Berets for Peace’ News & Links (send me a link to your story if it’s not up here, please. It’s getting hard to keep up, so I appreciate your help.)

Flotilla News – all good!

“The campaign suffered a major setback when Greece announced its restrictions on Friday, and authorities arrested the captain of a boat carrying American activists that tried to leave Greece without permission.

“However, organizers of the flotilla were trying to maintain momentum with planned protests in Athens in the face of increasing calls for them to scrap their campaign. On Saturday, the Middle East Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., UN, EU and Russia — urged governments to discourage Gaza-bound flotillas that could escalate tension in the region.

“Activist Dimitris Plionis said there would be “some action” at the beginning of the week, but he did not specify what the pro-Palestinian activists were planning to do, presumably because Greek authorities might try to thwart their efforts.

“”The ban is there and we have already said that we are still considering to sail,” Plionis said. “This story is not finished.””

DAY 10: Saturday, July 02/11

TODAY

July 02/11, Day 10 of 'Blue Beret' vigil, London Muslim Mosque, London, ON, CanadaJust the two of us today. The amazing  lady in the photo- whom I had never met before beginning my daily vigil/protest – has been with me every day except one since last Saturday.  I am so grateful, for her company, her support and her friendship.

About tomorrow

July 02/11, Day 10 of 'Blue Beret' vigil, Mark Vandermaas in front of London Muslim Mosque, London, ON, CanadaWe have several carloads of people coming from Hamilton and Caledonia. If you’re planning on coming to show support, please take a few mins to read the two items listed in the ‘IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MARK’ section above.

If you can spare a couple extra mins, please read my message below in Day 9 explaining why I don’t have a Palestinian flag on the base of my UN flag along with the Israeli one.

No signs or shouting of slogans please!

Please do not bring signs. Instead, bring flags of Israel, UN or Canada. I will bring signs. No shouting of slogans. This is a quiet vigil to draw attention to the mosque’s role in raising money for, and sending a delegate on, the Cdn Boat to Hamas.

If the past 10 days are any indication, I am not anticipating any trouble at all, and certainly not from the mosque. I respect the fact that they have respected my right to peacefully make my/our point.

Should you go to church or come to the protest?

Is it ‘Christian’ to protest outside the mosque?

One of my supporters was told by a relative they didn’t think it was right to come to participate in my ‘Blue Beret’ protests outside the London Muslim Mosque because it wasn’t a ‘Christian’ thing to do. Another wasn’t sure if they should come to the protest or go to church.

Everyone has to arrive at their own decisons, but Dr. King, who was himself a Baptist minister, addressed these issues in his eulogy for three of the four little Black girls murdered in the KKK bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama during which he partly blamed their deaths on the cowardice of Christian ministers:

“These children—unoffending, innocent, and beautiful—were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. And yet they died nobly. They are the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity. And so this afternoon in a real sense they have something to say to each of us in their death. They have something to say to every minister of the gospel who has remained silent behind the safe security of stained-glass windows.”

If ‘Christians’ are willing to remain silent while a religious institution in London actively supports an endeavour which, if successful, will result in weapons getting to a terrorist organization who will kill innocent Jews with them, then that will be on their conscience, but it will not be on mine, or those who choose to stand with me.

If ‘Christians’ are willing to remain silent about the innocent Palestinian lives that will be lost if Israel is forced, once again, to defend her citizens from Hamas weapons, that, too, will be on their conscience, but not ours.

Flotilla News: sinking fast thanks to Greece & some smart Israeli lawyers

DAY 9: Friday, July 01/11 (CANADA DAY)

Happy Canada Day!

THE END OF THE BEGINNING! After 4 arrests & a 31 month campaign Canadians force OPP to respect their right to raise a Canadian flag in Caledonia.Having served in Canada’s military, and having been one of the 4 people arrested for trying to raise a Canadian flag in Caledonia, ON, I’m pretty sentimental about today – just like most people who have served, like this Afghanistan vet:

Anyone who’s travelled in the world knows, notwithstanding the problems we face, we are so lucky to live here. Many, many Canadians died in places like Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, Normandy, Korea, Afghanistan and numerous & varied peacekeeping missions, all in “the service of peace.”  Sadly, we pretend to honour them once a year on November 11th, but we betray them the rest of the year every time we refuse to speak out against injustice using the freedom their blood bought for us.

Click on the picture above to read the story of the fight to make the Canadian flag legal again in Caledonia. See also, this excerpt from Christie Blatchford’s book, Helpless:

TODAY – support for Blue Beret protests growing in Jewish community

No pictures today because I forgot to bring my camera, which is unfortunate because 3 members of London’s Jewish community came to stand with us including Jacob Peretz, who was quoted in the Jewish Tribune article about last Sat’s protest; a former Israeli paratrooper; and the Chair of London’s Jewish Defence League who just graduated from UWO with a degree in Political Science.

110515 Israeli Consulate, Mark Vandermaas speaks to London chair of JDL I met Pesach and his daughter at the Israeli Consulate in Toronto at the  pro-Israel rally in Toronto wearing my UN beret on May 15/11 described in Day 8, where I explain how the attempt by the ‘Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid’  to re-write history made me determined to do what I can to call attention to the truth of Israel’s UN creation.  The picture of us is by Blog Wrath who also wrote a comprehensive article about the event.

Today, we spent some time talking about the power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings about non-violent protest, and about how Jewish students are being harassed by pro-Palestinian groups on the UWO campus. His family lives in Israel.

Why I don’t have a Palestinian flag on the base of my U.N. flag alongside the Israeli flag (and why I carry one in my pocket)

Flag stand for UN flag used in Mark Vandermaas Blue Beret protests. Note empty stand for future Palestinian flag.Some of you on the anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian side might wonder why I don’t have a Palestinian flag on the base of my U.N. flag stand with the small Israeli flag. After all, if I’m claiming to be conducting my Blue Beret protests for the benefit of both Jewish and Palestinian victims, why not put their flag there, too? And, you might argue, am I not supposed to be neutral as a former peacekeeper? Wouldn’t displaying their flag show goodwill to Palestinian victims?

1.The UN’s primary mission during peacekeeping is to protect civilians and work to restore the rule of law. I will never be neutral in the face of people like Hamas who intentionally target innocents as part of a deliberate plan to exterminate a race of people and destroy a member state of the world community, especially when that state was created by a U.N. vote.

Neutrality in the face of violence directed at innocents can never be neutral. It is siding with evil. In fact, neutrality demands that one take a side – on the side of truth, on the side against those who believe such violence is an alternative to the rule of law.

As highlighted by the Blue Beret protests the UNHRC has condemned the Hamas charter [LINK, PDF, VoC download PDF] for its call to kill Jews and “obliterate” Israel, but the Palestinian Authority (which the naive and disingenuous portray as ‘moderate’) is just as guilty of inciting Jew-hate among its citizens on a daily basis.

In my recent letter to the editor of the Hamilton Spectator I said, ”

“History proves that ‘land’ is not the issue. Rabid, genocidal, anti-Semitism is the issue. If readers have any doubt of this I suggest they visit the site operated by Palestinian Media Watch (www.palwatch.org) and review the day-to-day glorification of violence against Jews and Israel – even in children’s programming. It is nothing short of nauseating.”
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Here is a sampling of items from/or based on the work of Palestinian Media Watch and the Middle East Media Research Institute:
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I argue that, for Palestinians to be recognized as a state by the UN, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority need – at the minimum – to demonstrate by its words and actions that is has completely renounced the use of violence against Jews; acknowledged Israel’s right to exist in peace as a Jewish state; and ceased teaching Jew-hate to their citizens.
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Unfortunately, the ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas made it clear to the Arab League in 2010 that he was completely in favour of another war to destroy Israel – as long as other Arabs joined in:
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“If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favour. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don’t have the ability to do it.”  — P.A. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Arab League Summit, March 2010.

Abbas’s comments were eerily similar to those made by another leader just before another war to exterminate Jews and their state:

“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight.” — Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, May 30/67

In my opinion, if the UN declares a Palestinian state created on the backs of Palestinian war crimes,  a genocidal Hamas charter, and the wistful dreams of war against Israel by the Palestinian Authority before these conditions are met, it would represent, not a just solution to a difficult problem, but a crime against all humanity for the future victims it will create by legitimizing the use of violence against innocents as a tool of politics.
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“And so I say to you today that I still stand by nonviolence. And I am still convinced that it is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for justice in this country.
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180px-martin_luther_king_-_march_on_washington.jpg“And the other thing , I am concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice. I’m concerned about brotherhood. I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.”
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“And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who loves has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.”
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Even if Palestinians are successful in convincing the UN to declare a state for them without clear proof they have renounced violence, it will be a hollow victory for them, it will precipitate more violence,  and it will be an eternal stain on the United Nations that can never be erased.

3. When I built our Apology/Reconciliation monuments I asked Gary McHale each time if I should include a Six Nations flag along with the Canadian one in order to show good will, to which he wisely advised: “When Six Nations issues an apology for their role in allowing its citizens to terrorize the people of Caledonia, their flag will be added.”

This week I purchased a Palestinian flag that I now carry with me during my protests in my pocket. When Palestinian leaders do make the historic decision to reject violence and hate against their Jewish  neighbours, I will be very proud to place their flag beside the Israeli one underneath my United Nations flag. You can see the empty stand waiting to receive it in the photo above.

I am under no illusions that I will be able to add the Palestinian flag beside the Israeli one in the near future any more than I will be adding the Six Nations flag to our Apology/Reconciliation monument (photo below), but I believe that day will come.

March 27/11, Douglas Creek Estates occupation site, Caledonia, Ontario, Canada: Police watch as native occupiers swarm, steal Apology/Reconciliation monument, smash and burn it along with Canadian flag.I learned in Caledonia that change can happen at any time if you follow the teachings of Dr. King to the best of your abilities, and stand the test of time – as Gary McHale has so often told me. Compare the image immediately above with the one below. The images were taken less than 3 months apart following nearly 5 years of peaceful protests and full time civil rights work. Hover over each for the description.

June 19/11, Douglas Creek Estates occupation site, Caledonia, Ontario, Canada: Breakthrough: Police stand watch & native occupiers respectfully watch as Gary McHale speaks while Mark Vandermaas holds sign: 'RACIAL POLICING VICTIMIZES NATIVE PEOPLE, TOO'There is always hope that Palestinians can be liberated from the hate and violence inculcated in them by their leaders. In 1940,  my parents never thought they would ever be free from Nazi domination. I’m sure the Blacks in the Deep South never dreamt that there one day be a Black President in the White House. And so, just as I refuse to believe there is no hope of an apology to the people of Caledonia from Six Nations to begin the healing process, I refuse to believe there is no hope for peace in the Middle East.

I am demonstrating my faith in the future by carrying a small Palestinian flag with me at future Blue Beret events – pocket space permitting. I may have a long wait – but I’m ready.

News

Happy Canada Day!

Day 8: Thursday, June 30/11

Day 8, Blue Beret protests, London Muslim Mosque, June 30/11AN OVERTURE RE MY OFFER TO CANCEL ‘BLUE BERET’ PROTESTS…OR NOT?

In my Day 7 update I noted that the London Muslim Mosque seemed to be doing its best to distance itself from the Cdn. Boat to Hamas as reported in the Jewish Tribune, so I made an offer in the update to cancel my Blue Beret protests if they agreed to make four statements. You can read them in Day 7 or here at Kaffir Kanuck.

When I arrived home this evening after picking up my wife there was a polite message from a man with what sounded like an Arabic accent saying he could agree with the first three  of the statement requested, but could not agree to the fourth, which was to issue a statement saying “d) that the mosque fully accepts Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

He didn’t leave a name or number. In any event, I must insist that all four of the statements be made before I call off my protests. Just as Saudi Arabia has the right to exist as an Islamic state, Israel has the right to exist as the only Jewish state in the world – as envisioned by the United Nations in 1947.

When is the London Free Press going to report the other side of the Gaza Boat story?

As noted in my Day 6 (Tuesday, June 28th) entry, the LFP sent a reporter who took my picture and lots of notes about who I was and why I was protesting. She also interviewed one of the Christian ladies in the picture here and a former IDF veteran. You can see a picture of her interviewing him in the update for Day 6.

People have asked why they haven’t seen an article about the Blue Beret protests in the London Free Press. I haven’t been able to find a story online, and no one seems to have seen a print version. Sent the reporter an email at 1:56am today asking if I missed the story. Haven’t heard back yet. Seem to recall she said she was off for a day or two, can’t quite recall for sure. At 5:29pm today I sent her a link to the Jewish Tribune story with a request for info. CC’d to Editor Joe Ruscitti just in case she was away. Ruscitti seems like a good guy in the dealings I’ve had with him, and it is the night before a holiday on which the LFP isn’t publishing, so I’m not reading anything at all into the fact that I haven’t heard back from them. Besides, the 2nd email didn’t go out until after ‘closing’ time.

Still, it has been a little frustrating to see the LFP’s story of the two Londoners waiting to board the Tahrir in Greece so they can be part of a mission which, if successful, will likely result in the deaths of both Jews & Palestinians eventually.

Meanwhile, no one in London gets to know the reasons a guy wearing a blue beret with a United Nations flag is standing on Oxford Street in front of a religious institution every day for an hour (with some loyal & much appreciated supporters) with signs that say, ‘LONDON MOSQUE AIDING WAR, NOT PEACE WITH SUPPORT FOR CDN. BOAT TO HAMAS‘ and FACT: ISRAEL CREATED BY 1947 U.N. VOTE, FACT: U.N. CONDEMNED GENOCIDAL HAMAS CHARTER IN 2006.’

A few more points about the LFP’s ‘Two Londoners’ article:

1. The story first appeared June 28th; was updated on June 29th at 8:24pm with the addition of a Q&A session with the Tahrir ‘delegates’ from their Greece; and updated again today at June 30th at 7:47am. Clearly, the London Free Press is doing its best to cover the long-distance, anti-Israel story from Greece, but seems to be having some difficulty filing any report from one of London’s main roads about my daily Blue Beret protests intended to draw attention to the indisputable facts about Israel’s legitimacy and the existential threat posed by Hamas.

A Jewish Tribune reporter who drove down from Toronto last Saturday has already published her story, which included facts the London Free Press knew, but failed to report in their ‘Two Londoners’ story.

2. As reported in Day 3 roundup, I was interviewed in the evening of Day 2 (Friday, June 24th) by the LFP reporter working on the ‘Two Londoners‘ story, during which I told him about the mosque’s support for the Gaza boat mission. To my surprise, not only did the LFP not send someone to cover the Saturday’s protest, Dale Carruthers’ story never mentioned the Blue Beret campaign at all.

3. Nor did it mention the mosque’s role in facilitating a fundraiser for the anti-Israel boat, and the fact that its Operations Manager was named as a ‘delegate’ by the Canadian Boat to Gaza website — even though I told him where to find the supporting evidence – which, at that time, was all in my original media release. In referring to Gaza Boat ‘delegate’ Muhammed Hamou, Carruthers’ story omits any reference to his position as the mosque’s Operations Manager, mentioning only that he was a secondary school teacher and a Muslim chaplain at UWO.

In contrast, the Jewish Tribune story addressed these issues in detail, and included statements from the chair of the mosque denying my allegations that the institution provided support for the Gaza Boat. Again, see Day 7 for info.

When you read the story below of the young man we met today who was convinced I was lying to him about some of the issues I’m raising with the Blue Beret protests, I think you’ll agree that Londoners really do deserve to know what I have to tell them about the UN, Israel, Hamas, and the mosque’s role in the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

Please…no nastygrams to or about the London Free Press just yet. OK? Let’s see if they cover our Sunday protest, which is promising to be the biggest yet.

About Sunday’s vigil/protest

Spoke w/my London Police liaison today to let him know I’m expecting 3-4 cars from Hamilton and Caledonia plus a few more people from the London area than last Saturday. Maybe 25 people max. I don’t expect any trouble whatsoever from the mosque people. I appreciate they are respecting my right to peacefully protest across the street from them without interference. As I have stated in my handout for people who want to join me – this is NOT a protest against Islam or Sharia, and we are not there to intimidate our neighbours, so please: no bullhorns, no shouting of slogans, no offensive signs (I prefer that you bring flags of Israel, Canada or the UN instead). Please take a few mins to read the handout [PDF, 1p].  Thanks.

Now, about today…

TODAY: In the ‘You Can Smell The Stink of Anti-Semitism a Mile Away’ Department…

Jewish World Review, June 29/11: Lawsuit threat slows Flotilla launchRe: Yesterday, Day 7 – Apparently, I was right about the ‘global Jewish conspiracy’ being the next topic of discussion from the guy who showed up yesterday to tell us the UN’s vote to create Israel wasn’t legitimate because HE personally didn’t get to vote in 1947 (pretty sure he wasn’t even born then), and how the UN was created by Rockefeller and big corporations. It was right at quitting time, so I left, telling him further discussion could not possibly be productive.  One of my Blue Beret supporters stayed to talk to him, whereupon he expounded on his anti-Semitic views in relation to the world’s monetary system.

When someone categorically denies the obvious reality of an historic truth such as Israel’s creation by a vote of the UN, I know right away that – sadly – they cannot possibly be of help to me in the service of truth and the protection of innocents – Palestinian and Jewish, and I am wasting my breath speaking to them.  I didn’t have to wait for the ‘GJC’ filth to know it was time to leave.

TODAY: Another beautiful day on Oxford Street in the sun educating another sadly mis-informed – but possibly wiser now! – critic of Israel

My two Blue Beret loyalists came out again. Thank you ladies! You are an inspiration to me, and I was planning to write more about that today, but I have – as my friend Merlyn likes to say – been ‘running on like a soup sandwich,’ so it will have to wait.

A young guy about 20 or so (they’re all ‘young’ when you’re in your 50’s) stopped to take issue with my sign about the mosque aiding in war, not peace with its support for the Boat to Hamas. I tried to answer his questions by first handing him a copy of my protest handout (revised early today), but he didn’t want to take it, so I asked how we could possibly hope to have a productive discussion if he would not even take a piece of paper from my hand, whereupon he did, and calmly walked away.

To his credit he came back  and wanted to talk a bit. After we discussed the fundamental UN stuff, he played his ‘trump card’: the Goldstone Report that criticized Israel for deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians during Operation Cast Lead in 2010 (launched to stop thousands of rocket attacks against Israel’s civilians.) I told him I was so pleased that he raised that issue because on April 01/11 Justice Goldstone denounced his own report in a letter to the Washington Post in which he said he was wrong about the report’s accusation against Israel, but stood by its conclusions that Hamas DID target civilians (emphasis added):

“We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

“Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets. […] While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy. […]

“At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms. In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise. So, too, the Human Rights Council should condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds. [the Fogel family] […]

He refused to believe it. No way! Never happened! I advised him to go to the ‘Israel & Anti-Semitism’ feature page on VoiceofCanada where he could find the reference, and I pointed out my email address on the handout and told him if he emailed me I’d send him links to the evidence. (The citations are also included in the BACKGROUND & REFERENCES section of my original Blue Beret press release )

He walked away in frustration, totally convinced I was lying to him. Friend, I hope you’re reading this, and take the opportunity to learn a fundamental lesson: anyone who supports or excuses or justifies the use of violence against innocent people as an alternative to respecting the rule of law, and who refuses to acknowledge the existence of the victims on both sides is, by definition, lying to you — directly or by omission. Another Caledonia lesson, BTW.

People behind the Boat to Gaza and organizations like the ‘Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid’ are bald-faced liars, and if you don’t believe me, go to their websites and see if you can find mention of even one of the facts listed in the handout I gave you, or reference to the Goldstone self-denouncement. If you want to know more about the real story of Israel’s fight for survival, you can learn more here. But, this would be a good beginning:

Blue Beret protests – inspired by the ‘Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid’

Mark Vandermaas at Israeli Consulate, Toronto, May 15/1The main reason I decided to drive all the way from London to a pro-Israel rally in Toronto wearing my UN beret on May 15/11 is because I read a ‘Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid call to protest at the Israeli Consulate which  gave people the false impression that in 1948 Jews decided to steal all the land from their poor, peace loving, Arab neighbours, and that’s how Israel came to occupy the West Bank.

No mention of the 1947 UN resolution by the General Assembly to partition the area into a 2-state solution – voted on by the world’s nations.

No mention of the fact that the day after declaring independence Israel was attacked by 5 Arab armies intent on destroying her.

No mention of the 1967 war when she captured the West Bank while defending herself – again.

No mention of the 1973 Yom Kippur War when the Arabs launched a sneak attack on Israel’s holiest day.

No mention of…well, I could go on and on.

A Jewish woman standing beside me asked what hat I was wearing, so I explained I was a peacekeeper once in the Middle East and that I wore my blue beret to remind people that Israel was created by a U.N. vote, and the Hamas charter had been condemned by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2006. She said, “Really? I didn’t know that.” That was when I realized that the most basic, fundamental truths about the Israel-Palestinian debate needed to be told to both Jews and non-Jews in order to counter the outrageous lies that are getting in the way of peace.

I wish I could say I was surprised by the CAIA attempt to whip up hate against Jews & Israel with the manipulations of truth, but I’ve faced the very same propaganda in Caledonia  for nearly 5 years, so it’s got a very familiar face.

BTW, Jamila Ghaddar, spokesperson for the McMaster U Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, which was on the Caledonia occupation site within 2 weeks of it beginning in Feb 2006, spoke at at a CAIA event in 2008.  And, the CAIA sent delegates to the 2007 Cairo Conference to meet with Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. [VIDEO, 14:50], [PDF, 36p, incl. citations].

Anyways, many thanks to the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid for forcing me to take a stand against your your lies. You did something right, at least.

News & Opinion

Day 7: Wednesday, June 29/11

OFFER TO CALL AN END TO ‘BLUE BERET PROTESTS’ AT LONDON MUSLIM MOSQUE

The Jewish Tribune published a great article about last Saturday’s protest on Day 3, June 25/11 (hyperlink added):

'Blue Beret' protests, Day 3, London Muslim Mosque, London, ON, Canada, June 25/11LONDON, ON – A London resident is staging daily protests against a local mosque, which he claims has raised funds for, and sent a delegate on, the Canadian Boat to Gaza (the Tahrir). A spokesperson for the mosque, however, denies the accusations.

Mark Vandermaas is a civil rights activist who served as a United Nations Peacekeeper in the Middle East in 1978. Vandermaas told the Jewish Tribune in an interview that he wants to raise awareness of the danger of doing anything that will help Hamas.

“This protest is not anti-Sharia or anti-Islam; it’s about the fact that a religious institution in my town is raising money to make it easier for a terrorist organization to get weapons and that’s not acceptable.” […]

About those denials by the mosque…

The Tribune reports that, according to the chair of the mosque, Adeeb Hassan, “the mosque was not involved in the dinner, did not promote it and has nothing to do with [Muhammed] Hamou’s [a ‘delegate’ travelling to Gaza on board the Tahrir] participation with the Tahrir.”

Hassan is quoted as saying, “The group that’s sponsoring the flotilla from Canada rented the facility from us. We did not hold a fundraiser and we did not send a delegate. […] He has gone from his own resources, of his own will.”

The Tribune then states, ‘Hassan added that he did not know Hamou would be on board the Tahrir until after Hamou had left the mosque’s employ.’

The mosque’s position seems to be that they are being unjustly accused by me based on two arguments:

a. That the only thing they did was rent a room to a group of people who were trying to raise money for a project which, if successful, will make it easier for Hamas to get weapons to kill Jewish civilians. Even if one believes the mosque was “not involved” in a dinner held in their building, as Hassan claims, the argument seems to be an exercise in making a distinction without a difference.

b. That it was a complete surprise to them that their Operations Manager had plans to be on board the Canadian Boat to Gaza – the Tahrir –  and they had no knowledge of his intention to go before he suddenly quit his job a few days before leaving.

Allow me to outline the chronology so you can judge whether that explanation is a reasonable one or not:

  • Feb 05/11:  Canadian Boat to Gaza Fundraiser Dinner held in gymnasium at London mosque at 151 Oxford St., London as per announcement by CBG [LINK]
  • June 16/11: Canadian Boat to Gaza announces the delegates who will be aboard the Tahrir [PDF] In the announcement the CBG names just 11 of the people who will be on board, one of whom is “…Muhammed Hamou from the London Muslim Mosque.”
  • June 16/11: Blogger Blazing Cat Fur publishes post noting Mr. Hamou’s participation as a delegate on the Tahrir and showing his status as the Operation Manager for the London Muslim Mosque [LINK]
  • June 17/11: VoiceofCanada creates a PDF of the mosque’s Contact Us page showing Hamou’s positon and publishes story based on evidence from Blazing Cat Fur article. [LINK]
  • June 19/11: Delegates leave Toronto’s Pearson Airport
  • June 19/11: Google cache of mosque’s Contact Us page by Blazing Cat Fur showing Muhammed Hamou still listed as the Operations Manager.  [LINK]
  • Sometime after June 19/11: Mosque removes Hamou’s name and title from their website.
  • June 22/11: Mark Vandermaas issues media release announcing beginning of Blue Beret protests following day.

Obviously, the Canadian Boat to Gaza knew, by the time it issued its June 16th announcement, that Muhammed Hamou was planning to leave on June 19th to participate.

If we choose the most charitable possibility from the mosque’s point of view, it would mean that Hamou never informed the mosque he was going on the Tahrir, and then suddenly made a last minute decision to  leave his employer with 3 day’s notice, and it was a  coincidence that the mosque removed his name and title from its website shortly after Blazing Cat Fur and I called attention to the fact that the Canadian Boat to Gaza announced that the London Mosque’s Hamou was a ‘delegate’ on the ship.

———————————————-

Offer to call off Blue Beret protests at London Muslim Mosque

Given that Mr. Adeeb Hassan – Chair of the London Muslim Mosque – has denied the substance of my allegations, namely that his mosque provided support for the Canadian Boat to Gaza mission to break the Israeli blockade of weapons to Hamas, and given his apparent desire to distance the mosque from that mission, I  am prepared to immediately call an end to the Blue Beret protests at the London Muslim Mosque if Mr. Hassan is prepared to issue a statement stating:

a) that the mosque does not support the Canadian Boat to Gaza mission to break the Israeli blockade of weapons to Hamas, and;

b)  that the mosque regrets its facility was used as a tool to raise money for the Canadian Boat to Gaza mission, and;

c) that the mosque fully endorses the 2006 United Nations Human Rights Council condemnation of the Hamas charter which rejects peaceful solutions and calls on Muslims to kill Jews and “obliterate” Israel, and;

d) that the mosque fully accepts Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Upon receipt of this statement I will immediately cease my protests at the London Muslim Mosque. Said statement can be emailed to me here:

Mark Vandermaas
info@voiceofcanada.ca

What are they teaching our children?

Muhammed Hamou is a secondary school teacher and a chaplain at the University of Western Ontario. The other London ‘delegate’ is a linguistics professor at UWO — David Heap.

One must ask why educators in our community are taking part in a mission – again – the ultimate goal of which is to break a weapons blockade against a terrorist organization whose charter calls for the killing of Jews and the obliteration of Israel?

Could London’s ‘delegates’ on the Boat to Hamas face criminal charges?

Could ‘delegates’ on the Tahrir face criminal prosecution here in Canada for aiding a terrorist organization? Canada’s leading private prosecution expert tells me it may very possible. I’ll explore that tantalizing possibility in a separate post, since today’s update is already too long.

Now, about today…Day 7, Blue Beret protests, London Muslim Mosque, June 29/11

Just two of us today. The lady with the big Peace Tower flag (see Day 6) had to work, but it looks like she’s coming on Sunday (July 03/11).

Just when we were beginning to leave a man came to ask us why we were there. He was very polite and listened as I explained my 2 main points about making people aware of the UN condemnation of the Hamas charter for calling for the killing of Jews and obliteration of Israel, and how Israel is the most legitimate country in the world by virtue of its creation by the 1947 vote by the UN General Assembly, and how she was attacked the day after declaring independence and again and again in ’67 and ’73 and after withdrawing from Gaza in 2005. His response? The UN vote wasn’t legitmate because…wait for it… HE didn’t get to vote on it and…the UN was created by “big corporations.”  Could I make this up?

It seemed to me that we were about 30s away from him telling me about how the Jews were controlling the world as part of a vast conspiracy, so I excused myself and left, saying I could see this was not going to be a productive discussion.

LESSON: THE DEBATE STARTS HERE...

Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by people who hate Israel and refuse to acknowledge the undeniable truths about her existence. Why on earth would you continue to debate anyone who refuses to even admit to the basic truths of Israel’s UN creation and its right to exist in peace?

March 22/11: Free Thinking Film Society & International Free Press Society bring Caledonia to OttawaSame thing occurred in Caledonia: supporters of the lawlessness by native militants who terrorized the town continually try to ‘justify’ the violence against innocents by insisting it had to understood in the ‘context’ of past grievances such as land claims. Our response?

Take your claims and grievances to court and stop attacking innocent people. Then, we’ll be glad to talk about the other stuff. End of discussion.

It was only later that we discovered the land claims were completely fabricated [VIDEO, 14:50]. This video of part of my presentation at our Caledonia: No More Nightmares event also addresses the connection between Palestinian activists and the Caledonia occupation. Alternate title could be: Why Jews Should Care About Caledonia.

Here’s a useful video that accurately explains the dynamics of  Gaza & the blockade w/animation and PIP footage of Hamas atrocities against Jews & Palestinians:

  • ‘The Truth Behind the “Freedom Flotilla” [VIDEO, 2:50]

News (really good news!) & Opinion

DAY 6: Tuesday, June 28/11

Lots of news today, and what a day it was! First, though…

More pics from Day 3

Christine McHale takes photo of Mark Vandermaas taking her photo, 'Blue Beret' protest vs. Cdn. Boat to Hamas, London Muslim Mosque, June 25/11Just added some great photos from Day 3 (June 25th) taken by Christine McHale, so check them out. Also replaced the slide show with a new photo gallery page here. You can read about Christine there. Talk about the ‘strength of a woman.’

More people bringing support – and a very large flag!

Even more people came out today, including a woman and her husband for the first time. They brought one of the huge flags that have been flown on Parliament Hill (9 years on waiting list, I think she said).  I had to reach up on my tip-toes to hold the flag off the ground – and I’m 6’3″ tall!

June 28/11, 'Blue Beret' protest vs. London Muslim Mosque support for Cdn Boat to Gaza. A supporter takes a picture of Mark Vandermaas and supporters while a London Free Press reporter interviews another. The flag once flew on Parliament Hill, and was taken out of the box for the first time today.

I told her about my experience in stopping on the 401 on the way to Montreal just east of Trenton to join people on the first bridge west of Trenton to honour a funeral procession from CFB Trenton for Sgt. James Patrick MacNeil as he travelled down the Highway of Heroes from Afghanistan. I met a couple who come out to pay respects by draping a Parliament Hill flag over the bridge for every one of the dead who come  home.

I was excited to have new faces, but as someone who was one of the 4 people arrested [ALSO] for wanting to raise the Canadian flag in Caledonia, I was doubly thrilled to see that huge Canadian flag. Made my day! She and her flag are coming back tomorrow and on Sunday – when we expect a bigger crowd than last Saturday’s event (Day 2, June 25).

Middle-East Christians, too!

Aman who wanted us to know he was an Iraqi Christian came by to let us know we had his full support. He offered to take a picture using my camera so I could be in the photo. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to talk to him very much because…

The London Free Press sent a reporter to cover the story
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The London Free Press sent a very patient reporter who took my picture, wrote down my whole background and my reasons for protesting. So, check your LFP tomorrow! Hopefully, the paper will send a reporter on Sunday, too. She interviewed one or two of the Christians as well, and she interviewed a veteran of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) who stopped by for a while to talk and thank us.
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Some post-protest ‘Christian talk’ about Caledonia and a donkey
Blue Beret protest, London, ON, June 28/11 .
Some of the Christians who have been supporting the ‘Blue Beret’ protests, even during the week, invited me to share a lunch with them. They were fascinated by the story of how I finally decided to become a Christian three years almost to the day after getting arrested in Caledonia for trying to raise a Canadian flag.
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These links are for just for you, ladies — as discussed :-):
Your interest in this donkey’s story was very touching, and you made me realize it’s time to start telling the whole story. It sounds like people might find it of some help. Thank you for listening and for the inspiration.
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Sunday’s event is shaping up nicely!
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Got word today that some Jews and people of other faiths from Hamilton have decided to come to stand with us in support of the ‘Blue Beret’ campaign with us next Sunday, July 3rd. This is getting exciting!
They’ll be joining the carload of CANACE people from Caledonia who came last week, including Gary & Christine McHale, Merlyn Kinrade, and possibly Bonnie. See photos for Day 3 below.
 .
Flotilla News: Running aground?
 .
The vision of a mighty armada sailing on a despicable mission to make it easier for Hamas to get weapons so they can create more Jewish and Palestinian victims seems to be petering out and, according to the London Free Press, the Canadian ship hasn’t left yet Greece with Londoners David Heap and Muhammed Hamou aboard:

The LFP story does not mention that the Mr. Hamou is, or at least was, as of June 17th, the Operations Manager for the mosque — a fact that I communicated to the LFP reporter who wrote the story after he interviewed me on Day 2 by phone. It only mentions his position as a secondary school teacher and chaplain at University of Western Ontario.

Compare today’s Contact Us page for the mosque with this one [PDF] from June 17/11 showing his name listed as Operations Manager for the mosque. According to the Jewish Tribune (will post link tomorrow) he resigned his position before leaving.

Tell your friends

The plan is to maintain my vigil for 1 hour every day, including weekends, until Msrs. Heap and Hamou come back to Canada, so please join me if you can. You won’t want to miss Sunday’s event.

For everyone who has ever said ‘people should stand up together’ this is your chance to do it for both the Jewish and Palestinian victims of Hamas, past or present:

DAY 5: Monday, June 27/11

Another Christian for peace, supporting Mark Vandermaas's 'Blue Beret' protest campaign at London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque.Another great day on Oxford Street in London. Two Christian ladies came out to stand with me. As a relatively new Christian myself I am so proud of them for being willing to help me speak out, not only for the Jewish victims that will result from Hamas getting more weapons, but for the Palestinian ones as well that will suffer if Israel is forced, once again, to defend herself.

We had a young (Muslim, we think) boy politely ask what we were doing, so we explained we wanted peace for Jews and Palestinians, and I gave him a copy of my ‘OUR GOALS TODAY’ handout to take back to his parents (link above).

Meanwhile, the Hamilton Spectator – as promised – published my letter ‘Genocidal anti-Semitism is the issue’ without changing a word, and gave it prominence at the top of the Letters page.

110627 Hamilton Spectator, Mark Vandermaas letter: 'Genocidal anti-Semitism is the issue'Arrived home to find a message on my answering machine from a Jewish community leader in Hamilton telling me how grateful he was for the letter, and how it “made the point perfectly” as to the real solution to peace in the Middle East. Click on image, or read it (and link to it) here.

Will post more later, but I’m working on some important related correspondence.

DAY 4: Sunday, June 26/11

The family that protests together stays together!

Mark and Debbie Vandermaas, Blue Beret protest, London Muslim Mosque, June 26/11Today, it was just my wife Deb and me, so the do-it-yourself picture isn’t particularly flattering. Some cars honked support. No issues from the police or mosque. Much better weather than yesterday’s rain. Christine McHale sent some great shots from yesterday that I will get up later – I have to visit a sick relative as soon as I finish this, but I have…

…some wonderful news – international support!

Rabbi Jonathan HausmanRabbi Jonathan Hausman from Massachusetts has been following our work in Caledonia and the recent Blue Beret protests, and sent me a very generous compliment last night that I’m not sure I deserve, but I felt I should share it – with his permission – A) because people should know others are watching, and B) the rabbi has graciously offered to come to Canada to support our work:

Mark,

Hazak ve’Ematz (bon courage and congratulations)…absolutely stunning!! If you ever would like to bring me in to speak and then move on to such an event…or vice versa…I am ready, willing and able. I am in awe of your brilliant accomplishments.  The Jewish people and Western civilization thank you.
 
Rabbi Jonathan Hausman
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I sent the rabbi a reply with some ideas for building on the Blue Beret theme along with this note: “Thank you for the translation and compliments. I fear (I know!) you’re far too generous, but thank you nonetheless.”
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Rabbi Hausman is an exceptionally well-educated expert on the Middle East, and was a speaker at the Toronto stop of the IFPS-Canada tour for Geert Wilders where he engaged in a one-on-one discussion with Ezra Levant and shared some of his fascinating experiences while studying the Arabic language and culture in Egypt [ALSO].
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I was able to spend some time with him before the Toronto presentation where we talked about Caledonia and the trail [ALSO] that leads from the occupiers of the Douglas Creek Estates back to Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood through the McMaster University Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights group, the Coalition for Israeli Apartheid and others.
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This was shortly after our first Apology/Reconciliation monument had been destroyed and he watched the video in my presence – the one that changed everything for us last Sunday (June 19/11) when both the police and native occupiers finally respected our right to ask for an apology so the healing can begin.
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As you can imagine, I am thrilled that the rabbi feels compelled to offer support, and we’re working on some ideas for an event featuring him that will include the message behind the ‘Blue Beret’ protests as well as a Christian perspective on why we should support Israel, among other things. Stay tuned to VoiceofCanada.
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About Rabbi Jonathan Hausman
  • B.A. Religion & Judaic Studies
  • M.A. in Middle East and Jewish Studies
  • J.D. (Juris Doctor) Law
  • Rabbinical ordination from Tifereth Israel Rabbinical Yeshiva

DAY 3: Saturday, June 25/11

(updated 0016 hrs, June 26/11)

'Blue Beret' protests, Day 3, London Muslim Mosque, London, ON, Canada, June 25/11Today’s protest was a fabulous success with representation from both the Jewish and Christian communities.

A carload of people came from Caledonia to show support, including Gary and Christine McHale and Merlyn Kinrade, who are (as am I) featured in Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless for their work in protecting civil rights in Caledonia. Merlyn is a former peacekeeper Caledonia activist, CANACE co-founder, former UN peacekeeper Merlyn Kinrade joins the Blue Beret protests at London Mosque, London ON, Canada, June 25/11.himself who served during the 1956 Suez Crisis, and so I was honoured to have another ‘Blue Beret’ by my side (even if he was a Navy guy!). Also from Caledonia was Bonnie Stephens who was with us when we finally raised the Canadian flag in that town after a 31 month campaign that saw four arrests (including Gary and me).

'Blue Beret' protests, Day 3, June 25/11: Mark Vandermaas with supporters, London Muslim Mosque, London, ON, CanadaMary Lou Ambrogio and Al Gretzky, VP and Director of Communications for the Canadian chapter of the International Free Press Society, respectively, showed up to support Israel. Thanks to their work a number of London residents decided to take part, and all expressed their intention to return to stand with me in the days to come. 9297 DJV (Small)IFPS-Canada are the people who brought Geert Wilders (just acquitted this week of hate speech charges in the Netherlands), Ann Coulter, Philippe Karsenty, Bat Ye’or, Kurt Westergaard, Sam Solomon and Rabbi Jon Hausman to Canada, not to mention being a co-sponsor of our Caledonia: No More Nightmares presentation in Ottawa in March (highly recommended, especially to Jews who really do need to understand why they should care about Caledonia).

9294 JPL (Small)Mary Lou and Al were were also both present on that landmark day on June 19/11 when we were able to place our Truth & Reconciliation monument at the entrance of the occupation site in Caledonia while OPP stood guard and native occupiers watched peacefully and respectfully as we spoke of the need for apologies from Six Nations. No organization works as hard as IFPS does to speak out for free speech and the rule of law, so do consider becoming a member to support them.

9232 ML (Small)I passed out the ‘OUR GOALS TODAY’ handout [PDF, 1p] to make sure everyone knew what we were trying to accomplish and the importance of remaining calm and orderly, but it was hardly necessary. Everyone was on their best behaviour, and some promised to come back to stand with me during the week.

We had absolutely no problems whatsoever with people from the mosque. The police had informed me that the imam was concerned about us disturbing children who would be in school during our protest, but we didn’t see anyone at all around the mosque. Thank you to the police who let me know they had no plans to be there unless they were needed, and they definitely were not. Nicely done.

I was interviewed by a London Free Press reporter last night, but unfortunately, the LFP did not send a reporter to cover today’s event. That made the presence of the reporter from the Toronto-based Jewish Tribune all the more important. She made a special trip in to London just to cover the protest.

After explaining my position on the mosque’s support for the Boat to Hamas, and the facts about the U.N. creation of Israel and its condemnation of the Hamas charter, I spoke at length about the lesson taught to us about confronting hatred and injustice by Dr. Martin Luther King, [ALSO] and how we had applied those lessons in Caledonia to great success.

Mark Vandermaas & Gary McHale interview w/Jewish TribuneI closed my interview with the Tribune reporter by saying we were not just standing up for Jewish victims: Just as we have spoken out for native victims of racial policing and native militants in Caledonia [ALSO], we also have a duty to speak out for the Palestinian victims that would be created by allowing Hamas to receive more weapons to attack Israeli civilians which, in turn, would put Palestinians at risk from military operations to end the attacks. Sad that not one media outlet from London bothered to show up to report that message.

The Tribune also interviewed other participants, including Gary McHale who talked about why he, as a Christian, should speak out on behalf of Israel. The role of his strong Christian beliefs in deciding to go to Caledonia to begin a civil rights campaign based on Dr. King’s teachings is covered by Christie Blatchford in Helpless.

Thanks to the Jewish Defence League and bloggers such as Blazing Cat FurKaffir Kanuck [ALSO], Blog Wrath, and Moose & Squirrel for spreading the word. Thanks, guys! (If I left you out, please drop me a line to remind me. It wasn’t intentional. Am finding it hard to keep up!) Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes and kind thoughts.

Finally, a very special thanks to all those who chose to give up an hour to stand with us in the rain to help share the truth about Israel, I’m honoured to know you.

News

…A plug for the ‘Blue Beret’ protests; word that the French ‘Boat to Hamas’ has set sail; censorship of David Harris of AJC; the Gaza construction boom. Hat tip to BCF commenter ‘Paul’ for reporting that the Canadian ‘Boat to Hamas’ is being delayed because the Greek port authority received a claim it “was not seaworthy.” Looks like it could be  a long summer in front of the London Muslim Mosque:

DAY 2: Friday, June 24/11 (UPDATED, 9:09pm)

Last night – a discussion with London Police Service ‘Core Unit’

Yesterday, Gary McHale send a link to my Blue Beret protest media release to a member of the OPP’s Provincial Liaison Team. The OPP had called him to see if we had plans for any upcoming protests in Caledonia (we don’t, thanks to the outstanding(!) result of last Sunday’s Truth & Reconciliation rally), and Gary happened to mention my protests in London and sent him a link. Later in the day I received a call from another member of OPP PLT who let me know he had called the London Police Service’s ‘Core Unit’ to tell them who I was. I had already emailed the LPS ‘Uniformed Division,’ but I appreciated the introduction because I wanted the LPS to know they had nothing to fear from me.

Last night I spoke with a member of the LPS ‘Core Unit’ for approximately 1/2 hour to discuss the protest, my intentions, and the plans for tomorrow’s protest which should see a few people joining me. He mentioned that in accordance with the Ipperwash Inquiry they want to keep lines of communication open. I explained a little about my/our history with the OPP in Caledonia, our commitment to peaceful protest in accordance with the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., and our extensive use of the courts and media to protect the rule of law and our Charter rights against police and native militants.

I also advised the officer that I will remind people not to use racial slurs, swear, or yell at the Mosque or people attending it, and not to retaliate in kind if confronted with angry words. I informed him that if I was physically attacked I would not retaliate.

He agreed that the side of the road opposite the mosque where I have been standing was the best choice. I made it clear that I would consider moving directly in front of the mosque if anyone tried to interfere with my protest on the other side of the road, but I was otherwise content to make my point from where I was.

The LPS officer gave me his contact info, and the name of his associates on the Core Unit, and he said he would contact the mosque to let them know what was happening.

Today’s protest –  London Police Service: ‘Just doing my job’ or a show of force for the benefit of the mosque?

After last night’s discussion I thought I’d come to a fairly clear  understanding with the LPS about who I was, what I was doing, and my commitment to peaceful protest, so I was a little surprised this morning when a female officer blocked the curb lane of Oxford Street (one of the major East-West routes through London) with her cruiser and got out to ask me what I was doing, and asked for my name, date of birth, etc.

June 24/11, Day 2 of 'Blue Beret' protests at London Muslim Mosque. London Police block 2 lanes in front of the mosque to talk.

I told her who I’d spoken to in the LPS Core Unit, and was about to put it down to a mis-communication foul-up when another LPS cruiser, this one driven by a sergeant, pulled up beside the first one and blocked the other lane so traffic had to move into the middle of the road to get past. The female officer leaned in to talk to the sergeant, so I stepped back to take a picture, and then went over to the sergeant’s cruiser because he was trying to talk to me. To my surprise he asked why I was taking a picture. I replied that the LPS now had two police cars blocking two lanes of traffic because a guy wearing a blue beret is standing peacefully across the street from a mosque with a United Nations flag, so I was for sure taking a picture of the scene.

Again, to my surprise, the sergeant asked if I would like them to get out of their cars, put on their hats and smile for me so I could take a picture. I resisted the urge to comment on the un-necessary provocation, so I said that wouldn’t be necessary. I said that I had already spoken to the member of the Core Unit to explain what I was doing, to which the sergeant replied, “I know who you are.”

After the sergeant left the female officer remained to ask for my name, address, phone number and date of birth. She told me she was “just doing my job.” One is not required to provide any information to a police officer under such circumstances, but I complied nonetheless. I have now identified myself to the LPS on three separate occasions via email, via my conversation with the Core Unit the previous night, and now to a beat officer.

If the LPS knows who I am as indicated by the sergeant, what was the purpose of blocking both lanes of Oxford Street just to have a conversation with me about information I had already provided to them? Just a coincidence, or a show of force for the benefit of the mosque? I’m hoping it’s the former.

UPDATE, 9:00pm: Called my liaison with the LPS Core Unit to update him on the expected numbers tomorrow and to relate today’s experience. He explained that even though he and I have communicated about the protests, most officers will not be aware of them and/or my consultation with the Unit. He indicated that it is standard procedure for officers to record contact info, especially for people involved in situations out of the ordinary (which this admittedly is). He also stated that it is customary for a second officer to stop to check in on another as the sergeant did today, and to block the second lane. Police do need to watch out for one another so, let’s give the LPS the benefit of the doubt on this one. As I told him, I want this to be a ‘good news story’ for everyone, including the London Police. 🙂

So far, no trouble with the Muslims at all, but…

Yesterday, a property owner asked me to move from in front of her business location. I know it’s not great to have a protest near your business, so I agreed to rotate my chosen place each day in order to try to accommodate her wishes, which I did.

Today, a second business owner came out to ask me to move my protest to the other side of the street directly in front of the mosque. I wasn’t even standing in front of his office, I was standing in front of a neighbouring building. He told me he was concerned that people would drive by and think someone was protesting against his business. I suggested all he had to do is tell his customers, ‘By the way…the protest outside has nothing to do with me.’  When I reminded him that I wasn’t in front of his business, and suggested that no one was going to associate a guy wearing a blue beret and a UN flag with a protest against him, he told me my sign was too small and people driving by couldn’t read it, so they might think it was about him. It was all I could do to read his sign from the sidewalk, so I didn’t think that was going to be a problem. I told him I was rotating positions, and that free speech was why we live in Canada, but he wasn’t happy.

I’m not naming the business owners because I don’t want to focus on them, but the lesson (also learned in Caledonia, BTW)  is unmistakable: when push comes to shove, don’t count on too many business owners to lead the charge to defend your Charter rights.

Support!

1. A fellow stopped in front of me in his pick up truck to tell me how excited he was that I was defending Israel. Said he was a veteran of the Israeli Army (I think!).

2. When I got home I was pleased to have received a very moving email of support from someone named ‘Jane’ who lives several hours away from Ontario. Her message to me included these quotes:

“Thank you very much for speaking the truth about Israel, and your courageous protest in front of the London Mosque.  I have forwarded the information about your daily protests to everyone I know, with the hope that others will join you.  

“My late Father participated in the Allied campaign, to liberate the Netherlands from Nazi tyranny.  As you well know, those men risked everything in defence of freedom. […]  Your efforts in front of the mosque, honour your parents who lived under Nazi occupation; World War II Vets; all victims of the Holocaust; Jews wherever they may live; Israel; and every freedom loving Canadian/Western citizen.  Words do not adequately express my heartfelt appreciation for your defence of truth, Israel, and our freedoms.

“p.s. My Father loved Holland, and was deeply touched by the affection shown towards the soldiers, by Dutch citizens.  Many took soldiers (including my Father) into their homes, and treated them like sons.  Their acts of kindness helped the men to overcome severe battle fatigue, and the loneliness of being away from loved ones.  While Dad served in France, Belgium, etc. – it was Holland, and its citizens, that he cherished the most.”

Wow – thank you so very much for this, ‘Jane.’ Tears to my eyes.

More good news…

The Hamilton Spectator called earlier today to confirm that they will be publishing my ‘letter to the editor’ in response to an op-ed piece by George Sorger arguing that Hamas and the Palestinians would make peace if only Israel would return to its pre-1967 borders. It will appear next Monday (June 27th). Wasn’t sure if they’d publish it, so it can be found here:

News

DAY 1: Thursday, June 23/11

June 23/11: Day 1 of 'Blue Beret' protests at London Muslim MosqueFirst day. Alone, so no one to take picture of me w/flag & signs. Very quiet other than one motorist screaming at me that I “should be ashamed of myself.” For what, I’m not sure. Perhaps she’ll come back tomorrow and explain. Several Muslims passed by on sidewalk, but did not confront me in any way.

Owner of property I was in front of asked me to move somewhere else down the road. I agreed to choose a different location tomorrow since I will be coming back on a daily basis until the Tahrir crew returns from confronting the Israeli Navy, and I have no wish to cause regular disruption to any particular property owner.

Good news, Gary & Christine McHale have advised that they will be driving out for my Saturday (June 25) protest with some other CANACE supporters.

Rec’d call from a reporter with a Jewish publication in Toronto confirming they will be sending a reporter to cover one of my protests in coming days.

31 responses to “(FINAL) DAY 26 UPDATE: ‘Blue Beret’ vigil at London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque re support for ‘Canadian Boat to Hamas’

  1. Pingback: Bumped: Voice Of Canada to Protest London Mosque | Kaffir Kanuck

  2. It’s not easy being the ‘tip of the spear’ – I hope more locals join you as the days go on. Stay safe!

    VoiceofCanada: Thanks for the well wishes, Don. It would be great to have someone there at least once to take a picture of me. 🙂 Seriously, got some folks coming tomorrow, both local and out of town. Even if no one joins me, I’ll be happy; it’s the right thing to do. Must go now, have to get up a photo of 2 police cars blocking 2 lanes of traffic because some guy in a blue beret is standing peacefully across the street from a mosque with his UN flag. Regards, Mark P.S. I love the ‘Canada Supports Israel’ badge on your site.

  3. Pingback: LONDON, Ontario – SUPPORT the ‘Blue Beret’ protest against the ‘Boat to Hamas’ on Saturday, June 25/11 @ 10-11am « Jewish Defence League Canada

  4. Pingback: Re-Bumped: Voice Of Canada to Protest London Mosque | Kaffir Kanuck

  5. Thank you very much for standing up for what is right and just and for pointing out the hypocrisy of those going on the flotilla to Gaza and those who support this useless adventure. It is absolutely nothing more than propaganda for those who hate Jews and Israel.

    VoC: Thanks so much for the kind comments. Truth always finds its way to the top, don’t you think? Regards, Mark

  6. Toronto is with you

    WOW, what you are doing and have committed yourself to is outstanding. G-d bless you in your journey ahead. Thank you from every Canadian and freedom loving person in this world- we all personally owe you a “thank you.”

    VoC: I am grateful for the kind words, but I’m just a guy who got angry because no one else would speak out for the Jewish and Palestinian people who would be harmed if this mosque was successful in making it possible for more weapons to get to Hamas. BTW, if it was a Christian church doing this in London, I’d be protesting there, instead. No religious organization should potentially bloody its hands by supporting a mission that can only result in the deaths of innocents if successful. Thanks so much for writing, TIWY. Shalom. Mark

  7. I generally keep my opinions to myself where Israel is concerned because I see fault in both sides of the conflict. That said, the foamy-mouthed anti-Semitism of the Islamic terror groups goes beyond nationalist anger or territorial adversity – it amounts to the sheer maniacal evil of genocide.

    In all the lives and words that have been spent on this conflict, only one statement seems to me relevant and stunningly true in its clarity. I believe it was Golda Meir who made this observation but she must have been in a state of divine clarity when she said : “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” It is still a relative maxim for today’s conflict with radical Islam. For the life of me, I can’t conceive of a hatred so deep, so perverse it sacrifices one’s parental compassion and self preservation on the alter of suicide/genocide. In that respect, Hamas, Hezbollah etc. are not so much freedom organizations as suicide cults of psychotic barbarism. I can only imagine what it is like to live with such blood-lusting psychopaths on my borders.

  8. Fuck you and fuck israel too.

    VoC: I wasn’t going to publish your disgusting insult – until I saw your email address ‘gayguy@xxxxx.xx.’ Sad that the only country in the Middle East that doesn’t persecute gays is the one you want to denigrate. Perhaps you should contact Hamas and ask if they’ll let you hold a gay pride rally in Gaza.

    Please don’t bother to write again, the muted amusement I felt at being handed an opportunity to expose your despicably silly logic does not extend to a repeat performance. Mark

  9. Margaret (Peggy) Hay

    May you be blessed in this important undertaking!

    It was great to see a couple of pictures of my friend, Elizabeth, there…..:-)!

    VoiceofCanada: Thanks so much for your kind thoughts. Elizabeth is an inspiration. She’s become a regular. Mark

  10. Pingback: Voice of Canada Protest Continues – Day 6 | Kaffir Kanuck

  11. Pingback: Voice of Canada updates on the protests of London Muslim Mosque support for “Canadian Boat to Hamas” — mooseandsquirrel.ca

  12. Pingback: Day 8 London Mosque Protest by VoC | Kaffir Kanuck

  13. Hi Mark.
    Just wanted to say you do a great job ,keep going.
    I agree that it has never been about land , as long as Islam doesn’t evolve the way Christianity did, there will never be peace.
    Will.

    VoC: Thanks! Not stopping till the now-‘would-be’psgrs get home. Mark

  14. I detect a degree of hypocracy here. You claim to be a Peacekeeper and wear the beret but you do not appear to have had a dialogue with reps from the Mosque. I thought that is what peacekeekpers did – talk with both sides. And you have not moderated my question because it challeges you.

    Also in Canada, according to the rule of law we have an “innocent until proven guilty” policy. You appear to have reversed this by asking the mosque to declare their innocence in writing. You say you follow the non-violent message of Dr. King yet you say nothing about the Israli violence last year that left quite a few dead on one of the vessels. As an ex-military man you should know it is easy to stap a vessel without boarding or casualties.

    And, I do respect the right of Israel to be a country but I do disagree with some of the methods they use to do so, just as I do for Canada and the US.

    VoC: Hi Laurie, here are my answers to your questions:

    LAURIE:’you claim to be a peacekeeper’

    VoC: No, I claim to be a ‘former peacekeeper.’ I am a civil rights/rule of law activist.

    LAURIE: ‘you do not appear to have had a dialogue with reps from the Mosque. I thought that is what peacekeekpers did – talk with both sides.’

    VOC: I do not need to have ‘dialogue’ with, for example, a bank robber to be qualified to condemn his actions if I have irrefutable evidence of his actions. I do not need ‘dialogue’ with the native protesters who terrorized Caledonia to ‘understand’ why they attacked innocents to get what they want. I do not need to have ‘dialogue’ with the leaders of the mosque when I have clear evidence they were supporting a project which, if successful, will enable weapons to get to Hamas so it can kill Jews. There is nothing they can say to me that makes that all right.

    The role of peacekeeping is to protect civilians and to restore the rule of law. Before I was able to respond to your question, I suggested that you read my ‘Blue Berets for Peace’ vision (for lack of a better term) in which I addressed my ‘neutrality’ issue head-on:

    ‘Why I carry a Palestinian flag in my pocket’
    https://voiceofcanada.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/110703-why-i-carry-a-palestinian-flag-in-my-pocket.pdf

    Excerpt:

    “Some of you on the anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian side might wonder why I don’t have a Palestinian flag on the base of my U.N. flag stand with the small Israeli flag. After all, if I’m claiming to be
    conducting my Blue Beret protests for the benefit of both Jewish and Palestinian victims, why not put their flag there, too? And, you might argue, am I not supposed to be neutral as a former
    peacekeeper? Wouldn’t displaying their flag show goodwill to Palestinian victims?

    1. The UN’s primary mission during peacekeeping is to protect civilians and work to restore the rule of law. I will never be neutral in the face of people like Hamas who intentionally target innocents as part of a deliberate plan to exterminate a race of people and destroy a member state of the world community, especially when that state was created by a U.N. vote.

    Neutrality in the face of violence directed at innocents can never be neutral. It is siding with evil. In fact, neutrality demands that one take a side – on the side of truth, on the side against those who believe such violence is an alternative to the rule of law. […]
    ————————-

    Peacekeepers take sides every time they protect civilians and enforce the law – on the side of the rule of law, on the side of truth. Everyone wants to complicate the Middle East, but it is, at its core, a rule of law issue. One side (Palestinian) wants to ignore the law, the other has been forced to defend against its criminality since the day after it became a state in 1947. Guess which one that is?:

    ‘Israel’s fight for survival: a short history’
    https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/israel-anti-semitism/israels-fight-for-survival/

    ‘Mark Vandermaas letter to Hamilton Spectator: ‘Genocidal anti-Semitism is the issue”
    https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/mark-vandermaas-letter-to-hamilton-spectator-genocidal-anti-semitism-is-the-issue/

    NOTE: Readers new to the Israel/Palestinian debacle will find this 6:00 minute video exceptionally useful in understanding just how simple the issues really are: http://youtu.be/63hTOaRu7h4

    LAURIE: And you have not moderated my question because it challeges you.

    VoC: First, I have answered your questions in the past, including – for example – providing detailed references to answer your demand that I prove who burned down the hydro station in Caledonia even though I suspected you already knew the answer.

    Second, I haven’t answered your question because I have, frankly, better things to do at this particular time. Responding to your questions rates about a 1 out of 10 on the priority scale. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. If I were running a newspaper site, or a popularity blog it would be a higher priority.

    LAURIE: Also in Canada, according to the rule of law we have an “innocent until proven guilty” policy. You appear to have reversed this by asking the mosque to declare their innocence in writing. Also in Canada, according to the rule of law we have an “innocent until proven guilty” policy. You appear to have reversed this by asking the mosque to declare their innocence in writing.

    VoC: I hate to tell you this, but that’s how the courts work: someone makes an allegation, and someone defends against it, whether civil or criminal. I’m not the court, I’m the guy making the allegation. Besides – I’m not in court.

    LAURIE: You say you follow the non-violent message of Dr. King yet you say nothing about the Israli violence last year that left quite a few dead on one of the vessels.

    VoC: Actually, I said quite a lot about the violence on board the Mavi Marmora as it was going on. I absolutely condemned the violence directed at the Israeli military people lawfully boarding a vessel attempting to break a lawful blockade that resulted in them having to defend themselves after being attacked with weapons by so-called peaceful activists who stabbed them:

    The Legal Basis of Israel’s Naval Blockade of Gaza, by Ruth Lapidpoth, Professor Emeritus of International Law

    http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=4402

    https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/israel-gaza-flotilla-anti-israel-propaganda-vs-truth/

    Frankly, I can’t believe you’re trotting out the ‘Israeli monsters killed innocent activists’ myth; that’s been SO discredited. Please, don’t insult my intelligence.

    As for King, how about you read all his speeches for me to determine the number of times he mentioned specific incidents where whites were victimized by blacks. He didn’t feel obligated to point out every time a white man was victimized by a black person, and it didn’t make him a hypocrite. Nice try.

    Speaking of which, why is it that the Hate Israel crowd NEVER discusses the innocent Israeli victims caused by Palestinian war crimes:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_story.html

    Dr. King said he would not rejoice in the death of even one of his enemies, and neither do I. But, at least I talk about the innocent Palestinians dying because their leaders hate Israel more than they care about their own people. Haven’t heard the Hate Israel crowd talk about them, yet.

    LAURIE: As an ex-military man you should know it is easy to stap a vessel without boarding or casualties.

    VoC: You’re absolutely right. It is very easy to eliminate casualties without boarding: the person operating the boat obeys the law and follows instructions from the authority having jurisdiction to turn the boat around. Very simple.

    LAURIE: And, I do respect the right of Israel to be a country.

    VoC: Wonderful, assuming you mean that it should be able to live in peace free from the threat of extermination, which I trust you do.

    Just to advise…I’m not a journalist, I’m an activist, so my decision to publish or not publish a comment is based on whether or not I think it will help me get my message out. I went through this exercise, as I sometimes do, not for your benefit, but for readers who might learn from some of the specious arguments you raised. I don’t have time for a repeat performance, unfortunately.

    Mark

  15. Pingback: Voice of Canada London Mosque Protest – Days 9 & 10 | Kaffir Kanuck

  16. Thank you.

    VoC: unfortunately, as cited in today’s update, I have a meeting tonight and won’t be back till very late, then vigil tomorrow am. Sorry, it’ll have to wait till then. Haven’t forgotten. Some of your questions, though, will be answered in the Blue Berets for Peace vision article I just posted called, ‘Why I carry a Palestinian flag in my pocket.’ It’s listed at top of UPDATES page. Regards, Mark

  17. Pingback: Voice of Canada London Ontario Mosque Protest Days 11 & 12 | Kaffir Kanuck

  18. Pingback: London Free Press editor satisfied with NOT reporting the news under his nose — mooseandsquirrel.ca

  19. Pingback: True Patriot Love – Standing up to London’s Mosque – Masters of Deceit Come Disguised to Beguile

  20. Pingback: Voice of Canada London Muslim Mosque Vigil – Days 15 & 16 | Kaffir Kanuck

  21. Pingback: Blue Beret Vigil Day 17 | Kaffir Kanuck

  22. Pingback: Blue Beret Vigil At the London Muslim Mosque – Day 18 | Kaffir Kanuck

  23. An excellent article by Mr. McHale and in its own right, a very professional piece of journalism. It’s outrageous that the Free Press refused to publish it

    Ben Singer, London

    VoiceofCanada: Hi Ben, those are especially nice to hear coming from you. I shall pass on your comments to Gary. He worked hard on the article, and I am very grateful for it. Outrageous? Couldn’t have said it better. You can meet him tomorrow if you like. 😉 Regards, Mark

  24. Pingback: July 12, 2011 Counterjihad Protest in London, Ontario — 1389 Blog – Counterjihad!

  25. Pingback: Join the protest tomorrow of the London Free Press’ anti-Israel bias and refusal to report the news — mooseandsquirrel.ca

  26. Mark: Good luck tying to embarrass the LFP 😉 Judging by the shameless (obvious) partisan propagandizing they’ve engaged in for the past decade, I’d think it’s impossible to shame a rag so utterly corrupted by partisan politics and patronage agendas. You can’t shame someone with no moral compass.

    The LFP’s excuse for stonewalling your protest/opinion states, in pith and substance, that they are too gutless to publish any fact or opinion which could inflame reactionary extremist Islamist violence. That says it all. They (a paper) willingly rescind their right to free speech and free press rights because they are intimidated by fundamentalist Islam’s infamous inclination to reactionary violence. PATHETIC!!

    Read them this Mark:
    “I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
    John Diefenbaker

    If that doesn’t shame the cowering gutless buttwads nothing will.

  27. I don’t know what happened, but my last post didn’t ping back. There’s a vid on this one you should see, if you haven’t already.

    http://kaffir-kanuck.ca/2011/07/13/voice-of-canada-blue-beret-vigil-%E2%80%93-days-19-and-20/

  28. Again this one didn’t pingback. Oh well, with vid of Ayn Rand given Phil Donahue some blunt facts about Arab hate for the Jews

    http://kaffir-kanuck.ca/2011/07/14/voice-of-canada-blue-beret-vigil-day-21/

  29. Pingback: London Muslim Mosque Blue Beret Vigil Ends | Kaffir Kanuck

  30. Pingback: Israel loses a daughter and defender – Rose Lax of Hamilton’s Never Again Group | Israel Truth Week

  31. Pingback: “Israel loses a daughter and defender – Rose Lax of Hamilton’s Never Again Group” — Mark Vandermaas « Jewish Defence League Canada