The Israel-based world media watchdog, Honest Reporting, which claims over 140,000 subscribers, has honoured one of Canada’s Never Again Group members with its ‘Letter of the Month’ award for November 2011.
In actuality, Steve Scheffer (wearing Israeli flag in photo above on Day 11 of my Blue Beret vigil) is being recognized for having two letters published in the Hamilton Spectator in defence of truth in the Middle East, letters in which he condemns Islamist hate for Jews and points out that it is this hatred that is the obstacle to peace, not Israeli intransigence.
- Honest Reporting, Dec 14/11: Letter of the Month – November 2011
Steve’s letters were written in response to an anti-Israel writer perpetuating myths about Israel’s supposed fault in the conflict.
- Jim McMaster anti-Israel letter #1, Nov 04/11: Harper, Obama blocking peace
- Steve Scheffer response #1, Nov 07/11: Definition of peace not universal
The Islamist definition of peace states the entire world must be converted to Islam before everyone can live in harmony. When Hamas and the Palestinian Authority state their goal is to destroy Israel, when they proudly declare their hatred for Jews, when they defiantly proclaim all of Israel is Muslim territory and then vow never to allow even a single Jew to live there, does that sound like peace as we in the West define it?
The morally correct votes by Stephen Harper and Barack Obama on UNESCO reflect the support of Israel by the majority of Canadians and Americans. France, on the other hand, is dependent on Arab oil. It is influenced by a massive Muslim population and has seen a significant resurgence of the anti-Semitism that failed to die in 1945.
The letter writer’s attempt to compare Canada to France is as ridiculous as comparing Canada to any of the other countries that voted for Palestinian membership in UNESCO, most of which are Islamic, terror supporting, Third World or communist.
The Palestinians can join the YMCA for all I care, but it will not change who they are or to which definition of peace they are committed.
Steven Scheffer, Burlington
- Jim McMaster anti-Israel letter #2, Nov 10/11: Israel recognized by Palestinian Authority
- Steve Scheffer response #2, Nov 15/11: Islamist intolerance threatens millions
It is astonishing. The more Islamists admit their hatred for Jews, the more their apologists berate anyone who points this out. Yet to not understand this is to not understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The only distinction between the goals and policies of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is that the former continues to stockpile tens of thousands of rockets and aims them at Israeli civilians because there is no longer an Israeli presence in Gaza to prevent it.
There is nothing insulting in pointing out the majority of states voting for Palestine’s admission to UNESCO are states with anti-Western values, anti-Semitic histories, anti-Zionist policies and/or a dependence on Arab oil. The only thing offensive in this discussion is the unwillingness of so many to admit that Islamist intolerance is threatening millions of Jews and Christians in the Middle East alone.
Steven Scheffer, Burlington
Another member of the Never Again Group, Stuart Laughton, also weighed into the discussion with a letter published on the same day as Steve’s second letter above:
- Response by Stuart Laughton, Nov 15/11: One Jewish state among 57 Islamic ones
The letter writers caused me to reflect on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s second largest international organization after the UN.
One of the writers deplores Israel’s insistence the country be recognized as a Jewish state, “something the Palestinians will never do and rightly so.” The OIC’s 57 member countries self-identify as Islamic and often vote as a bloc, so why should one country in the world — in its ancient homeland — not call itself Jewish? In population terms, we’re talking about six million versus the OIC’s 1.5 billion.
The second writer is insulted by the “blanket” statement that most of the 107 countries that voted for Palestinian membership in UNESCO are “Islamic, terror-supporting, Third World or communist.” Even my simple math skills indicate the statement is true, since the OIC’s 57 votes are already “most” of 107. Throw in a few communist regimes, thug states and Third World countries, plus all the morally confused Western ones, and you’re way over the top.
Stuart Laughton, Burlington
Steve Scheffer and Stuart Laughton: standing for truth against racism and injustice – for Israel and for Canada
Steve and Stuart (red shirt, holding Canadian flag in photo above) made repeated trips along with some of their Never Again Group associates to London, Ontario to support my 26-day Blue Beret vigil last summer which I conducted in front of the London Muslim Mosque in protest of its support for the Canadian Boat to Hamas expedition.
- VoiceofCanada feature: ‘Blue Beret’ vigil at London (Ontario) Muslim Mosque re support for ‘Canadian Boat to Hamas’
Not only are they stalwart defenders of truth with respect to the Middle East conflict, both have (again, with some of their associates) come to stand with us against the racial policing injustices in Caledonia. In fact, Steve and Stuart were there on Dec 03/11 when the ‘Caledonia Eight’ were arrested. You can see Stuart’s photo of us in this article:
The example set by Steve Scheffer and Stuart Laughton should serve to prick the consciences of those who say ‘Someone should do something!’ yet somehow never find the courage to take a stand themselves.
Kudos to HonestReporting.com and the Hamilton Spectator
I know firsthand the anti-Israel bias and carelessness with which some of the world’s media outlets cover the Middle East and, hence, the importance of pro-Israel watchdogs. During the 26 days of my Blue Beret vigil the only daily in London printed 3 puff-pieces for the two London ‘delegates’ on the ‘Canadian Boat to Gaza’ mission to make it easer for Hamas to get weapons to kill more Jews with, but steadfastly refused to print a single story about my vigil or even to include the basic facts about the conflict to which I had been trying to draw attention.
- VoiceofCanada, July 11/11: The op-ed the London Free Press refused to print: ‘Blue Berets for Peace vigil in London’ by Gary McHale
(Fortunately, the vigil was covered by Canada’s Jewish Tribune and the legendary Toronto Sun founder Peter Worthington, as well as various bloggers and the London-based ‘Just Right’ radio show at University of Western Ontario.)
I thank HonestReporting.com for their fine work, and for recognizing Steve’s contribution. My thanks also to the Hamilton Spectator for publishing Steve and Stuart’s rebuttals. The Spec also published a pro-truth letter about Israel that I wrote during the Blue Beret vigil:
- VoiceofCanada, June 27/11: Mark Vandermaas letter to Hamilton Spectator: ‘Genocidal anti-Semitism is the issue’
Monitoring Canadian media
While Honest Reporting.com monitors anti-Israel bias in the world generally, there is also an organization which specifically monitors Canadian media that does great work:
- Honest Reporting Canada: HonestReporting.ca
There are a lot of good people out there working to counter the lies, myths, and hate in the world. I’m honoured to count some of them as my friends.
- VoiceofCanada 21 minute course: ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA 101 (If you want the ‘Middle-East MBA in a Nutshell’ version, this is it!)
- VoiceofCanada feature: Israel & Anti-Semitism