The United Church of Canada narrowly avoided disgrace last month, when its members rejected a bigoted resolution aimed at boycotting Israel. But a scandalous new revelation suggests the controversy is far from over.
As the National Post reported on its front page on Friday, the UCC provided financial backing for a 2008 conference that led to the creation of “Independent Jewish Voices” (IJV), an extremist group whose leaders support a total economic boycott of Israel, defend the UN's original anti-Semitic Durban conference, support the destruction of the Jewish character of Israel through the influx of millions of Palestinians, spread conspiracy theories about the “Israeli lobby,” promote the blood libel that Israel deliberately targeted “children playing on roofs” during the Gaza conflict, and cheered on the illegal occupation of the Israeli consulate in Toronto earlier this year.
But it gets worse when we find out more about Diana Ralph. She is the IJV co-founder, co-chairwoman and “coordinator” who boasts of having personally solicited the “generous donation” from the United Church.
Did the UCC do their due diligence on Ms. Ralph and her group before they forked over the cash? Let's take a look.
In an essay that this IJV honcho contributed to the 2006 book The Hidden History of 9-11, Ms. Ralph argues that the Sept. 11 attacks were not perpetrated by al-Qaeda, but rather by American and Israeli conservatives seeking to implement “a secret, strategic plan to position the U.S. as a permanent unilateral super-power poised to seize control of Eurasia, and thereby the entire world.”
And who created the master plan for all this? Zionists plotting on Israeli soil. “The concept of a 'war on terror' pre-dates 9-11 by 22 years,” Ms. Ralph writes in her exposé. “Its seeds were first planted in 1979 at the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism (JCIT) organized by Bejamin Netanyahu (future Israeli Prime Minister). [Subsequent Israeli actions] hauntingly foreshadowed the 9-11 'attacks' and the Bush 'war on terror.' “
We also learn that the CIA was “deeply implicated in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,” and that the United States is conspiring to thwart Arab Islamists from their dream of creating a “democratic Arab Economic Union similar to the E.U.”
How does this leader of Independent Jewish Voices justify her claims? One of the “authorities” she cites is the Executive Intelligence Review, a vanity-press publication founded by world-famous conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche, a man who once declared that the “Protocols of [The Elders of] Zion include a kernel of hard truth.”
Ms. Ralph also footnotes many of her most jaw-dropping allegations with citations to Eric Hufschmid, a notorious anti-Semite. Visit Mr. Hufschmid's web site, and you will find, under the heading “Armenian genocide,” the following: “Why should you care? Because it shows a pattern. The Jews were responsible, but they blame other people, just as they did with 9/11 and the world wars.” Hufschmid also informs us that “[Michael] Jackson's suspicious death looks like a sloppy murder that went wrong. This gives us another opportunity to learn about the techniques of these criminal Jews.”
Ah yes, those “criminal Jews.” 9/11. The Armenian Genocide. Deliberately murdering Palestinian children on their rooftops. Assassinating the King of Pop. What aren't they capable of? Maybe Ms. Ralph can tell us. Or perhaps the good folks at Carleton University, who apparently employ Ms. Ralph as “associate professor of social work,” can provide the answer.
For those of you who find Ms. Ralph's name familiar, here's why: She and her lesbian partner attempted to adopt an alleged Islamist terrorist out of detention in 2007. (They actually wanted the guy to live in their house with them – a premise for a reality show, or bad sitcom, if I ever heard one.)
I guess this is what being an “independent” Jewish voice means today: Bringing Islamists into your home, cribbing from anti-Semites, spreading blood libels against Jews, cheering on the destruction of the Jewish state. These Jews seem to have made genocidal self-destruction their greatest goal. But hey, I guess that just proves how “independent” they are.
As for the UCC, do its members feel that funding the creation of Ms. Ralph's organization was the best use of their church's limited funds? The last time anyone checked, the UCC wasn't exactly thriving. Perhaps that might have something to do with the fact that a once-great church is now known primarily as a supporter and funder for some of the worst bigots on our political landscape. That sort of PR image tends to discourage donations.
This isn't about just the IJV: This scandal is a microcosm for the modern Canadian radical left. Judy Rebick, Naomi Klein, John Greyson, Antonia Zerbisias, Sid Ryan: How many Canadian leftists are now perceived as one-issue cranks because of their bitter and off-putting obsession with demonizing the Jewish state? What does it say about these people, for instance, that even The Toronto Star's left-wing editorial board has declared that their ongoing, hysterical campaign against the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has gone too far?
And for what? What have any of these anti-Israeli activists accomplished? Despite the sanctimonious appeals for a boycott, Canada remains one of the staunchest friends to the Jewish state in the entire world – with both of our major parties rightly delivering virtually unqualified support to its war against Hamas and Hezbollah terror.
The campaign against the TIFF's spotlight on Tel Aviv also has been a total failure: Despite all the protestor's various self-congratulatory events and manifestos, not a single notable film has been lost from the festival. Jane Fonda, in fact, even withdrew her support from the “Toronto Declaration” being circulated against TIFF after she actually read it – a notable embarrassment.
Meanwhile, supporters of Israel have been galvanized: Over the weekend, Toronto media magnate Moses Znaimer announced he would be setting up a special session of his vaunted ideaCity conference in Tel Aviv in 2010.
As countless left-wing activists are discovering, bigotry and hate tend to redound on those who spread them. It's something the UCC might want to keep in mind the next time Israel-haters come by looking for a handout.