Cancelled: there’s much talk about cancel culture, since October 7. It’s everywhere.
So, too, one of the oldest anti-Semitic tropes – which is that Jews control Hollywood and the media. And, because they have so much power, they “cancel” and “censor” those with pro-Palestine (read: anti-Israel) views.
But that’s not really true, is it? Everywhere you look, these days, a Palestinian flag or a keffiyah is being waved in someone’s face – including at the NHL All-Star game, no less, where the no-name singer of the U.S. anthem was permitted to appear, even after posting online: “if you’re a Zionist, feel free to stay your ass at home.”
Or, a few days ago, they’re outside the doors at Yuk Yuk’s, the fabled comedy club in Toronto, screaming at people trying to get inside, and assaulting patrons. As club owner Mark Breslin texted to friends: “Almost a riot outside. They tried to rip off my clothing and tip [my wife’s] car over. Fifteen police cars. Madness.”
Or, anti-Israel/pro-Hamas types are showing up on university campuses, and screaming at Jewish kids, and pushing them around. Or they’re swarming pro-Israeli voices online, hurling threats and abuse. Or – most visibly – they’re showing up in neighbourhoods where Jews are found, or outside businesses owned by Jews, to intimidate and defame.
The objective, in every single case, is to shut down the pro-Israel side. To shut it up. To cancel it.
The notion that Jews are “cancelling” the other side is therefore laughable. The reverse is true, and the evidence is found in cases big and small.
Recently, for example, Leah Goldstein experienced anti-Israel cancel culture in a way that was up close and personal. Goldstein is a feminist, author and former world kickboxing champion – and, years ago, trained commandos in the Israeli military.
Because of that, it seems, Goldstein – whose feminist credentials are impeccable – was cancelled by a group called Inspire, scheduled to hold an International Women’s Day event in early March in Peterborough. Goldstein was removed as keynote speaker, without even being asked first for her side of the story.
In their newsletter, Inspire wrote: “In recognition of the current situation and the sensitivity of the conflict in the Middle East, the board of Inspire will be changing our keynote speaker.”
In internal emails, Inspire whinges that sponsors were “becoming hesitant” after hearing from anti-Israeli types. They claimed that “the decision to cancel Leah was not made lightly.” But they cancelled her, to use their own word, nonetheless. They did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Goldstein says she was “hurt, angry and heartbroken” about being erased by Inspire. “It seems they gave in to threats and hate – and that is the saddest part,” she says.
Goldstein’s shocking story just one recent example of the sort of anti-Israel cancel culture now running rampant. The most notorious example of anti-Jewish cancel culture, of course, is a big one: the BDS gang – meaning “Boycott, Divest, Sanction.” All aimed at Jews and the Jewish state, on a huge scale.
As American professor and author Gary Wexler reminded this writer last week, the global movement that is BDS literally got its start in Toronto. BDS kicked off in Toronto in 2005, after some University of Toronto students launched another pro-cancellation tactic, Israeli Apartheid Week. After the Canadian Union of Public Employees endorsed both, BDS and the “apartheid” obscenity spread globally, like wildfire.
As its very name implies, BDS is literally a vehicle – now worldwide – to cancel and censor Israel, and those people and entities that support Israel, or somehow linked to Israel. Relying on a network of campus groups, churches, unions and others, BDS tries to delegitimize and isolate Israel and pro-Israeli voices. It is now mainly headquartered in the Middle East.
As the Anti-Defamation League says about BDS: “BDS campaigns, which portray Israel as a pariah state and advocate that it be singularly targeted, are unfair, one-sided and disproportionate.
“In fact, the BDS campaign does not support constructive measures to build Israeli-Palestinian engagement, nor does it promote peace negotiations or a mutually negotiated two-state solution to the conflict. Rather, BDS presents a biased and simplistic approach to the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The goals of this Canadian-founded group, if implemented, would wipe out Israel, says the ADL. It is therefore deeply anti-Semitic, the ADL concludes.
And what of those who attempt to cancel and censor Jews – like Leah Goldstein, or Mark Breslin – or just anyone who supports Israel in its just and overdue war against the homicidal subhumans who make up Hamas?
That all feels pretty anti-Semitic, too.