In 1965 and 1966, the Canadian Jewish Congress helped organize the fledgling Canadian Nazi Party. That sounds crazy, but it’s true, and I wrote about it in Shakedown, my new book about Canada’s human rights commissions.
In a letter to the editor in the Citizen last week, the CJC’s current co-president, Rabbi Reuven Bulka, called my book’s description of the CJC’s role “fiction.” He said all the CJC did for the Nazis was buy them a bottle of rum.
It’s true that the CJC did buy drinks for Nazis in the 1960s. That’s pretty strange in itself, and I’d like to hear more of Rabbi Bulka’s thoughts on spending Jewish charitable donations that way. But the CJC did a lot more than that: they hired an ex-cop named John Garrity to go to work for the Canadian Nazi Party.
Garrity puffed up a group of Nazi nobodies into a national menace, first through organizational support and then through spectacular media publicity. And, sure enough, Parliament enacted section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which censors offensive speech.
Twenty years after the Canadian Nazi Party vanished, CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, inserted an operative named Grant Bristow into another rag-tag racist group called the Heritage Front. Unlike Garrity, Bristow didn’t play second-fiddle. He became the boss, turning the Heritage Front into Canada’s leading white supremacist group. This time it wasn’t just Jewish money that was spent propping up neo-Nazis — all taxpayers paid for it.
Which brings us to the present day — and back to Rabbi Bulka and the section 13 censorship law. Canada’s largest customer of section 13 is Richard Warman, who has been the complainant in all but two cases heard by the tribunal this decade. The CJC was so impressed that they gave Warman an award.
But, in a stunning human rights tribunal ruling last month, Warman himself was rebuked for posting anti-Semitic comments on Stormfront, a neo-Nazi website, including a message calling Jews “scum.”
not as awesome as filing lawsuits though. Right, dick?
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