Monday, February 23, 2009
CUPE Ontario Shames Canada’s Union Movement
February 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments
No surprise! The Canadian Union of Public Employees’ Ontario members voted in favour of supporting a boycott of contact with virtually all Israeli universities.
Resolution 50, which was passed at CUPE’s convention in Windsor Sunday protested the continued Israeli ”occupation” of Gaza (Huh????) … and called for its members to boycott working with Israeli institutions that do any research beneficial to the Israeli military. But in my view, this resolution, and the myopic view it reflects, is so totally one-sided as to be more of a disgrace to Canada’s union movement than Israeli universities.
Why just Israel? Why not any institutions anywhere doing research that helps their country’s military apparatus? Because that could open a whole can of worms in lots of places … like Iran, China, Russia, the U.S. and even Canada!!!
No, no … just single out Israel! That, in my view, is pathetic discrimination.
This wasn’t the first time that CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan has focussed his attack and railled against Israel. In 2006, during Israel’s war with Hesbollah, Ryan reportedly hastily called a CUPE Ont. meeting on a Saturday, when observant Jewish members could not attend, and had a motion condemning Israel passed then too.
I do not object to anyone criticizing any country, organization or collective group for positions or actions taken. But, as anyone who reads this blog knows, I absolutely hate one-sidedness and bigotry … and I believe Sid Ryan … and CUPE … are GUILTY on both accounts.
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when Israel was promised peace if it withdrew from the buffer zone it had created in southern Lebanon to protect northern Israeli villages .. but was totally lied to?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE after Israel withdrew and once more exposed its citizens to potential shelling .. when Hesbollah moved in … not with farmers and ploughshares, but with THOUSANDS of rockets, and it started firing into Israel almost daily?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when two Israeli soldiers, in their own land, patrolling on their own side of the border with Lebanon, were kidnapped and murdered by Hesbollah?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE as thousands of Israeli’s … including THEIR women and children … cowered in bomb shelters as Hesbollah rockets rained down .. totally unprovoked?
Where was Sid Ryan when Hesbollah turned its guns, mortars, rockets on the Lebanese people themselves and killed hundreds of civilians in an abortive attempt to seize control of the entire country?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when Hamas, after winning the Gaza election, soon after turned its fury and weapons on Fatah, its political opposition, murdering hundreds of them (including throwing some of them to their deaths from atop buildings) to eliminate any dissident voices and terrorize the ordinary Gazans into submission? No boycott there!
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when, with the greatest heartache and pain, Israel forcibly removed 45,000 of its own settlers from Gaza, turning the entire area over to the Palestinians in yet another move aimed at promoting the promised peace?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when Israel and Egypt re-opened Gaza’s borders in a gesture of good will …. and Hamas imported hundreds of rockets (from Iran) hidden in food and commercial supplies?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when Hamas, instead of promoting farming, businesses and beach resorts in its regained Gaza, moved rocket-launchers into its new Gaza territories and started firing almost DAILY at Israeli towns nearby?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when, in retaliation Israel and Egypt placed severe checks on goods flowing across the border, so Hamas built illegal underground smuggling tunnels to import THOUSANDS more rockets to fire into Israel?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when Hamas and Hesbollah DELIBERATELY AIMED their rockets at CIVILIAN targets in Israel?
Where was Sid Ryan and CUPE when Israel warned Hamas and the world that if the Hamas rockets did not stop (after HUNDREDS had fallen inside Israel ..terrifying, injuring and killing) it would have to act?
And apart from Israel, where have Sid Ryan and CUPE been in all the suffering that has gone on in Darfur, Sudan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Cambodia etc etc etc over the years? Where were there resolutions calling for boycotts of institutions in those killing fields?
And where are Sid Ryan and CUPE as human suffering goes on and human rights are regularly trampled in countries like China, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and almost all the Arab countries of the world?
In fact, ironically, Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East with a free and democratic union movement, an actual political LABOUR party, and human rights levels (for all its citizens ..including Arab Israelis) that residents in ALL its neighboring states could only dream about.
Ryan’s and CUPE’s anti-Israel motion disgraces them more than Israel.
How ironic: it will be celebrated ONLY by those who support terrorist groups and dictatorial regimes where almost EVERYTHING Canadian unions claim they stand for are punishable by harrassment, imprisonment or death.
The Canadian union movement has only been further tainted by this addition to the public’s perception that it is full of far-left, one-sided radicals who support terrorist groups, dictatorial regimes … almost anyone anti-Israeli and anti-American … while staying so silent about the real tyrannies that imprison their own people and threaten our freedoms.
Other Canadian unions should repudiate CUPE Ont.’s stand … or share the shame.
Posted by David Berner at 2:07 PM
Here's an interesting debate.
The EU wants major bank reforms.
They want standards set, tax havens exposed and closed down, more cash on hand for gloomy days and more transparency.
Well, not so fast there.
Canada and the U.S. do not agree.
The fear is that too much regulation will stifle the economy.
Of course, our "free enterprise system" our open market Eden has done so well for us all.
Little glitches like shuttered homes, businesses and banks? No problem. The taxpayers can always bail them out.
Couldn't Obama and Harper consider for a moment a little more oversight on lenders and financial institutions have been running riot these past few years with universally disastrous results?
Posted by David Berner at 9:24 AM
The Globe is continuing its series on the DTES called "The Fix."
It began well, but it is now in the "experts" phase.
We knew there would be trouble ahead.
Today an academic tells us what we already know and then fails to tell us what is behind what we know.
No doubt he is a good man.
Here is what he tells us:
"The root of the problems plaguing DTES is the concentration of poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, poor housing, prostitution, petty crime, and mental illness in the area."
And this honorable man has some good suggestions about housing mixes.
But he doesn't dare address why we have our famous "concentration of poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, poor housing, prostitution, petty crime, and mental illness in the area."
Can you say, "Values," boys and girls?
We are a do-as-you-will culture that dare not impose any acts of citizenship on one another.
So drug addiction or mental illness are no longer problems or conditions to be unhappy about, they are a right and a life style to be defended at all costs.
On an average day, driving my car the short distances it takes me to go about my quiet life, I must deal with at least three outrageous misbehaviours by drivers around me. Anything goes. Signals are a waste of time.
Addicts are patients and the homeless like living outdoors; they choose this lifestyle.
The DTES will remain the city's great social sewer and shame until the day we decide as a community that we'd like addicts to live clean and sober lives and we'd like the mentally ill and the homeless to find something resembling homes.
Posted by David Berner at 9:09 AM