Monday, April 19, 2010

"All morons hate it when you call them a moron."

this is a really great article written by a member of Independent Jewish Voices.

anyone interested in israel and the israel politics needs to read it, and needs to know about david noble.

"David Noble is Jewish, a university professor, and a member of Independent Jewish Voices. He has provided me with the following information.

In 2006 Noble filed what may have been the first and only defamation lawsuit against the Israel Lobby in response to accusations made against him that he was anti-semitic because of his criticism of Israel and the Israel lobby. Members of the IJV are all too aware of this commonplace smear tactic. The overriding purpose of Noble's lawsuit was to make the smear tactic costly to those who use it and thereby curtail its use. While the lawsuit is still proceeding through the Courts, there are already signs of success (see 2 below).

(1) In November, 2004 Noble exposed the influence of the Israel Lobby on the York University Foundation, the fund-raising entity created by York University two years earlier. A day after the expose was made public, he became the target of a smear campaign branding him a bigot, racist and anti-semite. The campaign was spearheaded by the "Israel Affairs" (now "Israel Awareness") operatives of Hillel@York and Hillel of Greater Toronto and consisted of defamatory press releases issued collaboratively by the York University Foundation, York University, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Ontario, and the two Hillel organizations.

The next day, a story based on the press releases appeared in the Globe and Mail. Noble publicly demanded an apology, which was reported in the Toronto Star. No apology was ever made. He immediately thereafter filed a grievance against York University which culminated in a favourable Arbitrator's award for breach of academic freedom.

In November, 2006 Noble filed a civil suit for defamation and injurious falsehood against the other parties, all of whom, in addition to the key individuals involved (including the Hillel Israel Affairs operatives Dori Borshiov, Talia Klein, Tilly Shames, and Hillel of Greater Toronto Director Zac Kaye), became named defendants. That suit is now proceeding.

During three years of litigation, all defendants adamantly refused to answer any questions regarding Israel or Israel advocacy, insisting that the questions were irrelevant. The strategy of the defendants was consistent with that of their smear campaign: divert attention from exposure of Israel and the Israel lobby by focusing upon Jews and anti-semitism. In 2009, Noble filed a motion with the Ontario Superior Court to force them to answer the questions.

All but the York University Foundation dodged the motion by agreeing to answer the questions. In February, 2010 the Court issued a landmark decision on the motion, ruling that the questions regarding Israel and Israel advocacy were indeed relevant and ordering the Foundation defendants (former York University president and Foundation Board member Lorna Marsden, Foundation president Paul Marcus, and the Foundation as a corporate entity) to answer them within thirty days. The Foundation failed to comply with the Order and went into contempt of court for three weeks
to avoid answering the Israel-related questions. Noble has now also filed formal requests for documents in the possession of all defendants related in any way to the State of Israel, organizations and agencies associated with the State of Israel and advocacy, fund-raising, and lobbying on behalf of the State of Israel, and will go back to the Court to insure production.

(2) In April, 2010 Judy Haiven, a Jewish professor at Saint Mary's University (and member of IJV) was smeared as a racist and anti-semite by the head of the "Israel Awareness" organization of Dalhousie University, the same kind of operatives who smeared Noble. Like Noble, Haiven demanded an apology. But just days after the appearance of the Globe and Mail article on the landmark Court order in Noble's lawsuit, Haiven received the apology she had demanded. Noble believes there is a direct connection between this unprecedented apology and his lawsuit, demonstrating its intended effect.

Why does he think this? The Israel Affairs/Awareness operatives in Canada are in very close and constant contact. Paige McPherson, the student who smeared Haiven, is a Member at Large Eastern Canada of the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students (CFJS). CFJS is affiliated to The Canadian Council for Jewish and Israel Advocacy (CIJA), National Jewish Campus Life (NJCL), the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC), Hillel International, and the World Union of Jewish Students. It is extremely unlikely that she and her handlers were unaware of the lawsuit. Could it be that the message was sent that such smear tactics could be costly? Noble is convinced that is the story here and that it is one that IJV should broadcast far and wide.

(3) What Have They Got To Hide? The York University Foundation (YUF) has steadfastly refused to answer any Israel-related questions and has defied a court order commanding them to do so. Why? What is so sensitive about this information that they would risk contempt of court to conceal it? The YUF is the incorporated entity York created to raise and massage its money.
  • YUF is headed and directed by prominent financial figures in the Canadian Zionist establishment:

  • YUF President Paul Marcus is the former director of development for the United Jewish Appeal Federation and, before that, the director of International Affairs for B'nai B'rith.

  • Chairman of the YUF Board of Directors Tim R. Price is the CEO of Hees Bancorp International and Brookfield Funds, Brookfield Asset Management, and the former Board Chair of the EDPER Group and Brascan. These international finance powerhouses are part of the Bronfman family empire. (Edper, which was Canada's largest conglomerate, is short for Edward and Peter Bronfman). The Bronfmans have, of course, been strong supporters of Israel.

  • YUF Director Marshall Cohen, former CEO of Molson's, used to be the financial director for the Reichmann family real estate empire (president of Olympia and York) also strong supporters of Israel. He has also been a director of AIG as well as Ameritrade.

  • YUF Director Julia Koschitzky, a founding member of CIJA and former head of the United Israel Appeal, has also been on the international Board of the Jewish Agency and Keren Hayesod, the Israeli funding agency.

  • YUF Director Howard Sokolowski (husband of Linda Frum, former board member of the Canada-Israel-Committee) is CEO of Tribute Homes and fund-raiser extraordinaire who raised record amounts for the UJA and the Israel Emergency Fund.

  • YUF Director Honey Sherman was Sokolowski's UJA fund-raising partner and is the wife of Canada's richest individual, Apotex CEO Barry Sherman.

  • YUF Director H. Barry Gales runs the family's global international investment and merchant banking operations along with his sister UJA president Leslie Gales.

  • YUF Director Alonna Goldfarb helps run the Goldfarb polling and marketing agency that handles the marketing of Israel bonds in Canada.
These are only the most prominent of pro-Israel supporters on the YUF Board (see the YUF website for the complete list of Board members).

Given the prominent financial profile and international reach of players such as these one must wonder what they are up to that requires such secrecy. (Noble spent three years trying to bring the YUF under the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; the YUF fought him tooth and nail and won on Adjudication, on the specious grounds of the legal fiction that the YUF was not a part of the FIPPA-covered institution, York University.)

Could it be that the YUF, which attracts donations from the creme de la creme of the Israel Lobby, functions somehow to funnel funds to the Israel Lobby, or to Israel itself? There is no evidence available to demonstrate any such connection and even to suggest it is pure speculation. But then what explains the extreme reluctance of the YUF to answer Israel-related questions? In time, with the production of documents in the ongoing discovery process in Noble's lawsuit, some answers might yet rise to the surface. Meanwhile, the matter merits close attention and further inquiry by the IJV.

The IJV should also note the connection between Noble's lawsuit against the York University Foundation and recent revelations regarding York University's attempt to block and censor last June's conference on Israeli and Palestinian statehood. A major role in this effort was played by Marshall Cohen, who was at the time a member of the Board of Directors of the York University Foundation as well as Chairman of the Board of Governors. Cohen was the founder of the Foundation. His direct effort to influence York's president would appear to confirm the truth of the allegations suggested by Noble's 2004 expose.

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