Adbusters

Hate Speech or Free Speech?

Why is Shoppers Drug Mart pulling 3,500 copies of Adbusters magazine off its shelves?

Here is the story of why Adbusters has been blacklisted:

A walled off ghetto, an occupying military that controls the entry of food and daily necessities, desperate attempts by hungry civilians to smuggle commodities through tunnels, and punitive collective punishment against all those who resist … there are never-to-be-forgotten differences, of course, but also some striking similarities between the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II and the open air prison of Gaza in Israeli-occupied Palestine today. And yet the Canadian Jewish Congress is accusing Adbusters of anti-Semitism for making this historical comparison, and it has successfully lobbied one of Canada's biggest pharmacy chains to remove Adbusters magazine from its shelves.

Now there's a meme war brewing in one of Canada's national newspapers:

Canadian Jewish Congress attacks Adbusters on October 22
Adbusters fights back on November 2

As any pro-peace activist knows, the pro-Israel lobby has a sordid history of using the charge of anti-Semitism to silence criticism of Israeli policies. Even President Carter was smeared because he dared speak of the "abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank".

But the use of cluster bombs on civilians in Lebanon in the closing days of the last Israeli incursion there, the wholesale deaths of noncombatants in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, the extrajudicial assassination in Dubai last January, the killing of protesters aboard the Mavi Marmara this summer, the ongoing construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank and the hate speech of Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have changed the way the world now looks at Israel. This is fast morphing into a meme war that the Israeli PR machine can no longer win and this more than anything may finally bring Israel to the peace negotiation table in good faith.

Check out the Canadian Journalism Project's article "Adbusters, ghettoes and Shoppers: Anti-semitism or free speech?" and The Canadian Charger's "Canada's Adbusters Magazine and the Israeli Lobby".

If you think that publishing side-by-side images of the Gaza and Warsaw ghettos is a valid expression of free speech, send an email to Shoppers Drug Mart’s CEO Jürgen Schreiber – [email protected] and [email protected] – and tell him that you are boycotting his store until Adbusters is back on the shelves. Be polite but clear. Then send a note to the Canadian Jewish Congresswww.cjc.ca/about-cjc/staff/ – reminding them that in a free country we debate rather than censor.

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232 comments on the article “Hate Speech or Free Speech?”

Displaying 121 - 130 of 232

Page 13 of 24

Richie

I think the deal-breaker as far as comparing the Israelis with Nazis goes, is the critical fact that at the end of the day (and we should all realize this) Israeli soldiers don't just get up in the morning and risk their own asses to go out and kill Palestinians. Would you? Would you send your sons to possible death just to reek havoc? With no push-factors at all? Obviously, the Israeli people are genuinely worried about something. Again, I think we're being too superficial here; too fashionable. Does that mean that Israel is to be excused for killing unnecessarily? Of course not!

War is stupid because people will always get hurt on both sides, and there's no such thing as a "fair" war. The grayness of the situation is evident when you take into consideration the macro as well as micro perspectives of this crisis.There is no doubt that Israel is the "stronger and wiser" party when it comes to Gaza.Therefore, when Israel errs by over-reacting militarily, one could say "you should know better". However, in the middle-eastern perspective, Israel is a very exposed and isolated democratic entity that has to worry about its existence constantly. Other nations show support for Israel when it serves them in some way, but then adopt the "we're-not-gonna-touch-that-with-a 5-yard-pole" attitude when real issues arise.

Israel is never going to listen to anyone pushing "peace at any cost" until it is confident in the fact that it can continue to exist and protect its citizens. I don't think the rest of the world is willing to put its balls on the line to ensure that that happens.

Richie

I think the deal-breaker as far as comparing the Israelis with Nazis goes, is the critical fact that at the end of the day (and we should all realize this) Israeli soldiers don't just get up in the morning and risk their own asses to go out and kill Palestinians. Would you? Would you send your sons to possible death just to reek havoc? With no push-factors at all? Obviously, the Israeli people are genuinely worried about something. Again, I think we're being too superficial here; too fashionable. Does that mean that Israel is to be excused for killing unnecessarily? Of course not!

War is stupid because people will always get hurt on both sides, and there's no such thing as a "fair" war. The grayness of the situation is evident when you take into consideration the macro as well as micro perspectives of this crisis.There is no doubt that Israel is the "stronger and wiser" party when it comes to Gaza.Therefore, when Israel errs by over-reacting militarily, one could say "you should know better". However, in the middle-eastern perspective, Israel is a very exposed and isolated democratic entity that has to worry about its existence constantly. Other nations show support for Israel when it serves them in some way, but then adopt the "we're-not-gonna-touch-that-with-a 5-yard-pole" attitude when real issues arise.

Israel is never going to listen to anyone pushing "peace at any cost" until it is confident in the fact that it can continue to exist and protect its citizens. I don't think the rest of the world is willing to put its balls on the line to ensure that that happens.

Anonymous

"Israel is never going to listen to anyone pushing "peace at any cost" until it is confident in the fact that it can continue to exist and protect its citizens. I don't think the rest of the world is willing to put its balls on the line to ensure that that happens."

The nukes should make Israeli's feel comfortable, don't you think?

Anonymous

"Israel is never going to listen to anyone pushing "peace at any cost" until it is confident in the fact that it can continue to exist and protect its citizens. I don't think the rest of the world is willing to put its balls on the line to ensure that that happens."

The nukes should make Israeli's feel comfortable, don't you think?

meme boy

We can debate Israel/Palestine, but the underlying issue here is whether we should tolerate Shoppers Drug Mart censoring one side of that debate. If they get enough emails threatening boycott they will relent:
[email protected]

meme boy

We can debate Israel/Palestine, but the underlying issue here is whether we should tolerate Shoppers Drug Mart censoring one side of that debate. If they get enough emails threatening boycott they will relent:
[email protected]

westvanman

Richie,

It's not clear whether you're replying to my two posts first under the name westvanman and then anonymous but if so you ignored just about everything I said.

Most of what you say above disregards a richly documented history of Israeli crimes (again countless Israeli official and human rights sources concur) which should be condemned particularly by Israeli citizens as well as by the citizens of its primary benefactor, the United States. These crimes dwarf Palestinian terror as heinous as those crimes are. As is the norm in U.S. establishment thinking the idea that there might be blowback from these policies seems to be beyond comprehension.

I didn't want to get into a debate about relative Israeli/Nazi crimes as the comparison is ludicrous. I merely stated there are prima facie similarities that even the highly respected Israeli statesman Abba Eban (among others) alluded to but dared not directly mention.

The massive state terror engaged in by great powers throughout history is legion and it seems to me either delusional or willful ignorance to deny this fact. The U.S. was founded on genocide and slavery. This is a fact. In the 20th century it turned to "Salt Water" expansion which exploded after WWII and the collapse of European colonialism. The interventions and invasions subsequent to 1945 are one massive atrocity after another. The foundation and expansion of Israel with the fervent support of the U.S. (increased after 1967) is based on similar forms of ideology and terror, a Zionist version of Manifest Destiny. As has been the case for every aggressive power in history attacks on defenseless populations, the stealing of land and resources, the indiscriminate use of force, torture and indefinite detention are ALWAYS accompanied by lofty rhetoric such as it is God's will or we are civilizing the heathen or this is actually our land etc., etc. The flip side of this is the we are actually the victims here. We have to do this out of self-defense, it's a dangerous neighborhood and the like. You parroted the standard framing of the issue with your pounding the drum of imminent annihilation at the hands of raving Arabs/Persians bent on the destruction of Israel. So we have Iran, a constant victim of U.S. aggression (installed a dictator and helped Saddam Hussein kill a million or so of its people) while not having attacked a neighbor in centuries being painted as the first nation in history to hunger for state suicide because -we are constantly told- it is planning to attack Israel, a move that should it show even the remotest moves toward initiating would render it a smoking radiated parking lot in about three hours. The record of constant U.S./Israel rejectionism of peace is willfully ignored in this scenario.

So Richie, your points are weak to say the least. With all due respect it seems to me like you want to believe what you want to believe regardless of the facts. This is what people who care about Israel should be fighting. For this blind, feverish paranoia and its attendant militarism and extreme violence is what is going to destroy Israel.

westvanman

westvanman

Richie,

It's not clear whether you're replying to my two posts first under the name westvanman and then anonymous but if so you ignored just about everything I said.

Most of what you say above disregards a richly documented history of Israeli crimes (again countless Israeli official and human rights sources concur) which should be condemned particularly by Israeli citizens as well as by the citizens of its primary benefactor, the United States. These crimes dwarf Palestinian terror as heinous as those crimes are. As is the norm in U.S. establishment thinking the idea that there might be blowback from these policies seems to be beyond comprehension.

I didn't want to get into a debate about relative Israeli/Nazi crimes as the comparison is ludicrous. I merely stated there are prima facie similarities that even the highly respected Israeli statesman Abba Eban (among others) alluded to but dared not directly mention.

The massive state terror engaged in by great powers throughout history is legion and it seems to me either delusional or willful ignorance to deny this fact. The U.S. was founded on genocide and slavery. This is a fact. In the 20th century it turned to "Salt Water" expansion which exploded after WWII and the collapse of European colonialism. The interventions and invasions subsequent to 1945 are one massive atrocity after another. The foundation and expansion of Israel with the fervent support of the U.S. (increased after 1967) is based on similar forms of ideology and terror, a Zionist version of Manifest Destiny. As has been the case for every aggressive power in history attacks on defenseless populations, the stealing of land and resources, the indiscriminate use of force, torture and indefinite detention are ALWAYS accompanied by lofty rhetoric such as it is God's will or we are civilizing the heathen or this is actually our land etc., etc. The flip side of this is the we are actually the victims here. We have to do this out of self-defense, it's a dangerous neighborhood and the like. You parroted the standard framing of the issue with your pounding the drum of imminent annihilation at the hands of raving Arabs/Persians bent on the destruction of Israel. So we have Iran, a constant victim of U.S. aggression (installed a dictator and helped Saddam Hussein kill a million or so of its people) while not having attacked a neighbor in centuries being painted as the first nation in history to hunger for state suicide because -we are constantly told- it is planning to attack Israel, a move that should it show even the remotest moves toward initiating would render it a smoking radiated parking lot in about three hours. The record of constant U.S./Israel rejectionism of peace is willfully ignored in this scenario.

So Richie, your points are weak to say the least. With all due respect it seems to me like you want to believe what you want to believe regardless of the facts. This is what people who care about Israel should be fighting. For this blind, feverish paranoia and its attendant militarism and extreme violence is what is going to destroy Israel.

westvanman

Casual Reader

I'm baffled as too how a private company refusing to endorse a magazine and it's opinions by not selling it is "censoring" them.

Adbusters doesn't publish ads from the GOP or Coca Cola (atleast not REAL ones) Is Adbusters "censoring" Coca Cola and the Republicans?

Anarchist bookstores (they're called "infoshops," right?) don't sell the New York Times or the Economist. Are these book stores "censoring" the New York Times or the Economist?

I'm pretty sure more people who actually read this magazine purchase it from Barnes and Noble or Chapters rather than from Shoppers.

Casual Reader

I'm baffled as too how a private company refusing to endorse a magazine and it's opinions by not selling it is "censoring" them.

Adbusters doesn't publish ads from the GOP or Coca Cola (atleast not REAL ones) Is Adbusters "censoring" Coca Cola and the Republicans?

Anarchist bookstores (they're called "infoshops," right?) don't sell the New York Times or the Economist. Are these book stores "censoring" the New York Times or the Economist?

I'm pretty sure more people who actually read this magazine purchase it from Barnes and Noble or Chapters rather than from Shoppers.

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