Independent Canadian author and activist Yves Engler has been attacked as an “anti-Semite” in a US publication whose mission is to defend Israel. An inflammatory article argues “It’s time to talk about Yves Engler”. We agree. Read more…
The US website Algemeiner recently published a harsh attack on Yves Engler, an independent Canadian historian and activist well known in progressive Canadian circles for his thoughtful, and sometimes provocative, research on Canadian policy, especially its foreign policy.
In an aggressive article entitled “It’s time to talk about Yves Engler”, columnist Ben Shachar, a student at York University, did not mince words. “Engler is an anti-Semite. There must be no beating around the bush, no equivocation and no softening of the language: for years, Engler has used ‘progressive’ publications to peddle his own vile brand of anti-Semitism“.
He further went to on describe Engler as a “darling of the far-left”.
There is little doubt that Engler is popular in progressive circles for his trenchant critiques of Canadian foreign policy. His most recent book “A Propaganda System: How the Canadian Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation” will make many Canadians uncomfortable. In an earlier publication “The Truth may Hurt: Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping” Engler took aim at a Canadian icon, accusing former Prime Minister Lester Pearson of being a lot less progressive than many Canadians would like to believe.
But Mr. Shachar and Algemeiner are principally angered by Engler’s consistent criticisms of Israel and Canada’s support for it. His book “Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid”, is a well researched analysis of Canada’s support for Israel going back 70 years, to 1947. And his regular blog and articles in Rabble.ca are always insightful. Engler is uncompromising in his assessment, and does not hesitate to use strong language.
For Mr. Shachar, these attacks on Israel seem to be evidence of “Engler’s diseased antisemitic brain“.
Is Engler really anti-Semitic?
The charge of anti-Semitism is a serious one. Anti-Semitism does exist in Canada, and elsewhere, and where it exists it should be exposed and denounced.
Principled to a fault, and uncompromising in his criticisms of Israel, Engler undoubtedly makes many Canadian Jews uncomfortable. But anti-Semitic? CTIP does not think so, but readers are encouraged to read Shachar’s article, and then read Engler’s response to it for themselves.
In his response to Shachar, Engler brushes off the anti-Semitism charge, pointing to his long and extensive record of exposing and opposing REAL anti-Semitism in Canada over many years.
“Anyone interested in the merits of the slanderous claims against me can pick up Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid or read my articles online to make up their own mind,” notes Engler.
He then turns his considerable research talent on his accuser. Shachar, he points out, is affiliated to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). Engler claims that CAMERA is an “organization aligned with right-wing and hawkish political views” funded in part by billionaire Sheldon Adelson which has raised at least $20 million to attack critics of Israel in North America.
Using the example of the Shachar accusations, Engler gives a succinct overview of an extensive Israeli propaganda program generally known as “Hasbara”.
CTIP agrees with Mr. Shakar on one point. It IS TIME to talk about Yves Engler. We encourage people to subscribe to his blog and read his articles. His research should be read, and studied, (and criticised wherever necessary) by anyone interested in Canada’s policies (and actions) with respect to the Israel/Palestine issue.
We also think it is time to talk about the Hasbara, CAMERA and people like Ben Shachar. Their research too, should be read, and studied and criticized.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. We invite comments from readers. Both Zionists and non-Zionist opinion is welcome as long as it is expressed in a respectful way. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.