Naomi Klein is a world class hypocrite. In this video, she complains about how freedom of expression is curtailed in Canada. She is speaking to “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” and says,

“There has been a very powerful attack on freedom of expression in this country. A McCarthyite campaign against people who fall outside of the Harper government’s version of what we should be saying or doing.”

This is incredible.

Naomi Klein, together with filmmaker John Greyson and activists from Palestine House such as the organizer of the York University one-state academic conference, Mazen Masri, took the initiative last year of boycotting and/or protesting the Tel Aviv commemorative film section at the City to City section of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). At the time, Klein felt no compunction about injuring the right of speech of Israeli filmmakers in order to make her political point. She and her cohorts justified their attacks on films and filmmakers from Israel and ensured that anybody who attended City to City would not be able to separate the political attacks from the films.

In fact, their tactics have proven to be successful:

TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey revealed that, to avoid what happened last year, they “made sure to choose a city where people can focus on the filmmaking rather than other issues.”

Success for Palestine House, Naomi Klein and John Greyson. They have ensured that TIFF will stay away from controversial topics and will henceforth focus only on pleasant cities, you know, like Paris and Seattle. And, of course, the films will be nothing more than pablum. Who wants to have to answer tough questions about whether your film festival is supporting “apartheid” and “war crimes?”

Thus, authors and filmmakers who demand freedom of expression, as does Klein in the video, or Greyson in a film about censorship which is the one he withdrew in a boycott action against TIFF, have no problem curtailing and censoring others. As long as they’re Israelis, supporters of Israel or people who wish to exhibit, discuss, present or be involved in Israeli culture. They, of course, deserve no speech, according to our noble freedom fighters.

Meanwhile, these same folks demand the right to speak out freely with their lies and obfuscations, not to mention using these rights to protect their ridiculous academic conferences or, with John Greyson, the right of a film professor to call all over the world seeking to boycott an Israeli student film festival.

Yup, world class hypocrites.

Not only that, but Naomi Klein is also either a boor, an idiot or a world-class liar. In this same speech she says that “fighting apartheid” in Israel is “the last great civil liberties issue of our time.”



Here is the latest shopping mall in Gaza.

See what a pressing civil liberties issue this is? It doesn’t compare at all to China and Tibet:

Or Russia and Chechnya.

Or Zimbabwe and its outrages against its own citizens.

Take a look at Wiki’s stats of countries listed by intentional homicides. “Palestine” is in 55th place and Israel is in 74th place. Ah yes, the “last great civil liberties issue of our time!”

Who cares about “honor killings” in societies where women have have to cover every inch of their body except their eyes?

Who cares about the brutal regime in Burma?

Israel is listed #38 on the Democracy Index, but “fighting Israeli apartheid” is uppermost on Naomi Klein’s mind because it is the cause of our time.

As I said, boor, idiot or liar. I can’t be sure, but I suspect the last. And let us not forget that Klein stood in front of an audience and claimed that “our parents” “lied to us” about Israel.

She was wrong then and continues to be wrong now. So are her partners in crime.

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  • “Apartheid” is such a ludicrous word to apply to Israel. But if Ms. Klein is going to fight Israeli “apartheid,” I thought of some things she could start with:

    1. Insist that the Israeli government draft Arab teenagers into the IDF.
    2. Stop affirmative action for Arabs at Israeli universities.
    3. Stop allowing secular weddings for Israeli Arabs.

    I’d like to know what ideas Ms. Klein has for ending Israeli apartheid, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

  • i wonder if the economist considers the territories in that democracy index, or if it’s only about what goes on inside the green line

  • Israel can’t be held responsible for the way Hamas governs. You can blame them for some of the PA’s handling of their Palestinian population because the Israelis expend so much effort protecting the PA leadership.

  • What do you except from a woman who’s “Magnum Opus” is a 300 page tyrade on how Milton Friedman was Satan.

  • I’m afraid I have to point out that your article makes no sense at all. Boycotting a film isn’t curbing someone’s right to free expression, it’s expressing your own. Klein isn’t the government after all.
    And as far as the ‘apartheid’ is concerned, a picture of a shopping mall is hardly proof that there is no discrimination in your society. Germany had great economic growth at the same time as the holocaust, so is that proof that the holocaust didn’t happen?

    • Uh, let’s begin with the claim that “Klein isn’t the government…” Neither are the people and critics whom she claims are being “McCarthyite” by criticizing anybody who doesn’t adhere to Harper’s government’s views. In fact, considering the amount of public criticism his government has faced from many corners of the Canadian public but especially the far left which Klein represents, I could have written an entire blog post just about her hypocrisy in making that specific statement.

      However, I’m focusing on her boycott of the Toronto International Film Festival’s special city section. You see, she and her friends weren’t boycotting one film. In fact, they didn’t even care which films were included in their boycott. All they cared about was that any film that TIFF presented that was connected to the special Tel Aviv section should not be watched, regardless of content.

      In other words, Klein and Grayson and their friends are attempting to suppress expression. They are trying to suppress the expression of other artists for the sole purpose of gaining political advantage over the society from which those artists come. The idea is to use the popularity and size of the film festival as a platform to publicize their views while seeking to restrict people’s access to information and art that might contradict those views.

      Essentially, what these people are saying is that if it comes from Israel, it should not be watched. Period. And this from a woman complaining (falsely) that there’s a powerful attack on “freedom of expression” on those who disagree with Harper.

      As for “apartheid,” you are right that a shopping mall doesn’t address the question of discrimination. It does represent that a society that claims discrimination actually was thriving in some of its quarters at the very time this claim was made. In fact, that society had been governing itself and attacking Israel since the 2005 departure from Israel of every last Jewish soldier and civilian.

      Klein sought to claim that this supposed “apartheid” is the civil rights issue of our era. Back when she wrote this, the Assad government was brutally suppressing its people severely with some of the world’s toughest secret police organizations, China was destroying Tibetans rights systematically while overwhelming the country, Russia was arresting opposition political figures, Sudan was witnessing a genocide, the Iranian government had stolen an election, women in Saudi Arabia had fewer rights than Naomi Klein’s dogs have in Canada and Palestinians were voting for their own governments, running their own institutions, watching the Judea and Samaria Palestinian economy grow by 7-10% per year, conducting elaborate and serious international diplomatic campaigns against Israel, running multiple Palestinian media outlets that were hostile and in many cases antisemitic in their content about Israel but entirely unwilling (for fear of penalty and reprisal) to attack or criticize their own governments, etc.

      Finally, do me a favor, SJ, keep the Holocaust out of this.

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