Doorstep Postings: The electronic intifada playing out in Canada on the website formerly known as Twitter

This is a special edition of Doorstep Postings, the periodic political commentary column written by Josh Lieblein for The CJN.

I’ve honestly forgotten how long it’s been since the Canadian establishment began its hate-love relationship with disinformation and the delusion that it can be brought to heel through the usual remedies: legislation, public service announcements, and wads of cash fired madly off in all directions. And so, when they’re not tying virgins to railroad tracks, fiends like Pierre Poilievre—who can’t win elections fair and square—have resorted to levelling assertions that make the government look bad, and so they must be fact-checked into oblivion by journalistic Dudley Do-Rights and citizen activists with pronouns-in-bio. 

Among other things, the latest explosion of violence against Jews in Israel has brought with it the requisite flooding of the zone with the most deranged attempts to simultaneously play down the worst excesses by Hamas, while emphasizing that the murderers were so put upon that they simply could not restrain themselves from murdering.

For example, did Hamas behead babies—or was this just plain old regular baby murder? This was a pressing and immediate question for the disinformation-fighters. Because if it is claimed that Hamas beheaded 40 babies and presumably only 39 were found to be beheaded after the proper journalistic fact-checking and all the relevant context is considered, presumably then the racist lies of the hysterical Jews would be exposed for all to see and would be a glorious victory for the Palestinian resistance.  

As of this writing, the final status of the baby-beheading is leaning towards “Fact Check: True.” But the fact that the claim has even been called into dispute was enough for some folks to start acting like Blue Jays fans before the wild-card spot slipped through the team’s fingers once more. 

Meanwhile, on other fronts of the disinformation war, there are a few trends worth duly noting:

  • The assertion that the Canadian government has formed an unbreakable pro-Israel consensus—until an MPP remained in caucus after downplaying the role of antisemitism in the weekend’s atrocities.
  • The claim that Canadian media writes headlines to emphasize that Israelis are killed while Palestinians die, at least until CBC News went with a headline suggesting that Canadian citizen Adi Vital-Kaploun was “dead as a result of the conflict in Israel.” (It was subsequently deleted even though it was “based on information available at the time.”)
  • The allegation that Canada’s government “uncritically supports Israel” even though the government tried to spin whether the embassy in Israel was closed over the weekend by saying it was “operational.”
  • Widespread cancellations of Palestinians are taking place in Canada when as of this writing one Air Canada pilot who took a uniformed selfie wearing Palestinian colours was dismissed—pending a union grievance over paying back-wages.

But you might be labouring under the polite Canadian delusion that Facts Still Matter if you think these constitute Ls for Team Resistance. This is because the Israel-Palestine conflict is a war for adults with actual consequences, where people don’t wait around for the refs to make a call at the end of every play and then boo any decision that goes against the home team.

In adult wars with actual consequences the facts are determined by the superior force. That is why anti-Israel forces are so relentless, be it on the ground or online.  In this they are like many anti-Jewish forces throughout history.

If you’ve ever wondered how people could be incited to believe in blood libels, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or the existence of Jewish space lasers, well, it’s because the promoters of these theories kept on pushing until teamwork made the dream work.

As a result, every time a Jew blinks, flinches, or gets triggered and lashes out at the latest allegation levelled against them, the crowd goes wild because they know they struck a nerve. My fellow Jews hate it when I tell them this (and they have written in to tell me so) but when confronted with antisemitism, the proper response is calm, steady, relentless verbal punishment.

You say Israel commits war crimes? The war crimes will stop as soon as there are no more dead Jews. You say Israel imposes a science fiction-style dystopia on Palestinians? Palestinians murdered Jews before Gaza was “an open-air prison,” before the withdrawal, before 1967, before 1948. You talk about 75 years of Palestinian suffering? We have five millennia of Jews being murdered and after the fact justifications for same. What is 2+2? 2+2 = Stop murdering Jews. And so forth. Otherwise, we fall into the same “well, we had no choice but to lash out” excuse that they are using to—once again—justify murdering Jews. 

Living where we live, it becomes easy to forget what the stakes actually are, but pretending otherwise is the most dangerous kind of disinformation.

Josh Lieblein can be reached at [email protected] for your response to Doorstep Postings.