Michael Harris of CFRA radio, has been accused many times of being an anti-Semite, by many within and outside of the Jewish community; including me.
His latest diatribe against Israel was published in the Ottawa Sun (November 8, 2002). The way he tears a strip off Israel Asper, the owner of the Global Television and Southam Newspapers, including the National Post; offers further proof to his visceral contempt of Israel, and for people who stand up in defense of Israel.
I have, on the rarest of occasion, tuned into his show when in my car, and inevitably, I have heard Harris castigating and slamming Israel for one thing or another. He is quick to single out “responsible” criticism of Israel from “prominent” individuals, many of them being Jewish. I guess this gives Harris some comfort and a sense of legitimacy when making outlandish and often anti-Semitic statements.
He is quick to quote from Israeli opposition leaders who are just as quick to slam their political opponents. Where’s the surprise in this? He is also quick to quote Rabbis who are against some Israeli policies, in the case of his most recent harangue against Asper and Israel, it is the Chief Rabbi of Britain.
Here’s an earth-shaking revelation for Michael Harris. Jews worldwide, and within Israel itself, speak for themselves. There is no monolithic leader. And no one has the right to speak exclusively on behalf of Jewish thought and polity. Even the democratically elected Prime Minister of Israel, who works with his Cabinet and coalition partners can not speak out with single authority.
Only Michael Harris seems to be able to do this. I will not take the time to refute his endless claims as to why Israel is such a horrible country, since there isn’t enough space in your newspaper to do so. But I will state that anyone who can find an endless stream of words with which to condemn Israel, and none with which to commend Israel, has a real problem that goes well beyond a somewhat slanted political opinion and reasonable prejudice.
I also have to question how someone who thinks of himself as being so well informed and opinionated, can not find the equal time and opportunity to condemn the Middle Eastern Arab world for its absolute lack of democracy.
If Michael Harris was to be living within the Palestinian Authority, and if he opened his mouth in condemnation to Arafat and Arafat’s pals, to the same extent as he dumps on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government, I would be writing about his obituary, rather than his contemptible bent against Jews and Israel. But that reality seems to be beyond him.