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"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any attention?"

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.


Monday, February 04, 2002

I guess I shouldn't complain. (Yes, this is a bit dated, but it's a slow news day today.) I am required to pay dues to a university faculty association, which is a euphemism for a union. In principle, I don't mind, although it would be nice to see the association bargain as aggressively for something of value to me as it did for the clause that requires all employees to pay dues as a condition of employment. My biggest complaint with the faculty association, thus far, is that some of its money is funnelled to a nationwide faculty organization that has lobbied against dispensing Federal funding for academic research through anything as elitist as a merit-based system.

But it could be worse. I could be a school teacher in Toronto, and thus be forcibly "represented" by District 12 of the OSSTF. Then my dues would contribute to publication of the D12 Voice, an almost-monthly that included in its December 2001 issue the factually-challenged article "Why America is Hated," written by union rep Doug Little. It begins:

"Many Americans and Canadians seem incredulous about the seeming hatred emanating from the Middle East in the aftermath of the 9/11 crisis....D12 Voice offers this document as a resource to history and geography teachers to stimulate debate in classes."

The article then helpfully points out year-by-year a host of intriguing accusations against the U.S. and Israel. Remember when Anwar Sadat tried really hard to make peace with Israel back in 1972, only to be rebuffed by the U.S.? And apparently the main criminals in the Jordan-PLO civil war of 1970 are the U.S. and Israel, who "prepared to intervene on side of Jordan if Syria backed the PLO."

Or my own personal favorite: "1948: Israel established. U.S. declines to press Israel to allow expelled Palestinians to return."

You'd never know that 22 Arab nations declared war on Israel. You'd never know that many (although certainly not all) of those Palestinians who left Israel in 1948 did so after being encouraged to do so by adjacent Arab countries whose armies then tried to overrun the new nation. No, Doug Little knows that life in the Middle East was all bunnies and elves and people singing happy songs until Israel and the U.S. came along to spoil the fun.

When confronted with criticism that this article (designed to be a teaching resource for teachers) was, shall we say, a bit one-sided, Little responded, "We make no pretense of being 'objective.' We do not have a 'balance' [sic] view of the Mike Harris regime. We do not have a 'balanced' view of oppression anywhere. We side with the oppressed and against the oppressor. We view America, and Israel, as its agent, as the prime oppressor in this case in the Middle East."

By the way, Doug Little is a high school history teacher.

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