Real Story Special: More Money for Maroufians
Bonus: Ottawa's been funding a platform for Kremlin disinformation, too.
Delayed by events in China, by double duty for the National Post, by two extra newsletters and then by gathering and fact-checking unreported background on the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group spectacle this past Tuesday, among other things, here’s that Real Story Special I was hinting at in recent newsletters.
I’ve had to put aside parts of the Special I was planning because of certain creepy propagandists and “anti-Zionists” that have been brought to my attention among the Trudeau government’s lavishly-endowed grant beneficiaries.
I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll just dive into it.
To start with: It turns out that a lot more federal money has gone to the deranged federal consultant Laith Marouf, and to his affiliated lobby groups, than has yet been reported. A hell of a lot more.
Also, it also turns out that while the Trudeau government has been banging on about the threat posed by foreign disinformation operations, Ottawa has been funding a radio exchange that platforms a function of what the U.S. State Department calls a “pillar” of the Kremlin’s English-language disinformation and propaganda operations.
Real Story subscribers will recall L’Affaire Marouf, the scandal that erupted when it was revealed that Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen had given his personal blessing to a $133,000 “anti-hate” project run by the Beirut-based weirdo Marouf, lately famous mostly for vile and unambiguously antisemitic Twitter outbursts, but whose extremely creepy and violent “anti-Zionist” obsession goes back 20 years.
Marouf is Canada’s very own Kanye West.
Telecom industry specialist Mark Goldberg had been warning officials about Marouf to no avail for more than a year before the story broke, and he eventually uncovered nearly $600,000 Marouf had hoovered up from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission over the years. John Kay’s account is published in Quillette. I wrote a backstory to the whole thing for the webzine State of Tel Aviv.
Since he was outed, Marouf has been throwing himself into a sort of crusade against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism, which has been endorsed, last time I looked, by 38 mostly western countries. The IHRA definition has kicked up a great deal of “anti-Zionist” resentments, perhaps most noticeably in Canada by the inaccurately-named Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East - the Anti-Israel lobby.
The Real Story friend and subscriber (@Hansardish on Twitter) alerted me to nearly $7,000 granted to CJPME (here and here) from Employment and Social Development Canada over the past four years. This is almost funny, just as it’s almost funny that although there’s been scant reporting about it in the press, until Mike Fegelman noticed it a month ago Ottawa was funding al-Meshwar, the newspaper published by the loathsome Nazih Khatatba.
Khatatba has deployed al-Meshwar to claim Jewish bankers financed the Nazis, and to celebrate the terror operation that took the life of Canadian-Israeli teen Aryeh Shechopek the other day, and to dismiss the Holocaust as the “Holohoax.”
It was Khatatba’s presence at that Canada-Palestine Friendship Group jamboree in Ottawa last week that caused such awkwardness. Strangely spared the limelight in the awkwardness: Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra was there among 150 people, including several MPs. Salma Zahid explained that, well, you know, we can’t vet everyone, the invitation was widely circulated, and by gosh we’ll have to be certain this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. And the uproar elicited hearty disavowals of antisemitism among those in attendance.
One thing I don’t understand is that I have to turn to the Jerusalem Post for any mainstream notice of what May said at the event: "I take marching orders from the official representative of Palestine to Canada." That’s not even funny.
But wait until you see what has been brought to my attention now.