One unexpected side effect is the emergence of truths long hidden from the general public.
Rhonda Spivak, editor of the Winnipeg Jewish Review, has published a clarion call to the Jewish community to fight back, and fight now, to cement the status of the Holocaust gallery as one of only two permanent galleries in the museum.
She's rattled by the success the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is having in turning the dabate over the Holocaust-only gallery that's planned for the CMHR into a national issue.
Spivak wrote an 'open letter' to Lubomyr Luciuk, director of research for the UCCLA, to lambaste him and spur the Jewish community to action.
(She called him Lobomyr Luciak. That mistake has since been corrected online. Funny, the Winnipeg Free Press has twice published a wrong date for the year of the Holodomor, the Great Famine that killed millions of Ukrainians. Accuracy doesn't seem to be a high priority for the proponents of the Holocaust-only gallery.)
Referencing a letter-to-the-editor (of the Free Press) from Luciuk, Spivak wrote:
Then she let the cat out of the bag.
"At the very beginning of this project, even before it ever became a government funded museum (remember that time Mr. Luciak?), it was held out to the Jewish community that there would be a permanent gallery dedicated to the Holocaust in the CMHR. If you and your supporters have your way, that will not be the case. Clearly, there is no point in waiting to speak out, or holding back. We as a community are going to feel extremely resentful if efforts to eliminate a permanent Holocaust Gallery are successful. Why should we be silent on this issue when you are out there making all sorts of noise?"
After a lengthy whine about how the "Jewish people have never done very well in polls" she returned to the cat.
"There are a few questions that arise as a result of your rather ferocious campaign to turn the clock back and reduce or eliminate the permanent Holocaust gallery that the Jewish community was led to believe would exist in the CMHR."
In no uncertain terms, Spivak ripped the mask off Gail Asper and the Canadian Museum for "Human Rights."
It was sold to the Jewish community as a Holocaust museum. It was ALWAYS intended to be a Holocaust museum. Without the Holocaust-only gallery, WHO THE HELL CARES about the CMHR? says Rhonda Spivak.
"Are you willing to say publicly that if any private donor gave money to the CMHR on the basis that it was represented to them at the time of the donation that there would be a permanent Holocaust gallery, that they are entitled to have their money returned if they so desire?"
It's our way or we want our money back, says Spivak.
Well, so much for the official line. It's not about the Holocaust, it's about human rights, blah blah blah.
(That's why the FP was able to conclude a recent editorial with an ugly metaphor without a peep of protest from Gail Asper or anyone connected to the CMHR.
"Why does the Holocaust get a place in the front seat? Only the uninformed ask questions like that." Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 24, 2011 A12
Get it? The Holocaust gets to sit in the front seat. Everyone else has to sit in the back of the bus.)
Spivak then issued a threat, or what she at least thought would be a threat.
"Is it time to begin considering the options of what we as a Jewish community would like to have happen if there is no permanent Holocaust gallery?"
"Should we begin fundraising for the building of a gallery that will be at least as large as the 13,000 square foot Holocaust gallery we were originally told would be included in the CMHR."
(Bwahahahaha. Oh no. Raise your own money and build your own museum? That's too terrrrrrrible to imagine.)
"After all, if the size of the permanent Holocaust gallery becomes no larger than a quarter to an eighth of that, maybe we’d we be better to buy land near the Forks and put up our own museum, with a big sign that says “ THIS IS THE PERMANENT HOLOCAUST GALLERY” THAT WE NAIVELY BELIEVED WOULD BE PART OF THE CMHR.” At least that way we wouldn’t be subject to the whims of this or that poll, or the upcoming election."
With that, Spivak called on the Jewish community to go to war with the UCCLA.
"Or maybe it’s time to begin penning a book where every member of our community can at least use their freedom of expression to say how they will feel if it turns out there is no permanent Holocaust gallery?"
"Is it time for the backers of a permanent Holocaust gallery to start sending public letters, making phone calls to the CEO and Board of Trustees of the Museum, and taking other initiatives to speak out? It’s now or never. I don’t see any point in waiting."
"Should our Jewish community institutions both locally and in other parts of Canada be speaking out? In my view the answer is yes."
At least one Jewish institution was way ahead of her.
Bernie Farber, chief executive officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress, used the standard allusions to anti-semitism to discredit the Nanos poll that drove Rhonda Spivak off the cliff. That poll showed that 60 percent of Canadians supported a single gallery to recognize genocide in the world over one permanent gallery for one select genocide and another for everyone else.
The poll was commissioned by the Canadians for Genocide Education whose chairman is James Kafieh.
Farber told the National Post Kafieh’s involvement left “a bad taste” in his mouth. He cited a submission Kafieh gave to the Toronto School Board when they were considering adding the Holocaust to the curriculum 10 years ago. Kafieh pointed out that there were conflicting numbers of dead in the Holocaust, which Farber found outrageous, although he now concedes, as the National Post put it (March 31, 2011) "historians now agree some original numbers at Auschwitz were exaggerated."
He fails to mention that Kafieh has been consistent on the need to study all genocides, and not only the Holocaust in isolation.
Here's an excerpt we found of a story that ran in the Toronto Sun, right after the meeting that Farber found so objectionable.
Blumenfeld, David. Bare all killing fields: Ethnics - Genocide their issue. Toronto Sun, Thursday, March 27, 2003.
[Excerpt: To truly understand the nature of genocide, it's not enough to just teach about the Jewish Holocaust in Ontario's classrooms, says a group commemorating genocide. "Education on the Holocaust may not be broad enough," said James Kafieh, member of Canadians for a Genocide Museum. "We want to ensure that all genocides in history are taught." The coalition of 41 ethnic groups met Tuesday night at Queen's Park for the first annual Genocide Memorial Week, which they want the province to recognize in law. "(Genocide's) been an all too common instance in history," Kafieh said.
"It's the most extreme manifestation of racism and social intolerance known." Kafieh said educators need to "compare and contrast" different examples of 20th century genocide, rather than use one concrete example. Anything else would "suggest a hierarchy of human suffering" that would not advance better understanding about the subject, Kafieh said.....]
James Kafieh and Lubomyr Luciuk have one thing in common, they drive the defenders of the CMHR crazy because they refuse to rise to the repeated provocations and say something extreme that can be used to discredit them.
That forces hired guns like University teacher Catherine Chatterley to invent "evidence" of anti-semitism.
Her latest was the use of a postcard featuring the cover of a 1947 edition of George Orwell's novel Animal Farm as a sign that the UCCLA thinks Jews are pigs which is anti-semitic imagery which is proof to her that Luciuk and Kafieh are raving anti-semites.
But turnabout is fair play.
We don't profess to have the mind-reading capability of Winnipeg Free Press employees like Dan Lett, but we can research an issue, and what did we find...? A reason why the Jewish community is fighting tooth and nail to keep the Holocaust and the Holodomor far apart in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights?
The Holodomor was the state-organized famine that resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in 1932-33, roughly eight years before the Nazi's launched their campaign to kill all the Jews of Europe.
Studies of Communist Russia agree that Jews played a strong role in the Communist party and the Communist government right up through the Thirties. That is people who were born and raised Jews, since Communism was an athiest ideology and presumably members were not practicing their religion.
But if Jews were a significant force in the government of Communist Russia in 1932, then that means they bore some responsibility for the Holodomor, which was conducted by the state.
In other words, Jews are just as capable of genocide as anyone. Is that what the debate over the primacy of the Holocaust gallery is about? Will the CMHR examine how a people who helped plan one genocide to advance one ideology wound up consumed by another ideology?
We've often said there has been no prosecution of anyone responsible for the Holodomor. We may have been wrong. We found this story from JTA, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which describes itself as " the definitive source for American Jewish community news and opinion."
June 15, 2009
KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) -- A Jewish group in Ukraine is objecting to a criminal case brought over the "Great Famine" committed in the 1930s.
The nation's security service is pressing the case against a list of former Soviet officials accused of committing the Holodomor, which caused the deaths of millions in Ukraine in 1932-33. Most of the names on the list were Jewish.
Ukrainian lawmaker Aleksandr Feldman, leader of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said last week that it was "a farce" to press the case.
“All organizers of the Great Famine are dead," he said.
Last July, the Ukrainian Security Service released a list of high-ranking Soviet state and Communist Party officials -- as well as officials from NKVD, the police force of Soviet Russia -- that essentially blamed Jews and Latvians responsible for perpetrating and executing the famine because most of the names on the list were Jewish.
The Ukrainian Jewish Committee called on the secret service to revise the list, which incited interethnic hatred, in order to clear up the “inaccuracy.”
Feldman believes there is a danger that the “Holodomor Affair” materials are being used for political purposes.
In late May, security service head Valentin Nalivaychenko claimed at a meeting with representatives of the World Congress of Ukrainians that “Ukraine has collected enough evidence to bring a criminal case regarding the famine, which was artificially created by the Bolshevik regime and caused mass death of citizens.”
Through the World Congress of Ukrainians, Nalivaychenko turned to leading foreign lawyers with a request to help find out the circumstances connected with preparing and committing the genocide.