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June 25, 2017 12:27 pm

It’s Time to Talk About Yves Engler

avatar by Ben Shachar

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Yves Engler. Photo: Youtube screenshot.

Yves Engler is an author and former student activist whose writing frequently appears on Rabble, The Huffington Post and Counterpunch. A darling of the far-left, Engler has been heralded as “Canada’s version of Noam Chomsky.”

Engler is also an antisemite. There must be no beating around the bush, no equivocation and no softening of the language: for years, Engler has used “progressive” publications to peddle his own vile brand of antisemitism.

Take Engler’s May 2016 article titled, “Why I am a bit wary when sports networks start speaking for the ‘Holocaust industry.'” It’s his response to a video feature that The Sports Network (TSN) aired the day before Yom HaShoah about Holocaust survivor Hank Rosenbaum’s story of survival — and Rosenbaum’s embrace of hockey in his adopted country of Canada.

Engler argues that this seven-minute video is intended “to defend the status quo and support the powerful against the weak.” He suggests that the video is symptomatic of the “Holocaust industry,” the Jewish establishment’s purported exploitation of the Holocaust “for economic and political gain and to further the interests of Israel.” Engler goes on to link the Rosenbaum feature to Israel advocacy, criticism of the leadership of the UK Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn and condemnation of Hugo Chavez’s government.

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The entire article reads like the fever dream of a reprobate teenager who just finished reading Henry Ford’s “The International Jew.” Nowhere in the video is there any mention of Israel or Zionism. Not one. The video is completely apolitical.

This begs the question: How does a short video about a Holocaust survivor’s connection to hockey draw conclusions that are so far-fetched and insidious? How is a video that is devoid of any reference to Israel “motivated…by Israeli nationalism”?

Such a warped analysis could only have been crafted by Engler’s diseased antisemitic brain.

Engler concludes the article on a conspiratorial note, chastising TSN for neglecting to mention that Rosenbaum is co-president of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants group, which (gasp!) is affiliated with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. Engler also casts aspersions on the validity of Rosenbaum’s lived experiences, noting that he only began his Holocaust advocacy work after watching “Schindler’s List.” This final figurative kick in Rosenbaum’s groin serves as a fine accompaniment to the actual, physical kick in the groin that Holocaust survivor Thomas Hecht received in 2002 during the anti-Israel riots at Concordia University, which Engler helped incite.

This antisemitic article was not a one-off for Engler. Rather, it was emblematic of his larger body of work. Themes of Jewish over-representation in the political sphere, Jewish financial prowess and Jewish privilege feature prominently in Engler’s writing.

Consider his April 2016 Rabble article, “The most abused term in Canada today: Anti-Semitism,” in which Engler asserts that the term “antisemitism” is “primarily invoked to uphold Jewish and white privilege.” Engler bemoans the fact that “there is little discussion of Canadian Jewry’s actual place in Canadian society” and proceeds to rattle off the usual tired tropes about Jews in Western societies: “Among elite business, political and professional circles Jewish representation far surpasses their slim 1.3 per cent of the Canadian population. Studies demonstrate that Canadian Jews are more likely than the general population to hold a bachelors degree, earn above $75,000 or be part of the billionaire class.”

Several other Engler pieces replicate these exact same statistics, betraying a point of obsession.

In his October 2016 article “Quebeckers and Jews share an empowered sense of vulnerability. And it’s not warranted,” Engler again cited these facts to dismiss the concept of modern-day antisemitism and to justify “Canadian Jewry’s empowered sense of victimhood.”

In his August 2014 article “Anti-Semitism as cover for white supremacy,” Engler labeled a Toronto protest against antisemitism “a march for white supremacy.” He noted that the “racially homogenous crowd carried Israeli flags,” and he recycled the same abovementioned facts about Canadian Jews and downplayed historical antisemitism in Canada. Bizarrely, nowhere in the article does Engler explain how the protest was indicative of white supremacy.

Rabble and The Huffington Post both have clearly articulated journalistic standards. They pride themselves on progressive journalism and have policies against racist and discriminatory writing. Thus, it boggles the mind that they have published Engler’s unabashedly antisemitic screeds for so long. Rabble and The Huffington Post must live up to their self-stated principles, apologize, and immediately remove Yves Engler as a contributor.

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  • Joy Daniels Brower

    I’m surprised that I’d never heard of him before (I’m not a Canadian, but do try to keep up with important news from Canada); but considering the publications through which he speaks – i e., nothing on MY reading list!! – I guess I shouldn’t be surprised! I’m glad, however, that he’s being more widely exposed. “Forewarned is fore-armed!”

  • Joseph Feld

    It’s all about being ‘disproportional’ . How dare so many Jews be bright, talented, hard working and successful in so many fields! In the countries with the highest level of freedom to be successful , the UK and the USA, Jews are most often successful. Just asking, what are the odds that Engler has at least one Jewish grandparent ?

  • Lia

    If anybody compared me to Noam Chomsky I’d be deeply wounded.

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