Toronto Sun Columnist Eric Margolis Must Go
January 19, 2009
By: Mike Fegelman
Dear HonestReporting Canada subscriber:
When Sid Ryan, President of CUPE-Ontario, compared Israeli policies in Gaza with the Nazis, the National Post and concerned Canadians at large were right to call for his immediate ousting.
The former Toronto Sun columnist also accused Israel of carrying out a “massacre” in Gaza, while trying to ban all Israeli academics from Canadian campuses “unless they explicitly condemn [Israel’s] assault on Gaza.”
Recognizing that comments comparing Israel to Nazis was unacceptable, Ryan issued an apology… (or something like that)
But Ryan wasn’t the only Canadian to draw comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to the Nazis. Another Toronto Sun columnist, Eric Margolis (pictured), made a similar comparison in a “political commentary” he authored on his website on January 12 entitled “Eradicating Hamas.”
According to Margolis’ introductory paragraph:
“It now seems clear the last disastrous act of the Bush administration was giving Israel a green light to launch its final solution campaign against the Hamas government in Gaza.”
Margolis’ “final solution” comment is an unmistakable reference to Nazi Germany’s systematic plan to annihilate European Jewry during World War II. Such a vile comparison is odious and contemptible.
To support his linkage of Israeli policy to the Nazis, Margolis alluded to the Holocaust by quoting a “high-ranking Vatican official” who described Gaza as “a concentration camp.” And in case any readers still didn’t catch on, Margolis drove home the Holocaust comparison a third time by wondering aloud whether “Comparisons with the Warsaw ghetto uprising will inevitably be made” given that “the world will turn further against Israel and see it, as too many critics claim, as a brutal oppressor.”
To top it all off, Margolis accused Israel of carrying out “massacres” while labeling Hamas a “democratic revolutionary movement.”
Comparing Israeli policy to the Nazis fits the European Union and U.S. State Department’s working definition of anti-Semitism. While the Nazi comparison is outrageous when made by ordinary citizens, it is even more outlandish when put forward by a newspaper columnist who is paid for his opinion by reputable news media. So we wonder: should the Toronto Sun employ someone – even for the sake of having a variety of opinions – who uses Nazi terminology in reference to the Jewish state? We think not.
While Margolis has been careful to limit Nazi references to his personal website and to keep them out of his Sun column, the fact that the Sun pays for his opinion implies that it considers his perspective – wherever he states it – to be credible. But with his latest outburst, Margolis has crossed the line and the Sun should acknowledge that by dropping him from its roster of columnists. There are plenty of worthy columnists who could make a far better contribution to the diversity of opinion that appears in the Sun’s pages.
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