Friday, July 19, 2024

“Israel plays Canada in a softball game, and the anti-Israel crowd goes even crazier ~ Not to mention they also have a list of authors to hate” by Brian Henry

Team Israel

On July 4 in Surrey, BC, pro-Palestinian protesters (as the media likes to call them) showed up at a softball game to scream at the girls on the field and the adults and kids who’d come to watch the game. 

Why? Because Canada was playing Israel in the Canada Cup Women’s International Softball Championship, and these protestors don’t accept Israelis anywhere. Not in Canada, not in Israel, not on this earth.

They also don’t much like Jews. They screamed at the parents and kids in the stands – not Israelis, just local Jews who’d come to cheer for team Israel – calling them war criminals (here).

A seven-year-old watching a softball game doesn’t control Israel’s war against Hamas, even if she is Jewish. Neither do her parents. Nor do the kids playing softball, all in their late teens or early twenties, some Israeli, others American of Israeli ancestry.

But to the anti-Israel crowd, none of that matters.

The protest was promoted online by the Vancouver chapter of the Samidoun Prisoner Solidarity Network, the same group that called the Oct. 7 Hamas attack “heroic and brave,” the same group that called to “end this nightmare called Israel,” the same group that Israel identifies as a terrorist group and that Germany has banned (here).

Team Samidoun

This is also the same group that’s calling for the Nakba to be taught in schools. They’re allied with Parents4Palestine and the Palestinian Youth Movement, which is Samidoun’s arm for pulling young people into the pro-terrorism orbit. 

The Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) was the displacement of several hundred thousand Palestinian Arabs caused by the war Palestinian Arabs and the surrounding Arab states launched to destroy Israel in the moment of its birth.

They lost.

In the Palestinian understanding, winning that war is Israel’s original sin which must be undone by wiping Israel off the map. And this is the history of the Nakba that will be taught in schools if any province is foolish enough to allow terrorism-supporting groups to dictate the curriculum.

That eventuality may sound far-fetched but the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation has petitioned the BC government to do exactly that.

Coincidently (I’m sure), the BC Teachers Federation is the subject of a human rights complaint for on-going and pervasive antisemitism (here).

Also, Nakba Day has already been added to the Peel School Board’s Days of Significance Calendar. (For more about Nakba Day, see here.)

These same groups that call for Palestinian propaganda to be taught in schools as history also agitate for schools to adopt polices against anti-Palestinian racism.

Along with the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association, their notion of anti-Palestinian racism (APR as it’s called) includes any disagreement with Palestinian “narratives.” So, for example, I’ve already committed anti-Palestinian racism in this article by writing truthfully about the Nakba.

As for saying the Nakba (as understood by Palestinian propagandists) shouldn’t be taught in schools? They say that’s also anti-Palestinian racism.

Objecting to the obvious antisemitism of protesting a Jewish hospital? That’s anti-Palestinian racism, too (here).

Terrorism supporting group Toronto4Palestine protests at Jewish hospital

Calling out a teacher for distributing materials promoting terrorism and Jew-hatred? Again, that’s anti-Palestinian racism (here).

Thinking it’s okay to deport a terrorist? More anti-Palestinian racism (here).

This list could go on a long time, because here’s how this game is played: if you disagree with the anti-Israel mob, you’re an anti-Palestinian racist.

Currently, the Toronto School Board has adopted the term “anti-Palestinian racism” and is trying to figure out how to apply it. If the school board is acting in good faith (a big if), then they’re on a fool’s errand. The concept of anti-Palestinian racism is simply a club to beat on anyone who supports Israel’s existence. 

Of course, Palestinians should be protected against discrimination. Fortunately, they already are.

These days, Canadians tend to think of discrimination in terms of race and sexual orientation or identity. But section 3(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act also forbids discrimination based on national or ethnic origin. Similarly, the Ontario Human Rights Code forbids discrimination based on citizenship, place of origin, ethnic origin, or ancestry.

The Toronto School Board should recall they’re already bound by this obligation towards Palestinians – and also toward Israelis. Because surely, Israelis suffer far greater discrimination. For example, pro-Palestinians promote a boycott of Israelis (or Jewish Israelis, to be precise) – and they try to bully Canadians to go along with their boycott.

Besides seeing the “pro-Palestinian” mob show up to scream at teenagers playing softball, in recent months, we’ve also seen them harass diners at CafĂ© Landwer, a Jewish-owned, Israel-based restaurant with a few locations in Toronto. They banged on the windows and chanted, “Boycott! Boycott!” 

The Landwers are familiar with this sort of intimidation and with calls for an anti-Jewish boycott, having been chased out of Germany by the Nazis in the 1930s. (More here.)

The mob also hates Aroma restaurants, Sabra hummus, SodaStream soft-drink makers, and Israeli wines. My daughter and I did a whole tour of Toronto, sampling yummy Israeli food and drink you’re supposed to boycott (here).

Brian Henry guilty of eating Zionist gelato

Similarly, the anti-Israel students and their supporters who have been camping out on university campuses to protest Israel’s ongoing existence have all demanded their universities cut academic exchanges and other ties with Israeli universities. Naturally, this means cutting ties with students and staff of those universities. The anti-Israel students also demand their universities cut any investments they may have with Israeli companies.

Beyond that, the pro-Palestinians also target anyone who supports Israel’s existence. For example, Israel-haters at the University of Ottawa convinced the university to retract a lecture invitation to Dr. Daniel Drucker.

Dr. Drucker runs a research lab at Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Nobel Prize Committee may well award him for his work developing anti-diabetes medicine. But Drucker is also Jewish, the son of Holocaust survivors, and a Zionist; that is, like other decent people who’ve given it a thought, he believes Israel should exist. Hence, his disinvitation.

U of O eventually realized the notion of “Jewish science” went out of fashion along with the Nazis. If he can cure diabetes, they decided, Drucker can give a talk, even if he does support Jews having a state. They reinvited him, and naturally, “pro-Palestinian” protesters interrupted his lecture. (More here.)

Dr. Daniel Drucker guilty of practicing Zionist medicine

Beyond Israelis and Jews and anyone else who supports Israel’s existence, the anti-Israel crowd tries to extend its bullying to everyone who doesn’t fully agree with them.

Hence, they’re now calling on Canadians to boycott the universities many of them attend. In the assessment of anti-Israel campers and their allies, the following universities do not sufficiently loathe Israelis:

McGill, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson), University of Alberta, University of Edmonton, University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, and York University. 

I don’t know where the anti-Israel protesters expect to go to school.

Also, they want you to stop drinking coffee, as both Starbucks and Tim Horton’s have committed the crime of not being explicitly anti-Israel.

And forget ordering out; you’re supposed to boycott Uber Eats.

Also boycott Walmart, the Bay, and Costco.  

Travelling’s problematic, too. You’re supposed to boycott Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and for some random reason, the Aga Khan Museum.

Performers who book a concert in Israel always get deluged with calls not to go. Most go anyway. So now we’re supposed to boycott Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Ballet BC, and many others.

Incinerate your Leonard Cohen CDs and records. Not only did Cohen perform in Israel several times, but in 1973 when Egypt and Syria invaded Israel on Yom Kippur, Cohen went to Israel to do his part by playing for soldiers.

Leonard Cohen guilty of performing for Israeli soldiers during Yom Kippur War, 1973

Forget putting money in a bank – buy a secure mattress. The banks all have investments in Israel. And boycott the Giller Prize for best Canadian novel while you’re at it; Scotiabank sponsors it, you know.

If you want to know which books to burn, you can find helpful lists online; such as the X [Twitter] account “Zionists in Publishing.” On that site, a follower objected to labelling Neil Gaiman a Zionist (author of American Gods, Coraline, etc.). The account owner replied, “As long as he believes Israel has the right to exist, he's a Zionist” (here).

Canadian authors also make the burn-their-books lists, including Emily St. John Mandel, author of the acclaimed novel Station Eleven. A colour-coded spread sheet circulating online, indicates which novelists you should read (because they’re pro-Palestinian) and which are damned. Mandel’s sin? “Travels to Israel frequently, talks favorably about it.” 

Emily St. John Mandel guilty of saying nice things about Israel
But to get shunned, an author doesn’t need to go to Israel or even say anything nice about it.  All an author needs is a deal with an Israeli publisher or a single social media post.

Author Annabel Monaghan (author of Nora Goes Off Script, Summer Romance, etc.) committed just such a crime with her Instagram post on Oct 12. She expressed concern for Jewish friends who were alarmed by Hamas’s attack (six days earlier) and by the deluge of worldwide antisemitism inspired by that attack (here). 

Finally, do not object to the boycott movement. Dania Majid is the Chair of the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association. That’s the group which developed the definition of anti-Palestinian racism. She says that objecting to the boycott movement is – you guessed it – yet another example of anti-Palestinian racism.

So, you must favour discriminating against Israelis and against Jews and anyone else who supports Israel’s existence and indeed against every person and every company that’s not actively anti-Israel. Sorry, if you don’t, you’re an anti-Palestinian racist.

***

This piece was originally published on the Canadian Zionist Forum.

Read more of my essays here (and scroll down). ~Brian

Thursday, July 18, 2024

You're invited to an online Kid Lit workshop with Karen Li of Groundwood Books

The Prisoner and the Writer
by Heather Camlot, illustrated by Sophie Carson
published by Groundwood

“Writing for Children and for Young Adults”

~ with guest Karen Li, Publisher at Groundwood Books

(Note: Our guest was going to be Nan Froman, Editorial Director at Groundwood, but Nan had to bow out and Karen is taking her place.)

Sunday, September 22, 2024
 1:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom and accessible wherever there’s Internet

If you want to write the next best-selling children’s books or just want to create stories for your own kids, this workshop is for you. Learn how to write stories kids and young adults will love and find out what you need to know to sell your book.

This is your chance to speak with someone within a publishing company in a small group setting and to pull back the curtain and see how it all works. Be sure to bring your questions – we'll have lots of time for interaction.

Special option: Participants are invited to submit the opening couple pages (first 500 words) of your children’s book or young adult novel (or up to 800 words if that gets you to the end of your picture book or to the end of your first chapter). Email your pages to me prior to our workshop.

Karen and I will publicly critique about half a dozen submissions so everyone can see what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve your story-telling. Get your pages in early if you want to be part of this. If you’re not currently working on a children’s story, don’t worry, we’ll get you started! ~Brian

Guest speaker Karen Li is the Publisher of Groundwood Books, an independent Canadian children's publisher that is part of House of Anansi Press. Groundwood publishes literary picture books, fiction, poetry, nonfiction and graphic novels from Canada and around the world. The press is home to award-winning authors and illustrators, such as Deborah Ellis, Marie-Louise Gay, Sydney Smith and Jillian Tamaki, among many others. 

Before coming to Groundwood, Karen was the editorial director of Owlkids Books for eight years, where she helped debut exciting new voices in children’s literature, including Thao Lam, Naseem Hrab, Sophie Gilmore, Monica Arnaldo.

Karen lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor, author, and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers and is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing Inc). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published.

Read reviews and reflections on Brian’s retreats, classes and workshops here.

Fee: $45.13 + 13% hst = $51 paid in advance by mail or Interac

To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Jean Rae Baxter's tenth book is out: Battle on the Ice

Hello, Brian.

I now have ten published books to brag about, and it all began with one of your workshops 20 years ago!

Here’s the latest….

Grateful always.

Jean

Battle on the Ice by Jean Rae Baxter

(Crossfield Publishing)

It's December 1837, a winter of discontent, with Upper and Lower Canada on the verge of civil war. “Dory” Dickson, a farm boy, needs to leave home to find work. Despite his father’s warnings to stay away from the border towns, where rebels are recruiting for an invasion of Upper Canada from the United States, he walks straight into trouble at his first stop, a tavern in Chippawa. 

On nearby Navy Island, in the middle of the Niagara River, rebellion leader William Lyon Mackenzie has an army training for a war that will establish the Republic of Canada. Unaware that he’s being used, and accompanied only by his faithful horse, Dory sets off on a mission fraught with danger and betrayal wherever he turns.

Battle on the Ice is available through Chapters/Indigo here as are Jean’s other titles here.

See information about upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and four-day retreats here.

For more about new books from your fellow authors, see here (and scroll down).

Monday, July 15, 2024

More great places to send your weird (and not so weird) short prose & poetry ~ and most of them pay

Note: You can now get new postings on Quick Brown Fox delivered straight to your Inbox as I publish them. Subscribe to the new Quick Brown Fox page on Substack here:  https://brian999.substack.com/

 

Craft was established in 2017 as a literary magazine for fiction and expanded in 2020 to also publish creative nonfiction.

Pays $200 US for short stories and for creative nonfiction pieces 1,000–6,000 words; $100 for flash fiction and flash creative nonfiction; and $50–$100 for essays on writing craft and interviews. 

Submissions always open. Guidelines here.

Currently, Craft is also running a First Chapters contest for adult literary fiction. Submit the first chapter or chapters of your novel – maximum 5,000 words. Prizes: $2,000 US for first place; $500 for second, and $300 for third. $20 entry fee.

Contest deadline Aug 4, 2024. Details here.

 

City. River. Tree. Publishes postcard or flash fiction and picta-flash, both online and in a yearly print anthology.

They are looking for fiction of 100-500 words in any genre. You may submit up to three stories. Pays 2 cents US per word ($2 minimum, $5 maximum).

They also want one-page stories written in pictographs; 10 – 50 pictographs per story. Pays 20 cents US per pictograph ($2 minimum, $10 maximum).

Full submission information here.

 

Bourbon Penn seeks highly imaginative stories with a healthy dose of the odd.  Odd characters, odd experiences, odd realities. 

“We’re looking for genre / speculative stories and are quite partial to slipstream, cross-genre, magic realism, absurdist, and the surreal.

“We want character.  For us, stories live and die by their characters.  We’re looking for fully drawn characters who surprise us with their honesty, complexity, and contradictions.

“We want mysterious.  We’re looking for stories that grab the reader, make them ask, “what the hell is going on?” and then deliver on the tease.

“We want ideas and we want action.  We love exploring big, philosophical ideas, but we revel in suspenseful plotting.  If you’re adept at blending these elements, we can’t wait to read your work.

“We want fresh voices and exciting prose.  We want to be surprised.  We want to be inspired.  We want to find stories that we can’t wait to publish, promote, and evangelize.”

Pays 4 cents US per word.  Guidelines here.

 

Monkeybicycle is an online literary journal which is updated almost daily. 

“Founded in 2002 in Seattle, WA, Monkeybicycle has continued to publish the absolute highest quality in a wide range of literary categories. Twice, works we’ve published were selected for inclusion in the Best American Nonrequired Reading anthologies and have a selection in the 2018 Best Small Fictions anthology.”

Monkeybicycle publishes short stories (2,000 words maximum) and one-sentence stories. They are open to all genres, as long as there is a strong story and a great narrative. If you have experimental work you'd like to send, they’ll definitely consider that as well.

One-sentence stories, need to be one sentence long, and MonkeyBicycle publishes a new one on their website every Wednesday.

Submissions always open. Guidelines here.

 

PureSlush wants flash fiction submissions for The Absent Bassoonist, the 4th anthology in their Music series. Stories must be 150 – 1,000 words.

They have a detailed scenario you must adhere to:

The Quonsettville Community Orchestra is set to open the newly-rebuilt LaChute Cultural Center with a sparkling concert.

The concert on Saturday 18th June 2023, will include the first public performance in 68 years of Dudley Donegal O’Day’s magnificent (and very underrated) Triple Bassoon Concerto (transcribed for two bassoons).

But on the night of the concert, First Bassoonist Solomon Schweitzer never arrives.

Why?

We want to know what Solomon is doing instead of showing up to perform.

What do you believe happened to Solomon?

To set the scene for the anthology, click here for the story An Empty Chair.

For some simple facts about Solomon (so we’re all on the same page), click here.

For a map of Quonsettville, where the action in The Absent Bassoonist is set, click here.

 Your The Absent Bassoonist submission must include mention of Solomon Schweitzer, his whereabouts, and his reason/s for not showing up to the concert.

PLEASE NOTE: Solomon is not dead. Nor does he show up to play at the end of the concert. Nor does Bethany Thackeray know where he is, nor was she involved in his non-appearance. Solomon and Bethany are not secret lovers or conspirators, and she is genuine in her claim she does not know why he has not arrived for the performance, nor does she know where he might be.

To submit, click here. Please include the word BASSOON, plus your name and the title of your submission, and the word count. (Please note: word counts do not include titles or your name.)

Deadline:  September 30, 2024. Full guidelines here.

  

See information about all our upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and four-day retreats here.

For information about other places to send your short works, see here (and scroll down).