To Kitchener-Waterloo Record | August 02, 2001 | Orest Slepokura

Hypocrisy of Bernie Farber

The Editor:

Re: "Jewish Congress wants Oberlander deported quickly," Jeff Outhit, The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, August 01, 2001.

Bernie Farber, executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario region, was quoted several times in this news item, voicing the CJC stand on the Helmut Oberlander case. Based on what he is reported to have said, one would assume that Farber is generally keen on justice and human rights and righting historical wrongs. But to paraphrase the old Gershwin tune, that ain't necessarily so.

In June 1998, I had an open debate with Bernie Farber on the Internet. During our discussion I bluntly asked him where he stood on the matter of torture of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, then perfectly legal in the Jewish state.

Farber replied: "Torture is a sad albeit at times necessary part of war."

In other words, far from condemning the use of torture by his own Jewish co-religionists against Palestinians in Israeli jails, Farber rationalized the evil practice as being "at times necessary." [1]

That said, let me add how impressed I am by his ability to piously decry on behalf of the Canadian Jewish Congress the continued presence of Helmut Oberlander on Canadian soil without choking on his hypocrisy.


1. Bernie Farber's statement on torture may be found at the URL listed here and is also included below the URL listing.

[,+Torture+is+a+sad&hl=en&lr= &safe=off&rnum=1&ic=1&]

Bernie M. Farber responds:

Israel is a democratic nation that since its existance has faced the brutal reality that its neighbours want to eradicate it. Torture is a sad albeit at times necessary part of war. Israel would prefer peace and never again have to worry about terrorist bombs and the mureder of its children. Until that day Israel will do what it must to protect itselfe and its people. "Kosher Klaus Barbies", please Orest, you of all people must know the difference between nazism and democracy. Wait, I know, your response....

Sincerely yours,

Orest Slepokura
Strathmore AB