Last week, Winnipeg journalist and ex-Liberal candidate Lesley Hughes was viciously smeared as antisemitic. The Canadian Jewish Congress has promoted this allegation. The Tories maliciously distorted Hughes’ 2002 article, “Get the Truth,” and Dion’s gang hopes to use the 911 Truth Movement as a club to beat the NDP.
It is worth restating what she actually wrote in 2002:
“German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it.”
So, what do we know about Hughes’ statements?
Did the Israeli Mossad warn the Americans? There are conflicting reports. According to Project Censored:
“At some point, between August 8-15, 2001, two high ranking agents from the Mossad came to Washington and warned the FBI and the CIA that an al-Qaeda attack on the United States was imminent. [Fox News, 5/17/02] On September 20, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that Mossad officials stated that indications point to a “large scale target” and that Americans would be “very vulnerable.” [Telegraph, 9/16/01; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01; Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01] The Los Angeles Times retracted this story on September 21, 2001, because a CIA spokesman stated, “there was no such warning” and that the allegations were “complete and utter nonsense.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01] Israel denied that there was ever a meeting between agents of the Mossad and the CIA. [Ha’aretz, 10/03/02] The United States has denied knowing about Mohamed Atta prior to the 9/11 attacks. [www.cooperativeresearch.org]”
Did “Israeli businesses” break their lease to escape the carnage a week before? Not according to Project Censored:
“On September 4, 2001, an Israeli-owned shipping company entitled Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., moved their North American headquarters from inside the World Trade Center, to Norfolk, Virginia— one week before the 9/11 attacks. [Virginian-Pilot, 9/04/01] Zim had announced its move 6 months before the attacks, [Virginian-Pilot, 4/03/01] yet 10 employees were still in the building on Sept. 11, taking care of the final moving arrangements. They were able to escape, unharmed. [Jerusalem Post, 9/13/01; Journal of Commerce, 10/18/01]”
Did Leslie Hughes accuse Israel of responsibility for the 911 attacks? Not at all. In fact, she credits them with warning the Americans, a notion that was supported by some news reports and denied by others.
Did Leslie Hughes get it right on the lease breaking, Israeli businesses? Nope.
Does this make Leslie Hughes an antisemite? No. At the worst, she is guilty of getting part of the story wrong. It is a big story and there are a lot of places where a reporter could go wrong. Leslie Hughes is hardly unique in this, but that only makes her human.
Dismissing the Truthers
You would have to have been living in a cave on the dark side of the moon to have missed out on the growing mountain of research that casts doubt on the official version of 911. Some of that research is undoubtedly halfbaked nonsense (and some of it disgustingly antisemitic), but there is enough substance for sensible, open minded people to pause and reflect and demand serious answers.
Instead, what we get are arrogant, dismissive statements designed to marginalize folks who ask legitimate questions.
In this case, false allegations of antisemitism are being used as a tool to discredit a journalist who has asked for answers about 911. Reminiscent of the tactic used by apologists for Israeli foreign policy who brand every criticism as evidence of antisemitism, this kind of smear campaign is a step in the direction of conflating the 911 Truth Movement and antisemitism.
Let us be very clear: antisemitism, like all other forms of rascist bigotry, is completely unacceptable. Similarly, smear campaigns are incompatible with getting to the truth about a terrorist attack which served as the springboard for an orgy of imperialist violence in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Professor Anthony Hall, who teaches Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge, has written an interesting reflection on the Hughes affair entitled A Clash of Conspiracy Theories. And here are some other 911 Truth sources that are worth your time: