This sentiment was expressed by journalist Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail today, who correctly reminded readers that “John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have been portrayed as innocents abroad, humanitarian do-gooders who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. This picture is inaccurate and incomplete. The two are hard-core anti-Israel activists who’ve been mixed up in Middle East politics for years. They should have known what they were getting into”, referring to the volatile situation in Egypt.
Wente lists the undistinguished pedigree of these two:
“The two have a history of grandstanding. Mr. Greyson, 53, is a leader of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, a noxious group that, to everyone’s relief, has been banned from Toronto’s Pride Parade. His gay-themed films, financed with government handouts, have been commercial flops.
In 2009, he withdrew a film from the Toronto International Film Festival because TIFF was going to show some Israeli films. His protest was widely denounced by other film makers. Robert Lantos called it a self-serving stunt, designed to “garner more attention for his film than it would have ever received had it played at the festival.” In 2011, Mr. Greyson boarded the Gaza flotilla, another stunt designed to publicize the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. In his spare time, he is employed as a film professor at York University.
Many of the media haven’t mentioned that Mr. Greyson is gay for fear that it would go worse for him in homophobic Egypt. But it’s no secret; his sexual orientation is very public. The real mystery is how anyone concerned with gay rights could support a viciously homophobic movement like Hamas.
Mr. Loubani, 32, is an emergency-room doctor in London, Ont. Recently, at a public meeting, he noisily denounced a federal cabinet minister for reducing health care for refugees. He calls himself a Palestinian refugee, although he was born in Kuwait. (He immigrated to Canada when he was 10.) Ten years ago, he was arrested by the Israelis in the West Bank and jailed for a few days, along with other protesters. Then, as now, he smuggled a message out of jail (it didn’t seem to be that hard), claiming that he’d been brutally beaten. He also staged a hunger strike as supporters back in Canada lobbied the government to intervene”.
Once more, the Canadian government has been forced to intervene on behalf of these radical activists with a foolhardy agenda. For this, Wente says: “the government – one that Mr. Greyson and Mr. Loubani viscerally despise – applied the heat at the highest level. Foreign Minister John Baird even met with his Egyptian counterpart. These two should kiss Mr. Baird’s feet. But I wouldn’t hold my breath”.
Neither would we.