HARRY ABRAMS (Complainant in Arthur Topham Case) SPEAKS
Harry Abrams also writes the following on the subject:
Arthur Topham – Guilty!
Undated ( 1970’s?) photo posted to Topham’s Facebook page
“…Topham’s bizarre antisemitic conspiracy theories and his repeated demonization of the Jewish people are far beyond the limits of what civil society would consider to be protected speech. While we recognize that freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a free and democratic society, Topham’s postings crossed a line when he began to actively assert the need for genocide of the Jewish people…” – B’nai Brith Canada
Harry thank you for bringing Topham to everyone’s attention. Here the system has worked as it should. – Marvin Kurz
These above are my 2 favourite headlines so far. The decision just didn’t seem to sink in for me until I finally could read it in the national mainstream news, and for this once, I think that the main outlets covering the story, both understood and conveyed the significance of why this needed to be done, and how freedom of speech in a democracy can never be totally open-ended…or else we risk losing our civilization.
More wherefores and why-fores in a moment, but first I would like to offer some acknowledgements and thanks.
Detective Terry Wilson and Corporal Normandie Levas and the BC Hate Crimes Team. Without these skilled, principled and above all, dedicated Peace officers, we never would have had this show. Det. Wilson, who led the investigation would have been the first (after myself and the B’nai Brith legal ensemble) to recognize the complaint for what it was, and make the critical decision to proceed, knowing with certainty that we had a textbook criminal case.
Richard Warman of Ottawa. See: www.
It’s been something of a shame that Richard hasn’t received much notice in all of the coverage I’ve seen so far, because he also filed similar complaints all along. I’d like to see him receive a few laurel leaves. He’s taken personal risks and worked very hard and has been an admirable steadfast colleague for many years.
B’nai Brith Canada A special thank you to Anita Bromberg, then in-house lawyer at the office in Toronto, and of course legal counsels Marvin Kurz in Brampton, Ont. and David Matas in Winnipeg, Man., both of whom oversaw my work and preparation, pro bono.
Antiracism Experts: Alan Dutton of Vancouver and Helmut Harry Loewen in Winnipeg. Thank you fellows!! For all of your support and years of commiseration!
By 2006 the phenomenon of internet blogs and interactive websites and chatboards had absolutely exploded.
Not only was it a whole new era of instant feedback to news outlets, but any person, with only even a rudimentary understanding of the use of computers, could instantly become their own regional or worldwide publisher or take part in any number of exciting discussion and interest groups. We’ve never turned back. Indeed social networking plus the advent of smart phones, tablets and other highly portable computer-like devices have totally revised the way many of us communicate, socialize, fund raise and do business all around the world. For myself, setting up interest streams on Facebook have helped my business, sharpened my language learning skills (I speak English, French, Spanish, German and some Hebrew and Yiddish) plus generated a 24 hour stream of world art treasures, paintings and photography; all highly inspirational to me in my work as an advertising executive and commercial artist.
But this new communication miracle also served darker interests. Seized upon by haters of every stripe. But Canada, in those lofty days, had a reasonable remedy for online published hatred. Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. And nobody wielded this piece of legislation against more baddies and to greater effect than Richard Warman.
By 2006, and under the guidance of B’nai Brith I had already used this section successfully in two different projects. Not something that most of you would have likely heard about, because neither of those cases ever went to a hearing. The first concerned Vancouver and Victoria Indymedia. They were absolutely awash with vitriol: traditional antisemitism plus very explicit hatred against the continued existence of Israel.
Posting refutational material in response was spotty at best. The Indy editors adamantly were loathe to clean up their discussion boards and it was unruly chaos. By dint of close observation, I eventually discovered who the heretofore carefully anonymous principle editor was; and confirmed a residence address and enough relevant contact information to file a case. The Commission accepted my complaint, and the fellow was eventually served a set of papers, receiving a packet in the mail. Rather than dispute, negotiate or attend a hearing, the editor chose instead to make himself very scarce. As in off of the grid. Virtually untraceable, in fact.
But before doing so, he obliged us by erasing and disabling the then discussion board, ending the problem at hand.
Also in 2006, a local Victoria blog called www.pej.org (Peace, Earth & Justice) came to my attention in all of the bad far-left publicity that followed in the wake of Israel’s war with Hezbollah in Lebanon that year. PEJ.org became a cruel cesspit of not just criticism, but existential hatred. Here are a couple of stories about it still accessible online:
To move this story along I’ll simply say that when finally served with the complaint, the owner of the site promptly apologized and removed the specifically offending items, ending the problem.
No arrest. No release conditions. No court appearances. No legal fees.
PEJ.org still carries on today. I don’t monitor it anymore. But even if they do put out the occasional article that speaks unkindly of Israel, it’s not rampantly hateful like it was back in the day.
So finally, all of this has really been just a preamble to my initiating contact with Mr. Topham. Arthur was, if I recall correctly, for a time, actively associated with PEJ, and I picked up on something nasty of his that was re-posted there and linked back to his radicalpress.com. It was then (as it stands today) a virtual toilet of Jew hatred. In 2007 I pseudonymously emailed the fellow, pointing out one ugly article (the link is still live, but perhaps not for very much longer) and asked him politely, but firmly, if he would kindly remove this article as it was both untrue and highly offensive to Jews. I also warned that a federal level human rights action might be commenced against him if he didn’t.
I excerpt just a bit of Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust Tale and link it here:
“…Jewish supremacists are poisoning, subverting, perverting, and murdering people of all races. The world is enslaved by their control and their ideologies, with the aid of treasonous gentiles….”
Topham refused to accommodate my request.
So I went back to work and prepared a complaint. He was served and the dispute trundled along at a more or less glacial pace until it finally stalled in 2010; awaiting the outcome of a constitutional challenge to one of Richard Warman’s Section 13’s. By then it had become very fashionable for everybody and their cousin in media all over Canada to roundly condemn this human rights mechanism, and I suppose there were enough exploitable weaknesses with the process as it then was to bring down the entire piece of legislation.
Those were some bad old days.
Canada’s Parliament de-certified this section of the Human Rights Act, and that ended 2 separate complaints that both I and Richard Warman had filed against Topham. Did I forget to mention that Richard Section 13’d Topham simultaneously as well?
Since then, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler has forwarded a bill to Parliament, with some very carefully considered amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act. It would be nice to have something like it on the books again, but I don’t suppose it will see the light of day until well after our new government has fully legalized marijuana, and kept a few other election promises first.
So this brings us to 2011, and emboldened, I suppose, by the scuttling of Section 13, Topham appeared to double down on his rants and turned up the heat with more and more classics of hate literature, plus intense vilification of both Richard and myself; and posted his piece de resistance, the Israel Must Perish screed, concocted from an obscure piece of Allied WW2 propaganda that none of us had ever heard of before.
No doubt, he thought himself very clever to substitute the words Jew for German and Israel for Germany and so on to make up this egregious piece of work.
“…It is assumed that the reader will already be fully cognizant of the Zionist agenda for global governance that is a given in today’s political reality, especially within the alternative media and on the Internet where Zionist “hate” laws are still not fully in place to restrict the natural flow of ideas and opinions that proceed from historical research and experience….”
“…There remains now but to determine the best way, the most practical and expeditious manner in which the ultimate penalty must be levied upon the Israeli nation. Quite naturally, massacre and wholesale execution must be ruled out. In addition to being impractical when applied to a population of some five million, such methods are inconsistent with the moral obligations and ethical practices of civilization. There remains then but one mode of ridding the world forces of Zionism — and that is to stem the source from which issue those war-lusted souls, by preventing the people of Israel from ever again reproducing their kind. This modern method, known to science as Eugenic Sterilization, is at once practical, humane and thorough. Sterilization has become a byword of science, as the best means of ridding the human race of its misfits: the degenerate, the insane, the hereditary criminal.
Sterilization is not to be confused with castration. It is a safe and simple operation, quite harmless and painless, neither mutilating nor unsexing the patient. Its effects are most often less distressing than vaccination and not more serious than a tooth extraction. Too, the operation is extremely rapid requiring no more than ten minutes to complete. The patient may resume his work immediately afterwards. Even in the case of the female the operation, though taking longer to perform, is as safe and simple. Performed thousands of times, no records indicate cases of complication or death. When one realizes that such health measures as vaccination and serum treatments are considered as direct benefits to the community, certainly sterilization of the Jewish people cannot but be considered a great health measure promoted by humanity to immunize itself forever against the virus of Zionism.
…Concerning the males subject to sterilization the army groups, as organized units, would be the easiest and quickest to deal with. Taking 2,000 surgeons as an arbitrary number and on the assumption that each will perform a minimum of 25 operations daily, it would take no more than one month, at the maximum, to complete their sterilization. Naturally the more doctors available, and many more than the 2,000 we mention would be available considering all the nations to be drawn upon, the less time would be required. The balance of the male civilian population of Israel could be treated within three months. Inasmuch as sterilization of women needs somewhat more time, it may be computed that the entire female population of Israel could be sterilized within a period of a year or less. Complete sterilization of both sexes, and not only one, is to be considered necessary in view of the present Jewish doctrine that so much as one drop of true Jewish blood constitutes a Jew….”
And so my friends, especially those of you in media, I must ask you to take particular notice of even just these few paragraphs above, sampled from the many thousands of pages and years and years of similar invective… volumes of material that all point in the same direction.
This has not been a complaint about opinions with which I or B’nai Brith or Richard Warman or the Jewish Community of Canada simply disagree. It’s incitement to genocide. Nothing less.