The latest: He's being sued for libel by an organization called Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME). It runs campaigns encouraging the boycotting of goods from Israel to protest that state's treatment of Palestinians. The late Liberal MP Warren Allmand served on its board.
Levant used his blog on Rebel Media to compare the group to Nazis and said it was abusing its charitable status to spread anti-Semitic propaganda. He urged his followers to sign a petition (entitled "tax dollars subsidize Jew hatred in Canada") urging the federal government to revoke the group's status as a charity and contribute to a fund that would allow Levant to hire a human rights lawyer to go after it.
Aside from the damaging opinion -- which Levant can probably try to defend by saying it's freedom of expression -- he overplayed his hand and made statements of fact about the group that he cannot possibly justify.
Why? Well, for starters, because CJPME is not and never has been a charity.
It's seeking $100,000 in damages and $20,000 for punitive or exemplary damages, and says Levant must be confusing it with a separate foundation that has no role in its political campaign in support of Palestinian rights.
It's not the first time the Rebel Commander has been found to be reckless with facts. He seems to have made a career of it.
Levant has raised the Nazi card before too. In 2010, he wrote a column for Sun Media accusing international financier George Soros of a childhood collaboration with the Nazis. Soros threatened to sue and Sun Media had to issue a retraction and apology.
Two years later, Sun Media had to retract and apologize to the Romani people after Levant broadcast a commentary that he titled "The Jew vs. the Gypsies." Levant opined that Romanis were a group of criminals: "These are gypsies, a culture synonymous with swindlers. The phrase gypsy and cheater have been so interchangeable historically that the word has entered the English language as a verb: he gypped me. Gypsies are not a race. They’re a shiftless group of hobos. They rob people blind. Their chief economy is theft and begging."
That reckless diatribe prompted a remarkable op-ed piece in the National Post co-authored by Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Holocaust survivor Nate Leipciger. They condemned Levant's commentary as a "contemptible screed" and argued that "the time has come for all of us to reject hate and bigotry -- against any group."
Levant apologized for his remarks, stating that he hoped they "will serve as an example of what not to do when commenting on social issues."
But he keeps on doing it. He can't help himself, much like The Iron Sheik always kept going back to the eye gouge.
That's one reason Ezra Levant's career as a commentator has cratered from national television star to tabloid columnist to low-rent self-published blogger. I'd say he deserves his fate, wallowing at the bottom of the commentary barrel among the fellow travellers of right-wing gripe sites like Small Dead Animals and Blazing Cat Fur.
Ezra Levant keeps shooting himself in the foot, again and again | rabble.ca (external - login to view)