Post-WWII Canada has been a safe and generally comfortable place for Jews despite the continued dominance of Euro-Christian culture. Israel’s war of self defense following Hamas brutal October 7 attack have exposed a far uglier situation.
While many Canadians are indifferent, many others support Israel’s right to self-defense. What’s troubling is a nasty mix of anarchists, cultural Marxists, serial agitators, Hamas sympathizers and others sharing a radicalized worldview whose angry protests denounce “so-called” Canada, slander Israel as racist and blame Jews for a myriad of the world’s problems.
They don’t care about the consequences of their actions or whose lives they disrupt and they have no problem using our cherished freedoms to support the anti-democratic, Jew-hating terrorists who broke the ceasefire and every norm of decency as they raped, tortured, murdered and took hostage nearly 250 innocent people.
What’s troubling is a nasty mix of anarchists, cultural Marxists, serial agitators, Hamas sympathizers and others sharing a radicalized worldview whose angry protests denounce “so-called” Canada, slander Israel as racist and blame Jews for a myriad of the world’s problems.
They don’t care about the consequences of their actions or whose lives they disrupt. They have no problem using our cherished freedoms to support the anti-democratic, Jew-hating terrorists who broke the ceasefire and every norm of decency as they raped, tortured, murdered and took hostage nearly 250 innocent people.
What worsens the situation is the bias of many in the media, academia and public office who nurture this radical, post-truth ideology. Despite contributing significantly to human rights and social justice, we Jews have been unfairly excluded from diversity, equity and inclusivity because this ideology argues that Jews are not marginalized.
They ignore, sometimes deny, that the truth is that Jews have long suffered discrimination which has been extended to Israel. Generations of conspiracy theories and blood-libels against Jews are now leveled against Israel with the same harmful intentions. Adherents claim they are only anti-Zionist as if denying the inalienable rights of the Jewish people to a state in their ancestral homeland isn’t anti-Jewish.
Many believe that Israel is a gift from the world after the Nazis and their collaborators murdered 6M Jews. They deny the remarkable story of the long-exiled Indigenous Jewish people coming home after nearly 2000 years of mistreatment in Christian and Muslim countries. They disparage Jews as Euro-colonizers despite overwhelming evidence of Jewish connection to the land and that most Israelis are not European.
They don’t care that the world’s Jewish population still has not recovered to 16.5 M souls as were alive as World War II began or that nearly 10M Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bahai and others live together with the same democratic freedoms Canadians enjoy.
These radicals don’t care that Israel is the only state in the world with a Jewish majority. It’s immaterial that Israel has 0.16% of the land of the Arab states which, combined, are 630 times larger. Tell them that there are 22 Arab states, 49 Muslim majority nations whereas Christians are a majority in 158 countries and they shrug.
Canadians are generally fair and decent people. We value equality and the right of each of us to live in peace without discrimination. Why then we demand, are they allowing Jewish members of our community to be mistreated?
Jewish life began here before Canada was created. Jews have contributed in many ways to Canada’s success as a peaceful and prosperous country. When our neighbors are in need or subjected to prejudice, Jews rise to their support regardless of their background. We are good citizens.
And yet, since the atrocities of October 7, one insult after another. My hometown of Victoria, British Columbia is one example. A city councillor celebrating Hamas’ brutal October 7 attack, our mayor casting doubt on its well-documented sexual violence, our MP addressing at least one of the hostile demonstrations that have weekly disrupted downtown, a Victoria community Foundation grant used for pro-Hamas protests, a theatre vandalized by protesters against a play because it is set in Israel, Jews threatened and spat upon. Luckily, we haven’t had a Jewish school or synagogue firebombed as has happened in other Canadian cities.
What the hell is going on here? Why did October 7 unleash a torrent of the most vicious Jew-hate since the Holocaust when much of the world, including Canada, either stood aside or encouraged, enabled or participated in the world’s worst genocide.
It wasn’t long ago that Canada’s Jewish immigration policy was “None is too many” and universities and other institutions discriminated against Jews and other non-white, non-Christian Canadians with quotas, restrictions and real estate covenants. Now Jews are denounced as white and privileged by the diversity, inclusion and equity orthodoxy.
The war in Gaza, like all wars is terrible and like Jews everywhere we pray for peace, defend ourselves and overwhelmingly support Israel’s campaign to de-fang Hamas and bring home the hostages.
In the coming year many changes are needed to turn this situation around. They include:
- Israelis must elect a government that embodies the Jewish commitment to peace
- Palestinians must choose leaders committed to their well-being and pursue peace
- Arab and Muslim countries must accept Israel’s right to exist
- Iran’s funding of terror and its race for the bomb must be stopped
- The UN must address their anti-Israel bias
- Democracies must stop funding anti-Israel UN agencies
- UNRWA and UNESCO must be reformed or replaced as well as the UN
- Canada must abolish groups promoting hate and terror and cutoff their donors
- Canada’s immigration policies must reform to give preference to people seeking to live in a democratic country not continue their prejudices and conflicts here
None of this is intended to negate the rights of Palestinian Arabs to live in peace and security but the layers of anti-Jewish hate must be exposed and dealt with. The campaign of demonizing Jews and delegitimizing Israel began long before October 7th
- Christians need to address the harm done by replacement theology and missionizing
- Muslim replacement theology and antisemitism must be addressed
- Education addressing Holocaust denial and antisemitism must be a national priority
- Identity politics must be dumped, at least seriously reformed
- D.I.E must be reformed to include Jews or abandoned as discriminatory
- Universities must address the role of curriculum, faculty and foreign students in campus discrimination against Judaism, Jews and Israel
- Elected officials need to set a better example of civility and respect
This is not just a Jewish problem. Feeling sorry about the Holocaust and condemning Nazis is easy. October 7th exposed a cesspool of hate that each us has a responsibility to help clean-up. If we don’t, we have seen repeatedly that discrimination and hate against minorities poison the whole society.
Victoria, British Columbia Canada
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2024