Today's discussion:

Empty words are not enough to combat antisemitism

The relentless antisemitism in Canada has left many in the community numb, creating a new normal that has obvious echoes of prior generations who faced pogroms, ethnic cleansing, and the Holocaust.

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Michael B

As a native Canadian, my disdain, contempt and abhorrence of those who support, sympathize with and advocate for the terrorist group, “hamas” will be reflected in my vote and contributions to charities as well as institutions of learning.

27th March 2024 at 9:46 am

A very good article! I find myself numb, sad, infuriated…the list goes on. I cannot believe what is happening to our Jewish friends in this country. I recall my grade ten history class – thinking how did good people stand-by & allow the holocaust to happen??? Now I know, good men & women remain silent – they lose their courage and don’t stand-up for what is right – we cannot allow this targeted hatred/violence to continue to gain momentum within our communities.

27th March 2024 at 8:09 am
Ian MacRae

I’ll offer the following sequence of events that have perhaps helped get Canadian society to where we are today; regular occurrence of anti-semitism in schools and urban locations.

First came university & college snowflakes learning they could intimidate faculty & administration via social media. The long-standing left beliefs of university student governments combined with cancelling to begin “othering” belief groups. Anti-abortion was the first group to be scared off campuses. Next was Jewish groups. They are seen as part of “white” society and have been tarred with the anti-colonial brush, along with Canadian history and now, amazingly, science & math.

Our multi-cultural immigration practices have enabled the growth of public anti-semitism among Middle Eastern Muslim communities in Canada. They have been encouraged by campus anti-Israelis protests to begin their own pro-Hamas protests. These groups appear to be taking their protests to individual Jewish environments: temples, schools, hospitals, even bookstores.

More broadly, anti-semitic Canadians now feel licensed to join these “progressive” anti-Israeli protests. Jews have long been, internationally, the go-to group to protest and discriminate against because of their perceived economic success. The nudge-nudge, wink-wink approval of anti-semitism by Canadian politicians, media, academics and business have generated feelings of comfort about protesting. The ability of social media use to reinforce these feelings gives a sense of membership in a larger community.

A solution, which will require a combined and concerted effort by those tacitly approving (or ignoring) anti-semitism in their organizations and society broadly, is to publicly, plainly and repeatedly denounce anti-semitism and those individuals and groups who practice and encourage anti-semitism. This perhaps needs to be labelled a whole-of-Canada action.

27th March 2024 at 9:22 am
David Chapman

Your comments are thoughtful and well said. Unfortunately you are right.

27th March 2024 at 11:53 am
Paul Attics

One would have to go back more than a little further than “snowflakes in universities” to properly frame the always present, recently growing, antisemitism in Canadian society. Consider the shocking incident of the refugee ship, St. Louis, in 1939, for example.

27th March 2024 at 10:21 am
Lorna Bernbaum

It is getting worse, and this is wrong. The government is not helping. By recognizing a country that does not recognize Israel, that means Palestine, it has only made things worse for the Jews, here in Canada and Israelis , who live here too.

Any person who does not understand that the Palestinians don’t WANT Israel as a country, and from the river to the sea means going back to the 1948 pre UN decision to grant Israel and Palestine a country, is delusional. Our government is delusional. The NDP is the most delusional group of people right now, and this is wrong. Along with them, of course were the block the green party and the stupid liberal government that passed this.

Bite yourselves. There were even people wearing the Palestinian state around their neck as pendants. They are members of parliament parliament to not realize that this means there is no Israel in the future for any Palestinians. Wake up!

27th March 2024 at 8:31 am
Paul Attics

The ongoing land dispute between the state of Israel and Palestinians and their quasi-state(s) is a different issue.

Importantly, antisemitism, as well as anti-islam attitudes, infects and fuels the conflict, but it is not the cause of it. Alas, the ongoing conflict increases chronic antisemitism across the world, which exists outside of, and long before, this relatively recent regional conflict.

The future of the conflict is obviously uncertain but it is hard to believe that any better-than-terrible solutions would not include a stable and prosperous Palestinian state.

Note, on this complex and volatile topic in particular, I comment with a proactive acknowledgement of my relative ignorance.

27th March 2024 at 9:11 am
Michael B

They didn’t go so far as to recognise a palestinian state. Nevertheless, they are bowing to a howling mob.

27th March 2024 at 9:05 am
David Chapman

I am not Jewish, and I certainly am not anti semetic. I have to Israel several times. It is the only country in the middle east and for much of the world that is a true democracy, although they have a awkward form of government that doesn’t serve them very well. I certainly do not support Netanyu or his right wing crazies, and do support an Independent Palestinian state without Hamas or anyone else who is like them.

On reading this article I am apalled at the hatred against Jews. Such ignorance and meanness. I do support immigration, but I it should be at a price that people leave their hatreds back in their home countries, and I include Sikhs who promote hate, or any Muslim that promotes hate, or for that matter any Jew or anyone else who promotes hate.
These people in Canada who are against the invasion of Gaza might have a different point of view if their families were butchered and sisters and daughters raped like what happenned on Oct. 7. They seem to forget that or have the nerve to say that the Jews deserved what happenned. Sad, all sad.

27th March 2024 at 11:50 am
Jeff Hanks

How disgusting you are. 30,000 Palestinians have been brutally murdered and you talk about antisemitism. There’s a genocide going on. Your journalism is not worth being toilet paper. Canada us much worse having your opinion shared. You have no integrity and no brains. The hub is a manure spreader. Please tell the manager your garbage borders on a hate crime. Do something about genocide and the thousands of children brutally murdered. Stop enabling isnotreal to continue breaking international law and committing genocide. You should be barred from disseminating such bs.

27th March 2024 at 10:28 am
David Chapman

Well, your comments are interesting. You seem to forget that Hamas started all this. You seem to forget that Hamas butchered over 1000 Isrealis on Oct. 7. How would you like it if your family was butchered and your wife or sisters or mother or daughters had been brutally raped and murdered. I think you would be singing a different tune here. Of course it is sad that Palestinians have died, but Hamas brought it all on. Your anger and Hatred should be directed at Hamas for all of it.

27th March 2024 at 11:57 am
Michael F

Hamas started all this? This has been brewing since 1947. Netanyahu cynically supported Hamas to divide Gaza and the West Bank. For decades the IDF and militant settlers have been killing civilians and journalists flagrantly. Israel holds over 3000 people including women and children in prisons without charges or due process. These people can’t even see what they have been accused of doing. Are they not hostages too?

The IDF have obliterated Gaza with indiscriminate bombing that hasn’t been seen since the Vietnam war and killed over 30,000 civilians. And now by blocking aid convoys at border points they control, Israel is causing a famine in Gaza. These are crimes against humanity.

And while all this is going on a group in north Toronto had a public sale of land in illegal settlements in the West Bank? This is not an outright provocation? Let us not confuse criticism of Israel’s policies and the acts of Zionists as being anti-semitism. For far too long genuine criticism has been deflected, shouted down and shamed by calls of anti-semitism.

27th March 2024 at 12:45 pm

Well, you and your “opinion” are certainly part of the problem. Pretty selective memory there and a whole whack of confirmation bias. I imagine you believe there are a bunch of murdered native kids as well, despite overwhelming evidence and facts to the contrary.

27th March 2024 at 12:00 pm
Paul Attics

The way in which the Israeli government is prosecuting this war and effort to retrieve the hostages held by Hamas is a different issue.

The deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, and desperate suffering of millions, is a shame on the world. The world is trying to figure it out.

It is of zero consolation to those affected, but only in the last 80 years of human civilization in which large scale deaths of civilians in warfare has become something that we collectively even think to try to prevent. Till then it was a tragic given in every large scale conflict in the entirety of human history.

Note, on this complex and volatile topic in particular, I comment with a proactive acknowledgement of my relative ignorance.

27th March 2024 at 11:18 am
Ted Kelly

The first thought that comes to my mind is: “What constitutes anti semitism”? Given the widespread general condemnation by Jewish organizations and some members of the jewish community, it s any comment or act that is not in support of the Israeli government and the majority of Israeli people in their actions in Palestine. Unless one accepts the Zionists’ claim to the lands chronicled in the Bible, there can be no doubt that the the actions that have been underway since the rise of the Zionist movement to remove Palestinians from the land they occupied fully merit the label of genocide. Is it any wonder that the widespread support in the jewish diaspora has given rise to protest and outbursts of ange? One is left to stunning disbelief that with some notable exceptions, a people who have themselves suffered immensely through history can now allow their “tribal ties” to morally and intellectually blind them to the brutal, barbaric vengeance ,inflicted on the Palestinians in reaction to attack by the extremist faction that is Hamas. I say to Mr. Geist “Put yourself in the position of a Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza or just an outside observer and ask if that might make you indulge in what you term antisemitism.

27th March 2024 at 4:56 pm

Totally agree. I read somewhere that antisemitism is like the canary in the coalmine – no country that allows antisemitism to flourish will ever do well in any area.

27th March 2024 at 1:25 pm
Paul Attics

“…political calculations appear to trump principle…”
Alas, it was always thus, and always thus shall be.

It is too bad that all such hate trends, as well as specific high-profile incidents, cannot be responded to quickly, clearly, consistently, and stridently ONLY by the parliament as-a-whole rather than individual parties, ministers, or members, as a multi-partisan and principled expression of what our society does not tolerate.

Something is needed to remove the political considerations to any extent possible. This could be a standing committee/group (House and Senate) that would respond rather than the result of a motion moved by a vote. Other?

27th March 2024 at 10:53 am
Michael F

The Liberals are a big tent party and trying to please everyone in this situation is impossible.

27th March 2024 at 12:48 pm
Stephen McClellan

My family and I just spent a day at Juno beach in Normandy where we learned of the terrible sacrifice that Canadian soldiers paid to help free Europe from the tyranny and hatred of Nazism. I was both saddened at the terrible losses but also filled with pride to be a Canadian. But when I read and hear of the rise of antisemitism, and the growing intolerance towards even Christian values m I fear for our country. Perhaps we need more reminders of the Juno beaches

28th March 2024 at 1:42 am
Karen Kulczycki

I really would like to see some evidence of this tax doing any good …I personally don’t thing Mother Nature is getting any of it ….it seems the more we pay the worse the climate change gets …I also believe climate changes has existed since the earth was created. ..history should be enough evidence of this

27th March 2024 at 6:06 pm

The current antisemitism is just the latest example of social bullying rampant in Canada. The fear of the mob for those with incorrect opinions has made us all very afraid including our citizens, our governments and our police.

Where did these people learn to hate the Jews – note that they’re not all Muslims or recent immigrants. How did our schools/universities become complicit? Where did our police learn to avoid enforcing the law, it far predates Oct 7. Where did politicians learn to not have moral views, just electable ones.

Of course, we need to start somewhere. But remember that it is really just that, a start.

27th March 2024 at 3:56 pm

I grew up in a community where religion was not a topic at any level. I still am adamant that religion should be a private matter and not spill into the public arena, or take any public funds.

27th March 2024 at 3:29 pm