Justice for the Jewish

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The time has come for engaging in a supportive approach of Jewish people who, for centuries, have suffered discrimination.  The other day, for example, a publication in Manitoba, lead a story with this: “Anti-Semitism is on the rise across Canada and the prairies are no longer immune to this rising tide against Jewish people according to recent statistics…..”  Globally, violent attacks against Jews increased significantly last year. There’s a sense of emergency among Jewish communities worldwide.  Ontario’s leaders, especially Doug Ford has said a lot, the most basic this: “There is no place in Ontario for anti-Semitism…” Beyond that, a Toronto publication has this to say and says it bluntly: “Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise across the country..”   

I’m going to be more candid than ever for swinging the verbal lash is nothing but basic ignorance. Over the years, from my original home in Cape Breton, to my permanent residence, in Toronto, I’ve never heard a single decent citizen who participated in a “get ready” plan of 2,041 incidents a record keeper discovered in the 2018 audit of anti-semitic incidents. Moreover, get ready, it’s a 16.5 percent increase over the previous year, according to legitimate statistics. A report released a few days ago states: “The numbers are consistent in terms of what we have been seeing from Statistics Canada’s own reported hate crimes.  A keen observer said, “They’ re not only capturing hate crimes, but also hate incidents, which unfortunately very few police organizations are reporting on…;” Why? Why?

     B’nai Brith’s plans a focus on Holocaust education measures and creating hate crime units in every city, (yes, every city!).      Let’s be prudent and careful by recognizing that the theft and mischief is not exclusively anti-Jewish.  Jewish people aren’t the only ones being targeted in in Canada. Hate crimes against Muslims recently saw a stark increase year – over-year, and a Muslim official believes the response from authorities has not been brisk enough to slow the rise of right wing thinkers. “More and more people are being exposed to hateful content online… basically where a lot of white supremacists, and neo-Nazi groups used to organize on street corners, now it’s much easier to organize online according to that official.

       Interesting and positive is the fact that there are lots of messages from the Muslim community to the Jewish community.   We need to pause and take this racism seriously!

For example, believe this – in the Western provinces – the document wrote: December 2018 was an especially hate-filled month with a total of 349 reports of anti-Semitic acts, the most of any calendar month… The Prairie region ranked fifth for overall reported incidents with 131, but there was a 142 percent increase in the number of incidents from the previous year. Ran Ukashi, national director for the league for human rights at B’nai Brith Canada, said seeing the steep increase of ‘hate’ directed toward his community is very upsetting. More and more people, the experts claim, are speaking up and reporting, and what they indicate is that there is “a new baseline” for anti Semitic behaviour which is deeply troubling.  An acquaintance who agrees with the professionals believes that the responses from authorities across Canada have not been prompt enough, quick enough, staffed enough. His feelings are in this sentence: “Well, if a lot more people are speaking up, it’s promising.”

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8 Comments

  1. Jim Hickman
    May 5, 2019

    This is truly shocking. For some time now, I’ve been reading about the increase in anti-Semitic behaviour and hate over all. Glad to see that the courts finally shut down that newspaper in eastern Toronto called “Your Ward,” which was full of racist filth.
    Funny, but I would’ve expected in this day and age that these kinds of feelings and crimes would be on the way out — or at least decreasing. The Globe and Mail’s recent exposé on rise of the alt-right is disturbing too. But you’ve nailed it on the head: basic ignorance. And those who feel inert or left out in our society and harbour jealousy-filled ill will at “foreigners,” who they think are doing better than they are.
    What I feel most is disgust!

  2. C. Ross
    May 5, 2019

    There is a a glimmer of hope in this racist story! My daughter in law’s synagogue is supporting two Muslim families. They began with a family of seven and then extended their help to the father’s brother and his family. My son, David, converted when he married. I interviewed the first family recently for an article for the Canadian Camping Association because four of the children are attending a Toronto day camp , all fees and transportation, paid by the camp. I was impressed by how well the family has settled. The father has full time work in his field as a cook ; the mother attends English classes five days a week where the youngest child is in daycare and the children speak very good English.
    If the Muslims and Jews can get along maybe the rest of us have to try harder!

  3. E Karabanow
    May 5, 2019

    Yes, Anti-Semitism is on the rise as is hate for Muslims who are going through such difficult times. This is all most disturbing. However, I feel that there is response and support from other communities, which was not there in the Hitler era. Times have changed – we need to learn from others – many individuals have never personally met a Jewish or Muslim person.

  4. J Swartz
    May 5, 2019

    I have come across a lot of garden variety anti- Jewish expression in Toronto. From ‘all Jews are wealthy’ to ‘all Jews help other Jews’, from the scheduling of travel media events on Yom Kippur (which would not be done in the US) to the lack of attention paid in the media to major Jewish holidays. Oh yes, and the telling of Jewish jokes by non jews……these actions and attitudes, which come from educated ‘”liberal” people make anti-semitism OK.

  5. D Marmur
    May 5, 2019

    Antisemitism is older than Judaism and, despite various periods of “enlightenment,” it has never ceased in one guise or another with one excuse or another. Today it’s on the rise again. Some say that it’s because of Israel’s way of dealing with the Palestinians, but others say it has nothing to do with it. Some well known antisemitic politicians in Europe – e.g., Hungary and Poland – discriminate against Jews in their country but try to be friends with the Jewish state of Israel. Go know.
    Canada is relatively sane compared to other countries. Nowadays even the United States is in the grip of Jew-hatred after two vicious attacks on praying Jews, one in Pittsburgh, the other near San Diego.
    The virus is everywhere. Those afflicted are the Jews but the disease is among their foes.
    The Church used to be its major harbinger – and not only the Catholics. Think of Luther. Today, some exponents of the Church – including Popes – belong to the healers of the disease, but it’s not universal. Yesterday they published a clip of a bishop in Poland addressing his clergy in traditional antisemitic language; if he didn’t call them Christ-killers, it wasn’t far from it.
    And then there’s the man to be Britain’s next prime minister. He has even embarrassed members of his own (Labor) party.
    I’ve no conclusion. Not even a cogent case. But I couldn’t let your piece go by without emoting.

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