I love Montreal. It reminds me of the way the old European cities looked before the “modernization” and the Third-World invasion. Large parts of Montreal stubbornly keep their out-of-time appearance and resist the Americanization, which (at least in architecture) sees history as a nuisance to be replaced by interchangeable short-lived buildings, ready to be replaced at any time with something equally ephemeral.
So spending a few days in the city was a very enjoyable idea. We went there to discuss an event in support of Israel, which is supposed to take place next year in Toronto. It was necessary to get advice from people involved in similar activities and find ways to work with them while preparing for the Israel Truth Week.
I was secretly hoping to tape or photograph some student or Muslim demonstrations or riots, but it was not to be. Other than tourists and people who work downtown, nothing else disturbed the tranquility of the city. Just like during the Paris student riots in 1968, the summer vacation put an end to the revolutionary fervour of the Montreal anarchists and progressives.
The trip itself and the accommodations in Montreal were excellent (thanks to our generous private sponsor). The person who took upon herself to arrange all the meetings and discussions was Valerie Price.
Valerie is a brave woman, who can put all of her strength behind a worthy cause, regardless of the cost. After winning a personal battle with cancer, she raised over $1,000,000 for cancer research. Once that goal was achieved, she switched her attention to another equally dangerous disease – the Islamization of North America.
She started Act for Canada, an organization dedicated to fighting jihadism. In the many framed photos, which we saw in her home, she was photographed with prominent politicians, authors and journalists, who obviously took the work of her organization very seriously. She was convinced that the most important result of her new passion was the defeat of fear. Many people are scared to death to oppose dangerous ideologies and don’t realize that once you confront them, the feeling of liberation from fear would give you more strength.
We saw her for the first time in Toronto during one of her new battles. She brought to Canada Gavin Boby, a courageous British lawyer, who fights against building mosques in residential areas, which changes the neighbourhood for the worse. The “mosque-buster’s” fight has made him one of the most hated men in England among the Muslim invaders.
The same hatred was extended to Valerie for inviting him to Canada. Despicable organizations, like CAIR and other wings of the Muslim Brotherhood, did their best to blackmail both of them and prevent Gavin from speaking. It didn’t work…
With a helper like Valerie, the meetings she arranged were sure to be very useful. Our first stop, just hours after we arrived, was the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR). A few months ago I attended their conference in Toronto, during which Tarek Fatah delivered and odd and overheated performance. However, the Montreal meeting was calm and informative (if you ignore the scorching July heat outside).
The research work they are doing is impressive. The filing cabinets, which dominate the place, contain thousands of documents on all aspects of the history of Israel and the Middle East. The people who work for the institute (under Prof. Krantz) range from students and interns through university professors and financial professionals to Holocaust survivors like Baruch Cohen (the Research Chair), who is in his 90’s.
The conversation continued for over 2 hours and we still were not able to exhaust all the topics we wanted to talk about.
The next day we spent a great evening at Valerie’s place, where we met even more people. We were introduced to Barbara Kay – the well-known author and journalist – and discovered that she had the ability to combine a pleasant personality with strong opinions.
Among the guests was Joe King, another nonagenarian, who has spent most of his life travelling as a journalist and covering Israel and the Middle East. (And he is still writing.)
Another important presence in the room was that of Marc from Point de Bascule, the well-known online magazine dedicated to unmasking the ways the Islamic extremism creeps into Canada. He spoke more than anybody else at the party and sometimes it was hard to interrupt him to ask a question.
Actually, that was good because he has such an extensive knowledge about organizations, movements and initiatives helped or dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, that we learned quite a lot from him.
He mentioned the notorious Assuna mosque, one of the hotbeds of Muslim extremism in Canada. We decided to visit it the next day, just before our departure.
It was exciting – the mosque has been linked to all kinds of Muslim extremists, among whom is its most famous “graduate,” the Millennium Bomber Ahmed Ressam. However, I was disappointed – I expected to see a large structure with a dome and minarets, but all they had was an office building shared with other offices.
There was even a McDonald’s (with bacon options) at the ground floor of the same building. The only visible Muslim presence was a small “cadeau” store selling little rugs and various Muslim chotchkies. The mosque had separate entrance for “sisters” and a long laundry list of requirements posted on the main entrance, outlining what is required from the visitors.
Other than calling for an appointment to arrange a visit, the mosque people wanted from women to wear a “modest” attire (explained in detail), which made all ladies in our group ineligible to spend some time in a place resembling Saudi Arabia. At least a Muslim guy, standing in front of the locked door, who was excessively and suspiciously friendly, agreed to pose for a picture.
Another place I always visit in Montreal is Schwartz’s restaurant. They have the best roast beef I have ever eaten. I was alarmed when recently Celine Dion bought the place. There were talks that she and Monsieur Angelil may turn it into a chain and even change the menu. Fortunately, nothing of that happened.
Things didn’t change at all – the same waiters; the same old chairs and tables; the same stained ceiling tiles. But most importantly – the taste of the roast beef was the same.
Only the prices went up and under the autographed photo of Nana Mouskouri now you can spot two small photos of Rene with the staff. And next to them is the appreciation plate for 2012 from Zagat.
Of course, there were many other things we saw in the city, but let’s not make this post too long.
That was the trip. A great time was had by all.
Hopefully we’ll be back in Montreal soon.
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