Last Wednesday JDL-Canada organized a picket near the house of the billionaire philanthropist Barry Sherman, where he hosted a fundraiser for the Liberal Party of Canada attended by Justin Trudeau. The most unusual thing about the event was the firestorm it caused as soon as it was announced, weeks before it happened. I have covered similar events for years, but they involved street action against Muslim extremists and anti-Semites. Since such extremists are not supposed to exist in the “inclusive,” “multicultural,” and “fabulous” Canada, the Jewish and non-Jewish establishment and the mainstream media dealt with the confrontations between JDL-Canada and the anti-Semites in the only way they knew – they pretended that such events never happened.
Thanks to that wilful blindness, we now have flourishing events like the Israeli Apartheid Week and the annual Al-Quds rally, which attracts thousands of people. This year even the supposedly disbanded anti-Semitic group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid re-emerged at the annual Dyke March (part of the homosexual “pride week” – I notified Mayor Tory and the Jewish Councillors, but was naturally ignored).
So now a street event, which normally would be snubbed by the media, became a major issue, probably because a rich Jewish philanthropist was in the picture. Most philanthropists acquire a halo of infallibility, because, consciously or subconsciously, people dealing with them hope to get a piece of the grant pie and any criticism may reduce that hope. The tiny JDL-Canada is not the type of organization, which would sell its conscience for grant money, so they went after the main issue – Barry Sherman’s support for Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau’s history of catering to Islamists (due either to ignorance or bad advice) is out of the scope of this article – it has been already covered extensively, both in the mainstream and the alternative media. His recent positive position on the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, brokered by the equally disastrous President Barack Obama, was the tipping point that caused the picket. The deal exposes to an imminent military threat not only Israel, but also all Arab countries in the Middle East, though the insane mullahs of Tehran never concealed the fact that Israel was their prime target. Restoring the relations with Iran under a possible Liberal or NDP government would endanger not only the Jews and the Iranian dissidents in Canada, but also everybody else. After all, Obama himself admitted that Iran would use the release of over $140 billion to finance terrorism.
It is odd to see a Jewish philanthropist getting involved in all that, but that’s not how the establishment saw the case. They were furious that somebody would dare criticize such a person. An encounter at the picket illustrated that perfectly – while we were standing across the street from Mr. Sherman’s house, a big black SUV with tinted windows stopped in front of us, the passenger’s window opened and a visibly upset middle-aged woman confronted us. She said that the Shermans have done more for Israel than anybody else and the picked was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Her car drove away before she got an answer.
It is sad to see how the admiration for a personality could force somebody to ignore any wrong actions. Though milder in the terms used, the organizations opposed to the picket were equally reluctant to see anything wrong in Mr. Sherman’s event. A few hours before the picket, I received through e-mail a statement from Avi Benlolo (President and CEO of Toronto’s Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies), who opposed the planned action on the basis of unity – the title was “United We Stand.” Mr. Benlolo first stated the obvious:
“…After enjoying nearly a decade of support of historic and unprecedented proportions from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, many community members are visibly concerned as polls have placed all three parties virtually neck in neck. We want to see the exceptional support for Israel continued; that sanctions against Iran prevail…”
Great! I totally agree – then let’s do everything we can to re-elect Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party. But that’s not what he has in mind:
“As a result, strong and legitimate emotions have manifested visceral reactions which threaten to tear our community apart. Some Jewish community members are setting an uncomfortable precedent by promising to picket other Jewish leaders. Our teachings strongly condemn “machloket” (division) and “Sinat Achim” (brotherly hatred)…”
What JDL-Canada is doing is far from “brotherly hatred” – the position of Mr. Sherman is wrong and the fact that he is a rich philanthropist doesn’t absolve him. Besides, unity in the name of unity is quite dangerous, because (as in this case) it places beyond reproach the support for an unprepared and incompetent political leader.
…Together we can articulate that Israel is uniquely under existential threat that is separate and apart from all other democracies. And therefore, it is our responsibility – together – to educate all political leaders about these complexities. Even if we disagree on this very point, surely we can agree that educating political leaders happens through inclusion, challenge and engagement – not by shutting them out.
Supporting the nuclear deal, as Obama and Trudeau do, and providing billions of dollars to Iran, is not going to reduce the “existential threat” to Israel – one doesn’t need to go further than the opinion of the Israeli government itself to confirm it. Though, to many in the West, Netanyahu is just one of the “crazies” – as Obama succinctly described the foes of his plan to allow Iran to re-arm itself. And what about the need to “educate our political leaders”? It is clear that Justin needs serious education, but politics is not a classroom. The only thing Mr. Trudeau has learned during his MP years is that the Muslims now outnumber the Jews in Canada and their questionable “leaders” deserve more attention. Why don’t Mr. Benlolo and Mr. Sherman promote a politician who has shown time after time that he possesses the professionalism needed in politics?
Unity looks great on paper, but when it is maintained for the sake of peace, without any considerations for the reality, the results are usually catastrophic. That was reflected in the signs carried at the picket – two of them showed a photo of the gang that negotiated the Iran deal next to a picture of Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler during their Munich talks. The consensus then and now (including that of the Jewish leaders) was that long-lasting peace had been achieved. Unfortunately, everybody was wrong. One of the participants told me a story from his family’s history (he is the gentleman with the hat standing at the left, sorry, I don’t know his name).
His family was from Romania and some of his relatives moved to New York in the 1920’s. His grandfather, who remained in Romania, visited those relatives in 1939. They tried to warn him that things didn’t look good in Europe – Hitler could start a war at any moment and he didn’t like the Jews. The grandfather laughed it off, saying that the Jews in Romania were confident they were safe. Besides, he fought in World War I as a Romanian army officer and was close friend of his town’s mayor; they even were members of the same card playing club. He left in September, 1939, and it turned out the consensus was wrong – the war began and Romania became the scene of some of the worst anti-Jewish atrocities in Europe. The grandfather and his wife were deported to Auschwitz and gassed. Their son survived the war in a Hungarian labour camp in Transylvania. Of course, things could’ve developed differently – had they been Bulgarian Jews, they would’ve survived. Though Bulgaria (just like Romania) was Germany’s ally, it refused to deport its Jews, and all of them were saved thanks to the joint efforts of the King, the Parliament, and the Orthodox Church.
Naturally, there are many different options in history and some people could get lucky when facing a danger, but the worst one could do is to ignore the danger or pretend that it is not serious. There absolutely nothing wrong in pointing out that somebody’s opinion is wrong, regardless of his or her position. Trusting the new Chamberlain, Barack Obama, is extremely dangerous. His administration has shown time after time its bias against Israel. They even found a way to botch the historic court victory in New York, where the Palestinian Authority was convicted and ordered to pay $218.5 million in damages to the victims of the Palestinian terrorism.
Just a few days ago, after intervention of the State and Justice departments, the bond required to be paid by the PA was reduced substantially. Their excuse was that a financial strain could cause the collapse of the Palestinian government and endanger the “two-state solution.” The latter is the fool’s Holy Grail, proven to be impossible by the actions of the Palestinians, but still chased by delusional Western politicians. The Palestinians had missed many opportunities to build a prosperous state with the help of Israel; instead they are still chasing the impossible dream of destroying Israel.
Obama is willing to collaborate with a bunch of terrorists, who depend almost entirely on Western handouts, in the name of keeping the peace. You can only imagine the potentially catastrophic consequences of his compromise with Iran, which is a real and rich country that has declared as its goal to wipe out Israel from the map. It is sad that Mr. Sherman and Mr. Trudeau are oblivious to that threat.
I am far from stating that both of them are bad people, but as leaders (as many of the opponents of the picket defined them) their wrong opinions could affect negatively and distort important policies harming not only Israel, but also Canada. There are much worse people, like “Jews for Palestine,” who on Fridays picket Chapters-Indigo to protest Heather Reisman’s foundation that helps wounded Israeli soldiers.
And at the very bottom are the kapos from Neturei Karta, who openly collaborate with Iran and demand that Israel be shut down and its territory transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
When they disrupted last month’s rally against the Iran deal (held in front of the US Consulate), it was again JDL-Canada that confronted them. (Most of the other organizations have the curious idea that if you ignore them, they will go away.)
The reality is complicated, with many forces and groups involved, and the last thing we need is an ill-concealed unity that would sweep any differences under the rug in the name of peace. The only unity needed should involve open and honest discussion of even the most inconvenient questions. Provoking such a discussion was the goal of the picket. As it could be expected, most of the participants in the fundraiser chose to remain in their own reality and avoid any challenges to their views.
Very few of them stopped to discuss the positions of JDL-Canada, some negatively, like the angry woman I mentioned above. We had an interesting encounter with an elderly woman, who was walking with difficulties, yet she crossed the street with her cane, because she wanted to know more about the picket.
In a long conversation with the participants she readily admitted that she had many questions and doubts about Trudeau’s positions and she was willing to discuss them with him once she gets inside (I hope they let her do it).
Times have changed. In the bi-polar world after World War II Jews in the West lived well protected by hate speech laws and the worst anti-Semites were the small neo-Nazi groups; even the occasional Arab terrorists were secular. In today’s turbulent world of chaos and mass immigration, the Jewish safety is waning. The rise of the militant Islam in the new communities is worse than any neo-Nazi group and this time not only the Jews, but also the whole Western civilization is under threat. That trend is skillfully guided and exploited by countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, yet many Western governments are much more concerned with controlling the “rogue imperialist state” of Israel. Once again, ignoring the enemies of our civilization to the point that we can’t even name them is not helping anybody.
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