Sunday was a long day. A large pro-Israeli rally was scheduled for the early afternoon at Queen’s Park (at exactly the same place, where the day before the Khomeinists held their Al-Quds event). A few hours before I left, I learned that a rally in support of Gaza-Hamas was about to take place at the same time nearby. Its organizer, the notorious Jenny Peto (author of an OISE thesis on Holocaust education as manifestation of “white privilege”) now goes under the name Ben Peto – she mysteriously transformed herself from woman into a man.
I went to his/her rally expecting to see some action, but all I saw were a few lethargic downtown types standing in front of a large sign. Even the bicycle police, who were “guarding” them, looked bored.
Disappointed, I headed toward Queen’s Park. The picture there was completely different – I saw a large crowd with Israeli, Canadian and even Georgian flags and many signs in support of Israel.
Many speakers were invited to talk to the participants. All of them emphasized the importance of the defense of Israel as the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East. One of them read a letter from the Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I met there an elderly handicapped gentleman, who told us how he was attacked the previous day by several Arabs going to the Al-Quds rally. I filmed his talk and will include it in the upcoming movie about the Sunday events.
The rally was peaceful – unlike the Al-Quds madness the previous day, there was very little police presence. The order was maintained mostly by JDL-Canada and the Parliament Building’s security. However, it is difficult for an event about the Middle East to remain completely peaceful. On the opposite side there was a handful (no more than 5-6 people) of Arab protesters.
Their loud screams more than compensated for the low numbers. An interesting moment was when Mark Vandermaas proposed a minute of silence for the Arab victims of the conflict – the Muslims ignored it and kept screaming. An especially offensive display was the swastika sign brought by one of them (part of a mock Israeli flag).
Only a dumb Arab scumbag would do something like that at a Jewish rally. When the security tried to remove him, he resisted. In the altercation that followed he was kicked – naturally the police arrested the Jew who did it, placing the anti-Semitic piece of garbage under protection.
This incident didn’t do much to disrupt the high spirit of the pro-Israeli rally. However, the next day the mainstream press didn’t miss the opportunity to make it a major point. That was the same press, which ignored the anti-Semitism and harassment, witnessed at the Al-Quds rally the day before. Looks like the fear of Muslims contributes to the deceptive coverage.
When the rally ended, many participants decided to go to the Israeli Consulate to make their point again. (That was the place, where the Jenny/Ben Peto rally was supposed to finish, but none of them was there.) That second rally attracted many Jewish students and other supporters.
At about 6 p.m. I left the event and headed toward the Japanese Festival, taking place at Dundas Square. I was surprised to see that the participants in the original Queen’s Park rally had reached that area as well. Some of them were standing in front of the Eaton Centre, a place reserved for preachers and performers of all stripes.
The problem with that location is that it is monopolized by a group of wife-beating experts, who peddle there their Islamist propaganda.
Seeing an Israeli flag in the vicinity works on them like a red rag on a rabid bull. They were quick to start an argument, but for some inexplicable reason the police didn’t arrest the Jews for disturbing the Muslim propaganda.
Finally, after listening to that tiny third rally, I crossed the street to see what was going at the Japanese Festival. Even there I saw a few people from the original rally – a few of them took pictures with Mayor Rob Ford, who dropped by.
That was a long and tense week. The conflict revealed new sides and facts about both sides. On one hand, it appears that the Jews are waking up. I have never seen before so many of them willing to get on the streets and get their voices heard, outside of the safety of closed halls. On the other hand, the same events revealed how rampant anti-Semitism in Toronto has become. The Muslims make their case for the destruction of Israel openly, without any fear of repercussions.
And why shouldn’t they? The media and the police avoid carefully any confrontations with them and try to blame anything that goes wrong on the other side. It seems that we are approaching a dangerous situation with unpredictable consequences and as history has shown many times, the Jews won’t be the only ones to be affected.
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