This most recent round of urban renewal in Palestine, is brought to you by your friends at Hamas... Spreading hate and religious intolerance since 1987.
Over my lunch period today, I sat reading an article published in the french newspaper La Presse. It described the events of last Sunday, when thousands of Palestinians hit the streets in downtown Montreal, Quebec. It came as no surprise, to read that chants in both French and Arabic calling for the death of Jews could be heard throughout the crowd. I have long known that any semblance of civility or civilization in the province of Quebec, has long been a thing of the past. That left with the Anglos, apparently. What exists nowadays is in fact a government-endorsed state of xenophobia. It is practised at every conceivable level of government. Not too far removed from state-sponsored terrorism, is it? Remember how so many asked how the goings-on in Germany could have taken place? Oh, that's right... No, you don't. Seems we've conveniently chosen to forget about that. What is it they say, again? About those who do not remember history? Something...something... condemned to repeat it...?
I remember vividly how back in September of 2003, pro-Palestinian rioters prevented former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking at Montreal's Concordia University. A Jewish student had also been attacked on campus.
The 29-year-old commerce student, was heading to class Sept. 13 when he noticed a Palestinian poster on the wall inside a school building. "I thought, ‘How could they put this up so soon after the violence last week?' " said the student, who immigrated to Montreal from Moldova four years ago. He began to take the poster down when he was accosted by an Arab student.
"I realized it would be a better idea not to confront him, so I started walking away," the Jewish student said. When the Arab student began calling someone on his cell phone, the Jewish student began to run.
The Arab student chased the Jewish student down the escalator and through corridors crowded with other students. The Jewish student had almost reached the exit when he was jumped from behind and beaten up, he said.
"I was hit in the head with a hard object, probably the cell phone, and punched. I fell down and while I was on my knees, this guy kept kicking me," the student said. "I was able to get up and face this student when I saw another Muslim student rushing over. I ran outside to the university's security office and it was then that I noticed how badly I was bleeding from my scalp. The blood was running down my neck."
Security guards grabbed the Arab student and called police after the Jewish student said he wanted to press charges. Now, however, he is worried about the consequences.
"I'm afraid of what is going on at our university, stunned, actually. I was chased and beaten and not one person came to my aide," he said. "Where was the extra security we have been told Concordia has put on since last week?"
A university official said no extra security had been added since the Sept. 9 riot.
However, campus security is "on top of everything that's going on," said Chris Mota, the university's coordinator of media relations.
Mota questioned how many of the rioters had been Concordia students. Only two of the five people arrested during the riots were students at the school, she noted.
"What happened has to be put into perspective," she said.
Concordia long has been a hotbed of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activism. Despite the negative attention the riot garnered, the situation at the school remains tense for Jews, the student said.
"These Palestinian students are so well-organized, so professionally equipped to spread their propaganda, it's hard to believe. If you're a student here and don't know the reality of what's going on in the Middle East, I can see how you might side with them on the issue," he said. "I don't know why the Jewish students aren't better organized. You hardly see Hillel present anywhere."
Simon Bensimon, director of Hillel in Montreal, challenged that claim.
"Last year, we had information tables up year-round, three or four rallies, five of six speakers, and we also have a very active student executive," Bensimon said. "The problem is that noninvolved Jewish students have their attention grabbed by the Palestinian tables, so they don't necessarily notice ours. Plus, we just started the school year and thought bringing Netanyahu in would be starting with a bang. What else do you want us to do?"
That question may now be moot. Concordia's rector, Frederick Lowy, instituted a moratorium on Mideast-related events immediately after the Sept. 9 riot. The moratorium has been extended indefinitely.
The move prompted Concordia's Student Union to call for Lowy's resignation, saying he is denying students' free speech rights.
Montreal Jewish organizations also have gotten involved, saying serious action must be taken to protect students from more violence by Concordia's pro-Palestinian lobby.
"We are not in the Wild West of the Arab Middle East, we are in Canada, where there are laws to uphold and respect," said Stephen Scheinberg, national chairman of B'nai Brith Canada's League for Human Rights. "These thugs may feel they are empowered by the riot. However, Concordia must make sure that there will be zero tolerance for those who want to make a mockery of Canadian democracy."
Community leaders met Sept. 13 with Montreal's police chief, Michel Sarrazin, to express their concern about the lax precautions taken by police at the Netanyahu speech.
"Our community is outraged by the mob scene that prevailed at Concordia," said Rabbi Reuben Poupko, who took part in the meeting as a representative of the Canadian Jewish Congress' Quebec region and co-chair of the community's Montreal Jewish Security Coordinating Committee. "We demanded explanations and a clear assurance of follow-up."
Sarrazin told committee members that police had failed to properly evaluate and prepare for the riots. (That of course is a laugh. The MUCTC police force? Seriously? You expect them to protect any segment of the Montreal community? And the Jews in particular???)
"Many faulted police for not setting up a proper security perimeter at the Netahyahu event. To reach the building, guests had to walk through a phalanx of hostile demonstrators who spit on them or, in some instances, even hit and kicked them." (Shades of Germany, 1939).
I know, many people out there who refuse to accept reality, will say that I am being an alarmist when I state that Quebec has long been a seething hotbed of anti-semitism. Your memory is terribly short, people. How soon we forget, eh? Our country sacrificed untold thousands of young men, who went overseas and gave their lives to stop the type of sickness that took place at Concordia University!
Every group in this democratic country is allowed to demonstrate and protest. I do not have, nor have I ever had a problem with this. But there is a vast difference between demonstrating and fermenting hatred. Canadians do not gather and chant "Death to...". That is something non-Canadians do. That is something people who have no place in my country do. Try as they might, they will never legitimize Hamas in the eyes of Western civilization. Anyone whose credo is the destruction of another race, has no voice in this country. Regardless of what spin the media may be trying to impart to these current events, our own minister of Foreign Affairs said it best:
"Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement "Canada is deeply concerned about the increase in hostilities between Israel and Hamas."
"We urge renewed international diplomatic efforts to achieve a sustainable and durable ceasefire, starting with the halting of all rocket attacks on Israel. Canada maintains that the rocket attacks are the cause of this crisis," said Cannon.
Cannon also urged the international community to come together to address the humanitarian situation, including ensuring access to food, fuel and medical supplies."
Some Palestinian representatives are quick to point out that Hamas was "democratically elected into power in Gaza". They argue that it is therefore the legitimate governing body and should be treated like any other democratic government. The only fly in that ointment is that they stand for the destruction of Israel. That doesn't sound all that democratic to me.
If the Palestinian people themselves legitimately elected Hamas to represent them, then the people are saying that it is their decision to wage war on Israel. They themselves have sanctioned and authorized Hamas to fire rockets into Israel on a daily basis. They themselves have authorized and endorsed the use of suicide bombers to wreak carnage in Israeli towns. This would translate into the fact that there are no 'innocents' in Gaza. There are no "civilian casualties". They are all guilty of the same brand of insanity which can only bring down on them more bombs, more shells, more bullets.