Thursday, September 13, 2018

Jewish Apathy Rings Loud and Clear

A few weeks ago, a protest was scheduled in Toronto by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and pro-Palestinians against B’nai Brith Canada. B’nai Brith rightly condemned CUPW for supporting the PA (and their postal workers) who continue to incite terror on to peaceful Israelis and dishonestly charges Israel as being apartheid. This sparked outrage with CUPW and its supporters so they staged a protest in my former Jewish neighbourhood (Bathurst Manor) in front of the B’nai Brith office. 

The Jewish Defence League (JDL) helped organize a counter protest which I attended.

Other than megaphones being screamed into from both sides, it was a quiet affair. I think there were more police present than there were protesters from their side. Our side had more than double their small number of about 20. We stood off on both sides of the street. Them with their union  and Palestinian flags and us with our Canadian and Israeli flags and signs. 

The disturbing thing was that no one from B’nai Brith showed up! Had they endorsed the counter protest, they would have encouraged hundreds if not thousands of Jews and other supporters to attend. They and the other myriad of Jewish organizations should have gotten together on this to show our solidarity against antisemitism. Had we had the numbers and the organizational support from our Jewish community we could have drowned the other side out and intimidated them with our numbers. We needed to send the message to the world and certainly to Toronto, that we will not tolerate antisemitism in our neighbourhood! 

Instead our mainstream Jewish community was apathetically silent. I understand that individual Jews who knew about the event but either decided not to attend or could not attend for various reasons is legitimate. I will not judge them. I don’t attend every protest rally in Toronto either. But the response from our Jewish leaders was so disappointing. I’ve heard their reasoning: They don’t want to draw attention to the protesters and give them undue publicity. In some cases I agree. But not in this one.

We, in 2018 who live in Toronto, Canada are free and relatively safe to protest. We are not in Iran or North Korea. We can and should protest vociferously against antisemitism. The mainstream media (MSM) won’t do it for us. (The event was reported by our friends at the Rebel Media - see link to video here.  Our pro-Muslim Liberal government won’t do it either. We must stand up for ourselves. We have approximately a quarter of a million Jews living in the greater Toronto area. There is no excuse for our silence. 

My parents are surely rolling in their graves knowing that pro-Palis have bussed into our Jewish neighbourhood with a high concentration of Holocaust survivors. Their hateful narrative was being shouted through megaphones that reverberated throughout the streets. It was beyond disgusting. 

Unlike some protests I’ve attended over the years during dark, cold, snowy nights in areas far from home, this protest fell on a warm sunny day. No one got hurt. At most we lost our voices. But I can honestly say that my friends and I who did attend the rally, felt great for doing so. Had you been there, you would have too. 

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