by Harvey Oberfeld
November 13, 2023
We should ALL be outraged: Canadian-born university students, many of them third generation citizens, being harassed, intimidated and even spat upon on … just because they are Jewish.
Synagogues and community centers have also been attacked, Jewish-owned businesses vandalized and social media has been flooded with anti-Semitic derision and threats.
And not just in Canada, but in the US, Britain and Europe as well.
Make no mistake about it: this is HATE … pure and simple and, at its root has nothing to do with Israel’s striking back at the Hamas terrorists who attacked/murdered 1,200 Israeli civilians Oct 7 and carried away to Gaza more than 200 hostages.
The miscreants behind this eruption of bigotry were Jew-haters well before the Hamas rampage.
They have long been with us EVERYWHERE: living beside as neighbours; running local businesses we shop at; teaching kids at schools and universities; and even holding political office.
And yes, many of them are “new” Canadians … immigrants and refugees … we welcomed into Canada, but who brought with them old world hates, biases and traditions of solving disagreements through violence.
They all neither understand nor value important Canadian principles that built such a great, diverse country: tolerance, acceptance, equality.
The war in Gaza has just given these hate mongers … foreign and domestic …. an opportunity to come out of hiding and in large groups, proclaim and act out their biases … even violently.
But Jews are not alone. There are far too many Canadians who hate Asians, Muslims, blacks, Indigenous and even Caucasians … and, unfortunately, they are openly proclaiming and acting out their prejudices lately much more often than 40 years ago.
I blame multiculturalism.
Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau announced in 1971 his Liberal government would make bilingualism and multiculturalism official Canadian polices from coast to coast.
The move came after a Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism also heard from “other” Canadians “of neither English nor French descent (so-called “Third Force” Canadians) advocated that a policy of “multiculturalism” would better reflect the diverse heritage of Canada’s peoples.” (Wikipedia)
(You can read the background of Multiculturalism policy here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism_in_Canada.)
Gone was the “melting pot” goal of integrating all Canadians into one cohesive social family, with two Official Languages.
Instead a key objective of the new multiculturalism would be “to assist cultural groups to retain and foster their identity”.
That was a terrible mistake!
Canada has been paying the price for that ever since: too many Canadians started to live, work and socialize almost entirely within their own ethnic communities: Chinese with largely only other Chinese; East Indians too; Sikhs as well; Filipinos etc.
Of course, millions did not … instead, became well integrated and have blended in well as part of the country’s social fabric.
But federal multiculturalism policies encouraged and even financed, through community grants/programs what are, let’s keep it real, “ghettos”, that have separated and isolated large ethnic populations, where old country habits, traditions, prejudices and even hates have not only survived but thrived.
In an article in The National Post last week, political analyst Tasha Kheiriddin put it perfectly: “Canada has become a balkanized grievance factory, and all of us are paying the price.” (You can read her full article here: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/tasha-kheiriddin-canadas-multicultural-utopia-now-a-balkanized-grievance-factory.
I believe one of the worst eventualities of that was the 1985 Air India disaster, when 329 Canadians were murdered when a bomb, believed to have been planted by Canadian Sikh terrorists, exploded on a flight from Toronto to London.
Militant Sikhs, many concentrated in Surrey, are still carrying on in Canada what sure looks like a hate campaign against India and a push for Khalistan independence as if they were in the Punjab.
When they immigrated to Canada … they should have left their old hates behind! Or just stayed there.
There are also Chinese immigrants living in Canada who are still devoted China government loyalists, watching, intimidating Canadian Chinese citizens here, discouraging human rights activists and even trying to influence policies and politicians here.
In September, in fact, the federal government established a Public Inquiry to explore whether China and Russia interfered in our 2019 and 2021 federal elections: pretty serious stuff.
As usual, totally innocent people have paid a price for these reports, distrust and suspicions.
Attacks against Asian Canadians, especially in and around Chinatown, have risen substantially in recent years.
According to a Reuters news story: “Canada, which prides itself as a diverse and welcoming country for immigrants and refugees, has witnessed a 72% jump in its hate crime rate between 2019 and 2021, said Statistics Canada.”
And news reports seem to indicate hate crimes against many ethnic groups have since risen even more.
Canada’s Jewish population is indeed not alone, but when hate-mongers rear their heads by the thousands … spewing their ignorance loudly and proudly and using intimidation and violence … the police, the Courts and Governments MUST act!
Canada needs to not just pay lip service to our historic principles and values … but enforce them as well: ARREST those who threaten or act out hate crimes; FIRE teachers and professors who encourage, preach or support hate on campus; and DEPORT any hate promoters and purveyors who are immigrants or refugees and are found guilty of any intimidation or action against any Canadian citizen.
And the federal government should discontinue the divisive policy of multiculturalism … and instead encourage all Canadians to become part of a single national family, from coast to coast to coast.