Tuesday, February 6, 2024

"From the river to the sea – antisemitism makes a big come-back in Canada" by Brian Henry

From the River to the Sea

On October 7, we saw what Hamas means by the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” They mean Jew-free. If ever we had doubts before, no longer. We saw the homicidal glee with which Hamas kills Jews, because they recorded their exaltation as they murdered and tortured (here, for example). And in Canada, some celebrated Hamas’s atrocities, dancing in the streets of Mississauga (here) and handing out sweets in Toronto (here). Not to mention the demonstrations in support of Hamas in all major Canadian cities and the statements of support from CUPE, student unions, and professors (here, for example). 

Protesters continue to gather in their thousands, inspired by Hamas, chanting for Israel to be replaced by a Palestinian state, “from the river to the sea.” As for the seven million Jews already living in that bit of real estate, Hamas would like to kill them. Their supporters either agree or don’t much care, but they know what the chant means.

In Canada, we’ve also seen:

Feb 16, 2024: Back in December, Ottawa police arrested a 15-year-old boy for plotting a terrorist attack against the Jewish community. They’ve now charged a second youth and added the charge of conspiring to commit murder. The youths apparently had the materials for a bomb, but whether they were planning to blow up a Jewish school, synagogue, or what, we don’t know yet here.

Feb 12, 2024: Pro-Hamas protesters blocked the entrance to Mount Sinai, Toronto’s Jewish hospital. They allegedly roughed up security guards, pushed their way inside, and chanted for an intifada. 

The last intifada in Israel was a terror war that saw numerous suicide bombings, including the slaughter of 21 people, mostly young teen girls an all-ages disco, the murder of elderly Jews at a Passover Seder, the bodily shredding of families at a pizzeria jointly owned by a Jew and Arab, numerous attacks against shopping malls and aboard city  buses, and at other locales throughout Israel. Altogether, Palestinian terrorist murdered 1,000 innocent Israelis and injured thousands more. 

Details of Mount Sinai Hospital incident here. 

January 27, 2024, Holocaust Remembrance Day: Vandals smash seven windows of Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton. Details here.

January 24, 2024: A dozen schools and school boards from B.C. to the Maritimes, including the Toronto and Peel district school boards in Ontario are facing legal suits for failure to deal with antisemitism in the classroom.

Elementary and high-school children have been punched, spat at, chased by groups of children shouting abuse, ostracized in class and faced antisemitic taunts – as well as Nazi salutes.

Children and Jewish teachers have faced death threats.

Children have endured chants of, “We are going to finish the job that Hamas started – Jews must die.”

At one downtown Toronto school a boy brought a Nazi flag and played Nazi music on his phone while circling a little Jewish boy in the classroom. The Jewish boy got removed from the classroom after he broke the flag and the aggressor remained in the class. Details here.

January 9, 2024: Vandals smash windows of car and puncture tires because of Israeli decal on window. “I feel that I’m in Germany in 1937,” said Victoria Adamov, owner of the car. The Toronto police hate crimes unit is investigating. Details here.

January 6, 2024: Four young adults on their way home from synagogue in Thornhill (just north of Toronto) were allegedly accosted by a man on an electric bike who spat at them and made antisemitic comments. The good news is he's been arrested  and charged with assault and breach of probation. Details here

January 3, 2024: To start off the new year all wrong, an arsonist attempted to burn down a Jewish delicatessen in Toronto (Steeles and Keele area) and dabbed the window the words “Free Palestine” so that we’d know this wasn’t random. Details here

Jan 3, 2004: For the past week, pro-Hamas protesters have been closing down the Avenue Road bridge over Highway 401 in Toronto, a location apparently chosen because it’s in the heart of the Jewish area of Toronto. One of the organizers is Toronto4Palestine, a group that handed out candies to celebrate Hamas’s murders, rapes, kidnapping and other atrocities in Israel on October 7. Details here

December 19, 2023: The Toronto Police Department reports that since October 7, antisemitic incidents make up more than half – 53% – of reported hate crimes in the city. For reference, Jews make up 6% of Toronto’s population. Details here.

December 18, 2023: A pro-Hamas protester at Eaton’s Centre in Toronto repeatedly threatens a shopper, saying, “I’ll put you six feet under,” while police look on, and at the Bayshore Mall in Ottawa, protesters disrupt the Santa’s village. More here

Starbucks at Bathurst and Eglinton targetted
for being in a Jewish neighbourbhood

Prior to December 15, 2023:

A Chapters/Indigo store was defaced in Toronto, with the Jewish owner accused of “funding genocide” and her photo covered in fake blood. The police have arrested eleven perpetrators and charged them with alleged hate-motivated mischief (here). Weirdly but not surpassingly, the people arrested for defacing Jewish business see themselves as social justice activists and anti-racists – some of them actually teach antiracism. But it’s been evident for some time that woke ideology is deeply antisemitic, and it dominates our universities. See here and here, for starters.

A 20-year-old and two teens were arrested for allegedly making threats against kids at a North York Jewish high school (here), while at public schools, Jewish kids are being bullied (here).

Landwer and Aroma cafes (Jewish-owned cafes) in Toronto were swarmed by protesters, with customers intimidated and staff threatened (here and here).

A Starbucks in Toronto was also targeted for graffiti. Not that Starbucks has anything to do with Israel; it’s crime was being in a Jewish neighbourhood. 

A middle-aged woman allegedly was punched out by “pro-Palestinian” protesters in Toronto because she dared to hold a sign calling for the return of a kidnapped Israeli (here).

A man putting up posters of kidnapped Israelis in North York allegedly was assaulted by another man who started ripping down the posters (here).

Olga Goldberg allegedly assaulted by "pro-Palestinian" protesters for holding a poster of Israeli hostage Mia Schem

Thousands of such posters showing the photos of murdered or kidnapped Israelis have been ripped down almost as fast as people can put them up, because Jew-haters will not allow that Jews can be victims, only perpetrators (here, here, here, …)  

Protesters showed up at a fund raiser for Toronto City councilor Josh Matlow, not because of his views on the Israel-Hamas war (he's been almost silent), but because he's Jewish. And then the protestors screamed at two young people, leaving the fund-raiser: "How many kids did you kill today?" What was that about? Well, one of them was wearing a kippah. The lead antisemite, the guy with the bullhorn, said: "They're smiling because they killed so many children. They're so happy" (here).

Molotov cocktails were hurled at a synagogue and at a Jewish community centre in Montreal (here) and some days later at another one (here).

And gunshots were fired at Montreal Jewish schools – at one of them, the haters returned to do it again a couple nights later (here).

In my neighbourhood – a Jewish neighbourhood – we have a mobile police command van parked at the corner and lots police around, just in case. But what I’d really like is to see the police enforce the law. When these protesters disrupt traffic, close down Union Station, swarm the lobby of Scotiabank, block the entrance to a business or harass staff or customers, and generally get in the way of people going about their business, arrest them!

Note: This piece was originally published December 15, 2023, on TheJ.ca here, but since then, I've been adding to it.

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Brian Henry teaches creative writing and publishes the Quick Brown Fox blog. He’s been a regular contributor to the TheJ.ca and has also contributed to the National Post, The Toronto Star, the (now defunct)  Jewish Tribune, and the Engage and Harry’s Place websites in the UK. He's been wearing an IDF hoodie since Oct 7. Read more of his pieces on Quick Brown Fox here.

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