OpinionBoycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

Rising anti-Semitism shatters Canada’s progressive image

College campuses in the country have become a breeding ground for anti-Jewish hatred.

The Canadian flag. Credit: Wikipedia.
The Canadian flag. Credit: Wikipedia.
Bradley Martin

Exalted by the far-left as a bastion of so-called progressive values, Canada has passed laws prohibiting the discrimination of transgender people and protecting Islam from any sort of criticism, and reinvented the English language to be more gender-inclusive with words like “peoplekind.”

Yet only last week, a popular Jewish pizzeria in Montreal was once again firebombed. The reality is that in this progressive fantasyland, life has become increasingly worse for Jews.

According to Statistics Canada, hate crimes against Jews in Canada have spiked 60 percent since last year, making Canadian Jews the most targeted minority in the country for the second straight year.

“It is disturbing to think an anti-Semitic hate crime takes place every 24 hours in our country,” said Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel. CIJA is the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada.

Anti-Semitism in Canada has gotten progressively worse. Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology for Canada turning away 900 German Jews fleeing the Holocaust on the MS St. Louis, Holocaust denial has soared under his watch. B’nai B’rith Canada notes that in 2015, Holocaust denial was involved in just 5 percent of the total number of anti-Semitic incidents. In 2016, that figure rose to 20 percent.

This growing anti-Semitism has manifested itself throughout Canadian college campuses. At Ryerson University, discussion of instituting “Holocaust Education Week” was met with a staged walkout. Jewish students in attendance described the incident as “one step away from denial” of the Nazi genocide. At the University of Calgary, about a dozen posters were found around campus questioning whether 6 million Jews were actually murdered during the Holocaust. A tenured professor at the University of Lethbridge has called for “open debate” on the Nazi genocide and accused Jewish families of funding what he called “the Islamophobia industry.”

Canadian college campuses have become a breeding ground for anti-Jewish hatred when a neo-Nazi like Ken O’Keefe’s delivery of a series of anti-Semitic lectures goes unchallenged. Asserting that Jews run the media, the courts and the banks, O’Keefe also accused Jews of assassinating U.S. President John F. Kennedy, staging the 9/11 terrorist attacks and inventing the Holocaust in order to “steal Palestine from the Palestinians.”

Is it any wonder that the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has gained traction on Canadian campuses? BDS achieved its latest victory this past November, when the Canadian Federation of Students—Canada’s largest and oldest student association—approved a resolution supporting BDS against Israel.

Throughout history, when Jews were treated with dignity and respect, the society flourished economically, socially and politically. And wherever Jews were persecuted, expelled or murdered, it served as a barometer as to how much the country itself was disintegrating. With this staggering rise in anti-Jewish bigotry, Canada can hardly claim to be so progressive.

Bradley Martin is a senior fellow with the news and public-policy group Haym Salomon Center.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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