Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Legitimizing the new anti-Semitism


      It's been fully a week since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement absent of any specific mention of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, and the only mainstream media mention of the breathtakingly glaring omission was in the conservative-minded Toronto Sun.
   I posted about Trudeau's whitewashing of Jews from the Holocaust on my Facebook page, and was met with a chorus of "What makes the Jews so special?" and "Jews don't have a monopoly on suffering".  The kind of anti-Semitic tripe that used to be spoken privately in whispers is now stated openly and boldly, and the cue is coming from the highest office in the land.
   No one is denying there were other victims, but the overriding agenda of the Holocaust was the extermination of European Jewry.  The industrial scale killing factories built specifically to facilitate the genocide of the Jews also proved to be convenient for dispensing with Soviet prisoners of war, political opponents, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and other "undesirables", but the Jews were always at the front of the line at the gas chambers, and their total destruction was the Nazis' priority.  The Holocaust was also the culmination of centuries of Jewish persecution, and became a defining moment in the rich and tragic history of Judaism and a catalyst for the creation of modern day Israel.  It only requires a rudimentary knowledge of history to understand what makes the Jews unique in the context of the Holocaust, and how failing to acknowledge their central place in it is at best woefully ignorant and at worst a deliberate and sinister sop to anti-Jewish interests.  Either - or both - could be true in the case of a Prime Minister lacking in intellectual credentials and with a history of openly pandering to fundamentalist Islam, including normalizing Canadian relations with Iran, which makes state policy of denying the Holocaust and openly clamoring for the destruction of Israel.
   The most disturbing and disappointing element of Trudeau's blunder isn't the free pass he's getting from the mainstream media.  They've been in his pocket all along.  What's unsettling is the dearth of strong reaction from the Jewish community itself.  Among the few Jewish organizations that commented publicly, the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it accepted the explanation from the Prime Minister's office that Trudeau's statement was a first draft issued in error, which ranks right up there with the-sun-was-in-my-eyes and my-dog-ate-my-homework as credible excuse-making.  The notion that the PMO would inadvertently release a public statement about something as profound and sensitive as the Holocaust is as ludicrous and insulting as the suggestion that Trudeau "forgot" to mention the Jews.  Meanwhile, the statement remains unchanged on the government's website several days after the "correction".
   Maybe the deafening silence from the Jewish community has something to do with a Jewish tradition for keeping disagreements within the family, or maybe it's a reflection of widespread Jewish support for Trudeau in the bigger political picture.  Either way, I never thought I'd see the day when the 6 million would be thrown under the bus for the sake of social peace and/or political expediency.  That it's happening within the lifetime of some Holocaust survivors and at a time when anti-Semitism is enjoying a resurgence unprecedented since the end of World War Two should be troubling to anyone who's taken the time to learn the lessons of history.

Note to all readers: feedback is encouraged and welcome, but please demonstrate the courage of your convictions by signing your name to them.  There is no credibility in anonymity.

20 comments:

  1. Succinct and typical indifference.
    Leopards never change their spots.
    'IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO TEACH what you were not taught..!

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  2. Absolutely 100% on the mark.
    While PM Harper had many faults, one strength of his was courage of convictions. He was un-equivocating and steadfast. And never more so than in his support of the state of Israel and the jewish people. To think that Trudeau's "error" is anything less than thinly veiled anti-Semitism is just ignorant. if it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, it is almost always a duck. Period.

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  3. I'm sorry. I don't understand how the PMO's statement, "...we pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust..." is an anti-semitic remark. I would think that a statement like this guarantees that no one is excluded.

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    1. Never said the statement itself was anti-Semitic but it enables and emboldens anti-Semites. As is pointed out in the article, the Holocaust has an overwhelmingly Jewish theme for many reasons. For the leader of a country with a strong and vibrant Jewish community to gloss over the Jewish fact in the Holocaust is unacceptable.

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    2. Right on - the phrase "THE Holocaust" already mentions the Jews.

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    3. The expression "The Holocaust" already implies the 6,000,000 or more Jewish souls who were murdered by the Nazis. All other so called holocausts are attempts at genocides.

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  5. I agree with all that you wrote. But I question the photograph of Trudeau praying at a mosque. I feel like it incorrectly characterizes Muslims given the context of the essay, and one less inclined to read might jump to conclusions based on the image and headline alone.

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  6. May I inquire what purpose showing muslims at prayer has to do with Anti-semitism?

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    1. The symbolism is as self-evident and relevant as your question is baiting.

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  7. I awoke this morning at 6am thinking of my Tatty (Daddy)who passed away at a young age of 63 he went through 6 years gehinnom (hell) tears went down my face as I said out loud as if he can hear me "Daddy how did u survive the unimaginable torture? He always had a smile on his face but often took a deep breath and we knew he was thinking of his Parents and 12 siblings that they were brutally gassed in Aushwitz and how he must miss them.How can a Prime Minister have such a cold heart and not include the 6 million who were murdered? Shame on you!

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  8. I think it is shameful that this Prime Minister could make such a blatant error? Shame on him indeed and the fools who voted him in!! How timid is our Jewish Community to not scream out at this obvious slap in the face. With the rise of antisemitism all over the world, we must do everything in our power to make sure that Never Again is.... Never Again!

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  9. Ted, incredibly well stated-bang on! As a Montrealer/Canadian born now living in Israel, I witness this very base and tasteless anti semitism and antime Israel sentiment on a daily basis....the truth of what is happening in the world is falling on deaf ears and it is scary....I was embarrassed as a Jew,and a Canadian in the PM's very vanilla statement and his very short history of blatant anti semitic behaviour. What can I say....I listen to Montreal radio online and I invite you to Israel to see one of the most wonderful places on the planet - the beautiful side��
    Always a fan
    Cindy Shmueli-formerly of DDO, now Tel Aviv

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  10. Well said Ted. Thank you so much for having the courage to write this piece. I don't know if you have ever done so but you should visit Israel. It is a beautiful country where all are welcome. I was always a fan of yours. Rhona Rozen

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  11. Way to go Ted As usual you are just,and to the point.I am an Israeli that leaves in Canada. And I was telling all that would listen that this kind of anti-semitism will happen if and when Mr Trudeau becomes Primier.At this point in time I am considering my options of staying in Canada.My reason is cause things are going to get worse here in Canada, before it will get good again.

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  12. Just check Trudeau's choice for Parliamentary Secretary for Global affairs. Omar Alghabra, a noted anti-semite. I spoke to the Liberals about him being an advisor to Trudeau during the campaign and they brushed off his contribution. It took less than 2 months for him to show up. By the way, Ted, thanks for speaking up.

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  13. Is Ted Jewish? Why his he speaking out about this. Must be part of the global conspiracy. My point is actually how sad that this was not condemned by my own people (Jewish), and yes thanks to Ted (and miss him on Montreal radio)

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  14. Hi Ilan - Thank you for the kind words. No, I'm not Jewish but I'm a student of history and I know right from wrong. Also, you can still hear me on The Jewel 106.7 FM in Hudson/St. Lazare weekday mornings 5:30-10am. (Online at http://jewelradio.com/new/1067)

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