Noah Kochman’s Nov. 13 op-ed, “Partisanship undermines the fight against antisemitism,” purports to rebut Bradley Martin’s Nov.7 op-ed, “Excusing Jew- hatred in Canada.”
After reading Kochman’s piece, I wondered whether we have been living in the same country.
I do not know anything about Bradley Martin; what he has published, where he worked or works, what his ideology is. Nor do I care. In this instance, the only thing that matters is whether he states the facts accurately and his opinions are substantiated by the evidence. The same goes for Kochman.
Since the liberal Trudeau government is the subject matter of both pieces, I hasten to state that in the 2015 election I voted liberal.
Kochman accuses Martin of shifting the blame of antisemitism away from those who perpetrate it and playing partisan politics with the Jewish community’s safety. He takes issue with Martin’s statements that the government of Canada has allowed the country to become “a more dangerous place for Jews” and that “The Trudeau government’s acquiescence to anti-Jewish incitement has ranged from passive tolerance to outright support.”
Kochman then proceeds to accuse Martin of misrepresenting facts on the ground, arguing that the two vile antisemitic religious supplications/prayers in a Montreal mosque, the first of which included the sentence “Allah destroy the accursed Jews,” occurred before the Liberal government was elected, conveniently forgetting to add that the investigation of the case continued well after the election of the Trudeau.
However, Kochman says nothing about all those – and worse – supplications/prayers that have been and are being uttered across Canada since Trudeau came to power.
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He concludes his criticism of Martin’s piece by stating: “The real problem with the author’s piece is that, by shifting the focus away from those who should be blamed – Jew-haters themselves – the column does an immense disservice to the cause of fighting antisemitism and racism in all its ugly forms.”
Codswallop. The Martin column does no disservice of any kind. On the contrary, it puts the blame right where it belongs. Indeed, Martin blames those who through omission and commission, by word or silence tolerate the intolerable in the name of the misguided tyrannical notions of multiculturalism and diversity and thereby encourage, aid and abet the antisemites to carry on business.
And in Canada, the prime minister and his government, among others, such as the premier of Ontario, lead the parade on this score.
I fully agree with Martin that Canada has become a more dangerous place for Jews to live. I further agree that the Trudeau government’s acquiescence to anti-Jewish incitement has ranged from tolerance to inaction. And I very much fear that if Trudeau gets reelected for a second term, for the Jewish community, worse is yet to come.
Now let’s take a closer look at what Kochman considers to be the pluses in fighting antisemitism since the Trudeau government was elected.
First, he claims the government has spoken out against antisemitism.
Not really, except before Jewish audiences. The government has certainly been very quiet about antisemitism.
Worse, neither Trudeau nor his justice minister have publicly spoken about or condemned antisemitic behavior and hate crime. Nor has the government taken any substantive initiatives to insure that the existing hate crime laws are fully and strictly enforced.
Second, says Kochman, the government has taken practical steps to make the Jewish community safer.
These are the very same steps that have been taken to make all religious communities safer. I would have thought that the Jewish community would feel much safer if the government did the right and proper things to fight antisemitism. In the circumstances, the government’s doubling the community security infrastructure funding is nothing more than a consolation prize to make up for its inaction on fighting the antisemitism originating from certain quarters.
Third, argues Kochman, the Trudeau liberals have repeatedly condemned boycott initiatives and other toxic events on university campuses that target Israel and Zionists for sanctions.
Repeatedly condemned? Nonsense. The government did not even bother to table and use its majority to pass a strong anti-BDS motion in Parliament. Instead, it chose to support half-heartedly the motion submitted by the Conservative opposition. And the speech of the government’s lead speaker on the motion, the then foreign affairs minister, was pathetic, with the minister speaking from both sides of his mouth. Neither Trudeau nor his government have condemned antisemitism on campuses, let alone take any measure to combat it.
Fourth, Kochman points out that the government maintained Canada’s record of opposing anti-Israel votes at the United Nations.
What does this mean? Fifth and finally, Kochman states that the government intervened to halt discriminatory labeling of Israeli goods.
What he fails to mention, however, is that it did so to comply with the terms of the Canada-Israel free-trade agreement, which is quite beneficial for Canada.
On the other hand, the government: abolished a legal provision that authorized the immigration minister to revoke the citizenship of convicted terrorists and reinstated the citizenship of those whose citizenship had been revoked; has done very little, if anything, effective to fight radicalism and extremism; pursues a refugee and immigration policy with little regard to the potential threats to the national security of Canada and the safety of its communities and citizens.
Decidedly, Kochman’s statement of the facts credited to the government leaves a good deal to be desired.
They read like something drafted by a dhimmi – which is what I was in my native land before immigrating to Canada.
And irony of ironies, he did that which he accused Martin of doing; namely,playing politics with the safety of the Jewish community by taking liberties with the facts.
Prior to retirement, the author practiced law in the Civil Litigation Branch of the Federal Department of Justice of Canada.
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