TORONTO - The shocking events of this last weekend in the Middle East, as reprehensible and repugnant as they were (and continue to be) point to the fact that as Canadians we are reduced to a role of fashioning carefully worded statements in response.
Barbarism, even as a tool of war, or maybe because it is used as such, should never be nuanced by “diplomatic language”. We have been down this road before.
Monday night, I attended (briefly) at the Mel Lastman Square gathering organized by the “Jewish Community”. It may surprise some, but there is no singular “stamp of approval” for those who identify as Jewish - ethnically or religiously. All of them felt as their fellow citizens in Canada should have: the butchery committed by Hamas terrorists on Israelis, last Saturday, was totally beyond the pale and incapable of fitting into any politically justifiable act - no matter the stretch of fanciful equivalency.
It was de riguer for political leaders in town to be present at the mass gathering to show their solidarity with those who have friends and kin in Israel today. For non-Jews, like the writer, it part of our DNA to empathize with fellow citizens in moments of grief.
In that regard, the number of “regular” people who showed up was as impressive as it was reassuring to see that that DNA is so widely spread. What was noteworthy, and not so comforting, was the presence of such a large number of police. Aside from the assigned officers and their squad cars at every intersections for four blocks in every direction, there were at least two platoons of “battle ready” police on the march, North-South on Yonge Street.
I only noticed three Palestinian flags, carried by individuals who did not appear to be physiologically “European”. Nonetheless, whether the police were overly cautious or skittish, this might have been one of those times when caution was the best policy.
Unfortunately, for reasons that will not soon be explained, the collapse of Isarel’s vaunted Intelligence network and its prodigious military arsenal and manpower resulted in the immediate murder, injury and kidnapping of close to two thousand men women and children. And for what?