The Comment

Treading on unfamiliar turf: culture wars

TORONTO – The unthinkable is happening before our very eyes. An American president and American members of Congress (primarily Democrats) are condemning Israel for ‘crossing the line’ in its Gaza political strategy. More importantly, it the USA has now ordered a hold on weaponry allocated to Israel as part of its USD 15 billion aid package for the purpose of defending ‘Israel’s right to exit’.

America’s governing elites appear to be leaning in the direction of leaving Israel ‘to its own devices’. A panelist on CNN (a pro-Democrat, pro-Biden, pro-Israel personality) haltingly explained her position thusly (I paraphrase), Israel does not have a history of concern for civilian deaths. She was referring to the secular state representing Jews everywhere.

This psychological distancing by [ Western Powers] from the deaths and destruction associated with the Gaza offensive following the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel may be a bigger existential threat to Israel than Iran is perceived to be. The longer the protests take place in Canada, as elsewhere, the more insecure local inhabitants who identify ethnically or religiously as Jewish will feel.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations, and “tent-city” occupations are more and more numerous and frequent in Canadian cities. They are well organized and “centrally financed”. Corriere receives press releases from them and their allies daily, even more than from the super-charged CIJA (Centre for Israeli and Jewish Affairs).

Measured only in moral outrage at the deaths of innocents – children – and perceived callousness of the Israeli War Cabinet (they argue the validity of numbers and sources thereof), the pro-Palestinian group would appear to have an edge in public sympathy. It is, among other things, an indication of the weakening of the bulwarks of our brand of Parliamentary Democracy: open debate, respect for differences, dignity for all and privileges to none.

Where are we today: pointing fingers at foreign interference in Canada while religious festivals are turned into separatist/independent movements on our soil against governments elsewhere. Vaisakhi parades have become occasions to decry the Hindu government of India while advocating for an independent Khalistan.

Anyone who one dares speak out will be labelled “Sikhphobic – or elsewhere as -Sinophobic, Islamophobic or Jewishphobic”.

Call me nostalgic, I prefer a time, not so long ago, when our governments dedicated themselves to issues of integration and economic opportunity for everyone – regardless of race, colour or creed (Christian or not). They “promoted” tolerance; now they validate rights measured against levels of victimization – someplace else.

I am thankful to be Canadian and that those 100 Christian churches burnt in the last two years, allegedly as vindication for some evil with which I had no connection, were not mine. Nothing has come of that, other than a “tut-tut” admonition.

We may soon see an end to that as well because our brand-new Ambassador to the Vatican has been tasked to effect the goals of “Truth and Reconciliation”. Poor lady.

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