GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time to stand up for the Jews...

Ken Coates, Professor of History at the University of Waterloo, has a fantastic comment at the National Post...
Jewish activism, however, masks another reality of our times – the relative silence of non-Jewish people on matters related to Israel and the Jewish community. Far too often Jews and Jewish Canadians stand alone. Most of the rest of us remain silent, perhaps nodding in quiet assent when a Jewish leader or organization speaks out, maybe disagreeing with Israel’s specific actions but worrying about the general situation facing Jews in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Canadian government has been consistent and forthright in defending Jewish and Israeli interests, and for that they are to be applauded. But this is more than an issue for states, national governments and special interest groups.

Even the most cursory review of the history of the Jewish people reveals periods of acceptance and integration followed by bursts of hostility. We are starting to see some of this now, with conspiratorial anti-Jewish nonsense rearing its ugly head, with Israel being held to a different standard than other countries, and with a growing number of attacks on synagogues, anti-Semitic commentary and the like. It is easy to stand beside one’s Jewish friends, colleagues and fellow citizens when times are good and conflicts are few. It is harder, but more important, to do so when the tide appears to be turning.

Jewish religion and culture are historically rich, both rooted in a deep understanding for and concern about the past. Jewish communities around the world have long lived warily, not knowing when circumstances will change, not sure when and if anti-Semitic outbursts will again become commonplace, not sure who, if anyone, will stand up with them. They live, it seems, scanning the world in three directions: to history for lessons, to the present for immediate threats, and to the future for signs of opportunity and peace.

Standing with the Jewish people of Canada does not assume unquestioning support for Israel or the actions of the current government. Standing with the Jewish people in this country means something much more basic. It means that we respect and embrace them as Canadians, that we reject the gathering rumble of anti-Semitism, that we recognize and celebrate their presence among us and that we appreciate their contributions to Canada and the world. Jews alone cannot and should not be expected to answer for the rise of anti-Jewish feeling and anti-Israeli sentiment.

The world needs to know that, in Canada and elsewhere, there are many thousands of others who stand with the Jewish people. We must make it clear, before hostile words turn into aggressive actions, that the Jews will never again stand alone.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

son of a bitch. not a comment on jews. well, i guess that a people that won't defend free speech are unlikely to defend anyone else

5:13 PM  

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