Friday, December 29, 2006

Montreal Antisemitism

The Cummings Centre for Jewish Senior Citizens defaced by a swastika - Thursday, December 28, 2006

The above are pictures of the latest Jewish institution to be defaced in Montreal. The Cummings Centre provides services for senior citizens, including kosher meals, lectures and social activities. The swastika pictured above must have been spray painted in the evening of Thursday, December 28, 2006. There are almost certainly Holocaust survivors among the people who will be visiting the centre this Friday morning. The Jewish community in Montreal has been feeling under fire since the outbreak of the second intifada. There have already been several attacks on Jewish schools in Montreal, including a firebomb attack on a Jewish school reported on in this blog last September. Lately, an inordinate amount of media attention has been focused on Jewish issues: much of this attention is unfortunately negative. The reaction to a recent report by a Montreal police committee that issued "cultural advice" to improve community policing is especially instructive. In the report, a cultural advisor from the police department suggested that in cases where police had to intervene in Orthodox Jewish communities (something that is in any case rare), male police officers talk to Orthodox men and that female officers address Orthodox women so as to show sensitivity to religious customs. As far as I could tell, the report simply intended to make community policing more effective - it was not triggered by any refusal on the part of Orthodox men to speak to female police officers. Nevertheless, the lines of French-language talk shows in Montreal were jammed by callers complaining about the alleged refusal of Jews to conform to Quebec's "tolerant" values and the whole affair was cast as a surrender by the Montreal police to sexist demands by the Jewish community.


Amos said...

I don't know what's more worrisome - the swastika or the tenor of these debates.

I haven't seen any coverage of this in the press yet.

Jen said...

Isn't it time for the Jews there to make aliya? If the Holocaust could happen once, it can happen again. And if history (and the bible) teaches us anything, it's that Jews will suffer everywhere. The only place they can defend themselves is Israel.

Ex-Montrealer, present Israeli

Anonymous said...

I think we need to form a networked judaism with Israel as the hub but we should not all move to Israel - in fact I think Israel is in a very dangerous position with Iran and the rest of the Arab world spewing genocidal hatred against Jews once more. Run!