Anti-Semitism: The New Normal
Here's two photos from today. (Thanks to DS.)
I know for a fact that several merchants in the mall are appalled -- not just by their lost business, but by the offensive display of anti-Semitism permitted by their landlord. I just don't get it. The bigots said they'll be back -- I'm sure they will. And I'm sure there will be more anti-Semitic graffiti in the neighbourhood. Today's graffiti was just a block away from the Jewish Centre, and a block and a half from the synagogue.
I bet there will be a swastika spray-painted on the synagogue within a month.
That's what James Q. Wilson calls the "broken windows theory". The anti-Semites at the hate march -- most of them just off the plane from countries where freedom of assembly doesn't exist, and if you dared to protest outside a government office, you'd be tortured -- are testing what they can get away with. What's acceptable in Calgary? What's acceptable to Calgary's Jews? To Calgary's Gentiles? To the RioCan landlords? To the Prime Minister himself?
You can already see an escalation.
At their first hate march, the Hezbollah flag was only unfurled near the end, as a specific taunt to a Jewish rabbi.
The police did nothing, though Hezbollah is listed in the Criminal Code as an illegal terrorist organization.
The bigots are learning. I bet the terrorist sympathizer who showed the flag last time was pretty nervous about it. But now he knows that's the new normal. And so, at this rally, the Hezbollah flag was flown for almost the entire event. Here are some pictures from today:
I imagine that, the first time the S.A. stormtroopers marched in Germany 80 years ago, they were the ones who were afraid -- afraid of public excoriation, afraid of vigilantism in response, afraid of police. But once they realized they could get away with it, once they gathered momentum, once the community indicated that it would do nothing to enforce their behavioural standards, it was the community that became afraid.
Some statistics: there were about 150 Hamas supporters this time, and very few women and children. Almost all men now. There were about 20 counter-demonstrators, some with modest placards -- and a small Israeli flag.
Again -- as last time -- the police told the pro-Israel counter-protesters that they risked being arrested for "inciting public disorder" if their tiny Jewish flag caused a conflagration. Did you get that? If the peaceful display of a Star of David "incited" the Hamas supporters to act violently, it would be the Israel supporters who would be charged. I wonder how much longer -- months? years? -- until police are telling people that wearing "provocative" Christian crosses is cause for arrest, too.
Imagine if Calgary's cops spoke that way to battered women: "Ma'am, if you don't cook him his dinner the way he likes it, you're provoking him. He'll hit you again. And we'll have to charge you with inciting him to hit you."
Unlike the Hamas supporters, the pro-Israel supporters actually live in the neighbourhood, and are customers of the mall. The Hamas hate marchers came in from across town -- their purpose was to terrify Jews, just like their terrorist role models in Arabia.
Say, these anti-Semites are awfully clever. They were smart enough not to be white skinheads. Because they're Muslims immigrants, they're allowed to do what 150 white skinheads in a Jewish neighbourhood wouldn't be allowed to do. They're allowed to taunt and spit at Jews, and hurl shoes at Israel supporters, have placards with swastikas, and trespass with impunity. And they get their own tax-paid bodyguards -- Calgary Police Service cops threatening any of their political foes with arrest.
Try doing any of that if you're a white neo-Nazi with a shaved head.
(I do acknowledge, though, that a few white supremacists have managed to inject themselves into Calgary's anti-Semitic protests, such as the one downtown. The Palestinians are delighted to have them. Above is a picture.)
The human rights commission had a full-blown inquiry into the matter, and authorities hounded Long out of the province. The Canadian Jewish Congress? They're still dining out on their war stories from that brave, brave fight.
Imagine if Terry Long had brought his cross-burning to the Jewish part of Calgary -- with 150 skinheads. Imagine if he did that weekly -- made it the "new normal".
It's unthinkable. I'd say it would be more likely that he'd die in a hail of SWAT team bullets if he tried.
But Calgary's new anti-Semites are much more clever.
They come with names like "Soharwardy" and "Hage", not Long. They speak with Arabic and Urdu accents, not American accents. They wear kaffiyeh scarves, not white Klan hoods. But they are the same damned thing: Jew haters who support violence.
Oh, this isn't a call for a Terry Long-style human rights commission inquiry, or even a criminal "hate speech" charge. They're useless in every way, except as job-creation for second-rate lawyers and bureaucrats, and the new breed of police officer: the multicultural "outreach officer" whose job is no longer to enforce Canadian norms, but to bend them to accommodate Gazan norms. No, any "hate speech" charges would surely fail, as Ahenakew's failed. And they miss the point.
These hate marches call for political and economic marginalization; for a reassertion of ordinary Canadians' civic responsibilities; for a restatement of Canadian values, like Jason Kenney did the other day; and, frankly, for a re-calibration of Canada's immigration policies: more law-abiding peaceful Canadians, less terrorist sympathizers. And I can't think of a value or interest that would be offended by the deportation of non-citizens who fly terrorist flags in Canada (other than the liberal value of civilizational suicide).
This is not a foreign policy issue. This isn't about our views on the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. It's not about what we think, in the abstract, about the Middle East. It's a concrete question about the kind of cities we want and the kind of conduct we will tolerate right here in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. It's not even about Jews. It's about whether our civic leaders can remain silent as our streets are filled with hate and thinly-veiled threats of violence and terrorism.
A few weeks ago, the Prime Minister and Calgary's Mayor joined in the annual Hanukah candle-lighting ceremony at Calgary's City Hall. That's great -- a great symbol. Thanks. But I'd rather the PM and the Mayor skip the candle-lighting, and do something important, like denounce the low-level menace that has emerged across Canada, and that threatens to flare into a European level of continuous intifada.
The solution won't come from losers like the Canadian Jewish Congress who are trying to see how their one tool -- book-burning -- can apply to street hate marches. The solution can only come from ordinary citizens saying "that's not acceptable in Canadian streets"; from police enforcing Canadian law, not sharia law; from property owners like RioCan showing some self-respect, and respect for their tenants and customers; from the media realizing that hate on Canadian streets is not an acceptable "byproduct" of a foreign dispute far away; from union members taking their unions back from crazies like Sid Ryan; and from politicians marshaling whatever moral authority their offices have to denounce these new Nazis.