Jack Chivo: The message of hate in our midst
Over a number of years, I have closely worked with a number of antiracist groups, including the League for Human Rights of B'nai B'rith Canada, in combatting different hate mongers, organizations, and individuals, who used a twisted interpretation of the "freedom of speech" to promote their homophobic, antisemitic, Islamophobic or anti-Native prejudices.
Recently B'nai B'rith, the oldest Jewish human rights organization in Canada, established in 1875, has released its 2012 Audit of Anti-Semitism in the country, which was presented to the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, and others, revealing the disturbing trend of the rise of overt antisemitism in Canada over the past few years.
It disclosed that the number of incidents, reported and carefully verified by the league, has steadily increased from 584 cases in 2003 to 1,297 in 2011, and again to 1,345 in 2012. It added that the verified incidents probably represented "a fraction of the victims", many of whom might have been afraid to report them.
While reading the report, I thought that we must be fortunate here in the Lower Mainland to have been spared such ugly occurrences. But my happiness was cut short last week when I read in a North Shore newspaper about an unprecedented outburst of overt antisemitism made in public by a City of North Vancouver councillor during a debate about a taxation dispute with the Port Metro Vancouver.
It is hard to believe, but Coun. Rod Clark used the opportunity to vent his unhappiness by refusing to be "Jewed down" on the taxes owed. In other words, Port Metro Vancouver is acting like "Jews" who, according to him, do not pay what they owe!
To make things worse, when asked to apologize, he explained that "it is a commonly used term".
It is entirely possible that I have been privileged since I arrived in Canada, some 40 years ago, but in dealing with thousands of people, businessmen, politicians, doctors and engineers, simple folks, academics, or farmers, I have never heard this expression used before, even once.
On the other hand it is also entirely possible that among some of Clark's friends and acquaintances, anti-Jewish slurs, and probably against other ethnic groups, are part of their vocabulary, or, as he explained it, "commonly used terms".
I do not know and I do not care what they do and say in the privacy of their homes or clubs.
What I care is to find out, sooner rather than later, when will Clark be booted off city council. Politicians who make racist and bigoted statements should not be part of any elected body in a democratic and civilized society.
And, as a final thought, perhaps Clark, along with his two children, should make a point of visiting the Vancouver Holocaust Centre and ask to meet some of the Holocaust survivors, many old and frail, but who will surely tell them that this is the way the massacre of six million Jews started: using anti-Semitic slurs, followed by others who acted to implement the message of hate.
Jack Chivo is a retired journalist living in West Vancouver.
May 10, 2013 at 2:08pm
"To Jew someone" is a stubborn, painful expression of discrimination that accompanies anti-Semitism since the Dark Ages.
Unfortunately, it is not so rare. I became acquainted with its use only a few months after my immigration, as a new employee of a respectable financial institution in downtown Toronto. The person who used the expression was my much younger manager, and it was not directed to me. It was just part of his day-to-day vocabulary. As he explained to me later, he just grew up with it, used by all around him.
To his credit, after I explained to him why it hurt to hear it said, I have never heard him use it again.
The problem is that some people refuse to come out of their Dark Age caves and into the light.
We just have to keep being uncompromising with such outbursts. Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and similar hateful doctrines is what we need.
May 10, 2013 at 6:00pm
Jack, our political parties such as the hyper partisan federal Conservatives and the BC Liberals have both used wedges, myths and race baiting to further their agenda which in turn has poisoned the entire political climate, therefore letting everybody know it's OK to do this kind of stuff.
Just look at the federal gov running 'You're not welcome in Canada, Gypsies' ads in Bulgaria. Now Bulgaria is overrun with anti semite ultra right wing fascist groups. Our gov chose to stoke the racism fires for their own benefit and this is the result.
BC Liberals are calling into talk shows and claiming competitor candidates are 'not citizens' or 'don't speak english' stoking the racism pot to win over radicals to their side. All of Europe currently is using populist rhetoric and racism to advance their agendas. This won't change until we flush them all out of office and no longer give them a pulpit to drive wedges into Canadian society for their own benefit
May 10, 2013 at 7:49pm
The B'nai B'rith human rights leage is a very effective tool for distroying human rights such as freedom of speech and legitimate research. It also has a lot of influence in the U.N as it has just censored former MI5 Agent Annie Machon because of her thought crimes. Thanks to these "chosen ones" Zionist criminals we have endless debt, wars, and erosion of civil liberties.
SPY vs SPY
May 11, 2013 at 7:29pm
How about we grant all Jews in Canada all the same rights that Palestinians enjoy in their own Country of Palestine.
Or do you find the Term "The Country of Palestine" an offensive term to your delicate Hebrew ears.
Yah Jack, you find certain words offensive. And yet all the ranting, raving and Fund Raising done at Synagogues all across Canada to facilitate the Total Destruction of The Palestinians, sounds like Music to your ears.
Now just what that look like if Jews in Canada were treated like Palestinians in Palestine?????????
SPY vs SPY
May 11, 2013 at 8:48pm
Sticks and Stones may break my Bones, but Words will Never Hurt Me. This I remember from my childhood.
Yah, just what would it look like IF Jewish People in Canada had to live like Palestinians in the Jewish Military Colony called "Israel" and Palestine.
Where would the Wall be to keep the Jews out??
When would it Legal to shoot Jews with 9MM Rubber Coated Bullets??
What would the Curfew Hours be for Jews??
If a Canadian Jew were to leave the country to get married or Study at a University, Would the Jewish Person be allowed back into Canada??
These are very deep, deep questions Jack, Please enlighten me and answer these questions.
May 11, 2013 at 9:26pm
Thank you Jack Chivo for standing up to what's right and writing this article, particularly for saying: "Politicians who make racist and bigoted statements should not be part of any elected body in a democratic and civilized society." Thank you also to Doru M. for writing: "We just have to keep being uncompromising with such outbursts. Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and similar hateful doctrines is what we need." You are absolutely right. I invite everyone on Facebook to "Like" the page Zero Tolerance For Anti-Semitism, which with time we hope will grow to a large popular movement to fight the rising tide of hatred against Jews. It is pitiful but also frightening that people like dave19 can be taken in by the lies spread about Jews and likely anyone else a little different than him. dave19, is this what you really need to believe in order to feel good about yourself? Pathetic.
May 11, 2013 at 11:44pm
I was a bit concerned not seeing the midget James Bond with a comment where he can ventilate his sense of insecurity and inferiority. Finally, he woke up this evening from the daze and fired his expected rant!
Nothing new, but at least he is still moving his fingers!!
No need for the ER!!
May 12, 2013 at 2:40pm
Spy vs Spy, I'm surprised you can function with all the hatred and rage inside you. Get over yourself and get educated.
SPY vs SPY
May 12, 2013 at 3:54pm
Jack and cuz
Sticks and Stones - is all I have to say.
Jack, do you really equate the 20,000 day ( my estimate ) of Military Occupation, the Killing & Imprisonment of the Palestinian People with a few words???
And the more the World learns of the Brutality of "The Jewish Military Colony called Israel", the angrier Good and Descent people will get towards the Jewish People who support this Ungodly Assault.
Anti - Zionism is not Anti - Semitism
Just think of the difference between someone who shoots his mouth off and someone shooting 9mm ammunition at women & children - Big Difference Jack