On Friday July 18, a Pro-Palestinian demonstration took place in Calgary. The organizer of this event was the University of Calgary student club “Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights” whose current president Ala’a Hamdan recently said “My body and soul are ready to fight and die,” and “This land will be proud that Palestinian babies are born men and women ready to spill their blood.” In a fictional battle hymn written to a son, Ms. Hamdan also wrote: “I will soak a koffiah with your blood and save it to show to your siblings ... I will be named the mother of the martyr.” Featured speaker at the anti-Israel rally was Alberta Liberal MLA Darshan Kang who will be running for the federal Liberal Party.
According to media reports, particularly from Ezra Levant, the appropriate officials in Calgary were informed that more than 700 people would be descending onto the downtown core-near city hall. The mayor himself received an invitation. The authorities were also informed that a small group, about 10, pro-democracy activists (Jews and non-Jews) would be on location standing up for Israel, our sister democracy.
Apparently, there were no police at this point and according to Levant none showed after a 911 call was made. The more than 700 hundred Pro- Palestinian demonstrators appeared to be miffed by the presence of 10 pro-democracy supporters and decided to not only verbally abuse but physically attack. This demonstration turned quickly into a mob attack.
Why did the police not attend such a potentially volatile protest from the beginning? I can think of two reasons. One, underneath the thin veneer of civility there is anti-Semitism. Understandable as anti-Semitism is a 2000 year old cultural meme that is deeply embedded in the DNA of far too many souls.
Or, this is Calgary’s way of interpreting diversity, tolerance, inclusion and accommodation. And I can understand that as well. Pierre Trudeau introduced multi-culturalism into Canada. That word was an error, a misnomer. We are a uni-culture country: Western culture. And somewhere along the way to diversity our desire to be accommodating became conflated with tolerating everything in the name of inclusiveness. Canada, like all western nations, is a culture rooted in and defined by ethical monotheism, the Judeo-Christian ethic that is welcoming to all cultures and faiths, but not necessarily open to all rituals, beliefs and customs. Many of them clash with our western values: honour killing, stoning of women, sex selection abortion, “eye for an eye” justice that includes amputating of limbs for stealing. Nor do we accept the concept of dhimmitude or a caste system- a hierarchy of human value.
The protestors who turned violent seemed to feel entitled to attack, to choke, to beat down. It’s alleged that seven people were attacked: a 20 year old was dragged from the neck by an Israeli flag; a 19 year old boy had his shirt, emblazoned with a Star of David, ripped off. He was bitten and suffered a concussion. A Christian man was also attacked. And then there were two women. One was a 120 pound 22 year old girl Samantha Hamilton, who was kicked on the ground; another was a 52 year old woman recovering from abdominal surgery who was hit in the stomach. Both women were attacked by “men.” (I use quotes because in my world, in my upbringing, men do not beat down women) And there were so many against one. These are not men. These are bully cowards, wusses. It is also alleged that individuals standing around the immediate area of the assault were yelling “kill the Jews”, “Hitler should have finished the job” and “Hitler was right.”
When these barbarians are identified and tried and found guilty of assault, I expect my country to deport any who are not citizens of Canada. I expect the authorities to take them to the airport and put them on the first plane out of my democratic, civilized country that is founded on peace, order and good government. This will be the warning to all that if you do not assimilate to western culture, western laws and ideals, you are not welcome here.
To add to the insult, I saw women in niqabs and burkas at the demonstration who didn’t go to the aid of that young woman. Sadly, I understand that too. They’ve been indoctrinated with a sense of inferiority, of nothingness. Their dress symbolizes their internalization of the fact that they have no equal rights, no civil rights and in their culture, no human rights.
Which leads me to ask: where are the voices of the feminists? Political activist and feminist, Judy Rebbick; and social activist Naomi Klein; and students of feminist ideology? Why have I not heard their voices decrying the treatment of one of their own at the hands and boots of men? Are they just too busy involved in issues of microaggression and “rape culture” which they declare is rampant on our campuses? Or do they only support downtrodden women-and at this event they were literally down-trodden-when their needs don’t clash with their pro-Palestinian stance?
I remember Elias Hazineh speaking in Toronto at the Al Quds Day last year calling for the killing of Jews in Jerusalem. “We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand.” He wasn’t stopped. It was as if he were giving a weather report. As Ezra Levant just pointed out, those who don’t honour our constitution push the limits, checking like young children: how far can we go? We made an error the first time this Jew-hating behaviour popped up out of the sewers and we did not respond because we are more concerned about placating the politically correct than protecting our culture.
If Calgary does not come down hard on each of these provocateurs, and probe into the behaviour of the police, we will find ourselves claiming “shock” when our streets are overwhelmed like the streets of Paris:
Or with Jew haters running amok reprising Kristallnacht:
Diane Weber Bederman is a blogger for Times of Israel, a contributor to Convivium, a national magazine about faith in our community, and also writes about family issues and mental illness. She is a multi-faith endorsed hospital trained chaplain. Read Diane’s new book: Back to the Ethic:Reclaiming Western Values
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