Honourable senators, yesterday, I was unable to complete my statement about anti-Semitism because the time required for Senators’ Statements had terminated. I propose to complete my statement now.
Honourable senators will recall that I spoke yesterday about anti-Semitism and the rise of anti-Semitism in Canada. Some say this rise is a reaction to activities undertaken by the Government of Israel, but that assertion is false and dangerous. This anti-Semitism is, in fact, the new anti-Semitism.
Traditional anti-Semitism is an assault upon the right of a Jew to live as an equal member of whatever host society that Jew inhabits. The new anti-Semitism involves discrimination against the collective right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations. Criticism of Israeli policies is legitimate. Israelis themselves view that activity as a national sport. However, attempting to deny Israel’s legitimacy as a country is the flip side of traditional anti-Semitism; it is collective anti-Semitism.
Per Ahlmark, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, put it well when he said that the new anti-Semitism is marked by attacks ". . . on the collective Jews – the state of Israel," which then ". . . starts a chain reaction of assaults on individual Jews and Jewish institutions."
Distinguishing between the old anti-Semitism and the new anti-Semitism is a distinction without a difference. If there was ever any doubt about that, one need only look at the words of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who said,
If all the Jews were gathered in Israel it would be easier to kill them all at the same time.
Those who suggest that Hamas or Hezbollah are national movements and not anti-Semitic are speaking nonsense. Hamas seeks not only the destruction of Israel, but the death of all Jews.
Regrettably, Canada is not immune to this ill-disguised anti-Semitism. The frenzy of hate that is going on at Canadian campuses this week is, in fact, a terrible, terrifying and vicious anti-Semitism never before seen in our country.
When Jewish students are terrorized solely because they are Jewish, and when Canadian residents support those who call for the extermination of Jews, we, as senators, have an obligation to speak out. Honourable senators will recall that Edmund Burke taught us that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.