Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada – a man of courage and distinction.
For the first time in Canada’s history, a Prime Minister has stood tall in support of Israel and the Jewish community. That Prime Minister is Stephen Harper.
Anti-semitism is on the rise. Beatings of elderly Jews in the UK and other European countries, the recent murder of Jews in France and Belgium and the random attacks by Muslim fanatics in Israel and elsewhere are now too common.
For many of us, this is a terrifying reminder of the years leading up to the Holocaust when many ignored the warning signs, looking the other way and pretending that “this too shall pass”.
Well, it didn’t pass. Six million lives were lost. And with the re-birth of the state of Israel, the Jewish community all around the world vowed “NEVER AGAIN!”
The time has come to re-affirm that vow – especially with anti-semitism now on the rise in our universities. Concordia, Queens, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ryerson , York, even the U of T produces male and female machos strutting their stuff.
And who are some of the major donors to these schools? You guessed it! Jewish benefactors. Shades of the Warsaw ghetto 70 years ago when university students begged their families NOT to look the other way, NOT to rationalize and NOT to keep telling them to “sha shtill”. Their warnings were ignored… and we all know how that ended.
I asked the wife of one of the big donors who is also a “community leader” how they could keep giving money to institutions that were so anti Israel, especially York. Their student union/groupies/followers of the Chancellor are so pro-Palestinian, so verbal against Israel and so gung ho on boycotting Israeli merchandise, books and teachers that they signed petitions encouraging others to join them.
“I like being on different Boards” she answered with a smile. “It’s fun. And nothing is going to happen. It doesn’t mean anything. We have to get along. Besides, the protests are just for the media and to give the appearance of fair comment.
“If things really got bad”, she continued with a laugh, “we could do something – like move out East”.
I wondered if she had ever heard about Elisabeth de Rothschild’s train ride to Ravensbruck. As the wife of Philippe de Rothschild, her family must have thought that he could buy her way off that train and save her from the gas chambers. It didn’t happen.
There will be an election this year. Junior Justin’s choice of advisors reflects his own bias. And that bias is aimed right at us. Hamas used women and children as human shields in front of their rockets in Gaza but Justin’s military advisor, Andrew Leslie blamed Israel for civilian injuries. And Leslie is now a candidate in Ottawa-Orléans, along with David McGuinty, another Junior supporter. And we all know what McGuinty’s brother Dalton did to the people in the province of Ontario. And he got away with it.
One doesn’t have to be a Conservative to appreciate the safety that Canada offers to ALL of its minorities – including the Jewish community. When Canada sends military support to help defeat the butchers of ISIS and the Jihadists, it is mostly Muslim people being saved. PM Harper has stood tall and Canada is a beacon in the world. We are so proud to be Canadians.
I will be volunteering for the re-election of the Harper government. But in Canada, we don’t get to vote for the Prime Minister directly, as our U.S. friends get to vote for their President. And isn’t Obama just the pits? Yuck! If he hadn’t done a Neville Chamberlain 3 years ago, I’ll bet ISIS wouldn’t be as powerful as it is today. He is quite a gutless wimp – and of course, we now question whether he ever was a friend of Israel.
So we have to vote for our Members of Parliament in our own ridings and hope that enough of them from the “right” party are elected to form a majority government.
In Willowdale, we are particularly lucky to have Chungsen (CS) Leung as our sitting MP. He is also Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism.
CS was a “stateless” person in Canada when the then Trudeau government changed its official recognition from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China in 1970. CS had come to Canada on the passport of the Republic of China in 1968. He applied for landed immigration status in 1972. . He received his B.A. in Economics and Commerce from Carleton University in Ottawa and his Masters in Science (Engineering and Management) from USC in Los Angeles.
Prior to entering politics, CS was an experienced and successful businessman and entrepreneur. He is also fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Japanese – and that will be very helpful if I ever get asked to write a blog in Asia.
Two years ago when the issue of Yom Kippur and TIFF was on my agenda (no doubt you all remember reading the details in past blogs), I contacted the Mayor, some city councillors and my MP for help. Rob Ford, Doug Ford and Frank DiGiorgio stepped right up with their support. So did MP Chungsen Leung. Without any hesitation CS took the view and made it known that our concerns were his concerns.
But there is even a more interesting facet in CS’ background. Shanghai.
Wealthy Jews from Baghdad had been living in Shanghai since the 19th century. Then, Russian Jews came to Shanghai before and after World War I to escape pogroms, anti-Semitism, and the Soviets.
The third influx of Jewish immigrants, from Germany and Austria, arrived in Shanghai in the 1930s, fleeing the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. During World War II, some 20,000 Jews found refuge from the Holocaust there. David Kranzler, a noted Holocaust historian, calls it the “miracle of Shanghai” — a rare bright spot in the dark tragedy of that era.
During a recent conversation about family and the multi-ethnic face of Canada, CS talked about his late father who had been in Shanghai during those dark years and who had been a part of the Chinese support team helping the Jews survive.
No wonder CS was so quick to step up next to us when we asked him for help. So I urge all Willowdale residents to support him for re-election, especially our Russian mishpocha who are now a part of Willowdale. CS is very special.
And now, back to today. I continue to write my comments in various media outlets – I now have 30,000 upvotes – it is fun. I still have a couple of nasty trolls who follow my words everywhere – they can’t have much of a life if I am their only fixation.
But I do have a life. My grandkiddies have taken the picture of moi and the PM to their schools for ‘Show and Tell’. Am I really that old?