Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The rabbi's slippery slope

Reacting to news of the firebombing of a Hasidic school in Montreal, the understandably shocked Rabbi Reuben Poupko states today :

"it's a fair question to wonder whether or not the gathering of 15,000 Quebecers under the flag of Hezbollah, unfortunately further legitimized by the presence of politicians, whether that creates an atmosphere where fanatics draw the conclusion that violence against Jews is somehow acceptable."

No, it isn't a fair question, Rabbi. It was just the unfortunate rhetoric of Israeli ambassador Alan Baker and it was dutifully reported in the press.
Maybe you missed the follow-up from Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe - not as widely reported :

"Mr. Duceppe said the Bloc made it clear to organizers before the march it would not tolerate any pro-Hezbollah demonstrators or flags or anti-Israel slogans in the march. The Bloc and many other participants did their best to get Hezbollah supporters to leave but they kept coming back into the throng even after police intervened.
Describing the group as a tiny minority, Mr. Duceppe said Mr. Baker did not realize he had singled out the Hezbollah supporters from the stage and denounced them in his speech.
Later, he denounced their presence and violence and called for disarmament by all sides of the conflict. Mr. Duceppe said he cannot be held responsible for the excesses of certain individuals.
"We had them expelled I can't tell you how many times," he said. "We told them we don't want any Hezbollah flags here. We also had them stop shouting certain slogans but some started up again. We can't have complete control of 15,000 people."

Nor should they have complete control. It is incumbent upon all Canadians to resist being frightened by their leaders into trading away hard-won freedoms for the illusion of security, an illusion that is only a pretext for furthering the power and control of those same leaders.
That goes for you too, Rabbi.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Actually it goes both ways for the rabbi, doesn't it?

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