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, I went on a canoe trip down the Petawawa River, paddling the same rapids Pierre Trudeau once travelled.
In the middle of this iconic Canadian scene, a friend and I started chatting about Israel. How much responsibility should Palestinians take for their situation?
Toronto and Montreal are quite different from Tel Aviv, where I went in early 2012 to interview Jews who had become pro-Palestinian activists. You say what you want here.”Back in Canada, I visited the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre to ask Jacqueline Celemencki, the education coordinator, why Canadian Jews are more conservative in their Zionism. After World War II, Montreal received the third-largest group of Holocaust survivors in the world. “It dismantled and destroyed generations and generations of Jewish life that will never be re-established in many countries, so the only hope for the future is a collective identity based on this controversial and contested piece of land.”She points out that among Montreal Jews, as in many victimized groups concerned with survival, a mistrustful attitude persists.
We sat in the cafés, and while these Israelis criticized their government, raged against the power of the settlers, and testified to Palestinian suffering under the occupation, I kept looking nervously over my shoulder. Unity and solidarity within the community are valued more than debate and dissent.
Canadian Jews, while liberal in many ways, are surprisingly right wing when it comes to Zionism.
According to a census analysis done in 2006, 25 percent of American Jews identify as Zionist, while 42 percent of Canadian Jews do.
Admit that you want Israel to remain a safe haven for Jews, and you’ll be told your Zionism is racist.It is intimidating; one has to think twice before talking publicly or writing about the conflict.This is because the weapons of this war are not only bullets, stones, tanks, and explosive jackets.The problem with this linguistic warfare is that it re-entrenches existing positions.Everyone wants to convince, and no one wants to listen.
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You may recall the scandal in 2004 when the Vancouver magazine published an article titled “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?