After a terrible demonstration of poor planning and indifference to a real threat, Concordia University in Montreal is reaping the harvest it has sown.
Just this week, Arab students, amongst others, rioted inside and outside the Concordia Hall Building on de Maisonneuve, in their SUCCESSFUL attempt to stop a speech from being delivered by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s former Prime Minister.
In a show of cowardice and appeasement, which seems to be the Quebec English speaking community’s way, Concordia canceled Netanyahu’s speech, giving the Arabs and Islamists a victory.
But, a victory to the voices of terror, is a defeat to the voices of civility. And more than that, it is an open invitation to a continuance of threats and violence. After-all, if something works, you stick with it.
I should also mention, that Jewish students have been bullied and intimidated by Arab students within Concordia for quite a while. So much so, that there have been many requests from Jewish students, and the Jewish community for intervention. None of which has been forthcoming.
There is a lot of blame to go around for what happened at Concordia. The Mayor of Montreal showed himself to be ignorant and insensitive. The police, at all levels, either stood by and watched as the move towards violence by the Arabs was ratcheted up, including; allowing a fomenter and promoter of hatred and violence to use the roof-top of a police van as his pulpit.
When the elected and appointed members of a community fail so miserably to keep the peace and provide protection for all people; it becomes the harbinger of other less than desired unintended consequences. Such as the creation of groups like the Jewish Defense League. And nobody needs that.
Back in 1968, when I joined the JDL, it was mostly for this reason. Jewish kids were being beaten up with regularity, while the authorities did absolutely nothing. And just like within nature, which abhors a vacuum, so does a social issue that is void of responsibility.
My advice to the city of Montreal, the Montreal Police and Concordia University. The time to act is now. Not after Montreal’s Jewish community feels so abandoned that measures might be taken that no one would care to even think about.
The following is a result of what the University, the Police, and the City of Montreal allowed to happen vis a vis the Netanyahu speech. No one should be surprised.
Concordia Moratorium fails to Prevent Violence Against Jewish Student
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, September 13th, 2002…B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights has expressed outrage at an attack on a Jewish student at Concordia University. This assault follows on the heels of the recent riots at Concordia by pro-Palestinian sympathizers.
Reports confirm that a Jewish student was bloodied after being hit on the head with an unidentified object and then kicked. The student sought refuge at the security desk of the Hall Building until Urgence Santé and the police arrived and made an arrest. B’nai Brith has credible information suggesting that the alleged attacker is the President of the Muslim Students Association. Prof. Scheinberg, national chair of League for Human Rights added that “we are not in the wild west of the Arab Middle East, we are in Canada where there are laws to uphold and respect. These thugs may feel they are empowered by Monday’s riot, however, Concordia must make sure that there will be zero tolerance for those who want to make a mockery of Canadian democracy.”
B’nai Brith was pleased to discover that the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Concordia University will hold an emergency meeting to determine how best to respond to the current wave of violence campus. Maître Steven Slimovitch, National Legal Counsel for B’nai Brith and a criminal lawyer noted that “some students at Concordia apparently believe that their emotions justify lawlessness. They must be strongly reminded that Canadians will not tolerate anarchy and violence.”
B’nai Brith is urging the police and the Crown to press criminal charges in each and every case of violence and is calling on Concordia to expel those perpetrators who are registered students.
B’nai Brith has been active in Canada since 1875 as the community’s foremost human rights and advocacy organization.