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If I asked you if you would feel nervous or threatened to ride your motorcycle, or walk down the street or sidewalk in any civilized part of America or Canada carrying a national flag that wasn’t American or Canadian, you would most probably say no.
We see it all the time during non North American Nationalist Holidays, where people sport the flag of their birth or cultural origin.
During World Cup Soccer . . . men, women, boys, and girls sport the flags of the nations whose teams are playing for the championship. In any given World Cup, I’ve seen German, French, British, Italian and more other national flags than I can recount.
ALL OF WHICH IS FUN.
So, today (May 10, 2011) I rode along with a couple of dozen Montreal Bikers (THE MACCABEES), all but a few of whom were Jewish, sporting the National Flag of Israel on each Bike.
We are always cognizant to ride together in a relatively tight formation until we get to the staging grounds, from where the parade and festivities begin, to celebrate the RE-BIRTH of Israel.
Once at the staging ground, we form-up and ride the few blocks as escort for the parade, all of which is symbolic, since motorcycles add a real touch and flavor to any happening, especially when there are a lot of them.
And generally speaking, most people will not mess with Bikers, especially if they are part of a large group. That said though, there were more police at this event, than at just about any other event in Montreal through the year.
There were several thousand people at the Israel Independence Day Rally.
There was great music, speeches, and a whole lot of smiles. And it seemed to me that most of the people at the Rally were quite young; not that a 61 year old like me is over-the-hill, but I, and my age group are not the future.
So, seeing so many young people there was and is a reason for me to really smile.
Let me “tell” you what I DIDN’T see and hear.
I didn’t hear one angry word spoken from the stage or within the crowd. I didn’t see one-person desecrate someone else’s flag. I didn’t see or hear one jingoistic word in favor of Israel.
As I previously wrote . . . the only things I saw and heard were people, who were happy to sing, dance and enjoy the spring sunshine celebrating the 63rd anniversary of the RE-BIRTH of Israel after a 2000-year exile.
SO – WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
I’m writing it, because under the surface, very close to the top, there is a never-ending feeling of trepidation when publicly carrying the Jewish Colors.
Believe me when I write this:
The Montreal Police did not show-up in big numbers because they thought this crowd would be unruly. Nor did they come in big numbers because they wanted to share in the fun.
The Montreal Police were at the festivities in big numbers because far too many people don’t like to see the Israeli (Jewish) Flag. Unlike every other cultural group that is free to celebrate their identity without threat, we Jews throughout the world are not that fortunate.
Anyone who wants to believe that anti-Semitism is a thing of the distant past should think again. And anyone who is not Jewish, who thinks that whatever happens to the Jews won’t fall upon them, they too should think again.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I’ll be making a solo Motorcycle Ride to Virginia Beach, where I will be meeting-up with several hundred Jewish Bikers from all parts of the USA and Canada.
There will also be several Bikers who will fly in from Australia, and a couple from Israel, who will rent Bikes once they get to Virginia Beach.
The purpose of this annual gathering in different host cities every year, is that once a year, the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance (JMA) RIDES-TO-REMEMBER (R2R), to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.
For those who DENY the Holocaust, it is no problem, since they invite a spirited repudiation from those who member the Holocaust for what it was.
In fact, the DENIERS do more to keep the memory alive than anyone else.
But, it is those who know nothing about the Holocaust, or who don’t care to know about the Holocaust, who worry me the most.
There are many TRUISMS that are irrefutable. Here’s one of them:
HE WHO DOES NOT KNOW OR UNDERSTAND HISTORY . . . IS CURSED TO REPEAT IT.
I will be gone for about one week, leaving the chores to Anne and our staff. And in my absence, there will be no Written Editorials or LIVE Broadcasts.
So, please . . . try not to forget me.
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Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov.
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