Apr 03 2012
The following article appeared in the Province newspaper in January 2009.
Three of us stood in solidarity with an embattled democracy, opposing hundreds of Hamas supporters on the other side of the street in downtown Vancouver. If we needed a better example of how Canadians have surrendered the field to the fascists, I can’t think of one.
We held Canadian and Israeli flags and called for peace for both Israelis and Palestinians on Robson Street, opposite the Vancouver Art Gallery. The other side proudly raised the Palestinian flag, chanting “Viva Viva Intifada” and “We Are All Hamas.”
One middle-aged woman came up to me shouting that if she were in Gaza, she would be a suicide bomber. I asked her if she really meant it. “I would be a suicide bomber,” she repeated. “I am Hamas. We are all with Hamas. We would all do it.”
I’d like to think this woman, presumably a fellow Canadian, was mouthing slogans, but why not take the protesters at their word? By their own statements and signs, a growing number of Canadians have proclaimed solidarity with an organization declared a terrorist organization by the Europeans, Americans and our own Canadian government.
Let’s be clear about this: Hamas is on the same official list as Al Queda. The Hamas charter calls for the killing of Jews as a precursor to the establishment of a new Islamic Caliphate, again entirely consistent with the ideology of Osama bin Ladin’s organization. But a growing number of Canadians support Hamas knowing full well what it represents.
Yet only three of us in a city of 600,000 came out to oppose the pro-Hamas protesters and call for an end to the rocket attacks from Gaza that started the current crisis. We tried to explain to those who would listen that Palestinians and Israelis would have no chance for peace until they replace their leadership with people who care more about a future for their children than shedding Jewish blood.
We had no organized support from any group other than a few bystanders who gave us a friendly nod or a kind word and might stand with us for a few moments.
I was disappointed in our numbers, but knew that that a number of our friends and colleagues refused to come out for fear of violence by the other extreme protesters that we’ve seen before on Canadian university campuses like Concordia. The pro-Hamas crowd was very effective at bullying ordinary Canadians into staying home.
Canadians in general have made a critical mistake by assuming that these protests are only about Israelis and Palestinians. Some ignore the evidence of their own eyes, shrugging off the pro-Hamas crowd as just a lunatic fringe movement, ignoring their steady growth.
But this is really a struggle between democracy and fascism. The same protesters who support Hamas are also calling for international troops to leave Afghanistan and abandon Afghans to the tender mercies of the Taliban. They chant for the downfall of the American republic. They are the same people who make excuses for the Iranian regime that has jailed and tortured thousands of journalists and human rights supporters.
This is a fight between those who support free democracies and human rights and those who condone terror attacks on those democracies and see human rights as an impediment to a pure Islamic society. And the wrong side is gaining strength.
How much longer before this movement, which condones terrorist aggression in foreign lands, starts making excuses for atrocities carried out on Canadian soil in the name of jihad? It’s time for Canadians to confront the supporters of fascists with our own presence and take back the streets.