So what do you do? Report anti-semitic incidents and risk others joining in or let them pass quietly? In the past 24 hours there have been three incidents that we know of in Montreal. The first was yesterday afternoon when a visible Jew was sucker-punched on Queen Mary. The assailants fled into the metro.
The second was in the Van Horne shopping center this morning when a woman was parking her car. A man started yelling that she was a stupid Jew. He started with the wrong person. This woman is a friend of mine and does not shy away from doing the right thing. She got out of her car and started yelling in the loudest voice she could, “Did you call me a stupid Jew?” Of course a small crowd gathered and the man left.
The third incident happened at the Shell gas station on Van Horne and Decarie. Two visibly Jewish young men were filling their car when the arab attendants started yelling and harassing them.
We called the Shell customer service line (which is in South Africa) and they already had received many calls about people boycotting that station.
There is no doubt that what is happening in Israel will spill out to the rest of the Jewish world. Paris and London are prime examples. We guess that the best thing one can do at this point is be aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk with your head down texting (you shouldn’t anyway). Look up and see who’s around you. And report any incidents to the police even if they tell you not to file a complaint. They will most likely increase their presence in Jewish neighborhoods.
After the first piece you’ll love this one. The Pew Research Center did a survey of 3,217 adults in June, asking respondents to rate their feelings toward various religious groups on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being coldest, 100 warmest and 50 meaning they have neither positive nor negative feelings. Jews won the popularity contest.
We rated 63, slightly ahead of Catholics (62) and evangelicals (61). Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons prompted neutral ratings, from 48 to 53. Muslims were given the worst rating, at 40. Go know.
Here’s another dilemma: If one had plans to go to Israel do you go or postpone your trip? It’s a tough call. It seems that the world made up their mind for you. All flights to Israel are on hold for the next 24 hours. It’s a wait and see situation. Although the party line is that rockets fell too close to the airport for comfort, we also have no doubt that the world is completely spooked by the Malaysian plane that was blown out of the sky.
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities. “The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on February 3, 2014.”
Don’t you wonder who’s going on vacation in gaza? Anytime? There is no doubt that pro Russian rebels not only tampered with evidence of the Malaysian plane, but most likely disposed of whatever they didn’t want anyone to see. As of today, those wanting to examine the sight were still being fired at by the rebels. Those dudes are not afraid of anyone or anything and most likely are funded by Putin, although he denies this. It’s another place where we would not suggest vacationing.
Although we don’t want to leave you with a sad story, somehow this piece, as you will see, is uplifting.
Nissim Sean Carmeli obm, was one of the IDF soldiers who died this past Sunday. He was from South Padre Texas. Although his family spends half the year in Israel and his two sisters live there, his funeral was going to be sparsely attended.
In Israel, he became a passionate supporter of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team and attended games whenever he could.
When a picture of him draped in the team flag surfaced on social media, team officials urged fans to attend the funeral. “We have a huge request of you all,” they wrote on their Facebook page and in WhatsApp messages. “Come and pay final respects to a hero who died so that we can live. It’s the least we can do for him and for our people.” The team also chartered buses to return mourners to back to the city center.
There were 20,000 people at his funeral. As most who were interviewed said, “It’s the least we can do.”
No matter where we live, no matter what language we speak, what customs we observe, what kind of yarmulka we wear, what foods we eat, we are one people united from one end of the world to the other. And we care for each other…in life and in death.