Khadir, for his part, cited the authority of Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, two well-known anti-Semites and members of the doddering Council of Elders, to justify his actions. But Khadir was only acting in character, having participated in a pro-Hamas rally in downtown Montreal in January of last year and, in a reprise of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaida, throwing a shoe at a likeness of George Bush during an anti-American rally in December 2008. Neither was a photograph of Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, exhibited at a Canadian Forces recruitment center, spared the indignity of Khadir’s fetish. Moreover, Khadir seems perfectly comfortable with the People’s Republic of China, a flagrant totalitarian regime and human rights abuser which is one of Canada’s largest trading partners, and has had nothing to say about the mullocracy’s brutal repression of Green Movement dissidents and young students in Iran.
Khadir was not alone in his campaign to advance the boycott of Israeli merchandise and, while he was at it, to persecute and demoralize a small entrepreneur, ironically enough, a constituent in his own riding. According to a first-hand account of the event, Khadir had friendly company, “about a hundred threatening Arabs with Hezbollah flags shouting anti-Semitic slogans.” My own telephone interview with store personnel—Monsieur Archambault has “gone on vacation”—yielded somewhat different numerical results: perhaps twenty-five picketers at any given time, possibly a hundred over the course of the day. Be that as it may, it’s not a pretty picture.
Of course, as indicated above, most major European cities are kilometers ahead of amiable Montreal in accommodating the belligerent Muslim enclaves in their midst. Anti-Israeli activism and virulent Jew-hatred are flourishing in European centers in ways that we have not yet quite managed to approximate here. But the animus against Israel and Jews is now a metastasizing aspect of common life, as it is everywhere in the culturally debilitated West.
True, we have a great distance to cover before approaching anything like the monstrosity of a Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass,” that tore apart the civil fabric of Germany and Austria on November 9, 1938 when Jewish homes and shops were ransacked and destroyed. But what we call the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) launched in one Western nation after another against the Jewish state is only another, more genteel version of Kristallnacht, in which punitive market enactments, so to speak, are hurled through the windows of Israeli trade and commerce. In the words of blogger Kathy Shaidle, what happened on Saturday, December 18, 2010, on St. Denis Street in Montreal, on the sidewalk fronting Monsieur Archambault’s Boutique Le Marcheur, is merely a form of “slo-mo Kristallnacht.”
It is to be expected that hypocrites like Khadir will claim that they are not racists but principled objectors. “Just because a business is in my riding, I am not going to abandon my principles,” he pontificates. After all, he did not picket a Jewish-owned shop but one selling Israeli products. This enables Khadir, and those of his degenerate ilk, to pretend they are not anti-Semitic but simply anti-Zionist, thus papering over their real inclinations. Same old same new.
No one, however, should jump to the conclusion that it is exclusively Jewish shops, or shops selling Israeli goods, that will be targeted in the future. That is living in a fool’s paradise. When the extremist and fellow-traveling Muslim minority acquires critical mass, when more and more defenders of terrorists sit in our legislatures and political Parties trawl for the Muslim vote with an ever finer net, when Shari’a law insidiously and relentlessly seeps into our juridical structures and social mores, and as the degree of our cultural invalidism grows ever more alarming, we will discover that no one is safe any longer.
We recall the famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller—first “they” came for everyone else and, when he did not speak out, finally they came for him. It is not only a question of Israel or Jews. It is also a question of those who may (or may not) commiserate with the victims of such bigotry and discrimination, but who feel they are not implicated and can walk away from the unpleasantness of it all.
Soon, they may find, the shoe will be on the other foot.
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