A despicable act

(Canscene) — A great stir has been caused by a government financed flyer mailed to residents in ridings that contain large Jewish populations. This document is absurd in its implications that the Liberal opposition is engaged in anti-Semitic activities

One accusation, that Canada sent a delegation to the first Durban conference in 2001 in the knowledge that it supported anti-Semitism is totally inaccurate. It was at the conference itself that the predominance of anti-Semitism came to the fore. To have expected Canadian delegates to have walked out would have been to have condoned an act of cowardice under fire.

Previous to the conference, there was a session in Toronto at which various ethnocultural groups were asked to discuss the forthcoming event. At the invitation of the Honourable Hedy Fry, then minister responsible for multiculturalism, I attended and although some anti-semitic sentiments were raised, I detected no sign that the conference would erupt into the fracas it did in Durban.

The big stir at the Toronto session was raised when a delegate of Afro Canadian origin heard the “n” word spoken out loud by a Palestinian delegate. Taking the statement entirely out of context, she ranted and raved for half an hour, declaring the conference was anti-Black, and resigned from the proceedings despite all efforts to placate her.

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