I was there

Manifestation pour la paix au Liban

[My dear Mr. Nadeau->1598],

I was there. We have dozens of photographs. I will gladly send them to you. I have worked on progressive causes for thirty years of my life. I am the first non-francophone political consultant to several unions affiliated with the FTQ in fifty years. I have organized. Helped put 300,000 Quebecers into the Moissan Quebec food network. Organized social housing for thousands. Delivered aid to over 150 soup kitchens in the east end of Montreal. And I feel betrayed. Betrayed by a Quebec I thought had gone beyond the attitudes of “le noirceur”.

Henri Massé and Denis Coderre's words were beyond contempt and I told Henri that. They did not even deny their political motives. Nor has any political or labor leader denied that they knew of the press release announcing not a rally for peace but a rally for Lebanon and Palestine only. They lent their names to it. Of course they could not control a rally. But if they wanted to make a statement they should have insisted on a true rally for peace for all peoples in the area and when they saw Hezbollah supporters should have walked out. Not stand grinning, like Boisclair and Massé did in front of a desecrated Jewish prayer shawl.

One of our Institute interns, Chantal Beaubien, is in Phnom Penh now doing children's rights work for the Lichado NGO. We helped raise money to get her there. I was born in Russia. I lost my four grandparents and 66 other family members in the Holocaust. No one has a monopoly on understanding suffering. But the behaviour of much of Quebec's political, labour and media elite the past few weeks is treacherous and anti-Semitic. I have already made a complaint about Stephane Gendron's constant reference not to “les Israeliennes” but to “les Juifs”. It's time for everyone to open their eyes.
Are we supposed to be proud of this?

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Beryl Wajsman14 articles

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Beryl Wajsman is president of the Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal www.iapm.ca, publisher of BARRICADES Magazine www.barricades.ca, and host of Corus Radio’s “The Last Angry Man” on the New 940Montreal. He can be reached at: info@iapm.ca.

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