- To All Canadian Politicians at All Levels of Government
As I watch the news in terror, my heart goes out to all the sufferers of authoritarianism, violence, and injustice. The story of Passover that my family and the generations before has told, has come to reflect the modern atrocities our generations have witnessed. These current events will unfortunately be a sad addition to the age-old story of genocide and extremism. Passover is a story about extremism. In so many ways it tells us that when a group of individuals worship a false set of absolute principles, when the belief is that there is only one way, one belief, that is the most dangerous thing of all.
There are a hundred jokes I can make about opinions and the Jewish people. We have a lot of them collectively, individually, as subgroups and within our writings. The largest collection of religious scholarly work (The Talmud) is in the literary form of argument and debate. I want to share a joke I think really gets the point across:
An old Jewish man that was lost at sea alone for many years is found on a remote island that was resourceful. This man has been on the island for many years, most likely decades at this point. The individuals that landed on the island were shocked to find this man alive and well. Not only was he well but he had built a nice life for himself on the island. What surprised the searchers the most was that the man had built two beautiful synagogues on opposite ends of the island. This baffled them and they had to ask the old man, "Why in the world would you build two?"..."In this one I pray, in that one I wouldn’t step my foot into"
The Jewish people as the chosen people is a concept most people, including myself, find a bit perverse in our modern day. But the longer I live, maybe we were chosen to suffer a multitude of even internal opinions. These internal opinions always “escape”. Ask everyone that knows me, try as I might I literally cannot keep my mouth shut in almost all circumstances.
I would like to share a few key quotes that my family has read almost every year from our Haggadah (The New Union Haggadah 1988).
“Our people retained its uniqueness in Egypt. They did not alter their way of life, their convictions, their names, their heritage, their faith, their language”. Why? And it goes on to tell us: “True redemption will come to the Jew only if he(she) bears his(her) name and every burden imposed upon him(her) by destiny with gleaming courage and with radiant nobleness which, whether or not they evoke the love of the world without (God), shall justify the Jew in his(her) own sight”.
A Jew is a Jew whether we want to be or not. A Jew will be, by definition, perpetually the "tall weed" in any society, never mind an authoritarian dictatorship. This means Anti-Semitism is not exclusively about symbols, salutes and words. It is about actions, the actions that lead to an authoritarian society. The removal or destruction of civil liberties, the suppression of the press, the suppression of thought, the suppression of ideas, the suppression of civilians for personal gain is Anti-Semitism. That is what leads to The Final Solution that makes Anti-Semitism fundamentally different from other forms of hatred in society. Genocide and the fear of genocide is what sends my Anti-Semitism, Anti-Authoritarianism, Anti-Dictatorship sensor off the rails. Never Again!
The Evil and Genocidal Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and the despicable acts of Xi Jinping in Xinjiang against the Uyghurs, against the people of Hong Kong and the treatment against the independent Country of Taiwan are one in the same. Canada must stand together against the present genocide of all peoples as one small step of correcting past wrong doings against our own Canadian people. Canada must extend its sanctions program to all supporters of Putin including the Chinese Communist Party and the individuals that profit and live on the evils of genocide and suppression. Never Again!
We the people that have signed this petition agree that the Evil and Genocidal Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and the despicable acts of Xi Jinping in Xinjiang against the Uyghurs, against the people of Hong Kong and the treatment against the independent Country of Taiwan are one in the same. Canada must stand together against the present genocide of all peoples as one small step of correcting self past wrong doings against our own Canadian people. Canada must extend its sanctions program to all supporters of Putin including the Chinese Communist Party and the individuals that profit and live on the evils of genocide and suppression. Never Again!
The An Open Letter To All Canadian Politicians at All Levels of Government petition to To All Canadian Politicians at All Levels of Government was written by Josh Lightman and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.