While the world is at war with a deadly, infectious strain of SARS-CoV-2, a more overt, insidious virus has gone largely unaddressed by the world community. That virus is anti-Semitism.
Two days have passed since the vandalization and attempted arson of the Shaa’r Shamayim Congregation in Montreal, yet not a word of reassurance, comfort or sympathy was said to the Jewish community.
It is with great dismay and utter horror as I, a Jewish woman in a so-called progressive, multicultural Canada, witnesses as our non-Jewish government leaders, NGOs, and citizens fail once again to acknowledge the violent re-emergence of the old, but omnipresent virus of anti-Semitism. This 3,000 year-old parasite has been surging globally, infesting millions, and manifesting petrifying symptoms of raging fear and loathing. Symptomatic individuals were spotted at Washington’s Capitol some days back, sporting T-shirts with slogans such as “6MWE” (“6 million wasn’t enough”) and waving swastika flags. They were seen in Vancouver Island, striking a Jewish man while hollering antisemitic comments. They were seen in Kentucky, where a Jewish student was run over by a driver at a menorah-lighting. And finally, they were seen in Montreal, where a 28-year old liberal arts student defaced the largest synagogue in the city with swastikas and a can of gasoline in his hand.
It is time to speak up. The virus is mutating and infecting at a rapid rate, but the first step to control its spread is by acknowledging that it exists, it kills, it prevails, but it will not stay.
A 28 years old man was taken into custody by Montreal Police following this incident. According to a spokesperson for the Police, the suspect was likely suffering from mental health problems. The suspect will remain in police custody until he appears in court. He will likely be ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.
Jan. 16, 2021