, 12.18.2023 09:58 AM

My latest: first they came for the Jews

Protest movements come and go.

But they are quite different.

These days, protest movements happen more on the Left then on the Right. There are exceptions, of course, like the Ottawa occupation. But for the most part, conservatives focus on achieving influence within institutions – academia, think tanks, media, politics.

On the Left, Protest movements tend to be much more populist – “populist,” here, meaning self-professed ordinary people rising up against perceived elites. Grassroots. 

Not all Leftist populist protest movements are created equal, however. Some are pretty harmless. For example: the Occupy movement, as I documented in my book Fight the Right. Occupy trampled grass in city parks, and overstayed their welcome, but they didn’t really cause any harm. They didn’t hurt anyone. 

With Occupy, no single event caused young progressives to come together. They mobilized around a perception that the gap between haves and have-nots had grown too big. The Tea Party folks, around the same time, believed that, too, and proceeded to take over the Republican Party. 

The Left’s protest movements can be situational, as well – like 1999’s “Battle for Seattle” protests against the World Trade Organization. Those protests were aimed at stopping ministerial meetings of the WTO in that Washington State city. They were anarchic and frequently violent. Same with the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010. But both movements eventually petered out.

The self-professed “pro-Palestine” protests – which, increasingly, seem to be pro-Hamas protests  – are very different. They have been characterized by violence and intimidation and threats, but worse than Toronto’s G20 or the battle for Seattle.

This too: this new Leftist populist protest is different in this way: it’s not petering out, and the protests have long ceased to be just about Israel’s military action in Gaza. No longer do they hate just “Zionists” – their favored dog whistle for “Jews.” 

Now they hate non-Jews, too.

This week’s pro-Hamas protests show us that the enemies list has grown.

• In shopping malls in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa, Jew haters actually went after – wait for it – Santa Claus. As terrified children looked on, Team Hamas chanted and screamed and threatened people. At one mall, a masked thug actually pointed at a uniformed police officer and said that he would put the officer “six feet under.” He was not arrested. 

• The mob targeted two Zara clothing stores, in Toronto’s Yorkdale mall and Ottawa’s Bayshore mall.  The protesters boasted online about forcing the stores to shut down. Some seemed to be there because of an ad campaign, and others perhaps because they believed Zara was Israeli. But it isn’t – it’s owned by Spaniards, and headquartered in Spain. 

• Another mob went after Prome Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver – again. A few days after 100 Vancouver police officers were required to extricate Trudeau from a Chinese restaurant that was under siege, the masked “anti-Zionists” surrounded  Vancouver’s Westin Bayshore hotel, had a “die-in,” and accused the Liberal leader of genocide. Two days after his government voted for a cease-fire at the United Nations.

• Yet more constituency offices of Members of Parliament – most of them non-Jews – were again targeted with vandalism.  The vandalism has been happening in riding offices across the country, for weeks.

Early on, the targets seem to be exclusively Jewish. A Jewish school was shot up, Jewish community centers were fire-bombed, Jewish businesses were attacked and vandalized.

Why? The Hamas 1988 charter tells us. It makes clear that intifada – their uprising against their oppressors – was to be waged against Jews and non-Muslims alike. As the speaker of the Palestinian legislative assembly put it in 2007: “Make us victorious over the community of infidels. Take the Jews and their allies, Allah, take the Americans and their allies, and annihilate them completely and do not leave any one of them.”

You see? While the targets of this movement were initially Jews, it is now after non-Jews, too. And, until police and the authorities act, they will only get bolder.

Like the saying goes: what starts with the Jews? It never ends with the Jews.


  1. Montrealaise says:

    Why are the people making death threats not arrested? What are the police waiting for – for one of these protestors to make good on their threat and kill somebody? The lack of action on the part of authorities just emboldens them because they now know they can say and do anything – intimidate children and other Christmas shoppers, issue death threats, close down stores – and nothing will happen to them.

    • Sean says:

      The court system right now is a turnstile. The police are declining to charge for a lot of stuff. Waste of time, money and resources. Only suckers think the law will protect them these days. I know of one city in which police are setting up a committee to figure out theft, rather than… you know… lay charges for theft. Drug dealers are given verbal warnings. IE finger wagging… not handcuffs. The criminal system just can’t keep up anymore. Canada is Hill Valley in BTTF II .

    • Douglas W says:

      Canada, drifting towards a lawless society.

      The law will only be upheld when there’s no threat of push back.

      Otherwise, not safe for the authorities to uphold the law.

  2. PJH says:

    Keep it up, Hamas cheerleaders….with every incident like this, ordinary Canadians support for the Palestinian cause, or support for Palestinian civilians caught up in the Israeli-Hamas conflict, goes right into the dumper. Govern yourselves accordingly.

  3. Warren,

    The Association of Police Chiefs needs to get involved to coordinate national policy to be implemented at the federal, provincial, territorial and local levels.

    Either the cops are the boss, or the protesters are. Remains to be seen.

  4. Wes W says:

    Let’s bring in more middle eastern and third world immigrants and refugees. This will help with this problem.

  5. Sean says:

    Organizers of a protest pro-actively direct the behavior of their participants. Protesters understand and respect the law – which in Canada is very broad and liberal for protesting. Protests have a simple, focused message which is commonly understood even by those who disagree with it. Protests do not deliberately impede / interfere with normal day to day life. Protests end, more or less, at a scheduled time. Protests focus on changing public opinion. Protesters do EXACTLY WHAT THE POLICE TELL THEM TO DO, because police in Canada are well trained to facilitate peaceful protests. I know this because I’ve been a participant in responsible protests.

    What we are seeing from Team Hamas contradicts all of the above. Most importantly, I don’t think they care at all about public opinion. A lot of these folks seem, to put it very politely, unfamiliar with democratic norms. Pissing off as many people as possible seems to be the goal. This is not protesting. There is a very THICK line between protesting and harassment. This is harassment plain and simple. This is an attempt at incubating fascism. It needs to be met with a hard wall of contempt. Contempt from citizens, authorities, media, politicians, police, the judicial system, unions and yes…. sigh… even from those lowliest members of civil society… even from University administrators.

    These fascist harassment theatrics don’t deserve attention, thoughtfulness, empathy, understanding. They deserve jail, charges, tickets, deportation. I suppose they deserve a free public defense as well, which is a hell of a lot more than they would get in a lot of Middle Eastern countries.

  6. Gloriosus et Liber says:

    I can understand why TPS officers on site used a “light touch” tactically on the Team Hamas protest so as to not escalate things.

    However, I would posit that using a light touch on public order incidents just seems to encourage more disorder.

    Exhibit A: the “Freedom Convoy”

    If the OPS had done their job in the first place and not been afraid of escalating things, we wouldn’t have had a three week gong-show in the capital that pissed off residents, turned into a national crisis and embarrassed the country leading to the government to invoke the Emergencies Act.

    Law enforcement should revisit its approach to public order incidents. Not provoking seems to lead to more provoking.

    • Sean says:

      One thing to remember… Just because police don’t arrest on the spot doesn’t mean they won’t later. It is a common, smart tactic to allow things to de-escalate and nab the offender later. I’ve actually seen this done in a protest that nearly turned into a riot. The key is whether or not they can positively identify the person on the spot and figure out how to pick them up a few days later, once things settle down. I think people would be impressed with how well Canadian police can actually handle these situations.

    • AndrewT says:

      Law enforcement generally don’t have faith in the political leadership have their back if LEOs are called upon to do ‘difficult’ things.

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