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The Astonishing Rise of Antisemitism in Canada

By HENRY SREBRNIK Anyone reading jewishpostandnews.ca knows full well the extent of antisemitism raging across Canada now. Not a day goes by when some horrific event isn’t reported, be it at a school, a university, outside a Jewish centre or synagogue, or on a sidewalk in front of a Jewish-owned business. Protestors in many cases openly call for the elimination of the state of Israel.

This is now commonplace and shows no signs of abating, with federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as civil society organizations, including school boards, seemingly unwilling or unable to stop it. 

Statistics show an unprecedented spike in Jew-hatred in Canada. A March 18 report from the police in Toronto, for example, indicated that of the 84 registered hate crimes in 2024, a startling 56 per were animated by antisemitism. The Vancouver Police January 16 revealed that the Jewish community experienced a 62 per cent increase in police-reported antisemitic hate incidents in 2023 compared to 2022. Most occurred after the October 7 terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas.

The Jewish community in this country has been under siege, “confronting levels of antisemitism unseen since the Holocaust,” reported Richard Marceau, Vice President, External Affairs and General Counsel, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. This has included, he noted, “fire bombings of synagogues, community centers and Jewish-owned businesses; shootings and bomb scares at Jewish schools; harassment of community members; intimidation of Jewish students and faculty on campus; cheerleading of Hamas by unions; and many other hateful iterations.”

And it’s not just outright criminality on the part of hooligans that should worry us. There are other, more subtle, ways of making Jews feel they’re not really welcome. Plays are cancelled, speakers disinvited, and artists fired.

Vancouver photographer Dina Goldstein’s “In the Dollhouse” photo series was due to be exhibited at a toy-centred exhibition at the Vancouver Centre of International Contemporary Art. But Goldstein was born in Tel Aviv – so she was told by the organizer that she had got a complaint “from a group of Vancouver artists who didn’t think I should be showing because of the war in Israel and Gaza.” She feared vandalism.

Hamilton’s Playhouse Cinema agreed to be the venue for the three-day Hamilton Jewish Film Festival. But with only weeks to go, it abruptly told the festival they were no longer welcome due to “safety and security concerns at this particularly sensitive time.” They also cited “numerous security and safety related emails, phone calls, and social media messages.”

Sadly and ironically, the only connection to the Gaza war that they were screening was “The Boy,” the last film by Israeli filmmaker Yahav Winner, who was murdered by Hamas on October 7.

Cyclist Leah Goldstein had been invited to address a March 8 International Women’s Day event in Peterborough, Ont. The first woman to win the solo category of the Race Across America, a gruelling endurance race, she was scheduled to speak about overcoming “bullies, sexism, terrorism.” But they “discovered” she was raised in Israel, so was dropped “in recognition of the current situation and the sensitivity of the conflict in the Middle East.” 

An obstetrics professor at McMaster University in Hamilton was removed from the editorial board of an academic journal after publicly criticizing his professional association for failing to condemn the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7. “I was waiting for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as soon as the stories of rape and sexual violence came out,” Jon Barrett told National Post. 

Barrett saw political bias in Society President Amanda Black’s December 2023 public letter applauding the reporting of sexual assault perpetrated by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and highlighting the organization’s work advocating for women, alongside the association’s silence on Hamas’s atrocities against Israeli women.

I could provide all too many similar stories, but most of us already know this our new reality.

We know all about the university encampments, but worst of all is the effect this hatred is having in our primary and secondary educational institutions, where very young minds are being informed that Israel – and by implication Canadian Jews? — are evil.

In the official multifaith calendar for the York Region District School Board in Ontario, Jewish holidays this year were denoted with a small menorah, while the holidays of other religions had their usual representative symbols (a cross for Christians, the star and crescent for Muslims, and so forth). Why? A leaked e-mail revealed that administrators deliberately avoided using the Star of David, the traditional symbol of Judaism, lest it remind students of Israel.

On April 30, Shaked Tsurkan, a 14-year-old Israeli girl attending Leo Hayes High School, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was followed and beaten up by an older student. It happened off school grounds during the lunch hour and other classmates gathered to watch. Someone even filmed the whole thing on their phone, later posted to social media. It was just one of many incidents, and her parents felt authorities were ignoring the antisemitic overtones to their daughter’s beating.

More recently, a Burlington, Ont. mother pulled her Jewish daughter out of high school, saying the school is allowing and encouraging pro-Palestinian activists to display and promote threatening antisemitic messages. “My child is not in school because she’s Jewish. That’s insane,” Anissa Hersh stated, after withdrawing her daughter from Burlington Central High School recently.

Her daughter had artwork included in a school exhibit but the event seemed like a Gaza protest. “They had a huge booth, and it was labeled Palestine. There was a map: the state of Israel was relabeled as Palestine with the Palestinian colours on it.” The school permitted students to wear T-shirts and jewelry depicting the eradication of Israel. The school’s solution to her complaint? “The only thing they did was, they sent me information on how my daughter could finish school at home.”

Just sitting down at the computer every day, reading all these articles can make your head spin.  One year ago at this time, we would have been scoffed at, called fearmongers, and delusional, had we said we felt uneasy about antisemitism in this country. Yet clearly it was all “out there,” ready to go, so to speak. Does this not in some way demonstrate how tenuous civil peace is, that it can turn so incredibly ugly so fast? Was this what it felt like in Berlin in, say, 1931 or so?

 In fact a colleague who teaches European history answered by pointing out that antisemitism lurks often unnoticed within larger social movements, obscured by other issues, until an event comes along to trigger it, like the Gaza war, and then those of us look back and ask where did that come from? Call it the “Greta Thunberg Syndrome?” Even climate change activism has become tinged by Jew-hatred.

 I think that since October 7 Canadian Jews are suffering from political vertigo. It’s as if a rug was suddenly pulled out from under us on an apartment balcony we assumed was safe, and we were tipped over and fell 12 stories to the ground below. 

 Henry Srebrnik is a professor of political science at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

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Features

How Live Casino Dealers Enhance Your Gaming Experience

In the booming online gaming world, live casino dealers stand out as the bridge between the virtual and the real. They bring the physical casino’s authenticity and excitement to your screen, creating a more immersive and engaging experience. But how exactly do live casino dealers enhance your gaming experience?

From fostering a social atmosphere to increasing trust in online games, these professionals make gaming sessions more enjoyable and genuine.

Real-time Interaction

Real-time interaction revolutionizes the online gaming industry, particularly in live casinos. By leveraging advanced streaming technology, live casino dealers can engage with players just as they would in a traditional casino environment.

This dynamic interaction enhances the gaming experience by fostering a sense of presence and camaraderie. Through chat features and live video feeds, players can communicate with the dealer and even with other participants, creating an immersive and social atmosphere.

The role of the live dealer is crucial, as their real-time responses and professional demeanour elevate the authenticity and enjoyment of the game. This interactive experience makes the games more exciting. It instills greater trust and transparency, replicating the feel of a brick-and-mortar casino from the comfort of home.

Enhanced Trust and Transparency

Trust is essential in online casinos as it dramatically impacts players’ peace of mind. Gamblers look for confidence that their selected platform is dependable, safe, and runs transparently and fairly.

Online casinos build trust and transparency by acquiring proper licensing, offering secure transactions, ensuring fair play, and providing high-quality customer service. Moreover, other online casinos introduce live casino games with live dealers to enhance trust and transparency.

In addition to real-time interactions, live dealers can interact with the players like in brick-and-mortar casinos. Players can ask questions, make comments, and receive immediate responses, fostering a sense of community and reliability.

This interaction mimics the social aspects of land-based casinos, where players can gauge the dealer’s demeanour and professionalism, thus bolstering their confidence in the game’s integrity.

Additionally, live dealer games are often overseen by regulatory bodies and broadcast from high-quality, secured studios, adding another level of accountability. Multiple camera angles and advanced streaming technology ensure every action is visible and transparent, diminishing potential fraud concerns.

Professional and Entertaining Conduct

Professional conduct is the backbone of any successful live casino. Dealers who are well-trained in the game’s rules, adept at handling cards or other gaming equipment, and capable of managing the game flow efficiently create a seamless gaming experience.

They also uphold the principles of fairness and transparency, providing players with peace of mind that the game is being conducted properly.

Beyond professionalism, a dealer’s entertainment ability sets a live casino apart from its online counterparts. Engaging dealers who interact with players, share witty banter, and maintain a lively atmosphere can transform a simple game into a memorable event.

Their charisma and energy help to foster a social environment, encouraging interaction between players and setting the stage for a more immersive experience.

The best live casino dealers master the delicate balance between professionalism and entertainment. They effortlessly shift from explaining complex game rules to keeping the mood light and engaging. This balance ensures players feel respected and entertained, enhancing their satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits.

Varied Game Options

The success of online casinos heavily depends on the calibre and diversity of their game offerings. In the fiercely competitive online gambling industry, casinos must provide a wide range of top-notch games to draw in and keep their players engaged.

One essential reason online casinos need a diverse game selection is to keep players interested and entertained. Another advantage of offering a wide range of games is that it meets players’ diverse preferences. Gamblers have unique tastes, motivations, and gaming styles.

That said, live casino dealers are trained to handle multiple game types, ensuring players enjoy various gaming options.

Their professionalism and capability allow seamless transitions between games, keeping the gaming environment dynamic and engaging. This variety caters to seasoned gamblers seeking depth and strategy and welcomes newcomers eager to explore and learn.

Moreover, live dealers often introduce unique game variants and themed events that you might not find in a traditional online casino. These unique offerings can include everything from high-stakes poker tournaments to themed game nights featuring popular TV shows or movie franchises, enhancing the gaming experience.

Personalized Gaming Experience

Another key benefit of having live casino dealers is the personalized gaming experience they provide. Dealers are trained to cater to each player’s unique preferences and behaviours, making adjustments and offering insights that make each session feel exclusive.

Their friendly demeanour and professional approach ensure that the games run smoothly and that players feel valued and entertained.

Moreover, the live casino setup often includes multiple camera angles and high-definition streaming, ensuring players don’t miss a moment of the action. This level of engagement and transparency boosts player confidence and trust in the game’s fairness, further enriching the overall experience.

Conclusion

Live casino dealers significantly enhance the online gaming experience by bringing authenticity, interaction, trust, and entertainment. With varied game options and the ability for personalization, players can enjoy a casino experience that closely mirrors the excitement of playing in a physical casino.

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Features

Is There Enough Time Before Summer to Get a Summer Body?

Do you think there’s enough time to get a summer body before the height of summer? Of course! If you start right now, you still have two months before August, which we’d class as the height of summer. Two months is enough time to make good progress and see some changes that’d make you look and feel incredible.

Read on to find out more.

Lean Diet and Lifting Weights

It’s the part that nobody likes to think about – the hard work. Yes, if you want to get a summer body before summer, you must be ultra-strict with your lean diet and lifting weights, with a sprinkle of cardio. Combining a lean diet with weight training forms the basis for your summer body.

If you’re ultra-strict with your diet and training four or five times a week, there’s a massive difference you can make, especially if you get your training plan spot on. You can also speed up the process with supplements – supplements will be your best friend! Check out Canadian Made Labs (canadianmadelabs.com) for example, to find the best supplement for you.

Stick to eating whole, unprocessed foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Reducing refined sugars and unhealthy fats will help you lose fat and build muscle. Swap your sweet snack for 0% low-fat Greek yogurt, granola, honey, and mixed fruits, and you’ve already made a massive difference to your diet and outcomes. And it tastes good!

Weight training is equally essential for muscle development, metabolism, and how quickly your physique changes. Focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscles for maximum results.

Hybrid Training

Hybrid training works well. If you’ve got some fat to trim, cardio is essential. Don’t worry, you don’t need to run. A moderate-paced walk on a steeper incline can burn more calories than running, is more enjoyable for most people, and won’t leave you gasping for breath. The stair master is another good cardio machine for a quick blast that will leave you gasping for breath but feeling good.

If you really want to make quick changes, do high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT workouts consist of short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief periods of low-intensity exercise or rest.

This form of workout can help you lose body fat within a short period compared to steady-state cardio exercise, for example – a 20-minute session doing these intervals may benefit you more than one hour of slow walking. Apparently, you can burn 40% more body fat with HIIT. And what’s 20 minutes of sweating and suffering if you want quick gains?

Psychological Resilience and Self-Control

It doesn’t only involve physical fitness; mental strength and willpower also play a huge role in achieving a perfect summer body. Discipline and a positive mindset are necessary for maintaining focus on one’s goals. Set achievable targets, and understand that progress takes time. If you’re ever lacking motivation, pick the body you want and imagine it in your mind. Tell yourself, over and over, that you need that body. In times of low motivation, reminding yourself repetitively of the body you want can make a big difference.

Consistency in the eating plan and daily training will encourage habits that can become part of you. And, don’t only measure your progress through weight or inches alone but also how good you feel physically and mentally.

It’s time to think about your summer body…because you’re running out of time. Start today and see what difference you can make by August!

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Want to know about a a Muslim Arab state that’s been “occupied” by another Muslim Arab state? Read about Western Sahara

Contributed by DOMINIC MARTIN Did you know that a mere four hour flight from London lies a self-proclaimed Arab state chafing under a decades-long occupation? And that their haughty overlords, motivated in part by dubious historical claims to the land, partly by naked territorial aggrandizement, annually encourages thousands of its settlers to move in and tilt the demographic balance in its favour? And all this with the tacit support of its Western allies, and in blatant violation of numerous UN resolutions? Meanwhile the indigenous inhabitants of this land are left to eke out a threadbare existence in the arid scraps left to them, whilst many more languish in refugee camps in neighbouring states. And yet, undaunted, this oppressed people fight on, standing proudly under their red, green, white and black flag. Their occupiers, in a move equal parts desperation and exasperation, have resorted to constructing an enormous barrier across the entirety of the territory, de facto annexing the choicest areas to the ‘motherland’.

I talk of course of Western Sahara, or the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic if you prefer (Morocco, which has occupied the bulk of this former Spanish colony in north-west Africa since 1975, prefers the term ‘Southern Provinces’). Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Despite lying just 60 miles east of the Canary Islands, this Britain-sized slab of rock and desert occupies a position in the average Westerner’s imagination somewhere between East Timor and Ambazonia. There are no weekly protests in support of the oppressed Sahrawi people, no calls to boycott Moroccan goods, no ICC court case against Morocco, and no ceaseless stream of hand-wringing pity pieces for the Sahrawis in the left-leaning media.

Why not? Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, right? Those on the progressive left endlessly tell us that their support for the Palestinian cause is due solely for their compassion for an oppressed people – ‘you don’t have to be Muslim/Arab to support Palestine, just human’, as the phrase de jour goes. Yet Western Sahara? Crickets. This is perplexing – after all, it has all the right ingredients; if anything, it offers a far more clear-cut case than Palestine, given that the Polisario Front (Western Sahara’s answer to the PLO) has refrained from terrorist attacks on civilians and focuses its armed struggle solely against Moroccan military targets, and therefore doesn’t require the kind of awkward moral hedging demanded by supporters of the Palestinians.

And yet Western Sahara is comprehensively ignored. Its flag emoji has failed to take its place next to the EU, Ukraine and trans flags in the Twitter and Instagram bios of the right-on set. Could it be that this intra-Arab dispute between two Muslim peoples who look the same and speak the same language simply lacks the gravitas and high-stakes excitement of the Arab-Israeli imbroglio? That this dispute over a remote desert fastness, whose main exports are fish and a bit of phosphate, is simply not sexy enough? (Even Lonely Planet, usually a-gush with fawning admiration for the most dangerous and dusty ‘up and coming’ developing world destinations, calls it “featureless, arid, inhospitable and uninviting.”) Is it possible that despite the evident wrongs committed against the long-suffering Sahrawi people, that the slacktivist set simply don’t care? It certainly seems that way, which would suggest to this author at least that their support for Palestine represents for the most part less a genuine outpouring of righteous fury against injustice, than a performative display of allegiance to ‘the current thing’. Having long since grown bored of the grim trench warfare in Ukraine, this is now the sole foreign policy issue on which our progressive panjandrums absolutely insist that one must take a stand. The only other similar dispute which even comes close is the moribund ‘Free Tibet’ movement, which has long since fizzled out as its supporters realised the futility of protesting the regime in Beijing.

We are often told that the world doesn’t care about Palestine, that “Palestinian blood is very cheap” as former Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf put it. Yet the complete opposite is in fact the case. No other foreign policy issue attracts as much international attention as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and no other ‘national liberation’ struggle attracts as much foreign support as that of the Palestinians. Would a major flare up of fighting in Western Sahara be capable of swinging a British by-election, as happened recently in Rochdale? Hardly.

So, that’s the progressives. Meanwhile the vociferous rage of their erstwhile allies in the Islamic ‘ummah’ is perhaps at first glance more understandable, their religious sensibilities understandably inflamed at seeing Muslims dying by the score, and at the hands of the infidel no less. Yet even here we see a similar double standard at play. Where has been the outrage at other violent oppression committed against Muslims, such as China’s brutal suppression of the Uighurs, Burma’s genocidal attacks against the Rohingya, or the Alawite Assad regime’s brutal bloodbath in Syria? To say nothing of the tens of thousands of deaths caused by intra-Muslim civil wars in Yemen, Sudan or Iraq? It’s hard not to notice that Muslims generally ignore those issues and reserve especial ire for Israel and Israel alone. Ad for Western Sahara – it doesn’t even get a look in. It would seem that Laayoune, Dakhla or Boujdour simply lack the heady religious allure of Jerusalem, Jenin or Jericho. It would seem that some Muslim lives are worth more than others.

At some point the brutal fighting in Gaza will come to an end. The rent-a-protestors will find a new trend to get excited about. It is quite likely that we will see yet another international push to reanimate the interminable Arab-Israeli ‘peace process’. Forget potential nuclear war in Korea or Kashmir, or the slow-motion implosion of Myanmar – the entire weight of the world’s efforts and attention will once again be bought to bear on the great, grand cause of creating a corrupt, authoritarian (if not outright Islamist) Palestinian statelet in the Middle East. And when that happens, spare a thought if you will for the Sahrawis, as they waste away in their desert shantytowns. After all, no one else will.

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