On October 26, a Globe and Mail columnist wrote how during a recent concert at Vancouver’s Hollywood Theatre, “a band member said something about a free Palestine. This, according to attendee Hanah Van Borek, led to a few shouts from the audience: ‘Fuck the Jews!’
“It was clearly audible in her area of the crowd, a person who was with her confirms, but nobody around them shut this down. There were some cheers of support, though. ‘My whole body went into shock,’ says Ms. Van Borek, who is Jewish.
“Ms. Van Borek left the venue and explained why to security staff. She says a worker encouraged her to go back inside and reassured her she was safe. ‘Nobody will be able to tell that you’re Jewish,’ he said, according to Ms. Van Borek. (Oy.)
She did return to the show, but Ms. Van Borek was — and is — rattled. She supports the band’s right to make political statements. It was the shouts from this group — and the silence around them — that were alarming.”
For many years I’ve been and likely will continue to be a critic of the maltreatment of the Palestinian people by the state of Israel [i.e. its government and security/defense agencies] and, with few exceptions, Western mainstream news-media’s seemingly intentional tokenistic (non)coverage of it. By doing so, that media, whether they realize it or not, have done a disservice to its own reputation and the Israeli/Jewish people themselves. The road to hell, after all, is also paved with good intentions.
Having said that, I still never expected the level of anti-Semitic attacks in Canada and the U.S. since the initial Oct.7 Hamas attack on Israel. For one thing, the Jewish people in Israel and especially around the world must not be collectively blamed for the acts of Israel’s government and military, however one feels about the latter’s brutality in present Gaza. It’s blatantly immoral for them to be mistreated, if not terrorized, as though they were responsible for what is happening there.
Of course, diaspora Palestinians and Western Muslims similarly must not be collectively blamed and attacked for the acts of Hamas violence in Israel or Islamic extremist attacks outside the Middle East.
There seems to have been much latent animosity towards Jewish people in general, perhaps in part based on erroneous and disproven stereotype thus completely unmerited. Also, incredible insensitivity was publicly shown towards Jews freshly mourning the 10/7 victims, especially considering that young Israelis and Jews elsewhere may not be accustomed to such relatively large-scale carnage (at least not as much as is seen in other parts of the Middle East) in post-9/11 times.
Having the top-mentioned (in The Globe and Mail) ugly and scary occurrence playout in my mind’s eye and ear left me disgusted. Also scary is the real possibility that this public outpour of blind hatred may lead some young children to feel very misplaced shame in their heritage.
Meanwhile, there also were/are the ugly external politics. Particularly with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, one can observe widespread ideological/political partisanship via news and commentary. Within social media, the polarized views are especially amplified, largely involving non-Jews and non-Palestinians. As well, the conflict can and does arouse a spectator sport effect or mentality.
Many contemptible news trolls internationally decide which ‘side’ they hate less thus ‘support’ via politicized commentary posts. They may keep track of the bloody match by checking the day’s-end death-toll score.