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From the beginning of this summer, we’ve heard all the usual warnings about the rising tide of anti-Semitic attacks, the growing anti-immigrant sentiment and the growing hostility to Israel.
These concerns, we hear, are all coming from within and without the United States.
The United States of America is not the only country in the world that has faced this crisis.
Canada, for example, has been dealing with a wave of anti, racist and anti-Muslim hate crimes since November of last year.
The wave began with the shooting death of three Israeli men in Jerusalem and continued into January, when a neo-Nazi rally in Quebec City turned violent and led to several deaths and more than 100 arrests.
While these incidents have been met with strong condemnation in Canada, they’ve also been met by widespread support from Canadians, including from the country’s chief rabbi, who said this week that Canada is “not in the same league” as Israel.
But Canada’s anti-racism movement has been criticized in the U.S. for a number of reasons.
A number of prominent Canadian politicians, including Justice Minister Peter MacKay, have been outspoken in their condemnation of the anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that has been so widely documented.
In Canada, the Conservative government has been quick to take a position that has a lot to do with the Canadian government’s foreign policy priorities, such as the fight against Islamic extremism.
But the Canadian anti-racist movement has also been criticized for having an anti-Israel bias, as many have pointed out.
In a recent piece for the Jewish Chronicle, columnist Yoni Freedhoff argued that the movement “has a bias toward anti-Israeli sentiment and an agenda that favours the destruction of the State of Israel.”
He also criticized the movement for having a “radical leftist ideology that views Judaism as an enemy of the state of Israel” and for having “a radical Zionist agenda.”
Canadian politics is a “fuzzy” place, said Freedhoff, who is also the author of a forthcoming book, The Crisis of Anti-Semitism in Canada.
The Conservatives have been careful not to criticize the movement too harshly, in part because of the potential to win votes, he said.
“The Conservatives have made a mistake in their decision to make Canada a ‘safe space’ for anti-Semites and they should be criticized for that.”
But the criticism of the Canadian Jewish community is just one of the criticisms of the movement.
Many Canadians, for instance, have voiced concerns about the growing number of people joining the movement online and the potential for hate crimes, especially when they have to deal with a country that is so politically and economically diverse.
And the fact that anti-immigration rhetoric has been part of the discourse in the United Kingdom and France, with similar views from the right wing, is also troubling.
“We don ‘t want to be a part of this,” said Nadav, the Palestinian who has been arrested in Toronto.
“There are people from the U., Canada and other countries who have been radicalized by hate in the West.
We need to be very careful.”
There are, of course, also questions about whether the movement has the capacity to bring together the communities that have historically been at odds, said Nadaveh.
“I think it has to be more diverse and we need to work on that,” she said.
But Nadavehs worries that there are too many people joining it and too many activists in it, not enough in it.
“It’s not about whether it’s a safe space or not, it’s about whether we can unite these communities and bring them together,” she added.
“A lot of these activists are young, but they need to go through this.”
This story is part of CBC’s Opinion section.