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irwin cotler

Here I am on another Sunday night procrastinating going to sleep… because when I next wake up it will really be Monday and the weekend will be over. And there’s nothing more depressing than a Monday morning. So I’m determined to make it worse by being tired as a zombie. Makes perfect sense to me.

Anyway, this weekend did not rain as was predicted. In fact, it was sunny and beautiful. I hope everyone took advantage. Justin Trudeau sure did.

So what is it with the French and rejecting constitutions anyway? I think Chriac should simply insist on a Notwithstanding Clause.

Quote of the day: “President Bush has made a mistake in his show of support for Abbas (or Arafat in a Brooks Brothers Suit with better barber).” I never quite understood why Arafat, with all his millions, couldn’t afford to look better. Or, for that matter, why Suha never bought some sorely-needed plastic surgery. Oh, was that rude? I’m so sorry. I should know better than to insult dead terrorists. That would be uncivilized.

Speaking of terrorists, Abbas is making more threats, suggesting that suicide bombings “may be over” (yeah right) while threatening more if “progress” is not made. How, I wonder, does Abbas define “progress”? Israel is set to let 400 terrorists back on the streets, and the Palestinians are set to… do nothing but complain and launch more violent attacks, as usual. When was the last time the Palestinian side made any “gestures”?

On the home front, with Parliament set to get back to work tomorrow, amidst the scandals and non-confidence votes, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler dares to suggest that the government get some actual work done by passing proposed bills legalizing same-sex marriage and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. A valid argument. We’re paying all these people to govern, it’s about time they get on with it. Of course, the Tories oppose both bills, but I wonder whether Stephen Harper is capable of trying to attack the issues, or if he’s programmed to a single note and will keep hammering away on the sponsorship scandal instead?

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Well, firstly, it was #1 topic of conversation at tonight’s seder. Considering a large portion of my attending family went to either the grade school or the high school sometime in their lives, it was certainly on the list of topics to discuss. As I’m sure it was at a lot of people’s seders.

Really, if you think about it, whatever sick freaks did this didn’t time it very well. Not only is the school is closed for Passover anyway, but there’s gonna be a lot of angry Jews discussing it at their seders and demanding action.

In the blogosphere, I see that LGF and Burnside have picked up the story. And Stefan Sharkansky wonders whether officials are too politically-correct to release information that would seem to implicate Palestinian-sympathetic vandals as the responsible parties:

The CBC and the Toronto Star might not want to confront the unpleasant truth about the motives and identities of the arsonists, but at least some Canadian journalists are doing their jobs:

The CTV network quoted sources who said the notes denounced recent attacks against Palestinians, including the killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, leader of the Islamic Hamas movement, and threatened further attacks.

The contents of the note and the name of the “unknown organization” that signed the note should be released.

If – and this is a big if – what CTV said is true about the content of the note, then it must – and will – be dealt with. Especially considering the note threatened future attacks, which is truly chilling:

“Our goal was only to sound the alarm without causing deaths. . .but this is just a beginning. If your crimes continue in the Middle East, our attacks will continue,” the letter reads.

There’s no telling whether the assholes who did this were using it as an excuse or cover-up, or whether they really are affiliated with some Hamas-sympathetic group. Not yet anyway. My sense is that the police will release details when they see fit, and until then, they might be keeping them under wraps to help them do their jobs. And anything that increases the chances of apprehending the responsible parties is okay with me.

And the political reactions continue. Here’s PM Paul Martin:

“This is not my Canada. This is not our Canada,” he told reporters in Burlington, Ont.

“They are attacking all of us. And it is only if we are unequivocal in that statement that we join together that we are preserving our values.”

And of course, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler (a UTT grad himself) wasted no time ringing in:

“As students, we experienced anti-Semitism, but it was an anti-Semitism of ignorance, of stereotype, of prejudice. What we have witnessed here today, it’s anti-Semitism of hatred, racism and violence.”

“We will not be intimidated and we will act and we will bring the full force of the law to bear against those who commit these cowardly hate crimes,” Cotler told reporters.

And Mayor Gerald Tremblay:

“These acts will not be tolerated in our city and must be denounced as emphatically as possible,” he said.

It’s good that people are taking this seriously.

Never once in eleven years of Hebrew school did I feel unsafe in my classroom (except for maybe the fear of exams, or a test tube exploding in a science lab). The current students, who are pretty much exactly like me, won’t have that luxury.

I’m just plain angry now. There should be a special section of hell reserved for anyone who targets or frightens innocent children.

Another update: It seems Michael Demmons has picked up the story. And Ted Belman at Israpundit posted about it, and included an e-mail from Lori Anders, who was a grade ahead of me in high school. The Globe and Mail, Gazette, and La Presse all have plastered the story prominently on their front pages. And the AP story is being picked up off the wires by publications as remote as the Kansas City Star.

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Britain pledges to highlight cause of “forgotten” Jewish refugees

07.01.2003

In the midst of all the international attention being paid to the “plight” of the Palestinian refugees, the forgotten refugees are the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were driven out of Arab countries. Various groups and individuals, including Montrealer and Federal MP Irwin Cotler, have been fighting to educate people about them and to […]

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