Sunday I recieved a call from a casual acquaintance, inviting me to dinner to celebrate a visit home of a mutual friend in the Canadian military. I told her I’d love to come, our friend spent time on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and I could hardly wait to hear about it.
The response was cool. And then she volunteered her displeasure at Americans, and the Iraq war.
Globe and Mail – March 16
The chief said that 13 spots were vandalized with racist messages, letters of the alphabet and swastikas, some of them incorrectly drawn. Painted in black, the graffiti were left on garage doors, cars and front doors of homes.
Then she complained, “The jews are always trying to take over other countries.”
Ms. Bromberg said that the individuals vandalized only Jewish homes, leading her to believe that they understand enough about Jewish culture to recognize the traditional scroll-work on these house’s doors.
I asked her, “Oh? Which countries?”
One of these households included an elderly women who had lived through the Holocaust, she said.
“Israel”, she hesitated, not sure of the others. “It shouldn’t exist.”
“Imagine, as you will, the case of one of the individuals that called our hotline, a member of his household is actually a Holocaust survivor,” she said. “And she was the one, an elderly woman as you can imagine, opening the door to see swastikas on it. It’s shocking.”
“And where should the Israelis go?” I asked. “Would you just march them into the sea?”
But she added that the crime is an attack that will be felt by more than just the victims.
“No, it’s too late for that. But they should never have put them there in the first place.” She had clearly given this much thought. “You can’t just set up a country like that. In someone else’s country.”
“This is a crime that affects not only the individuals targeted but the whole community,” she said. “This has shaken the whole community to the core.”
“Why is that? Really? After the war, where were they supposed to go?” I asked. “And you do know that every country that exists came about through claiming of land possessed by someone who arrived earlier. Canada, for example. Why are your rules different for us than for Israel? ”
Chief La Barge echoed her comments.
Yes, she could certainly agree with that. We had stolen the land from the Indians.
“This is a crime that has many victims,” he said. “The prosecution of hate crimes can sometimes be difficult, but we are committed to bringing to justice those individuals that engage in this type of criminal and hurtful activity.”
“So, where should you and I go? I could go back to the British Isles and reclaim my ancestral land and restitution from the British who engineered the potato famine. Somebody should pay for that, don’t you think?” .
The chief said that the number of hate crimes reported in the jurisdiction jumped by 50 per cent from 2002 to 2003, climbing from 61 to 91. So far this year, not even a quarter done, there have 23 such incidents reported, the majority of them anti-Semitic.
She laughed nervously. And the subject changed.
It’s not the hate crimes that worry me.
It’s the hate thought that exists in places you never dreamed of.
(Outside The Beltway: traffic jam addition)