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      Anti-Semitism in Canada: Realities, Remedies, and
                Implications for Anti-Racism

                        Karen R. Mock

Many  involved  in  anti-racism work would  say  that  anti-
Semitism  is not racism and that it is not systemic  in  our
society; they argue that Jews, though they can be from  many
different  racial  backgrounds,  are  primarily  white   and
members  of the power structure, and thus cannot be  victims
of  racism.  While most Jews would acknowledge what  can  be
called  their  'white  privilege' in  a  racist  society,  I
believe  that there has been, and is currently,  a  powerful
racist  component  in anti-Semitism, and that  anti-Semitism
must thus be on the anti-racism agenda.

In  addition  to dealing with the present manifestations  of
anti-Semitism,  and possible responses to it,  this  chapter
will  attempt  to trace its history and its  change  from  a
primarily  religious  to a primarily racist  phenomenon.  An
understanding of the meaning and evolution of anti-Semitism,
and  of  its current expression in Canada, should help  make
clear the relationship of anti-Semitism to other expressions
of racism in our community.


                   What Is Anti-Semitism?

Anti-Semitism  can  be  defined  most  simply  as  hostility
directed  at  Jews  solely  because  they  are  Jews  (Anti-
Defamation  League  1989).  In spite  of  what  anti-Semites
profess,  anti-Semitism  is not caused  by  the  actions  or
beliefs  of  Jews, but rather is a result of  attitudes  and
behaviour that arise regardless of what Jews do or  believe.
Anti-Semites are antagonistic to Jews for who they  are  and
what  they  represent, and this antagonism  has  an  ancient

The  roots  of anti-Semitism go back to ancient times,  when
the  religion  of  the Jews first began to distinguish  them
from  their neighbours (Patterson 1982). Indeed,  the  roots
can  be  found  in  the  Hebrew Bible itself.  According  to
Schoeps (1963), 'the anti-Semitic polemic of the nations  of
the  world  goes back to early antiquity - to be  exact,  to
Haman's  vexation that here was a nation with laws differing
from  the  law of every nation.' While the other peoples  of
the  ancient Near East worshipped many gods, the Jews (first
called  Hebrews, then Israelites) had only one god, who  was
invisible, had delivered them from slavery in Egypt to their
land, and created the laws by which they lived. Unlike those
around  them,  the Jews regarded their God as so  holy  that
they refused to make statues or images of God, and dared not
speak God's name.

Although the term 'anti-Semitism' is only about one  hundred
years  old, the prejudice it describes was clear in writings
dating  from  as early as 300 BCE 1 Patterson (1982)  points
out   that  one  Alexandrian  writer  of  that  period  even
challenged the claim of the Jews that they had escaped  from
slavery  in  Egypt,  writing that  they  had  been  expelled
because  they were lepers. Alexandrian writers accused  Jews
of every imaginable offence, claiming they were traitors for
not  worshipping  the city gods, and even accusing  them  of
killing  human  beings  for religious  reasons  (a  practice
strictly  forbidden  in Judaism, even during  the  times  of
sacrificial cults). Apion, living in the third century  BCE,
was  the first to accuse the Jews of ritual murder, a charge
that  was  to be repeated, often with disastrous effects  on
Jewish communities, in later centuries.

Jewish  monotheism continued to clash with the  polytheistic
practices of Rome and other cultures. When Jews were granted
certain rights to practise their religion, resentment  would
often  increase,  many  in  the  population  labelling  them
'clannish'  or  even 'hostile.' Foremost among  Roman  anti-
Semites  was  the  historian Tacitus. Patterson  notes  that
Tacitus called Jewish religious practices 'rites contrary to
those  of  all  other  men'  and  claimed  that  they   were
'sinister, shameful and have survived only because of  their
perversity'  (1982: 6). Patterson goes on  to  suggest  that
'like  most anti-Semites then and later, [Tacitus]  did  not
seem  to know very much about Judaism, and was certain  that
Jews  worshipped  donkeys which they  consecrated  in  their
temples.'  In 135 AD (CE), Jews were barred from their  holy
city, Jerusalem, and could only approach as far as the outer
wall  of  the  temple (the Wailing Wall, now  known  as  the
Western  Wall).  The Roman emperor banned circumcision,  and
passed  laws  to  isolate the Jews  even  further,  just  as
Christianity was beginning to spread through the empire.

             The Christian Roots of Anti-Semitism

A  detailed history and analysis of the evolution  of  anti-
Semitism  is  beyond  the scope of this  chapter,  but  some
mention of the role of the Christian church is essential.

Jesus  was  a  Jew,  faithful to the law of  Moses  and  the
teachings of the prophets. He was called 'Rabbi';  his  last
words on the cross were from the psalms. Like other Jews who
were religious nationalists, the Roman government considered
Jesus  a  threat because of his preaching and the increasing
size  of his following. On Jesus' Passover trip to Jerusalem
the  Roman procurator ordered his arrest and execution.  His
followers,  the  Nazarenes, continued  to  practise  Judaism
until  many years later, when Paul, who had never met Jesus,
transformed  his teachings, removed most of the  traditional
Jewish practices, and laid the foundation for a Christianity
that  became  separate from and hostile to the very  Judaism
out  of  which  it  emerged. By the time  the  Gospels  were
written   they   reflected  this  increasing  bias   against
traditional Judaism, and told the story of Jesus in  such  a
way  that  it  seemed the real enemies of  Jesus  were  not-
Gentiles, or even the Romans who put him to death,  but  the
Jews.  With each successive author of the Gospels, the  Jews
were   increasingly,   though  falsely,   painted   as   the
persecutors of Jesus and those who drove him to  his  death.
According  to  Patterson (1982) it  was  in  this  way  that
hostility against the Jewish mainstream resulting  from  the
fierce  competition  in  the  first  century  between  early
Christianity  and  Judaism  (or,  until  Paul,  between  two
different sects of Judaism) became a permanent part  of  the
Christian Bible and later of Christian teaching and ritual.

Thus,  generations of Christians to this day have  grown  up
influenced by the negative pictures of Jews painted in these
scriptures (and literally painted as menacing stereotypes of
evil  in frescos and murals on church walls) - sources  that
many  Christians,  with  no  understanding  of  either   the
historical context or the historical facts, consider  to  be
sacred and infallible accounts of history.

              Anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages

Repetitive  cycles  of  pogroms, expulsions,  and  massacres
throughout  the ages continued to isolate Jews, making  them
increasingly  fearful and suspicious of the Christian  world
that  surrounded them, and forcing them to cling  even  more
strongly   to  their  faith  for  survival.  The   Crusaders
massacred tens of thousands. England expelled them  in  1290
and France in 1306, with many German towns shortly following
suit.   They  were  slaughtered  in  retaliation  for  their
rumoured  causing  of the Black Death in Europe,  and  there
were  countless  burnings at the stake  for  alleged  ritual

In  spite  of  forced  conversions in  Spain,  the  killings
continued there because of suspicions of 'bad blood' and  of
the   secret  practice  of  Judaism.  The  Inquisition   saw
thousands  burned  at the stake or abused,  imprisoned,  and
stripped of their property ('More than one pyre blazed;  and
the  blood sacrifices of the Inquisition are without number'
[Schoeps 1963: 36]). Spain and Portugal expelled all Jews in
1492  under penalty of death. Some were welcomed  in  Turkey
and   Italy.  Continued  persecutions  and  expulsions  from
Germany and other western European countries meant that  the
only  safe havens for Jews were Poland, Lithuania,  Galicia,
and the Ukraine, until the Ukrainian Cossacks ravaged Poland
and  destroyed seven hundred Jewish communities in 1648. The
surviving  remnants  found their way back  to  some  of  the
western  European countries, including Germany,  where  they
lived  under lock and key in walled ghettos. Those  who  did
not  go to the cities remained impoverished in small farming
villages in Eastern Europe.

Enforced  segregation  strengthened  Jewish  solidarity  and
devotion  to religious study, but it isolated Jews from  the
larger society and made them objects of ridicule. They  were
no  longer feared as a danger to Christian society, but were
demeaned  in  art  and literature, reviled in  sermons,  and
mocked in public. Locked up in ghettos and isolated in rural
towns,  they  were closed off from the effects  of  sweeping
political,  cultural,  and religious  changes  that  brought
Europe  into  the  modern  era  between  the  sixteenth  and
eighteenth  centuries.  Moreover,  Martin  Luther  and   his
followers  continued to preach a virulent anti-Semitism.  It
is  not surprising that the first-large scale Nazi pogrom  -
'Kristallnacht' in November 1938 'was performed in honour of
the  anniversary of Luther's birthday' (Hay  1950:169).  The
widespread  use  of  the printing press contributed  to  the
flooding of Europe with anti-Semitic pamphlets and books.

So-called  enlightened philosophers advocated  equal  rights
for  all  people, but advised Jews to abandon their  customs
and  merge with the Christian majority. Voltaire, an  avowed
Jew-hater, wrote that they were the 'enemies of mankind' and
were  fully deserving of all the persecutions and  massacres
that  came  their  way. Nevertheless, the Enlightenment  was
ultimately  beneficial  for  Jews.  Its  emphasis  on  equal
rights, and the French and American revolutions, led to  the
Jews'  emancipation from the ghettos to take their  part  as
'equals' in European society.

                   Anti-Semitism as Racism
Emancipation  was a mixed blessing for the Jews.  Previously
denied  the  vote,  land  ownership,  or  access  to  trade,
industry,  or  education,  they  were  now  permitted   both
citizenship  and  access to the benefits it  conferred  Such
benefits,  however,  did  not give  Jews  equality.  Rather,
Jewish  progress inflamed anti-Semitism. Fear and hatred  of
Jews  festered and took on a racial rather than a  religious
dimension. That is, Jews were now resented simply for  being
Jews,  and  even changing their religion did not  help.  The
modern age of 'racial anti-Semitism' had arrived.

As  the  1988 document prepared by the Pontifical Commission
of  the  Vatican,  'The Church and Racism,'  indicates,  the
development  of modern racist theory can be  traced  to  the
attempts  by  colonial conquerors and  slavers  to  'justify
their  actions.'  This pseudo-scientific theory  'sought  to
deduce  an  essential difference of a hereditary  biological
nature,  in  order  to  affirm that the  subjugated  peoples
belong  to  intrinsically inferior "races"  with  regard  to
their mental, moral, or social qualities. It was at the  end
of  the  18th century that the word "race" was used for  the
first time to classify human beings biologically' (sect.  3,
para. 5)

It  did not take long for European racial theorists to apply
such  ideology to the traditional 'other' in their  midst  -
the Jews. Leading the way were some of the principal figures
of  the so-called Enlightenment, such as Voltaire, who  held
that  Jews  could not be assimilated into European  culture.
From  the perspective of the secular theoreticians of  race,
there  simply was no solution to 'the Jewish problem.'  Jews
were  now  no  longer simply 'reprobates' or  'unbelievers.'
They were subhuman.

Racial  anti-Semitism had considerable  acceptance  in  pre-
Second   World   War   Germany.   The   National   Socialist
totalitarian  party made racist ideology the  basis  of  its
program  to  eliminate  all those deemed  to  belong  to  an
'inferior race,' among whom were Jews, Blacks, and Slavs. As
Fisher (1990) points out, one had only to re-define a  group
out of the category of 'human' in order to lose all bonds of
moral  hesitancy on what a dominant group could or would  do
to a minority group.

While  the  situation in pre-Nazi Germany seems remote  from
Canada  in the nineties, the rise in anti-Semitism  and  the
strengthening of right wing hate groups across  the  country
permit  analogies to be drawn. One is the connection between
hate propaganda  and the rise in racism and anti-Semitism.

                 Hate Propaganda and Racism

Hate  propaganda is unabashedly racist. It portrays selected
groups  as inferior, as less than human, while at  the  same
time  undermining  the norms and values of  a  society.  The
targets  of  racist  hate  propaganda  are  the  traditional
objects  of  prejudice  and  stereotyping,  who  are   often
characterized as taking advantage of the rest of society and
posing a threat that must be removed. Hate mongering, now as
always,  finds its most receptive audience among  those  who
are  looking  for  someone  to  blame  for  their  problems.
Difficult economic times inevitably lead to this pattern  of
scapegoating,  and  any identifiable minority  group  is  at
risk. At such risk are many Canadians today.

As  we  have seen, Jews have been the traditional scapegoats
throughout  the history of the Western world. Indeed,  anti-
Semitism  can be considered the prototype of racism.  Denied
citizenship,   the  vote,  land  ownership,   housing,   and
employment,  Jews  have  been blamed  for  the  Plague,  for
partnership   with  the  Devil,  for  ritual   murder,   for
international  economic and political  conspiracy,  and  for
every form of economic, social, and political upheaval.  The
proliferation of hate propaganda, in the form  of  speeches,
pamphlets, brochures, and stereotyped cartoons and  'jokes,'
was  usually the prelude to pogroms or expulsions. The  most
dramatic  example of the impact of hate propaganda  was,  of
course,  the  Holocaust.  The  Nazi  dissemination  of  hate
propaganda and the promotion of hatred against Jews  was  so
successful  that  many  peoples across  Europe  participated
enthusiastically  in the - Nazi attempts  to  systematically
murder them.

There are more subtle implications. Hate propaganda promotes
a  negative  self-image in members of  the  targeted  group,
often   to   the  point  of  self-hatred  and  feelings   of
worthlessness.   Individuals  may  try  to  assimilate   and
'disappear'  as an identifiable group, though  hate  mongers
would  suggest that this is impossible. According to  avowed
racists  and white supremacists, the minority traits  always
remain  as  a contaminant of the society or pure  race,  and
must  therefore  be eliminated to whatever extent  possible.
How  well individuals and groups tolerate such abuse depends
on the strength of one's self-image and on the group support
available. But the effect of singling out the group from the
rest  of society achieves the hate monger's goal, regardless
of the personal effects on the group and its members. As Ian
Kagedan  (1991) has pointed out, even when the  audience  is
unreceptive,  hate propaganda can do damage  by  playing  on
people's  doubts  and fears, feeding on misconceptions,  and
increasing the barriers to understanding.

Hate   propaganda  contributes  to  disunity   in   society,
compromises democratic values, and maintains inequality  and
oppression. It is ironic that hate propagandists  are  among
the  most outspoken advocates of free-speech, while they use
that  freedom to deny others their freedom. Hate  propaganda
is  most  certainly  not  a free speech  issue.  It  is  the
promotion  of hatred against an identifiable group,  and  in
Canada  it  is  against  the law. Legislation  against  hate
mongering existed in pre-Hitler Germany, but because it  was
not enforced, racism and anti-Semitism went

    Hate Propaganda and Anti-Semitism: Canadian Realities

Racism  and  hate  propaganda have long  been  part  of  the
Canadian  experience.  Many European  settlers  and  clerics
held, and propagated, the view that Aboriginal peoples  were
intellectually  or morally inferior to white  Europeans,  or
that  they were damned because they were outside the  limits
of  the Eurocentric religious vision. These views were often
used  to  justify the abuses perpetrated on Native  peoples.
Some of those abuses continue to this day. This campaign  of
dehumanization,  detribalization,  and  marginalization  has
been  enormously  effective. It has largely prevented  those
who  committed  the  abuses from  being  punished,  and  has
resulted  in profound despair amongst Native Canadians.  The
high   rates  of  suicide  and  alcoholism  in  many  Native
communities are a direct consequence of the racist attitudes
that have prevailed for almost half a millennium.

In  addition  to  the  racist attitudes  towards  the  First
Nations,  there was rampant anti-Semitism in Canada's  early
history.  This is not surprising considering that the  early
immigrants   to   this  country  brought   with   them   the
intellectual baggage of Europe, where Jew-hatred was  a  way
of life. Regular attacks on Judaism and the Jewish community
appeared  in  "Semaine religieuse de Quebec"  and  in  other
religious   publications,  and  the  infamous   anti-Semitic
forgery,  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was  promoted
by  various  religious leaders in Canada. From 1910  through
the 1940s prominent Canadians like Edouard Plamandon, Adrian
Arcand,  Goldwin Smith, Henri Bourassa, and  Mackenzie  King
were  associated  with virulent anti-Semitism,  taking  such
stands  as  justifying  Russian pogroms  against  the  Jews,
openly praising Hitler, and denying safety in Canada to Jews
fleeing  Nazi  persecution. During this  period  many  other
minority  groups  were also victimized by  hate  propaganda,
most notably the Sikhs and Chinese.

Canada also witnessed the rise of hate groups during the pre-
war years. The 1920s and 1930s saw the development of the Ku
Klux  Klan and the formation of the Western Guard and  Aryan
Nations (Barrett 1987). Such groups promoted hatred against,
among  others,  Catholics, Blacks,  and  Jews.  It  was  not
uncommon  in  those days to see signs along the  beaches  or
other  'restricted' areas in Toronto or Montreal  that  read
'No Dogs or Jews Allowed.'

There  was  a  postwar  decline in overt  racism  and  anti-
Semitism  in  Canada.  However,  with  recent  increases  in
immigration,  the  reduction  of  systemic  racism  in   the
immigration regulations, and the development of policies  of
multiculturalism and bilingualism, there has been an upsurge
in  hate-group  activity and hate propaganda. Recently,  the
Klan  has  been implicated in the anti-Mohawk  agitation  in
Quebec;  Klan  propaganda  has  been  distributed  in   some
Montreal schools and the Eastern Townships; anti-immigration
white-supremacist  telephone  'hate  lines'  have  attracted
attention  in  Vancouver,  Winnipeg,  and  Toronto;   racist
skinheads have rallied regularly and have been implicated in
or convicted of a number of racially motivated crimes; there
have  been  various KKK-style cross-burnings; and  Holocaust
denial has become a new form of anti-Semitism in schools and
public venues across the country There is evidence of active
recruitment by racist organizations of young people in  high

The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith began documenting
reported  incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism and harassment
in  1982.  Over  the last several years  there  has  been  a
dramatic increase; the 1993 total was the highest in  twelve
years,  and represented a 200-per-cent increase since  1988.
In  1994 there were 290 reported incidents of harassment and
vandalism,  representing a 12 per cent  increase  over  1993
This  was  the highest number-of such incidents reported  by
the  League in thirteen years of documentation. The League's
annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents serves as a barometer
of  racism  in  Canada. Members of the Black,  Chinese,  and
South  Asian communities also report an increase  in  racism
directed towards their communities, and both the increase in
the  number of cases before the Human Rights Commission  and
the  courts and reports from various multicultural and anti-
racist  organizations, as well as statistics  from  recently
created police hatecrimes units, corroborate our findings.

Yet  another  disturbing trend has emerged in recent  years.
There  are  more  reports  both  of  anti-Semitic  workplace
harassment    and   of   the   indefinable    feelings    of
marginalization  and  alienation that  occur  when  systemic
discrimination  exists. This kind of anti-Semitism  is  much
more  difficult  to  document  and  to  resolve  than  overt
incidents, but the emotional stress and personal anguish are


I believe that there is no one effective way to fight hatred
and  hate mongering, but that we can and should use whatever
strategies we have at our disposal. The three most important
tools  we  can  use  are  the  law,  community  action,  and

                 Anti-Racism Remedies in Law
Hate propaganda, defined as 'the promotion of hatred against
identifiable groups,' became a criminal offence in Canada in
1970, when laws against it were adopted as amendments to the
Criminal Code (sections 318-320). In that same year,  Canada
ratified the International Convention on the Elimination  of
All  Forms of Racial Discrimination, which had been  adopted
by the UN in 1965 and signed by Canada in 1966. The Canadian
Human  Rights  Act and various provincial human-rights  acts
also  address the issue of hate propaganda. While the League
for Human Rights and several other organizations, as well as
many  studies  and  commissions, have  proposed  changes  to
strengthen the effectiveness of the existing legislation  (a
summary  and analysis of which are beyond the scope  of  the
present chapter), there is almost universal agreement on the
need for effective laws to deal with hate propaganda.

The  catalyst  for  such  legislation  was  undoubtedly  the
Holocaust.  It  showed the world that unchecked  racism  and
hate  propaganda  could  lead even  a  highly  educated  and
cultured society to justify the most heinous crimes  against

The  Canadian  anti-hate laws in the Criminal Code  are  the
result  of  years  of debate concerning the balance  between
individual and group rights. The premise underlying Canada's
hate-propaganda  laws  is  that  in  a  democratic   society
identifiable  groups  must  be  protected  against   racism,
including  its  verbal manifestation, so that those  groups'
basic  freedoms  and  thereby their  full  participation  in
Canadian  society are not limited. This notion is  not  only
consistent  with  our  international  obligation  under  the
United Nations Convention, but is based on our vision  of  a
multicultural society, a vision entrenched in  the  Canadian
Bill of Rights (1960) and articulated clearly in the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms (1982), sections 15 and 27.

Keegstra  in  Alberta and Andrews and Smith in Ontario  were
charged  and  convicted  under  the  hate-propaganda   laws.
Although the respective provincial Courts of Appeal  reached
opposite conclusions on the constitutionality of section  19
of  the  Charter,  in  1990  the Supreme  Court  upheld  the
constitutionality of the hate-propaganda legislation, albeit
by  the  narrowest majority. Concern for the values inherent
in  sections 15 and 27 of the Charter, and for those in  the
international  agreements to which Canada  is  a  signatory,
played   a   significant  role  in  that   decision,   which
underscored  the  need  to  preserve  the  delicate  balance
between  individual and group rights that is the mark  of  a
free and democratic society.

There are those who insist that taking hate mongers to court
gives  them  a  platform,  and  who  thus  discourage   such
prosecutions and their attendant publicity. Such  detractors
need  to be reminded that had the hate laws on the books  in
pre-Nazi  Germany been implemented with effective penalties,
the  hate propaganda that led to the most violent racism  in
history  might have been halted. It is essential to continue
to  prosecute hate mongers and to impose penalties that will
serve  as  deterrents.  When the  Alberta  Court  of  Appeal
overturned  the  Keegstra decision,  there  was  a  dramatic
increase in hate-group activity and in the dissemination  of
hate propaganda in Western Canada. By the same token, it  is
possible  that the recent decline in the severity  of  anti-
Semitic  incidents is a direct result of the Supreme Court's
decision,  of  the  increased  awareness  and  vigilance  of
police, and of longer sentences for those convicted.

Community Action Against Racism and Anti-Semitism The League
for  Human Rights of B'nai Brith encourages legal action  to
combat  hate  propaganda, but has also  demonstrated  during
recent   years  that  coordinated  community   response   is
effective  in fighting racism. In 1989 the first Canada  Day
Aryan  Fest  took place in Minden, Ontario. The citizens  of
Minden  stood up against racism with a campaign  spearheaded
by  Reverend Edward Moll of the United Church, supported  by
the  Minden Times and the League for Human Rights, all under
the supervision of the local police. The League assisted the
residents  to  create  a human-rights committee  to  develop
local policies and guidelines to combat hate mongers in  the

A  year  later,  the  1990 Canada Day Aryan  Fest  attracted
close to 250 skinheads and white supremacists to Metcalfe, a
small  town near Ottawa. The League gathered a multicultural
coalition  of concerned citizens to rally against racism  on
the  steps of the Parliament Buildings and to march  out  to
the   property  to  protest  the  rise  of  racism  and  the
distribution  of  hate propaganda. Once  again,  the  police
monitored  the activities of the racists, and  the  League's
presence  was  felt. Because of the adverse  publicity,  the
property  owners  did  not allow the white  supremacists  to
return  the  following year. Instead, the League  for  Human
Rights   sponsored   a   Multicultural   Anti-racist   Youth
Leadership  Camp, and made anti-racism, rather than  racism,
newsworthy.  Young people learned how to  stand  up  against
racism in their schools and community organizations.

In  1992  in  Toronto, the Heritage Front  opened  an  anti-
immigration  'hate-line'  that  included  racist   diatribes
against  the Black and Native communities. They spread  hate
pamphlets    throughout   Toronto's    downtown    Riverdale
neighbourhood  to  recruit members.  The  League  for  Human
Rights responded to a request for help by assisting with the
filing  of  a  complaint  with  the  Canadian  Human  Rights
Commission  (similar to one filed by the League against  the
KKK  in  Winnipeg)  and  by putting  a  group  of  concerned
citizens  in  touch with the police, the Urban  Alliance  on
Race Relations, the Native Canadian Centre, and others.

Neighbourhood  Watch  issued  a  counter-pamphlet,  advising
their neighbours to report any suspicious people and to take
action against efforts at recruitment, particularly of young
people.  An  ad  hoc working group, calling itself  Citizens
Against  Racism, met regularly and planned a 'Rally  Against
Racism' to commemorate March 21st, the International Day for
the  Elimination of Racism. A rainbow coalition of  speakers
from  the  First Nations, Black, Chinese, Jewish,  and  Sikh
communities,  among others, exemplified--the  motto  on  the
B'nai Brith banner: 'We will not be silent.'

Coordinated  community action not only raises awareness  and
increases  vigilance, but it also reduces fear and  promotes
security and solidarity in the fight against racism and anti-

              Anti-Racism Education Is the Key
The  battle against racism and anti-Semitism will ultimately
be    won   through   increased   efforts   to   incorporate
multicultural,  anti-racist, and human-rights  education  in
our schools and to start this training as early as possible.
Many  school  boards  have  race  and  ethnocultural  equity
policies  on  the books, but lack of in-service training  of
teachers and administrators often leaves staff powerless  in
knowing  how  to handle incidents of racism,  and  may  even
result  in  the staff being as much part of the  problem  as
part  of  the  solution. There is a need for  education  and
awareness  at  every level of the educational  system,  from
early   childhood  through  post-secondary,  from  teachers'
federations to the ministries and departments of  education.
Students  must  be  helped to standup to racism  instead  of
being either victims or perpetrators of harassment. Teachers
must  be given the skills to identify and handle expressions
of  racism  and to develop a curriculum that  is  both  pro-
active  and anti-racist. We must turn Holocaust denial  into
Holocaust  education, and cries of 'reverse  discrimination'
into  advocacy  for organizational change,  employment,  and
educational equity.

Through  human-rights and anti-racism workshops, the  League
has  seen  children's behaviour change;  its  Student  Human
Rights  Achievement Awards have demonstrated what  they  are
capable   of   understanding.  Organizations   are   clearly
grappling   with  change  through  policy  development   and
implementation.  The  effective  leadership   of   dedicated
principals, teachers, managers, and workers is evident.  But
there  has also been tremendous resistance and backlash.  We
have a long way to go.

But  there  is room for optimism Recently the Ontario  Anti-
Racism  Secretariat of the Ministry of Citizenship  declared
unequivocally  that  anti-Semitism is  on  its  agenda.  The
Secretariat is increasing its networking efforts with  local
police to monitor hate-group activity, and has published the
League  for  Human Right's 'Combatting Hate'  guidelines  on
actions to be taken against racism and anti-Semitism,  along
with the League's Incident Reporting Form, which is designed
to  encourage  groups to work together and to  come  forward
without fear to report racist and anti-Semitic incidents.

The  Department  of Immigration has recently  prevented  the
notorious  Holocaust  denier,  David  Irving  from  entering
Canada  for  his annual hate-promoting tour. The  Solicitor-
General  has  issued guidelines for gathering statistics  on
racially  motivated  crime,  and  policing  services  across
Canada  are  creating  hate-crimes  units  to  monitor  such
crimes,  assist  victims appropriately, and  conduct  public
education in schools, on campus, and throughout communities.
The  Ontario  minister  of education  agreed  to  thoroughly
investigate Paul Fromm - a known white supremacist and  neo-
Nazi  who has hurled racial slurs against Aboriginal peoples
at  public meetings, whose hero is Hitler (he has celebrated
his  birthday at a meeting of the Heritage Front),  and  who
continues to teach history and English for the Peel Board of
Education  (though  he  has  been  taken  from  the  regular
classroom and placed in adult education). There are signs of
progress, however slow.


Is  anti-Semitism racism? Yes and no. Attacks  against  Jews
come  from  two  distinct  sources,  religious  and  racial.
Therefore,  the word 'racism' is not wholly applicable;  but
neither  is  the term 'religious intolerance' sufficient.[3]
Clearly, neither the attacks nor the basis on which they are
made are acceptable. Though it is true that people of colour
are  more  often  subjected to racist attacks  and  systemic
discrimination than are Jews (regardless of their colour  or
their  visibility by virtue of dress), it is also true that,
because  of  its  religious dimension, the  hatred  directed
against  Jews  differs  from that directed  against  visible
minorities.  But racism is racism, and, as has been  pointed
out, racism has been, and continues to be, a clear component
of  anti-Semitism.  Coming up with a satisfactorily  precise
term  for discrimination against Jews may be difficult,  but
the  accepted term is anti-Semitism That it is a consequence
of racist hatemongering is not in question.

And  racism  is  rarely  limited to one  group.  It  usually
doesn't  come in the singular. Someone who is anti-Black  is
also   likely   to  be  anti-Jewish.  If  a  school   system
marginalizes children of colour, it is not likely to have an
inclusive  curriculum that values children of all religions.
When we have both individual and systemic discrimination  to
fight,   quibbling   over  terminology   is   divisive   and
destructive. It's time to stop arguing about the wording and
to  get down to ending racism, anti-Semitism, and all  forms
of  discrimination once and for all. Policies and  practices
designed  to  eliminate  racism  must  also  be  applied  to
eliminating  anti-Semitism and to raising awareness  of  its
continuing existence - in order to eradicate it.

We can look back to our own past and to world history to see
how  far we've come, but let us recognize that we still have
a  way  to go. Legislation and enforcement have taken  us  a
long  way,  and will continue to be essential in the  battle
against  racism and anti-Semitism Because of  our  laws  and
codes,  the restrictive signs on our beaches are  gone.  But
legislation is never enough. Community action and  education
will reduce prejudice and promote understanding and unity. I
believe  that we will overcome hatred and bigotry only  when
the  vision that to be Canadian is to be part of a  uniquely
multicultural society is universally shared.

1. Since BC means 'before Christ,' and AD 'anno Domini,' the
year  of our Lord, it has become inclusive practice  to  use
the  abbreviations BCE (Before the Common Era) and  CE  (the
Common Era).

2.  Portions  of this section have been adapted from:  Karen
Mock  'Combatting Hate - Canadian Realities  and  Remedies,'
Canadian Human Rights Forum (Ottawa), Summer 1992.

3.  This  concept is elaborated in Lorne Shipman  and  Karen
Mock,  'It's  Time  to  Stop Playing with  Words  and  Fight
Racism,' Canadian Jewish News, February 1992

Karen  R. Mock, Ph D, is the national director of the League
for  Human  Rights of B'nai Brith Canada, a national  agency
dedicated  to  combating racism and  bigotry.  A  registered
psychologist,   she   specializes  in   human   development,
interpersonal  communication,  multiculturalism,  and   race
relations,  and lectures, conducts research,  seminars,  and
workshops,  as  well  as publishing in these  areas.  Before
joining  the  League, Mock worked as a consultant  and,  for
twenty  years,  in  teacher education at the  University  of
Toronto,   Ryerson   Polytechnical  University,   and   York
University. Currently, she oversees research on hate  groups
and  anti-Semitism in Canada, intercultural  and  interfaith
dialogue,  and related issues in education and the  criminal
justice  system. Mock is the past president of  the  Ontario
Multicultural Association, a former member of the  board  of
the  Urban Alliance on Race Relations, and past chair of the
Canadian Multiculturalism Advisory Committee.

                         Work Cited

James, Carl E. Ed. Perspectives on Racism and the Human
Services Sector: A Case for Change. Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1996. Chapter 6

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