The Toronto Jewish community is responding to the two mosque shootings in New Zealand as it did after the shooting at the Quebec mosque in January, 2017. Beside expressions of sympathy and condolences, the community is participating in Rings of Peace events. Toronto Muslims participated in similar events around many Toronto-area shuls after the Tree of Life shooting in October.
Whenever I am attacked publicly, even unfairly, by a member of our community, my inclination is to let it pass. A vigourous response may only inflame passions and further divide the Jewish community. However, sometimes an attack is so inaccurate that a response is required for fear that silence will imply that I have no defense and the charges have some merit.
The details of the shootings in New Zealand are still coming in but it is not too soon to see they fit a pattern. The shooters chose a time and a place where people feel safest and that is sure to create maximum outrage in the larger community. The murderers not only show hatred for the innocent victims but for society as a whole.
JSpaceCanada’s recent press release on the prospect of Otzma Yehudit joining the Knesset was cited by Canadian Jewish News Editor Yoni Goldstein in an update on the Israeli election. JSpaceCanada was mentioned in the context of nearly universal condemnation by Diaspora organizations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to merge the Jewish Home party with the far right Otzma Yehudit party. Its ideology is based on the ultra-nationalist teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane.