Opinion: By no means once more is now — The necessity to denounce antisemitism and hatred

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On Oct. 7, Hamas — an internationally designated terrorist group — murdered, tortured and raped greater than 1,400 Israeli residents whereas taking a whole bunch extra hostage. Girls, aged, infants, kids, adults — there was no discriminating. The brutality of the act is meaningless not just for our personal Jewish group, however for anybody with a way of humanity.

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The extent of cruelty demonstrated to the world who Hamas is. Their true face was there for all to see, their aim of murdering Jews and destroying Israel was on full show.

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Inside 48 hours, Jews have been compelled to shift our grief to concern, and that concern continues to develop. As an alternative of help and allyship for the atrocities endured and as a substitute of a united condemnation for the hatred our group is experiencing, we’re witnessing a lot of the Calgary group sit in silence. This response is baffling — and terrifying.

On Oct. 13, Hamas declared the Day of Jihad. Mere days after the terrors in Israel, our native Jewish group was confronted with making an inconceivable resolution whether or not to ship our youngsters to daycare or college, whether or not to attend night synagogue companies for prayer, whether or not we may safely go to the grocery retailer.

And each weekend since, our group experiences offended, aggressive, anti-Israel protests that explicitly name for the eradication of Jews.

This shouldn’t be Calgary. This isn’t OK.

Calgary prides itself on its multicultural id. We’ve got elected officers from all cultures and backgrounds. But, few of those people have acknowledged the fear assaults, the hostages or the following outright hatred being spewed at us.

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I write this not for sympathy. Our group is powerful and resilient and continues to exhibit this. I write this for individuals who wrestle with what you may say or do. I write this as a result of silence is complicity. Our group doesn’t want pity, we want help. We’d like your voice.

To be clear, the hate and concern we’re experiencing isn’t political strife. As Jews, we help Palestinians and acknowledge they’re additionally victims of the Hamas regime. For many years, Palestinians have been compelled by the dictatorship of the Hamas authorities to reside in squalor, their very own kids used as human shields throughout conflict. Nonetheless, not like the protests we see weekly in opposition to our group, our personal gatherings don’t name for his or her ache or homicide.

The threats, the indicators calling for our extermination, the concern invoked in our group — this isn’t about Israel. Many Calgarians who’ve by no means as soon as protested for every other nation are out of the blue leaping on the anti-Jewish wagon with out second thought. They go to rallies, name for our loss of life after which declare it’s not antisemitism.

If you’re questioning in case you ought to denounce the hate, ask your self — how would you’re feeling in case you have been scared to ship your little one to highschool? How would you’re feeling in case you wanted to take away cultural symbols from your house to keep away from being acknowledged? How would you’re feeling understanding college college students attend campuses the place professors and college students brazenly rationalize the vicious murders of kids and infants?

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Near 80 years in the past, the world stood by whereas six million Jews perished within the Holocaust as a result of antisemitism, and the identical world vowed “by no means once more.”

The explosion of antisemitism in our metropolis requires all first rate Calgarians — no matter their political opinions — to sentence this barrage of plain hatred. If not for our group who lives and works alongside you, then for what is correct for humanity.

The concept that Jews are the dangerous guys when greater than 200 individuals — together with 30 kids — are being held captive by Hamas after being dragged from their houses is totally backwards.

We’re grateful for the courageous Calgarians who’ve reached out and, extra importantly, publicly used their voice in help. Thanks.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of members from our metropolis council, our provincial MLAs, federal MPs, different non secular and cultural teams and members of broader Calgary have chosen to be quiet.

By no means once more is now.

Lisa Libin is president of the Calgary Jewish Federation, an umbrella group devoted to the protection and vitality of the Jewish group.

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