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What can we learn from Antisemitic Incidents in Canada?

If it (only) looks like antisemitism, walks very similar to antisemitism & quacks only slightly different from antisemitism, then it is probably the Jewish Erasure

A Canadian friend recently attempted to celebrate Hanukkah by placing a menorah at the University of Alberta, only for the administration to ban all holiday symbols rather than grant this basic request for representation. A different Canadian friend, a professor at a university in Toronto, shared with me that her labour union is supporting an event called “Labour Against Apartheid.” On the face of it, those two incidents, while disturbing, do not amount to blatant antisemitism. 

Menorah with too many candles and the Canadian flag

Examining contemporary ideological distortions reveals how academic theories and social polarization fuel modern hard-to-detect-new-blends of antisemitism – “the Jewish Erasure”.  

Behind such failures lies the expanding influence of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its derivatives' flawed oppressor-oppressed binaries. Under the influence of CRT, Jews are frequently cast as "white privileged oppressors." This perception of Jews as whites leads to what when I was leading the Reut Institute we called “the Jewish erasure” (see here). Namely, discrimination and bias, often not rooted in hate, but rather based on the perception of Jews as whites. For example, the erosion of urgency around antisemitism in the mainstream in Canada and the US.  The Jewish erasure enters even the K12 curriculum in the US, framing Israel as a colonial regime.  

A Jewish erasure is when the union of my Canadian friend allowed itself to participate in an event that morally supports the genocidal and antisemitic organization Hamas, while ignoring that there are certainly a number of Jews in the organization.

A Jewish erasure is when basic Jewish symbols like the menorah are perceived as a provocative nationalist act, which caused the University of Alberta to simply ignore my friend’s request to place a Menorah on Campus. 

A Jewish erasure is when south of the Canadian border, the Presidents of Ivy League universities stated that calling for the genocide of Jews shouldn’t be categorically banned, as interpretation depends on context.

The appalling moral disturbance of the Jewish erasure also creates opportunities to reinforce moral clarity by fostering greater empathy for Jewish history and Israel's dilemmas through bridge-building and education with allies of conscience.


Doing so is essential to restoring fact-based discourse against ideologies twisting language and truth into propaganda. We all have a duty to call out such failures before dishonest frameworks irreversibly corrupt civil society.


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