This morning I started the day with Toronto's Number One morning man, John Oakley, on AM640. Most of the conversation stayed on the heavy side of Gaza and related matters, although right at the end we did attend to the shocking news that soccer players in the upcoming ladies' World Cup say that having to play on artificial grass is a violation of their human rights. As Petula Clark sang, "The Soccer Man's Grass Is Always Greener".
Click below to listen:
~John and I discussed the Arab Street, the European Street, and the Canadian Street, on which cries of "Heil Hitler!" have been heard and support for Ayatollah Khomeini has been expressed. It is, alas, necessary to add the Australian Street:
JEWISH children as young as five were subjected to a terrifying racial attack when thugs stormed their school bus and threatened to slit their throats.
Screaming "Kill the Jews" and "Heil Hitler" the louts jumped on the bus packed with about 30 students, from kindergarten to year 12, who were on their way home from school yesterday.
One of my favorite moments of my 2006 Australian tour was the big shindig at Old Parliament House with half the federal cabinet in attendance. At the end of the speech, I was shooting the breeze with my favorite Foreign Minister, the great Alexander Downer, when a half-dozen pretty young ladies from AIJAC came up and asked if they could have a photo taken with us. "Of course," said the minister, and they all clustered round us until Nick Minchin, the Finance Minister and Government Leader in the Senate, told us to break it up, and quit carrying on like a couple of aging rock stars with the cute Jewish girls.
Except, of course, that, if we were elderly rockers like Elvis Costello, we'd probably be ostentatiously bragging about how we were boycotting Israel.
By comparison with France et al, Australia seemed relatively immune from the resurgence of anti-Semitism. I would be interested to know more about the nature of these schoolchildren's attackers.
Meanwhile, at Britain's biggest supermarket chain, Tesco (founded by Jews, as it happens), a woman gets shortchanged and is told by the clerk:
It's only 40p… You Jews have enough money.
I've spent enough time in Northern Ireland and the Balkans and all kinds of other places to have a high degree of tolerance for casual prejudice. And I'm old enough to remember when English schoolboys said things like, "Hey, you jewed me out of thruppence-ha'penny." And I wouldn't have attached any particular significance to the above remark in, say, the Seventies. But today it seems a minor but disturbing consequence of the bigger picture, which is not merely the delegitimization of the Jewish state but in a more profound sense the delegitimization of Jewish identity. So that the question mark over your "right to exist" now extends even unto the most routine supermarket transaction.
~Tomorrow, south of the border, I'll be keeping my weekly radio date with Hugh Hewitt coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.