I am pro-Israel and proud of it, and I am pro-Palestine and proud of it. I favour a two-state solution. I wanna to see Israel live in peace and prosperity; I wanna see the Palestinian people live in peace and prosperity. I see no conflict between being pro-Israel and pro-Palestine.

Now… I am pro-Israel, not only because I am a Jew: I am pro-Israel because I am a civil libertarian; because I have devoted my life to fighting for human rights; because I am a feminist; because I am an environmentalist; because I’m a gay rights supporter; because I’m a lover of peace.

For all those reasons…

I support Israel.

Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel (2011)
And it begins… I hope Quebec is serious about not wanting any other cultures in its midst. Because other provinces are already capitalizing on the harsh climate for immigrants there. Look at this add. Maybe you’re Muslim… well, where do you think you’d feel come comfortable and less “othered”? Lakeridge Hospital? Or a comparable facility in Quebec City?
I mean, one might argue that this is exploitative. But I’m more inclined to say that it’s opportunistic, and I mean that entirely as a compliment.

And it begins… I hope Quebec is serious about not wanting any other cultures in its midst. Because other provinces are already capitalizing on the harsh climate for immigrants there. Look at this add. Maybe you’re Muslim… well, where do you think you’d feel come comfortable and less “othered”? Lakeridge Hospital? Or a comparable facility in Quebec City?

I mean, one might argue that this is exploitative. But I’m more inclined to say that it’s opportunistic, and I mean that entirely as a compliment.

Then the king wrote to the whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs.

— 1 Maccabees

Proof that history repeats itself, when viewed in light of the Quebec charter. Can we please stop using secularism as an excuse to advance homogeneity and assimilation? It’s been, evidently, thousands of years. Ask yourself who’s still around… the Ancient Greeks, or the Jews.

The hardest thing is living 1,000 miles away from any Jewish communities. Judaism is a communal religion, so I’m stalled. I’m about that ger toshav life, at the moment. The funny thing is, I’m in the same province as Montreal, a city with vibrant, living Jewish communities in every denom… but when the province is bigger than Texas and California smushed together, that’s sortof meaningless.

I mean… I can’t exactly expect them to set up an eruv for me, can I?

From designer Ra Pha. Brilliant design making the rounds on Facebook!

Four images on grey backgrounds, mirroring the style of the recent “Quebec Values Charter” poster banning religious wear in Quebec’s public sector. In each image, a person wears a different religious garment made from the Quebec flag: a hijab, a turban, a kippah, and a crucifix. The caption reads, La diversité est une richesse (“Diversity is an asset”).

Whoa there, horsie! Accusations!

Lazersilberstein and other users that I have offended need to know that I was aware of the comparison between Quebec and Nazi Germany being dicey even as I wrote it, and instead drew a parallel between xenophobia in Quebec and in Nazi Germany. A very different thing.

I even explicitly said that Quebec was not Nazi Germany.

This isn’t… Nazi Germany, no matter how convenient the parallel. Thankfully, democracy is there for those who want it in this country…

I am aware of how bad these metaphors can be and have called them out in other situations (calling radical feminists “feminazis,” for example). This, however, is not an inappropriate comparison.

Quebec: whose “values” are we talking about?

Preface this by saying I’m a resident of Quebec so you’re getting a bonfide Quebec opinion with this. In case you’re wondering where we actually weigh in.

Let’s begin, shall we?

I want you to look at a poster. It’s a very simple poster, no bigger than 20 inches wide, yellow in colour, and printed on thin cardstock. It features an image of a six-pointed star, the Star of David or magen David (“shield of David”). It reads, in German,

Jude: Wer dieses Zeichen tragt, ist ein Feind unseres Volkes ("Jew: who bears this mark, is an enemy of our people")

image

This poster was a propaganda piece produced by the government of Nazi Germany in the 1940s. The Star of David was then an identifying symbol of The Other, those individuals who walk among us, but are not one of us. And, of course, those who were forced to wear it were later gathered up, removed from society, and forced into brutal death camps, where survival was a miracle often won at the cost of one’s humanity.

Now I want you to look at another poster: and this one comes to you not from  1940s Germany, but from the modern day, in the Canadian province of Quebec. This one is digital: Adobe Illustrator was the likely medium. The design is flashier, and the variety of “marks” has increased; but it uses the same essential rhetoric: those who bear the mark, are enemies of our people.

The top reads, in French, “A province neutral in your service,” before displaying three permitted symbols: subtle crescent moon, cross, and magen David jewelry. Below, and this is the far more sinister part, are displayed “ostentatious” religious items of clothing, items such as the Muslim hijab and burka, the Sikh turban, the Jewish kippah, and a large Christian cross, that will no longer be permitted in the Quebec public sector.

image

When Westerners on Tumblr speak of “institutionalized racism,” we’re using alluding to something vague, nebulous, and/or impossible to pinpoint, but rarely do we, in the age of Twitter and Doctor Who gifs, see a bonafide racist legislation introduced in our own countries. Well… here it is.

The first clue that would tip you off to the fact that this is embroiled in anti-immigrant rhetoric is when you learn that the large crucifix in Quebec parliament will remain unscathed by this assault; as will Christmas trees, both of which the Quebec government claims have been “secularized” and do not have religious significance anymore. The assertion that a crucifix, for two billion Christians the very symbol of living faith, could ever be secular is preposterous. But more importantly, it reveals that white privilege, and the normalization of Christianity, as well as racism, sexism, and xenophobia, are the dominating factors at play here: hatred of other societies, much more so than any desire to preserve one’s own.

Quebeckers need to ask themselves: who will be affected by this new legislation disproportionately? If you answered “Muslim women,” then you just answered the $64,000 Question. Muslim women, who have already experienced persecution in the province, are by far the most visible believers targeted by the law. Their hijabs are full head coverings, as opposed to the smaller kippah and cross. Schools will be hit hardest by this move (let’s keep those immigrant fuckers from teaching our kids, oh, diversity and tolerance), and we all know there are way, way more women in the public school system than men, and a lot of North African teachers in Quebec schools. See where I’m going with this?

This legislation, which flies in the face of every major international rights charter since… well, since ever, is a travesty, and it doesn’t represent Quebec values, or Canadian values. Ever been to the cultural tapestry that is Montreal? Or Toronto? Or… any Canadian city? So, when you guys see this on the news, please don’t think all Canadians are xenophobic. We’re not, no more than we all live in igloos (though to be sure, some of us do), own pet beavers, or club baby seals for pleasure. We are fighting this every fucking step of the way.

Just today, I contacted my teachers’ union, and they were exceptionally sympathetic to my complaint, and they took an official opposing stance against the new legislation, following suit after several other major teachers’ unions. Quebec needs to realize that true secularism means freedom and equality of religion. This isn’t “Harrison Bergeron,” anymore than it’s Nazi Germany, no matter how convenient the parallel. Thankfully, democracy is there for those who want it in this country, whether Idle No More and my province’s Nishiiyuu Walkers, or some kid with access to Tumblr.

What do you think? Will this legislation pass?

I still have 155 followers!

So why give up on that?

I’m going to be posting here about my conversion journey as it happens. I know this blog meant something to quite a few people, so it would be rude to abandon it wholesale!

Basically this blog melds commentary on my experience converting to Judaism with some ass-kicking of antisemites and general racist/sexist douchebags.

You can also find me on Twitter, on Blogger, on my personal Tumblr (reblogs only), and on a few other totally neglected things.

Nice to meet you!

Anonymous asked: Is this blog abandoned? Have you given up on conversion? I hope you come back with some good conversion posts. Especially since Skylar's blog is kaput, I really need some good real-life conversion resources...

The blog is sleeping. I haven’t given up on conversion. Someday… I’ll get it going again…

I don’t even know what to say… it breaks my heart. Prayers and thoughts to the victims and their families.

I don’t even know what to say… it breaks my heart. Prayers and thoughts to the victims and their families.