Racist Bastard burns Jewish school in Canada

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that racist bastards have burned part of a Jewish school in Canada:

A racist bastard burns down a Jewish School in French Quebec, Canada

A fire destroyed library books and damaged a library computer system at the St. Laurent branch of United Talmud Torahs (UTT) elementary school on the eve of the Passover holiday (April 5), and police found anti-Semitic notes, written in French taped to the school's walls.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin confirmed that the school, which was closed at the time of the blaze Monday, was firebombed. [...]

Workers spent the day vacuuming up the water left by firefighters, but the library is beyond hope. The room is black and charred and almost all the books are destroyed, CBC news reported.

Montreal police spokesman Yves Surprenant refused to say how the blaze started or provide details about the notes' contents, except to say they were signed by an unknown organization. But the Canadian Jewish News reported on its website that a firebomb was thrown through a window, and traces of accelerant were found in the building.

Surprenant said it was "the most deplorable act"' he has seen in 24 years on the force. "What was written on the notes really told us it was a hate crime," he said. [...]

Professor Nitza Perry, a representative of the Jewish community in Montreal, told Army Radio that she met with some Holocaust survivors Tuesday following the attack. "They are panicking. This reminds them of the [nineteen] thirties. Where they burn books, they burn people, the survivors told me," Perry said.

Yesterday I attended a Passover Seder with familiy and friends. Among those present was E., a 99-year-old woman who has been a leader all of her life. She will be one hundred years old in a few months but is incredibly witty, smart and funny.

She's not Jewish, but feels a strong connection to the Jewish people and wanted to be present at a Seder. Last night, after she asked everyone to say a few words of thanks (she's still setting the agenda at 99), she said a few words about what Israel is going through.

This is not new: Jewish history is full of pogroms, hate crimes, mass murders and the Holocaust. It would take me three days to just mention by name the pogroms of Poland, Russia, and Northern Africa.

There is one difference however: in 2004 we have the State of Israel. We have institutions, we have an army, and we have an overall idea that Jews can and should defend themselves against barbaric racist bastards - from Al-Qaeda or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, from Hitler's scum and Neo Nazis or from extreme European leftists and Communists.

The Passover seder is mainly about the idea of freedom (on how the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and the story of their escape). It is also the idea that we should cherish this liberty (that some of us have in western Democracies) and that this freedom is worth fighting for.

As Jewish schools burn down in France, Canada or Tunisia, it seems to me that the link between Jewish freedom and the State of Israel is very clear.

I copy the full article below.





This reminds us of the 1930's
By JPOST.COM STAFF, Apr. 6, 2004, Link

The remains of the library of a Jewish School in Quebec, Canada

A fire destroyed library books and damaged a library computer system at the St. Laurent branch of United Talmud Torahs (UTT) elementary school on the eve of the Passover holiday (April 5), and police found anti-Semitic notes, written in French taped to the school's walls.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin confirmed that the school, which was closed at the time of the blaze Monday, was firebombed. In a statement, Martin said, "the assault was not directed against the Jewish community of Montreal. It is a racist and cowardly act of violence directed at all Canadians and one to which we must collectively respond."

"This is not my Canada. This is not our Canada," he told reporters in Burlington, Ontario.

Workers spent the day vacuuming up the water left by firefighters, but the library is beyond hope. The room is black and charred and almost all the books are destroyed, CBC news reported.

Montreal police spokesman Yves Surprenant refused to say how the blaze started or provide details about the notes' contents, except to say they were signed by an unknown organization. But the Canadian Jewish News reported on its website that a firebomb was thrown through a window, and traces of accelerant were found in the building.

Surprenant said it was "the most deplorable act"' he has seen in 24 years on the force.

"What was written on the notes really told us it was a hate crime," he said.

Parents and children gathered outside the school to show their support, but the experience seems to have left a mark on some of the students, CBC reported. Eleven-year-old Isabelle Malka, a Grade 5 student, says she's "terrified."

The school will reopen on April 15.

Some parents told Radio Canada that they are concerned about the safety of their children. Police say security will be increased at all Jewish institutions in Montreal throughout the Passover period.

Professor Nitza Perry, a representative of the Jewish community in Montreal, told Army Radio that she met with some Holocaust survivors Tuesday following the attack. "They are panicking. This reminds them of the [nineteen] thirties. Where they burn books, they burn people, the survivors told me," Perry said.

Quebec's French-language TVA television network reported that the notes denounced recent Israeli attacks against Palestinians, including the killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder of Hamas.

CTV News quoted a portion of the letter Monday: "Our goal was only to sound the alarm without causing deaths. . . .but this is just a beginning. If your crimes continue in the Middle East, our attacks will continue."

"The media are reporting that police found anti-Semitic notes at the scene, but the police are neither confirming nor denying this, saying the investigation would be compromised if details were leaked."

"Canada is multicultural, a really pleasant place. This place is like a mosaic with people coming here from all over the world. There are Israelis, Koreans, Muslims Pakistanis and Indians and many others. But I think there was some naivety here unfortunately.

"The Quebec area has more anti-Semitism than the rest of Canada; maybe it's the relationship to France, and the immigrants from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco," she said. "The Muslim community has tripled here," Perry added.

Sidney Benudiz, head of the school, called the fire "an act of terrorism, plain and simple." He said the school has had some graffiti and minor vandalism in the past.

Martin said the firebombing was an "attack on freedom."

Setting fire to "a place of learning, where young children gather is an offense against all that Canadians cherish," the prime minister said.

Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-chair of the Jewish community security co-ordinating committee, urged the community not to alter its normal activities in the wake of a firebombing that seriously damaged a Jewish school on the eve of Passover, the Canadian Jewish News reported on its Internet edition.

"We intend not to grant these criminals a victory by amending the way we live because of this act. We will continue to congregate in our synagogues and educate our children in Jewish schools. We will determine how we live live, not them," he told the CJN.

B'nai Brith Canada League for Human Rights chair Stephen Scheinberg said the incident points to Montreal Jewish institutions' being "woefully unprepared," reported the CJN. He said the community should be looking at what is being done in Europe and Latin America, where round-the-clock guards and physical barriers are common practice at Jewish buildings. "This is a wake-up call," he told the Canadian Jewish News.

The attack follows a recent spate of anti-Semitic violence in Toronto.

Three Toronto teenagers were charged after several vandals toppled headstones at a Jewish cemetery and spray-painted anti-Semitic slogans on a synagogue.

In a separate incident, a 46-year-old man was arrested after a Star of David, an equal sign and a swastika were sprayed on construction boarding in west-end Toronto.

Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, who attended a branch of the Talmud school, said the attack was part of increased trend in anti-Semitism, both in Canada and worldwide.

Canada "will not be silent and we will not be intimated and we will act and we will bring the full force of law to bear against those who would commit these cowardly acts of racist, hate crimes," he said.

Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay promised an increased police presence at Jewish institutions during the holiday period.

Last month, B'nai Brith Canada reported an increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2003, saying there were almost 600 cases of violence, harassment and vandalism against Jews and over 100 such incidents in Quebec alone.

Posted by David Melle
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Comments

I feel that any time Jews are targeted outside of Israel Israel has to send our own people to help with the investigation and not leave it only to local investigators.

Posted by: Chaya Eitan at April 7, 2004 05:46 AM


there should be a video or some pictures to show this event

Posted by: stephanie at April 8, 2004 06:01 PM


Stephanie,

Thanks for the suggestion - I searched for some pictures of the burned school on news.google.com and posted them here (see above).

Posted by: David Melle at April 8, 2004 08:39 PM


I go to this school, and I feel that only good came from this event: There is an increased awareness of anti-semitism, our school received donations (enough to rebuild) from all over the world including Australia and England, it insures at least another 5000 people to attend our upcoming Israeli solidarity rally on April 27.

Posted by: Carmel at April 15, 2004 07:42 PM


Nobody "burned down" a Jewish school in Montreal– unknown persons firebombed the library. The school continues to function. Also it is false to say there are more anti-Semitic acts in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada. According to B'Nai Brith's annual survey, there were 400 such incidents in Ontario last year, 315 of which took place in the GreaterToronto area. In Quebec there were 108 incidents, of which 102 took place in Greater Montreal.

Posted by: Irwin Block at April 25, 2004 05:27 PM


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