Montreal’s “punch a Zionist” problem

Montreal cannot have changed that much – but it has.

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Jack Engelhard,

Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

If Obama were still in office that 22-year-old punk would be invited from Canada to the White House in celebration of his “punch a Zionist” tweet.

Okay, I exaggerate. So Obama’s invitation would not be for those words directly but rather to honor his version of free speech, as that appears to be the point of contention throughout Montreal and the rest of Canada – whether this particular McGill University student had every right to speak his mind or whether his message was a call to violence and therefore punishable.

People in the middle of all this at McGill – students, faculty, administration – are not quite sure what action to take.

So let me help out by saying – Are you kidding me!

It does not get more declarative and menacing than that, coming in English or French from bilingual Montreal.  

Please notice that I am not using that man’s name except to call him Punch Boy. I am providing a link to him and his story. That’s enough. But he needs no help from me to win some fame. Yes he has his detractors. Jewish kids at McGill now say they feel unsafe and Punch Boy has apologized – apparently due to the uproar.

Seems that a flat-out statement like “punch a Zionist” is not popular everywhere…though it is surely appreciated where they assemble for BDS and SJP. They do not think Punch Boy went too far and neither do far-gone leftists who live by ready-made slogans.

These include Jewish activists for whom there are never enough migrants and who walk around with signs yelling, “I am a Muslim, too.”

Montreal’s Holocaust Memorial Center thankfully remembers our Loss but its business is even more brisk at pitying and welcoming today’s migrants. Most of those don’t know, don’t care and don’t believe the Holocaust, so I miss the point – and no mention from the Center, at last check, on coming to the defense of McGill’s Jewish population.


The question is this: what sort of climate welcomes and attracts such barefaced hostility against the Jewish people?
We are supposed to hear at any moment if and when Punch Boy is to be expelled. Again let me help out by saying – Are you nuts!

Of course he should be expelled. “Punch a Zionist” is a direct threat and it is aimed at everybody who is Jewish anywhere. That would include members of President Donald Trump’s immediate family, so my guess is that Mr. Trump would be far less tolerant of Punch Boy than is all of Canada.

If McGill isn’t clear about the danger, try this – “Punch a Muslim.” Hello? Anybody? Of course you wouldn’t dare. You’d get arrested, and for good reason.

The question is this: what sort of climate welcomes and attracts such barefaced hostility against the Jewish people?

Let’s save that for another day, because the debate over Punch Boy isn’t over yet. From what I’m reading he only risks losing his membership from some student group; no word about his being dumped from the university. Proof, to me at least, that our academies are a lost cause. 

Montreal cannot have changed that much – but it has – from the days of my youth and from the bitter-sweet memories I covered in “Escape From Mount Moriah.” In it I remembered Wilensky’s on Fairmount Avenue and in the sketch “A Jewish Soldier” I remembered how tough we became after Zionism finally returned to Israel – and what would happen to any Montreal punk who’d dare to punch us for being Zionists. 

That was yesterday.

Today no word either on Punch Boy from Justin Trudeau – so concerned about Islamophobia; no worries about Judeophobia.

The Jews, so accustomed to being shoved around, can take care of themselves, or so it appears. We assimilate. Do they?

The Muslims of Canada need all the help they can get and the Trudeau government can be counted on to be there for them to meet every need – money, medicine, housing, and any complaint from an Arab gets immediate attention. From a Jewish citizen? Not so fast if at all.

What the heck. For me, Maurice “Rocket” Richard is still playing hockey at the Forum.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist: “News Anchor Sweetheart,” a novelist’s version of Fox News and Megyn Kelly. Engelhard is the author of the international bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” For books like his award-winning memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah,” he is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com