Former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler took Iran "to task" yesterday, according to the morning news.
Cotler, who is Jewish, told the Jerusalem Post that the world needed to be on guard for the "new anti-semitism". He cited Iran and its leader Madman Almonddingdong as the most prominent example of this tide.
Sadly, while Cotler was a high-ranking member of the Liberal government, his party did nothing to benefit Israel. The Liberals were masters at pretending to be friends to the Jewish state while acting in exactly the opposite manner - almost always joining the annual arab parade of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, frequently joining in condemnations of Israel during conflicts with the palis while never calling the arabs to account and cozying up to arab groups by the handful to gain a few votes.
Equally, he talks big now but while the Liberals were in power, they did nothing to stop the Iranian tide. When the Iranians jailed and then beat to death a Canadian photographer before holding a mock trial and acquitting the accused, the Liberal response was a few pithy comments about justice and freedom. A full-out boycott on Iranian goods or recalling our ambassador along with a censuring motion and call for UN investigation would have been the appropriate response.
Cotler's wife has more balls than he does. She, at least, resigned her membership in the Liberal Party after one of its candidates in a recent leadership race said Israel had committed war crimes in Lebanon. Irwin, ever the Liberal, didn't have the stomach to actually take a principled stand as his wife did.
And, of course, Cotler, who is now a professor of law at McGill University, is wrong. The fear of a rising tide of anti-Semitism doesn't emanate from Iran. It emanates from Europe. Most European nations remain quietly, if not overtly, anti-Semitic, regardless of the platitudes mouthed by their leaders. Their rising Muslim populations add fuel to what has been centuries of persecution throughout Europe (for my money, I don't understand why any Jews want stay in countries like France and Russia).They allow other nations, such as Iran, to practise extreme anti-Semitism by refusing to act against it.
Iran could be shut down tomorrow if the collective will of North America, some Asian nations and Europe - particularly Russia - were set to do that.
It's too bad that Cotler, who as far as I know held the highest ranking cabinet position in Canada ever by a Jew, does not and has never really seemed to understand much beyond the ivy-wrapped towers of academia and the pristine halls of Parliament.
On the other hand, we currently have a government that has been a true friend to the Israelis, a stance that I hope persists for decades.