In downtown Toronto, a pro-Israel rally was surrounded by a phalanx of officers from the Toronto Police Service. They're here, in some ways, to protect the city's Jewish community, which came out on short notice for a rally in support of Israel.
But I can't help but mention that the police have blocked off all of the streets leading to the rally, half a mile in each direction.
Yonge Street is one of the biggest and busiest roads in Toronto, and yet police completely shut it down. This made it extremely difficult for anyone who didn't live right in the neighbourhood to attend.
It was a stark contrast with how police conducted themselves earlier with a pro-Hamas rally downtown, where they literally escorted the terrorist apologists around town.
What was so interesting, was that Mayor Olivia Chow, the hard-left wing mayor and widow of former NDP leader Jack Layton, put out some atrocious moral equivalence on X (formerly Twitter), comparing the brutal murder, rape, torture and kidnapping of civilians by Hamas to Israel's military response to the terrorist organization.
It was absolutely outrageous. She later deleted that post, but it was clear that Toronto's government is on the Hamas side of the Hamas-Israel divide.
Since then, Olivia Chow has obviously had some course correction. She gave a speech written by, well I don't know who. But the crowd was polite, despite the fair amount of booing when she was first introduced.
In some ways, I'm tempted to give Olivia Chow the benefit of the doubt. She's not particularly intellectual. She doesn't think about things at any higher level than just a ward heeler politician handing out treats and goodies.
And her entire world is one of radical union activists who are overwhelming pro-Hamas. So perhaps when she changed her tune to support Israel, I don't know if it's real, but it's no less real than her shallowness earlier. We won't talk much more about Olivia Chow other than she got a lot of boos.
Shocking to me were the Liberal MPs who were trotted out. They had the temerity to bring Chrystia Freeland, whose grandfather was a Nazi. I can't blame her for what her grandpa did, but she gave a standing ovation to the Nazi officer in Parliament, Yaroslav Hunka.
And then there was Ya'ara Saks, a Jewish member of Parliament, famous only for one thing: standing up in the House of Commons and actually saying that the Freedom Convoy's “honk honk” slogan meant the truckers were Nazi because “honk honk” somehow stands for “Heil Hitler”.
Hers was actually the most embarrassing speech of the evening. A shallow, inarticulate woman whose only place in the government is to allow Justin Trudeau to play the Jewish card when he's caught being anti-Semitic. By far the most supportive — and supported — speech of the night was from the Conservative MP for Thornhill, Melissa Landsman.
She was introduced to a strong round of applause and gave an excellent speech, not just about how Hamas was atrocious and Israel has the right to exist and to fight back, but also letting the Jewish community and pro-Israel friends gathered here, telling them to keep an eye on fairweather friends who so obviously in the days ahead will turn on Israel as they have so many times before.
I was frankly buoyed a bit by what Melissa Landsman had to say. She said that the Jews in the 2,000 years of their exile have been stabbed and burned and rioted and gassed. But the Jews are still standing.
I found it encouraging, and I think the crowd did, too.
Despite having to walk a half-mile to get to the rally, and with the police locking it down, I'm still glad I came. It was interesting to me to see the tepid reaction to the Liberals, the booing to Olivia Chow, and the strong applause to Melissa Landsman.
That tells me that the Jewish community at least can see through Justin Trudeau's lies. And they're tired of them.
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