Toronto Jewish Film Festival commences despite threat of pro-Hamas protesters

Clearly, theatregoers sent a resounding message to the rank-and-file of the new-age Hitler Youth Movement that they would NOT be intimidated.

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There was something noticeably different about the 32nd annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival which premiered at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema last Thursday in the Annex district of Toronto. Namely, unlike the previous 31 Toronto Jewish Film Festivals, there was amped-up security, including both security guards and members of the Toronto Police Service.

As well, attendees had their bags searched before gaining admittance into the theatre. It was quite a different vibe compared to, say, the premiere of the latest Star Wars flick.

But this abundance of caution was not without reason. Unfortunately, in Toronto – and in cities the world over – Jews and Jewish-owned business are under attack since the Oct. 7, 2023, massacre in Israel. (Yes, almost 1,200 people were slaughtered that day by the Hamas terrorists, yet somehow Israel is the villain. We don’t get it either...)

Indeed, there was buzz that this film festival would be targeted by the pro-Hamas hooligans. But such was not the case. Maybe it was the presence of armed law enforcement personnel or maybe the usual suspects who chant genocide against the Jews were already deployed at “Little Gaza” upon the lawns of the nearby University of Toronto. Regardless, this time around, veiled threats to disrupt a Jewish-themed event turned out to be all bark, no bite.

And talk about a happy ending: the lineup of patrons to get into the cinema to take in the film Midas Man literally stretched around the block. Clearly, theatregoers sent a resounding message to the rank-and-file of the new-age Hitler Youth Movement that they would NOT be intimidated; that they would NOT stay home.

And kudos to the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema for not bending the knee and cancelling the cinema over threats of violence. This is what we need more of today: courage.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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