It is old news now that last week’s protest, organized by the Jewish Defense League, outside Palestine House in Mississauga, Ontario turned violent. Not surprising is the non-event this was for the media, with the exception of Ezra Levant, an article in the National Post, and a small blurb on CP24. Equally unsurprising is the reaction of Peel Police. The only people arrested on the scene were there to support Israel, and the force has subsequently stated: It appears that these two parties had opposing views and were voicing their opinions in a public forum and unfortunately brought fighting to the streets of Mississauga.” Two parties with opposing views. How quaint Constable Ruttan. While it is plausible there was some pushing and shoving from both sides, the assault with a weapon that took place and sent a Jewish man to the hospital via ambulance was clearly one sided. Charges should be laid and the suspect should have been arrested or at the very least detained by police.
This lack of police response is at best their idea of diffusing a situation, at worst a cynical attempt to appease Palestine House. Either way, Peel Police have shown complete and total ignorance of the dynamics at play and this is dangerous. At a time when tensions are extremely high, and anti-Semitic attacks are popping up around the globe, “Jewish blood on the streets of Toronto” cannot be ignored. Appeasement policing, which seems to be the preferred method of crowd control used by Ontario police forces, will only encourage further violence. These protests, be they pro or anti-Israel, will escalate in size. Sadly, this violence and the lack of consequences will read as an open invitation for those looking to escalate violence at a future protest. There was a whiff of indignation when police stated that only twice before in the force’s history had they been forced to call out such numbers (30-40 officers) – ie. Why can’t those Jews just stay away? But this also seems like amateur hour and suggests that Peel Police have almost zero experience with this type of violence.
Several years ago I covered a vigil outside the Israeli Embassy in London, organized by the Jewish community, in support of Operation Cast Lead. Let me tell you how police there deal with these types of situations: Riot barricades were set up where supporters of Israel entered (like a pen) after going through a security check to make sure they were not actually there to hurt Jews. When it became known that hundreds of London’s ample anti-Israel crowd were going to show up, a separate barricade was set up and a SWAT vehicle (not a car – a bullet proof miniature tank) was parked between the two barricades along with hundreds of police in full riot gear. This was not to stop Israel’s supporters from getting out of hand – it was to protect them from the mob of blood thirty anti-Semites who showed up and screamed death threats at them while waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags. When the pro-Israel demonstration was over, its participants left under police escort, again for their own protection. Then a funny thing happened – the anti-Israel crowd did not leave. Instead, they stayed around to firebomb Starbucks, smash the windows of local businesses, and attack police. Several police officers were injured, including an officer who was knocked unconscious and beaten. However, this was not enough to satisfy they crowds. Later that night Jewish businesses in North London were vandalized. The sidewalks in another neighbourhood were painted with JIHAD 4 JEWS.
As Laura Rosen Cohen observes, attacks against Jews elsewhere always find imitators in North America. It is only a matter of time. Blood has been spilled, and police should not underestimate the blood lust of anti-Semitic hooligans residing in Canada.