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The problem with this linguistic warfare is that it re-entrenches existing positions.Everyone wants to convince, and no one wants to listen.As our voices slowly rose, two other canoes approached, and we all put down our paddles for an impromptu summit. Our token kept quiet, unable to get a word in, until finally he asked, “How will they ever figure out how to get along in the Middle East?

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, I went on a canoe trip down the Petawawa River, paddling the same rapids Pierre Trudeau once travelled.

In the middle of this iconic Canadian scene, a friend and I started chatting about Israel. How much responsibility should Palestinians take for their situation?

Toronto and Montreal have some of the highest rates of visitation to Israel of any Jewish community in North America, at 75 percent.

This gives the impression of a seemingly univocal, unconditional support for the Israeli state in Canada, at least within the Jewish community.

the role of money in shutting down the conversation about Israel, my Marxist friends miss an essential point: extremist ideological positions would not be so effective, or appealing, if they didn’t tap in to real emotions and fears.

You can’t understand the way many Canadian Jews are deeply attached to Zionism, to the point of being unable to consider another point of view, without addressing Holocaust survivors and the history of anti-Semitism in Canada, and in Montreal in particular.

You may recall the scandal in 2004 when the Vancouver magazine published an article titled “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?

,” which infamously listed “the 50 most influential neocons in the US,” with black dots beside the Jewish names.

My Jewish friends are scared of lefties, and my lefty friends are scared of Zionists. A few years ago, I gave a talk in Los Angeles at the University of California’s Center for Near Eastern Studies, where I spent a semester during a post-doctoral fellowship.

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