WINNIPEG – The Holocaust suffered by the Jews of Europe during the Second World War should have finally ended anti-Semitism, says political commentator Rex Murphy. Yet decades later, that is far from the case.
"The 'lifeboat people' were almost eradicated; an entire people was put under the blade. How could you think a dishonourable thing about a Jewish person after that?" Murphy asked as he helped launch the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg's 2013 Combined Jewish Appeal Sept. 10.
The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg annually raises funds for 11 local Jewish agencies, six national organizations, and programs that help distressed communities abroad.
Numbering 17,000, Winnipeg's Jewish population is the third largest in Canada, behind Montreal and Toronto.
Murphy, who provides regular commentaries on CBC's The National television news and hosts CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup, told the crowd of about 600 there are no others who faced what the Jewish people faced.
"The Holocaust cast such a monstrous shadow on all of the world and when the world recognized that they allowed this suffering, 'never again' became a pledge."
But, Murphy said, by 1980 the Khmer Rouge rule over Cambodia had taken more than two million lives. "Where was the world then and after that?"
Murphy quoted Samuel Johnson, saying "Men and women need less to be informed than to be reminded. We already know all of these things but they need to be recalled."
If Jerusalem or Israel makes the slightest move, the world calls for punishment, he said.
Yet the Syrian government has killed 100,000 of its own people "and I haven't seen anyone marching in the streets over it. If the Israeli government killed 100 people, the UN would be teleporting troops in there."
If America "does its small attack on Syria, announced in advance, the retaliation will be against Israel," he said.
Murphy calls the anti-Semitic view that Israel behaves against Palestinians as Nazis did to the Jews in World War II "the most detestable insult while there are still survivors and children of survivors."