Quebec FlagPremier of French Province Caves

Man do I feel stupid. After making a gutsy but surprising decision to subsidize private Jewish day schools at the same levels that public schools are funded, Premiere Jean Charest and his Liberal government pulled a flip-flop. They surrendered to fiercely secular Quebec teachers Unions (who just happen to always be very well represented at all anti-Israel rallies in the province … just sayin’). They abdicated in the face of an ill informed an highly partisan “outcry” represented by the xenophobic sounding sentiments of the opposition Parti Quebecois education critic Pauline Marois. So unimpressive. And the PQ wonders why their support in the Jewish community is always restricted to a handful of marginal individuals. And Charest wonders why his leadership of the Quebec Liberal party has been considered weak.

And what of our organized Jewish community leaders?

Charles Levy of Federation CJA said: “… I think that it is wonderful that the debate has not turned into anti-Semitism.”

So now we’re handing out brownie points for being normal? The Jewish community is saying “Oh wow! You may harbor anti-semitic sentiments, but thanks so much for not expressing them publicly!” Is it any wonder some Zionists expressed disdain for weak-ass, shtetl-based, diaspora Jews?

So much for ahavat chinam. If the mashiach comes today, it sure won’t be because of me.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • You beat me to it. I was going to post that story.

    Here is the CBC version. Another leader in the Jewish community, Sylvain Abitbol, tells us that it’s also not antisemitism causing this.

    I’m very glad to hear that.

  • Sylvain Abitbol is the Uncle Tom Token Sephardic Jew of Morrocan descent who is the head of Federation CJA, basically making his puppet mast him the most powerful Jewish lay person in Quebec. Sylvain is a very nice, inoffensive man.

  • Call the troops back to the barracks,
    return to DEFCON level 2, otherwise known as ‘denial’.

    I’m in England this week,
    lots of it going around here too.

  • ck — when you say Sylvain Abitbol is serving Ashkenazi interests and not Sephardi ones, what do you mean?

  • 8opus: did i say that? Chas veh chalilah! On a community level, sephardic and ashkenazic interests totally correspond. There is no difference. It’s the combined Jewish appeal and we’re all Jews. My littlestrikeouts were a tongue and cheek reference to the perception that some have in the sephardic community that Sylvain Abitbol is beholden to some powers behind the throne and said powers at Federation have always been ashkenazic. Thats no secret, and frankly, not such a big deal.

  • Wait, there’s a Sephardic/Ashkenazi division in Montreal’s Jewish community? Do tell us more!

  • Well, you know there’s that old joke…

    A great European Jewish Torah scholar dies, and is transported to heaven (just roll with the heaven thing, please, I don’t want to start a 98-post thread about Jewish conception of the afterlife). The guy at the gate says, “Heaven is pretty full, so you have to qualify to get in. We know that you’re a great scholar, so before you get in, you have to give us a completely new interpretation of one of Rambam’s works.”

    The great scholar thinks for awhile, and sure enough, he comes up with a brand-new, unprecedented and very sound interpretation of Rambam’s works.

    The guy at gate nods and says, “That’s very good. But, of course, we have the Rambam himself in here, so we’re going to go get him and see if he agrees with your interpretation.”

    Rambam arrives at the gate, listens, and says, “That’s very interesting, but it’s not at all what I meant when I wrote that.”

    The great European Torah scholar rolls his eyes and says, “Pfui! What would a Sephardi know?!”

  • So then, just to continue with our analogy, ck would be Rambam and Grandmuffti is the “European” scholar?

  • Thats no secret, and frankly, not such a big deal. Ah … I think it’s the references to Uncle Tom, tokenism, and puppetmasters which threw me. Crazy, huh?

  • Hey 8opus. Come on be fair! I did disengenuously cross all those out because they were unfair, unsubstantiated and innaccurate. Also it’s nearly 5 am here at Cafe Rimon. At this point, all the nana tea in the world won’t keep me coherent.