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2 Consensus, Canadian Trade Unions, and Intellectuals for Hamas Julien Bauer After a pro-Hamas, anti-Israel rally in Montreal, Julien Bauer dared to publicly criticize the “educated people” who participated, going so far as to characterize as antisemitic their Hamas-inspired calls for killing Jews and to express concern about intellectuals’ propagation of highbrow antisemitism. Anti-Israel coalitions promptly rose to attack him. His office door was painted with antisemitic graffiti. Students called him a murderer and demanded his firing. Colleagues split into those who supported the witch hunt against him and those who opposed it, although most of the latter were intimidated against doing so publicly. The institutions that were supposed to protect him, the administration of his university and his labor union, not only failed to do so but the latter actively joined the campaign against Israel. Bauer’s analysis places the incidents in the specific cultural context of Quebecois society, where the consensus culture is to silence those fighting antisemitic and antiIsrael bigotry. On Sunday, November 17, 2012, a demonstration was organized in Montreal to condemn Israel’s military operation in Gaza and support the Palestinian victims of blatant Israeli aggression. A few thousand people participated in the rally. Photos taken at the site show a predominance of Hamas flags, not Palestinian ones. At the end, some demonstrators screamed in Arabic, “Ithbar Al Yahud,” slaughter the Jews. The following day, I was interviewed on a private, populist radio station, CHOI Radio X Montreal. I stated that the people who demonstrated at this rally were not “for Palestinians and against Israel” but specifically for Hamas and its clearly antisemitic charter. I presented the view that the demonstrators were either ignorant or antisemites, or both. The journalist then asked, “How do you explain the number of educated persons who participate at this kind of demonstration?” My answer was not politically correct. I stated that intellectuals have a tendency to behave like prostitutes and support the worst kind of murderers if their ideology is perceived as progressive. In prewar France, many Consensus, Canadian Trade Unions, and Intellectuals for Hamas | 59 intellectuals were supporters of fascist regimes, in particular Hitler while others gave their obedience to Stalin. The intellectuals who were ready to publicly promote democratic regimes were a minority. After the war, in many democratic Western states, intellectuals were lauding the Khmer Rouge.1 My conclusion was that I was saddened but not overly surprised by the participation of faculty and students of my university, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The following day, my office door at UQAM was covered with antisemitic graffiti, including a “Heil Israel.” It was the beginning of my fifteen minutes of fame. Social media was full of personal attacks written mainly by intellectuals. The argument went as follows: on a live radio show, a Muslim woman had recently lamented that Hitler could not finish the job of getting rid of the Jews. Many people blasted the host for not answering or interrupting her. This tirade was antisemitic but was protected by freedom of opinion, the same way my views on Hamas were also repulsive but protected by freedom of opinion. According to this way of thinking, my calling terrorists what they are, terrorists, was equivalent to promoting genocide. The political science graduate students of UQAM condemned me and asked for my resignation. This condemnation went viral on social media. A tiny point was missing: the motion, unanimous, was voted by 8 students present out of 240. In case the message was not clear enough, I was publicly labeled a murderer by students I had never seen before when walking within the university. CHOI Radio X was glad to be in the news, to have created such a commotion . It interviewed me a second time. Before answering the first question, I told the journalist, “I am an idiot, an incompetent, a promoter of hate propaganda.” “What do you mean?” the journalist asked. “It is what is said and printed in social media, the student press, etc. Amongst my sins, one particularly repugnant one is to be interviewed on Radio X, a garbage radio.” “What?” “It is what you are called.” “I knew about it, but what do they believe they represent?” “People who are listening to this program are, by definition, morons, hearing the words of a scoundrel on a garbage program. Now I am ready to answer your questions.” This introduction did not win many fans in the politically correct crowd, but...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780253034083
MARC Record
OCLC
1019844795
Pages
456
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-05
Language
English
Open Access
No
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