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  • From Arab Spring to Winter: Courtesy of the U.S. & CanadaReuel S. Amdur
    November 1, 2012

    Arab freedom does not rank very high in Stephen Harper's priorities. That is why neither Canada nor the U.S. was cheering very loudly when the Egyptians were in the process of throwing off the chains of the Mubarak dictatorship. In that situation, Harper's expression of concern was that Egypt needed to keep the commitments made with Israel. The U.S. waffled because it wanted to keep its options open no matter who won.

  • Engler Raps EmpireReuel S. Amdur
    November 1, 2012

    Canada's foreign policy has served the interests of empire, "the British empire till after World War II when it was the American empire." That was what Yves Engler told an enthusiastic crowd on October 4 during an Ottawa stop during a tour organized by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.

  • Can You Believe What You Read in the Citizen?Reuel S. Amdur
    November 1, 2012

    On September 2, a piece by the Ottawa Citizen's Heavy Thinker Robert Sibley appeared in that paper. "Digging up hatred" was the headline. Beginning with a discussion of a Peruvian neo-Nazi Jew-hater, it continued by examining anti-Semitism in other places. The existence of the problem in Canada was illustrated by the case of Klibanov and Bergamini, Carleton University students and Israel supporters, allegedly pursued from a bar in Hull, Quebec, by Muslim students from that same university.

  • Harper's War of 1812Reuel S. Amdur
    November 13, 2012

    Harper has been replaying the War of 1812 all year, to commemorate its bicentennial. More important, to deflect criticism for cutting heritage and cultural funding for various programs such as Library and Archives Canada, he is setting himself up as a heritage hero with his splashy commemoration. The cost of the celebration? $28 million, but that is not quite enough.

  • Can you believe what you read in the Citizen?Reuel S. Amdur
    November 13, 2012

    On September 2, a piece by the Ottawa Citizen's Heavy Thinker Robert Sibley appeared in that paper. "Digging up hatred" was the headline. Beginning with a discussion of a Peruvian neo-Nazi Jew-hater, it continued by examining anti-Semitism in other places. The existence of the problem in Canada was illustrated by the case of Klibanov and Bergamini, Carleton University students and Israel supporters, allegedly pursued from a bar in Hull, Quebec, by Muslim students from that same university.

  • The Dilemmas of a Liberal ZionistReuel S. Amdur
    November 13, 2012

    Mira Sucharov, who teaches political science at Carleton University, was invited to deliver the sermon at First Unitarian Congregation in Ottawa on September 23, during the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Jacob Caines, the church's music director, blew the shofar for the service.

  • Failing Grade for Carleton ReportReuel S. Amdur
    December 2, 2012

    Carleton University's effort at promoting intergroup harmony has been received on campus with something less than universal applause. The report of the Commission on Inter-Cultural, Inter-Religious and Inter-Racial relations on Campus relies on a survey of students, faculty, and employees. The Commission was chaired by former Senator Landon Pearson. An immediate issue arises with the response rate. Fewer than 12% of the students responded. Does that response rate itself tell us something? Perhaps that the concerns explored in the study were simply not salient, that people were not concerned? Then there is the question of sheer numbers. The report gives particular attention to Jews. Yet there were only 29 Jewish employees and 28 Jewish students in the sample.

  • The Enemy Within?Reuel S. Amdur
    December 2, 2012

    Back in 1971, President Richard Nixon's special counsel Charles Colson compiled an enemies list, a list of people Nixon did not like. John Dean, another Nixon counsel, explained the purpose of the list-"how we can use available federal machinery to screw our political enemies." Well, it appears that the Harper government has its own enemies list, with Cindy Blackstock having a strong presence on the list. Why might that be?

  • Tory Immigration Snake OilReuel S. Amdur
    December 2, 2012

    It was some years ago when Bill Davis was Premier of Ontario that I attended a program put on by Toronto Muslims to acquaint people, thought to be of authority or influence, with the Muslim community and its wants and needs. I was invited because I was the Unitarian in a group representative of the various religions working on a broadly based book of prayers and readings for the Toronto Board of Education, a book to replace the sole reliance on the Lord's Prayer in opening exercises in the schools.

  • Winnipeg Needs to Act on Crime PreventionReuel S. Amdur
    December 21, 2012

    When it comes to a coordinated effort to address crime in Winnipeg, key actors, including the mayor and chief of police, have been missing, not in action but in inaction. That is what Lisa Monchalin, a Métise, concluded in her Ph.D dissertation on reducing crime among Aboriginals in Winnipeg. She earned her degree in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa.

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