Authors > Beryl Wajsman

Beryl Wajsman

Les vraies vérités sur Israël

By Beryl Wajsman on March 25, 2010

israel-flag.jpgOver the past month – from that annual hatefest called Israel Apartheid Week to the needless row over the Jerusalem buildings – we have witnessed a viral and venal campaign of disinformation about our one democratic ally in a a sea of theocratic tyranny. We want to devote this front page to setting the record straight. To fight the teachings of contempt. Here’s the real deal on Israel.
During IAW we saw the usual collection of Islamist apologists and their fellow-travelers in academic, political and diplomatic circles seeking to portray Israel as an apartheid-era South Africa in relation to its Arab citizens.


By Beryl Wajsman on February 11, 2010

La tragédie de l’Haïti continue à se déferler dans son ensemble. Les leçons qu’elle nous enseigne au quotidien vont au cœur de notre particularité. Si elle aura quelconque testament durable, ce sera de nous rappeler ce que signifie être humain.
A story in scripture tells of two men. One, cool and detached, always involved in his own affairs looking for ways to accumulate wealth and power. The other, emotional and engaged, constantly involved in the actions and passions of his time...

Droits et démocratie : Harper a raison de faire le ménage

By Beryl Wajsman on February 11, 2010

Les demandes de l’opposition fédérale pour une enquête sur la supposé influence négative du gouvernement Harper sur l'organisation Droits et démocratie sont inacceptables, mal conçus et corrosifs. Inacceptables parce qu’ils ne résonnent à rien de plus qu'une chasse aux sorcières cherchant un bénéfice politique sur la mort du défunt président de Droits et démocratie, Rémy Beauregard; qui est mort récemment d'une crise cardiaque. Mal conçu car ils démontrent une ignorance effroyable des lacunes de Droits et démocratie que ce gouvernement a essayé de corriger...

Of scans, profiles and freedoms

By Beryl Wajsman on January 7, 2010

Much time has been spent, and appropriately so, defending our privacy rights in this time of war on terror. The public must be convinced of their importance.  Justice Louis Brandeis called them “the most prized right of civilized nations.”

A season of conscience

By Beryl Wajsman on December 3, 2009

Many people deride the generosity of spirit and selflessness of action that pervades our civic life during this time of year. They call it hypocritical. A passing fancy. They should not do that. This season of conscience is no longer limited to the twelve days of Christmas. It seems to start somewhere around mid-November – when lights begin to splash the city nights – and end around mid-January when they are taken down. Two months out of twelve where conscience trumps competition and compassion is prized above contempt. One-sixth of the year. It’s not perfect, but we should make the most out of it...

Anti-poverty activists lead major protest over Quebec’s “empty action plan”

By Beryl Wajsman on December 3, 2009

Hundreds of anti-poverty and social advocacy leaders and activists turned out recently to protest the opening of the Quebec government’s third phase of consultations on the formulation of a concerted provincial plan to significantly reduce poverty over the next ten years. Their complaints, which were first heard in the summer at the time of earlier phases of the consultation process, center around their perception that the government does not really want input from  fontline groups and that these meetings are just so much window dressing. The hearings are taking place under the name “Le Rendez-vous de la solidarité 2009.”

We dodged a bullet! Une lettre ouverte au Maire Tremblay

By Beryl Wajsman on November 4, 2009

The composite picture above illustrates the bullet we dodged. It's a play on Projet Montreal's placards showing a Polaroid snapshot of something fixed over a picture. Of its current state of disrepair. Well, the election of either Bergeron or Harel could have led our city into the reverse. A prospering St-Catherine street boarded up if either  Harel or Bergeron had a chance to institute either of their ideas about closing the street to traffic from  Papineau to Atwater in Harel's case, and from Papineau to Guy in Bergeron's case.

Freedom is indivisible: La tragédie de la décision 104

By Beryl Wajsman on November 4, 2009

Chaque fois que l'indivisibilité de la liberté est violée, nous sommes obligés d’exprimer notre opposition. Particulièrement, quand cette violation se produit dans notre cours. Et précisément quand ce que nous défendons est la souveraineté du choix individuel. Parce que la liberté de choisir est au cœur d'une société libre. C'est la leçon objective dans la différence entre la liberté et la tyrannie.

LA PERFIDIE! The UN and the Goldstone libel

By Beryl Wajsman on November 4, 2009

UnitedNations.jpg“Every day at the U.N., on every side, we are assailed because we are a democracy. In the U.N. today there are in the range of several dozen democracies left; totalitarian regimes and assorted ancient and modern despotisms make up all the rest. Nothing so unites these nations as the conviction that their success ultimately depends on our failure. Most of the new states have ended up as enemies of freedom." Those words were not expressed yesterday. They were spoken over thirty years ago by Daniel Patrick Moynihan while serving as US Ambassador to the UN. They are as true today as they were then.

English debate was a duty, not a choice

By Beryl Wajsman on October 1, 2009

There has been much discussion of late about Louise Harel’s failure to participate in CTV’s English Montreal mayoralty debate. Her supporters have argued everything from her discomfort in English to the fact that it is not really all that important. They have said that debating is a politician’s personal choice, not a duty. In this case, we beg to differ...

How Harel spent some public bucks

By Beryl Wajsman on October 1, 2009

Although Vision Montreal mayoralty candidate Louise Harel is quick to criticize her opponent, Gérald Tremblay, for allegedly misappropriating public funds, she too has questions to answer about how government dollars have been spent under her watch.
For two consecutive years, the Quebec government funded a month-long event called “Rhythms for Palestine,” which featured films and musical performances. Although the legitimacy of funding the events in 2000 and 2001 is not being called into question, the source of the grants is curious...


Cotler invites government to adopt anti-genocide Iran Accountability Act

By Beryl Wajsman on September 2, 2009

In a press conference held in his riding of Mount Royal, MP Irwin Cotler made two significant announcements related to his Iran Accountability Act (IAA). The first was an invitation to the government to adopt the Act as its own legislation thereby assuring passage of the already broadly supported measure. The second was a plan for a comprehensive international community strategy...

EMK: “And the last shall be first...”

By Beryl Wajsman on September 2, 2009

ted-kennedy.jpgWhen John Kennedy was elected President he gave his youngest brother a silver cigarette case with the scriptural verse from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark “…and the last shall be first…” engraved within. Whether they were intended as words of aspiration or inspiration, Edward Moore Kennedy – overcoming so many personal demons – rose to their hope and to their promise. His legislative legacy, more than anyone in the post-war era, became the first line of defence for hundreds of millions of the vulnerable whose concerns are too often last in the minds of lawmakers in their ivory towers.


By Beryl Wajsman on September 2, 2009

elderly_hands_small_4k1i.jpgI’ve often said that the word vacation doesn’t exist in my life. I feel privileged to be able to do advocacy and journalism . You get used to not having normal routines. Perhaps I never wanted them in the first place. So you live your life out there – on the edge -  available, attackable, accessible. And you get used to pretty much all sorts of tragic stories and appeals. But every now and then there  is one that not only ignites a fury that propels you to act, but also floods you with sadness that moves you to reflect.


By Beryl Wajsman on August 6, 2009

MontrealSkyline_l.jpg“Ethics and transparency? Inform the people of your decisions and leave more than a few hours a month for the public to ask questions. Montreal as an international city attracting world business? Stop the culture wars and make a tax free zone downtown for tourists. Transport? Build a highway and rail link parallel to the 20 through Turcot. Economic development? Cut social engineering and nanny state programs. Get rid of the boroughs. Reduce the size of government like New York and Toronto. And give the savings back in lowered taxes to Montrealers, particularly the small business people who create 80% of our jobs. Urban planning? Develop air rights and stop the empty talk of ‘sustainable development’ in a city with a third of our households below the poverty line. Governance? Talk straight to the people.  They are not stupid. Just tired.”


No honour in murder

By Beryl Wajsman on August 6, 2009

justice2.jpgWe need to take a step back and think about the use of the term “honour killings”. It has been much in the news of late as the horror of the deaths of the Shafia sisters sinks in. 

 On the one hand, the term gives a perverse cultural frame of reference for an act that can have no justification. On the other , since it is invariably used in reference to Islam, it denigrates a faith. Nothing in Islam justifies murder for the sake of a family’s “honour.” 

Heed Neda's ‘call’! Tehran matters

By Beryl Wajsman on July 2, 2009

Neda_non_graphic.jpgThe pictures flood us. They flood us with pride, poignancy and pathos. A people struggling to be free. The images come from around the world. From citizens of Tehran confronting the terror of theocratic tyrants, to students marching in the streets of Paris to Montrealers — some using walkers — standing up and being counted. The palpable reality of mankind’s transcendent yearning for redemptive change...

Therefore choose courage! (DATE DE PARUTION 16 OCTOBRE 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

choosecourageWajsmanbw.jpgVeterans Week this year, culminating in Remembrance Day on Sunday, has a special resonation. Canada lost more of its bravest and boldest in foreign fields than it has in a long time. As we remember and pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, we need to reflect on exactly what that sacrifice was for. What is at stake when a horrible evil is loose in the world and must be subdued. How our fate is tied up with others around the globe fighting the same fight. Too often in our smug comfort we think the world beyond our borders has little to do with us. We don’t feel it viscerally.

Un appel aux citoyens engagés – join us and help us!

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

We are proud to present you with our first year anniversary retrospective. It has been quite a ride.

We started the Métropolitain to celebrate individual spirit and initiative that seeks to free itself from the suffocating constraints of the culture wars. We have advocated for the restoration of the sovereignty of the individual over domains which the state should not have entered and on which it should not have legislated. We have opposed rule and regulation aimed at social engineering. We have helped the vulnerable. We have given so many who have felt marginalized for so long a sense of community by speaking across the language divide. And we have reminded Montrealers—so long imprisoned in Quebec’s mentality of self-doubt driven by a jealousy of others self-belief—that our unique multiculturalism and multilingualism needs a broader international vision that does not reflexively reject the liberal pluralism of those western nations from whose philosophical and historical traditions we sprang.

What we’re for (DATE DE PARUTION 29 MAI 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

The Bouchard-Taylor Commission’s recommendations stated many things very well. They echoed much that was obvious and most of the conclusions exhibited a great deal of common sense. But even coming in some twenty per cent below budget, a commendable achievement for a government mandate, common sense was the least we should have expected...

Broken promises: The Ala Morales affair (DATE DE PARUTION 19 MARS 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

9-3-09-006bw.jpgBefore we take on an advocacy issue that revolves around a single individual, it must meet one important criteria. The story must have within it a multiplicity of elements that affect us all. It is in that context that you should understand the headline of the story of Ala Morales.

Weedbusters! Judge overturns abusive fines

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

Remember our story on business owner Chris Karidogiannis who received an unwelcome present from the city last year? He, and dozens of other Park Ave. merchants  were served with $260 fines for not trimming weeds around city-owned trees in front of their businesses. The fine, in Chris’ case, was  retroactive to the time when Karidogiannis had asked the city to do something about the weeds..

Let’s not forget Labonté’s lair (DATE DE PARUTION 1 MAI 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

When Ville-Marie borough Mayor Benoit Labonté declared himself to be a candidate for the leadership of Pierre Bourque’s municipal party-Vision Montréal. He said “This city needs a mayor,” he said, “…not a steward (intendant)”...

Ottawa “Human Dignity Rally” an inspiring success (DATE DE PARUTION 21 AOÛT 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

china-human-rights-rally.jpgThe Ottawa rally for rights in China, that we have encouraged Mon-trealers to support over the past few weeks, was held last Thursday and was a resounding success. Finally dubbed the “Human Dignity Rally”, it saw hundreds of demonstrators from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto gather in front of the Chinese Embassy, a hulking grey-stone monolith on St. Patrick St., and demand an end to Chinese tyranny, oppression, expansionist ambitions and human rights violations. The rally was timed for the day before the official opening of the Beijing Games.

To rouse the world from fear (DATE DE PARUTION 27 NOVEMBRE 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

Saturday was the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. That tragedy haunts us still. In many ways and at all times. The writer Mary McGrory said on that day that we shall never smile again. Daniel Patrick Moynihan answered no, we may smile again, but we’ll never be young again. For many it was the day hope died...

Days that sear our souls (DATE DE PARUTION 15 JANVIER 2009)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

It is a period that reminds us of those historical encounters between governors and governed, when every act of the authorities exasperates the people and every refusal to act excites their contempt. A period of 12 days that should rend our souls asunder with searing intensity and pierce our hearts with rape-like violation. A period that begins with a date held sacred to all those of conscience who engage in the struggle for mankind’s transcendent yearning for redemptive change...

They don’t even pretend anymore (DATE DE PARUTION 6 MAI 2009)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

Though we can’t be surprised anymore, we still need to condemn. The World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, commonly called Durban 2, concluded recently in Geneva. Durban I, eight years ago, at least had the veneer of civility however quickly disabused by the contents. This year’s incarnation didn’t even pretend. How could it? Two gangster regimes — Iran and Libya — co-chaired and co-organized it. The result was as anticipated. But the date was filled with pathos..

The Israel ‘Apartheid’ lies (DATE DE PARUTION 19 MARS 2009)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

Recently we witnessed the fifth Israel Apartheid Week manifestations. In cities from Oxford to New York to Montreal we saw the usual collection of Islamist apologists and their fellow-travelers in academic, political and diplomatic circles. These events sought to portray Israel as an apartheid-era South Africa in relation to its Arab citizens...

Québec and Israel (DATE DE PARUTION 15 MAI 2008)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

Yesterday, the 14th of May, was the 60th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel. Last week, some 15,000 Montrealers marched downtown to celebrate that event on its date on the Jewish calendar. They were not all Jews. They were from many different religious, creeds and races. What brought them together was a fidelity to the struggle of a small, lone democracy surrounded by a sea of tyranny to remain free. The frontline nation in the family of free nations facing an existential threat from Islamist fundamentalism as dangerous as any other ism western civilization has faced in the past one hundred years. This event should have a special resonation for all Quebecers. Because the best of our institutional memory makes us understand the price of liberty better than many...

Hate in the streets (DATE DE PARUTION 15 JANVIER 2009)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

 It was the images as much as the issues that got to you. You couldn’t intellectualize in your own mind what you were seeing. You wanted to ask the demonstrators questions. You wanted to ask why they are not protesting the Hamas murder of some 20,000 opponents in Gaza. You wanted to ask them why they had never protested the murders of thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of Muslims by fellow Muslims in Chechnya, in Iraq, in Somalia and in Darfur...

Stimulate this! (DATE DE PARUTION 5 FÉVRIER 2009)

By Beryl Wajsman on June 18, 2009

The current frenzy of economic stimulus packages sweeping around us like so many forest fires will not — and more importantly, should not — work. The reasons are threefold. First, they are stimulating the perpetuation of a false economy that has caused nightmares for tens of millions. Second, the packages are based on outdated Depression-era models without taking into consideration today’s much different realities. And third, they provide insufficient protection to get people through the tough three to seven years that are to come...

Letter from the publisher: Montreal: time for a new agenda

By Beryl Wajsman on May 28, 2009

bela.jpgWhen we crawled out of the mists of the jungles of history to create communities – villages, the origin of cities - it was not out of what  today’s politically correct zeitgeist would consider a noble purpose. It was done out of selfishness. As it happens, one of mankind’s more creative instincts if husbanded properly.  We realized we could protect ourselves better against the wolves of the forests if we acted together. Defense was the primary motivation for the organization of the community. The word for that organization in Greek is polis. The origin of our modern day “politics” and “policing”. But it was not the sort of policing we have come to suffer through today...

Community activist wins Vice-Presidency of Liberal Party of Canada

By Beryl Wajsman on May 6, 2009

button.jpgMontreal community activist and Robinson, Sheppard, Shapiro family law specialist Brigitte Garceau won election last weekend as Vice-President (Francophone) of the Liberal Party of Canada at its Vancouver convention. The Beaconsfield resident organized a campaign worthy of leading political strategist Warren Kinsella. The title of one of his books, Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics, could well describe the successful run she made.

They don’t even pretend anymore

By Beryl Wajsman on May 6, 2009

ahmadinejad.jpgThough we can’t be surprised anymore, we still need to condemn. The World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, commonly called Durban 2, concluded recently in Geneva. Durban I, eight years ago, at least had the veneer of civility however quickly disabused by the contents. This year’s incarnation didn’t even pretend. How could it? Two gangster regimes — Iran and Libya — co-chaired and co-organized it. The result was as anticipated. But the date was filled with pathos...

Afghanistan: Women’s rights are human rights

By Beryl Wajsman on April 9, 2009


It was a mistake from the beginning to allow the recognition of state faith into Afghanistan’s constitution. It was an even greater error to allow the organization of faith-based political parties. Now the west’s encounter with Afghanistan will be put to an important test. And Canada has a profound role to play.

 Fundamentalist Shia clerics in Afghanistan pushed for the primacy of Sharia law, and exclusivity of it in family law matters. Not satisfied with this, they recently demanded, and obtained passage of what has come to be pejoratively called Afghanistan’s “Rape Law”.

Editorial Staff

Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

Alan Hustak

Senior Editor

Daniel Laprès


Brigitte Garceau

Contributing Editor

Robert J. Galbraith


Roy Piberberg

Editorial Artwork

Mike Medeiros

Copy and Translation

Val Prudnikov

IT Director and Web Design

Editorial Contributors
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