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Beryl Wajsman

Broken promises: The Ala Morales affair

By Beryl Wajsman on March 19, 2009

Before 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 Morale...

The Israel ‘Apartheid’ lies

By Beryl Wajsman on March 19, 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...

World Parliamentary Alliance against Anti-Semitism meets in London

By Beryl Wajsman on February 26, 2009

DSC_3027.jpgOver 100 parliamentarians from 35 different countries gathered in in London from February 15-17th for the founding conference of the International Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (ICCA) hosted by the UK Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Stimulate this!

By Beryl Wajsman on February 5, 2009

Money_on_Wall_Streetbw.jpgThe 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 Second, the packages are based on outdated Depression-era models without taking into consideration today’s much different realities.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...

Echoes of darker evils

By Beryl Wajsman on February 5, 2009

The next time labour leaders in Canada want to know why there is such antipathy to their agenda in many quarters, they need look no further than the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ Ontario wing. Over the past ten days its president, Sid Ryan, has been up to his anti-Israel agitation for the second time in 30 months. This time he wants a boycott of t Israeli academic institutions.,,

Days that sear our souls

By Beryl Wajsman on January 15, 2009

This week and next, we would do well to pause and reflect on the solemn and universal backdrop against which this period of time unfolds every year...

Hate in the streets

By Beryl Wajsman on January 15, 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...

The Ignatieff ascendancy

By Beryl Wajsman on December 18, 2008

Many have speculated what a Michael Ignatieff Liberal Party will look like. With his ascendancy we will soon find out. After the turbulent events of the past few weeks this country needs what Harry Truman once called some “plain speaking”. Not just for the sake of Michael Ignatieff’s party but for the sake of conscience and for the sake of this country. Without fidelity to conscience, public men are of little use......

A very Canadian coup

By Beryl Wajsman on December 18, 2008

 Let us make no mistake about what happened in our land this month. The political posturing, particularly of the NDP and the Bloc, created a crisis far more acute and far-reaching than any economic challenges we may face...

The Charest legacy

By Beryl Wajsman on December 18, 2008

Jean Charest won an historic third consecutive election victory. And he won it with a majority. We will not be among those indulging in over analysis of the numbers...

The swollen envy of pygmy minds

By Beryl Wajsman on December 18, 2008

This past Monday, civil rights champion Brent Tyler told the Supreme Court of Canada that the Quebec government is violating the constitutional rights of immigrant parents by denying their children access to English-language public schools. Tyler added,  and we concur wholeheartedly, that the policy could threaten the long-term viability of the English school system by eroding its student base. The issue this time is the constitutionality of Quebec’s Bill 104.,,

Trivializing Hate

By Beryl Wajsman on November 27, 2008

This week Rouba Elmerhebi Fahd, mother of the United Talmud Torah fire bomber,  received a sentence of only twelve months probation after having been found guilty in September of being an accessory after the fact in the firebombing. The trial judge qualified the attack on the Jewish school as a terrorist act...

To rouse the world from fear

By Beryl Wajsman on November 27, 2008

 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...

Citizen Obama

By Beryl Wajsman on November 13, 2008

He started by testing the waters. That was what his campaign was all about at the start. Barack Obama burned with ideas and ideals, but he knew as a junior Senator with relatively little national exposure, that his 2008 campaign would probably be all about positioning. Positioning for the next time. But then something happened. Iowa...

Therefore choose courage! A personal reflection on memory and witness

By Beryl Wajsman on October 16, 2008

My father died this past Monday. At a time when so much of the currency of our public discourse is spent on meaningless façade, political correctness and false piety, I wanted to share this article I wrote last Remembrance Day about him. Our political elites could take a few lessons from a member of the “greatest generation”...

“What ever happened over just one night?” One on one with Julie Couillard

By Beryl Wajsman on October 16, 2008

She was never charged with any crime. She was never the object of any complaint. She’s lived her life openly and transparently. But in the public life of this country, anyone can be targeted if they can be abused for political gain to get at someone else. The math in politics is simple. Add two plus two and make sure it equals five...

Canada and Julie Cuillard

By Beryl Wajsman on October 16, 2008

My interview with Julie Couillard caused me to reflect on some issues in her story that really are message and metaphor for some sad realities in the public life - political and journalistic - of this country. I wanted to share them with you particularly on election week...

Cassandra’s Lilacs succeeds in “gentling the condition”

By Beryl Wajsman on October 16, 2008

Some 600 people came to the Théatre St-Denis Thursday, October 2 and took part in a unique celebration of community activism and community solutions. It was the Garceau Foundation’s first major benefit called Cassandra’s Lilacs, The “Gentle the Condition” Concert. Put on in co-operation with the Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal, the concert was a rare multi-artist and multi-charity event...

Why our elections highlight the need for a true Canadian Republic

By Beryl Wajsman on September 18, 2008

rime Minister Harper’s frustration with a recalcitrant opposition was understandable. An opposition that sabre-rattled with weekly regularity yet supported the government on some forty confidence votes. 

Stars give of themselves for “Cassandra’s Lilacs” concert

By Beryl Wajsman on September 18, 2008

Jazz great Ranée Lee is the latest performer to join the star-studded line-up for the “Cassandra`s Lilacs” Gentle the Condition concert to be held Oct. 2 at 7.30 p.m. at Théâtre St. Denis. The concert is being staged by the Garceau Foundation in co-operation with the Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal...

The “Gentling the condition” Concert

By Beryl Wajsman on September 4, 2008

The most satisfying thing for me about combining the social activism of the Institute for Public Affairs and the journalistic advocacy of media is the ability to help more people more effectively. It has also brought many more people together to do well and gentle the condition...

Ottawa “Human Dignity Rally” an inspiring success

By Beryl Wajsman on August 21, 2008

The 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...

Holding China accountable

By Beryl Wajsman on August 7, 2008

Several weeks ago Nazanin Afshin-Jam, the international human rights campaigner, called me up with an idea. She said that though a boycott rally of the Beijing Olympics was fruitless, she thought it was important to make some kind of demonstration for human rights in China on the eve of the Games’ opening...

Morgentaler: It’s about liberty, not libertines

By Beryl Wajsman on July 10, 2008

French social critic Hervé Juvin's book “L'avènement du corps” (The Elevation of the Body), argues that our ability to live longer has seen the birth of the hedonism of self-preservation replacing the hedonism of self-indulgence...

RFK: “A tiny ripple of hope…”

By Beryl Wajsman on June 12, 2008

Last week we commemorated the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. He was shot on June 5th, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as he was celebrating the California primary victory that would have led him to the Democratic Presidential nomination. He died the next day. For many of us who were coming to political maturity in that turbulent time hope seemed to die with him...

What we’re for

By Beryl Wajsman on May 29, 2008

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...

Québec and Israel. Contre la doctrine du mépris.

By Beryl Wajsman on May 15, 2008

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...

Eternal vigilance : Un appel aux citoyens engagés

By Beryl Wajsman on May 1, 2008

Montrealers are metropolitan. For the most part the citizens of this island, the pearl of the St. Lawrence, get along with not just a special joie-de-vivre but with an unparalleled savoir-faire. They reject the parochialism and prejudice that has characterized so much of the public agenda for so long. For too long their voices have been marginalized by the politics of mediocrity and mendacity. A cheap public discourse of division and discord with the single goal of electoral profit...

Let’s not forget Labonté’s lair

By Beryl Wajsman on May 1, 2008

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)”...


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