Delegitimizers have targeted Toronto, like London, because a core group of activists already exists, and the anti-Zionists believe their campaign might flourish there. Many of the most strident anti-Zionists are Muslims. Canada’s Muslim population grew more than tenfold from 1981 to 1991 then doubled to nearly 600,000 by 2001, with a strong concentration in Toronto. (…)
The Canadian multicultural “salad bowl” facilitates ethnic bonding, for better and worse. Jews, Italians, Greeks, and Muslims often find it easier to maintain their traditions and distinct identities in Canada, without the pressures of America’s “melting pot.”
In Canada, according to the UJA’s Sokolsky, ethnic divisions are more pronounced. “As a result,” he says, “these ethnic groups tend to be much more siloed” than in the United States. “Behavior we would think of as improper and undemocratic is much more readily accepted socially.”
The virulent anti-Zionism often leeching into anti-Semitism embedded in some Canadian Muslims’ identities receives more in-group encouragement and even government support here. Harper’s government has cut funding to the Canadian Arab Federation and the Canadian Islamic Congress for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah and demonizing Israel, which has triggered accusations of governmental racism.
As in the rest of the West, Canadian anti-Zionism feeds off an unlikely alliance between Islamist fundamentalists and cosmopolitan leftists. Canadian political culture is more European and New Left than American political culture. David Luchins, an American political science professor at Touro College who worked for the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan for two decades, calls Canada a “goo-goo nation,” using the traditional American term for progressive good-government advocates. In this case it means trying to be an upstanding member of the community of nations, which is admirable, but also a devotee of the United Nations, which risks being delusional.
Many Canadian elites still worship at the altar of the international human rights regime McGill Professor John Humphrey helped construct after World War II. An elaborate organizational infrastructure also intensifies and funds Canadian anti-Zionism as an expression of general solidarity with the left, including the CBC public broadcasting system, leading labor unions, some government-mandated student organizations, and certain Quebec nationalist organizations.