If you followed Twitter like I did this past weekend, you would have thought the Freedom Convoy consisted of a host of anti-Semitic white supremacists.
This includes not only the original convoy that reached Ottawa on Jan. 29, but also the ones that came together in cities across Canada this past Saturday.
Having made it one of my missions to expose anti-Semitism – which in the current era is often dressed in the guise of anti-Zionism or hatred of the Jewish state – I paid particular attention to the messages of fear expressed by members of Canada’s Jewish community.
That was until I realized many of the tweets were from ardent leftists whose heads were exploding over the protests themselves. Like the legacy media, many of them seemed determined to malign the truckers and their message no matter how contrary the evidence, and no matter how transparent the leftist agenda was.
The most interesting thing about all of it was the sheer ignorance of the tweeters about one important fact – Benjamin Dichter, a co-organizer of the Freedom Convoy, is Jewish.
And he’s not a Jew who has sat on his hands. He has fought anti-Semitic extremism for years.
But first to give some examples of what was being said over the weekend – Marsha Lederman, the arts correspondent for the Globe and Mail, tweeted from Vancouver on Saturday.
Others repeatedly posted one sign from the convoy at Toronto’s Bloor and Avenue Road:
The sign, an exact reproduction of a flyer that emerged in Miami two weeks ago with names of American Jews, was apparently taken away and torn up by members of the convoy.
But that didn’t stop a Jewish writer by the name of Heather Rosen from obsessing about it, the trucker convoy, vaccines, the need to wear N95 masks and white supremacy on Twitter all weekend under the handle @sweetkeet.
The more I challenged Rosen’s comments, the more ridiculous they became. That is, until she blocked me, alleging the convoy’s members were my friends and that I was supposedly a lesser being for having written for the Toronto Sun.
A Torontonian named Julian Back also jumped on the sign issue.
I replied to Back, telling him he might want to follow me to several of the highly anti-Semitic protests I’ve covered in Toronto in the past few years – including Al Quds day (‘the day of Jew hatred’), regular protests in front of the Israeli consulate on Bloor St. West and a recent protest that filled the Yonge and Bloor intersection with vitriolic anti-Jewish diatribe.
I was at all of them, and I had to listen to anti-Israel protesters single me out for being there.
Evidently, though, Back didn’t much like me speaking the truth. He blocked me with a flourish, tweeting he found nothing more satisfying than doing so.
But to get back to Freedom Convoy co-organizer Benjamin Dichter.
Reached Monday in between interviews, Dichter said the swastika flag that had been spotted in Ottawa during the first weekend of the protests was a hoax. So was an anti-Semitic pamphlet Canadian Anti-Hate Network chair Bernie Farber claimed his friend found in Ottawa. So, too, apparently, was the sign that appeared in Toronto this past weekend.
Dichter said that because we live in an echo chamber, the efforts of some in the Jewish community to lie, fabricate and hate get repeated and perceived as accurate.
Would you ever see Back, Rosen, Lederman or any of the other hysterical weekend tweeters speaking out publicly about any of the anti-Israel protests that pop up in downtown Toronto regularly – including during the COVID lockdown, or that horrible anti-Israel rally at Nathan Phillips Square last May which saw some Jews cornered and terrorized?
Of course not. It doesn’t fit their agenda.