Montreal Students Trayf Up Yearbook

The Globe & Mail reports,

Montreal’s exclusive Lower Canada College is again in an embarrassing spot after two graduating students placed coded messages calling for death to all Jews in the school’s yearbook as a joke.

The statements, in a jumble of acronym-like e-mail shorthand, were spotted hours before the 2003-2004 yearbook was to be widely distributed this month.

All 1,000 copies were destroyed.

Full story.

15 thoughts on “Montreal Students Trayf Up Yearbook

  1. Jewish community groups said they felt the incident wasn’t serious.
    “We have concluded that the two offensive comments were intended as a ‘secret’ that the two 16-year-olds thought no one would notice,”
    Mr. Bennett said … that the authors have Jewish friends and are not anti-Semitic.

    So, the wasps at LCC are really okay and no deeper investigation is needed.
    Classic statements of denial.
    I’m in England on business outside of London now. A simple question on shabbat of the local situation and you get a hushed reply about ‘just’ a ‘few’ shouts out of passing cars, some minor incidents at the shul, etc… Hey the kids here where the exact same burgandy/grey uniforms that those at LCC where, so…

  2. Hey, don’t get too paranoid. For once, it seemed like the Jewish groups were able to keep cool heads and deal with the situation appropriately. We need not run around like chicken little everytime some fool makes an antisemitic comment. It serves none of us well.

  3. Classic statements of denial.
    Lots of Jewish kids still go to LCC. Jews are on the school’s board of directors. These were two kids, out of a large school population, who didn’t even mean it; and as soon as anyone got wind of it, all yearbooks were immediately destroyed.
    I don’t see how this rates as a worrisome event — unless you were under the illusion that noone anywhere is capable of antisemitic comment.
    Insofar as one realises that antisemitism exists, though, this is both an extremely negligable expression of it, and a swift and responsible rejection of it once even a hint of it surfaced.

  4. The issue is not so much the response as it is the question of why they thought that this would be funny. I wouldn’t run around screaming bloody murder, but I would think carefully about how this happened and what to do to prevent future incidents.

  5. My question is why to 16 yr-olds thought it was a good joke to put death threats in a school year book. That could be emblematic of something much bigger that is being completely missed by this. (And yes I am being paranoid. It is a good survival technique in a world that tends to kill us with little or no thought from those not directly involved.)

  6. Gotta good buddy who’s knee deep in Montreal Hillel, politics, etc. They city is on edge my friends. And it’s only getting worse.

  7. Never thought i would agree with Asaf on anything, and I am eagerly awaiting his one way trip out of my country. Nevertheless, this does sound like a couple 16 year old knuckleheads doing something stupid, not like the crap we have seen at Concordia.
    It’s an unfortunate symptom of both the times and the shortcomings of our own community when we are unable to distinguish between the things we should freak out over and things we shouldn’t. The problem is that it creates a seige mentality among our youth that can foster an overstatement of the pressures faced as jewish students, which has the net effect of driving away the majority of students who are not zealously attached to or supportive of israel and/or jewish things. That is where the real harm to our community is coming from, NOT from the israel bashers or extremeist anti-semites.
    And montreal, like Berkeley and other freak cities, has been on the edge for years now. This is nothing new.

  8. “a seige mentality among our youth that can foster an overstatement of the pressures faced as jewish students, which has the net effect of driving away the majority of students who are not zealously attached to or supportive of israel and/or jewish things. That is where the real harm to our community is coming from, NOT from the israel bashers or extremeist anti-semites”
    Tell you what Cano’whoopass, I’ll meet you half-way. I agree with you that being hypersensitive and freaking out at every little thing is not helpful. However, that is only part of where the “real harm” comes from. The other part comes from people who keep a low-level buzz of anti-Israeli bias constantly humming, with fluctuations in the volume. The level at which the fluctuations of anti Israel and/or anti-Semitic sentiment run at, are a function depending on the recency level of embarrassingly bad behaviour their associations have engaged in (intimidation and violently blocking free speech on campus) vs. the embarrassingly bad behaviour sometimes exhibited by the IDF (home demolitions, civilian casualties etc.). There are little provocations built into university newspapers, criticisms of Israel and Zionists conflated into articles that are not really on that topic, stances against Israel by groups with innocuous sounding names such as Mobilization Against War etc. My school (Simon Fraser University) is holding an anti-colonial art contest in solidarity with the 1st Nations who were nonplussed at a fairly insensitive mural purchased by the school. In the contest information sheets, they list the “usual suspects”- Canadian Troops out of Haiti, US out of Iraq, Israeli Occupation etc. This crew does not seem to be interested in taking a stance against China in Tibet, Janjaweed all over black Africans, Indonesia in Timor, Everyone except for natives out of North America etc. Unlike the people for a free Tibet and the Chess club, who are specific with their names, they take an umbrella term like “anti-war” and specialize on Israel and the US. This is digressing a bit, but you can see how there is a constant low level of crap. One must take their pick and choose which to address and which nine to ignore.
    More to the point is that when Hillel invites speakers (eg. Yacov Brosch the Israeli Consul General) to a school, and he gets shut down by a bunch of sanctimonious anti-war protesters shouting “Nazi” etc, a good opportunity for discourse is shot down. So when Netanyahu or somebody comes to speak, it occurs in a venue. Those who want to be in the venue (ie those interested in the topic) go there and try to pick apart each others’ arguments. This is good. When that process is disrupted, unfortuately, the debate spills out into the halls, the school newspaper etc. All the people who are not interested are then subjected to our issues. After a while, they are quite rightly annoyed, and they say “a curse on both your houses.” At least this has been my experience at SFU.
    So while the Jewish community crying “the sky is falling is not helpful” the real problem comes from people who like to conflate everything bad in the world with Jews and Israel, and said people’s fear of civilized debate.
    Sorry, I am feeling long winded. Must have been the coffee.

  9. Nik, your perspective is off. understandable of course, but it is still skewered nonetheless. That is not meant as an insult. I graduated from Berkeley in 2002. I have a full understanding of anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses, and the hard left wackiness that usually goes hand in hand with it. As Bill Clinton used to say, “I feel your pain.”
    But you gotta understand, nobody, and I mean nobody, gives a rat’s ass what happens at SFU except students who are at SFU. The only thing you should be worred about there is reaching out to Jewish students and those students who are not drawn to leftist non-mainstream causes. There is absolutely nothing that the leftist and anti-israel students can accomplish at your school except create a situation in which Jewish students are driven away from their identity and relationship with Israel.
    Debate, civilized or otherwide, with people who hate Israel is a waste of your time. I speak this from experience my friend, I’ve been in your shoes multiplied by a billion, and my biggest regret is that I spent time arguing with knuckleheads whose opinions are completely irrelevant rather than focus on ways to reach out to Jews and non-Jewish mainstream students whose opinions might actually have some sort of impact in Israel.
    Debating the Israel haters for any reason will never accomplish that.
    Now it’s time for my coffee. Peace.

  10. Didn’t intend for my post to be a ‘sky is falling’ warning (been there, done that already).
    What struck me was the non-chalant ‘hazara l’shigra’ (return to routine/call off the cavalry) attitude at least evident in this article and as well as some of the replies, especially Asaf’s typical shrug.
    Now that I think about it…what if the kids had only inserted a mere joke about death to blacks. Would we have shrugged this off too?

  11. Josh:
    That was sort of the direction I was trying to go in.
    While I am a bit older than 16, I remember being 16. I rarely made jokes about something I didn’t at least have an opinion about. I also went to a public school where I was one of only 2 Jews in the school. I had problems with occasional anti-semetism. I also live in a state that has a very high per-capita of white supremist movements in it. These things don’t, as 976 not 411 said, come out of thin air. And if these two kids have these thoughts, it is not because they are 16, it is because somewhere along the way they had been exposed, and more than once, to that kind of thought.
    Once again am I paranoid about this kind of thing, yes. Years ago our ‘family’ ignored the signs in Germany and other parts of Europe. Is this the same, Not Yet. But it can go that way, especially if we completely ignore it.

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