Shared experiences of oppression and racism bind Canada’s Jews and Native people in a common battle to fight hatred, the grand chief of Quebec’s northern Cree told a conference yesterday.
“Part of a shared experience between Aboriginal Peoples and Jews is a history of oppression, of marginalization, and of struggling to retain our identities as societies within larger, often hostile and hateful societies,” Grand Chief Ted Moses told an anti-Semitism conference organized by the Canadian Jewish Congress.
The event attracted the father of slain American reporter Daniel Pearl, Canadian political leaders, human rights experts and a variety of Quebec political commentators.
In an emotional speech, Judea Pearl denounced the growing global scourge of anti-Semitism and discussed his family’s efforts to address the root causes of hate that resulted in his son’s death.
Mr. Pearl was a Wall Street Journal re porter who was kidnapped and killed last year in Pakistan while researching militants and terrorism in Pakistan.
In a videotape of his killing, Mr. Pearl defiantly told his captors that he was Jewish.
Mr. Pearl’s killing highlights the new realities of the world following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said his father.
“Danny was not killed for what he knew or for what he wrote or for what he intended to write,” Judea Pearl said. “He was killed for what he represented and what he represented was each one of us.”
“The legacy of Daniel Pearl represents not a story of martyrdom, not a claim for victim hood but a proud reminder of who we are and what we stand for as well as a vivid reminder of who our adversaries are and what they stand for,” he said.
A series of conference speakers described the worsening anti-Semitism that has arisen around the world since the 2001 terror attacks.
“We are entering a new, escalating, virulent, global and even lethal anti-Semitism,” said Irwin Cotier, a renowned human rights professor and Liberal MP.