In a previous article, I published a vintage photograph of William Lyon Mackenzie King taken during an official visit in Nazi Germany in 1937. Somehow our minds have crossed, as the National Post decided to run this series precisely at the time when I was working on that picture, as part of a book review of Allan Levine’s William Lyon Mackenzie King, A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny. You know the popular saying, « great spirits meet ». That’s the way I would like to think about it, anyway. Again, I want to thank the National Post for talking about these things. The editorial board seems to take seriously their mission of informing the population and sharing important aspects of our history and heritage, and sometimes suppressed ones. Decidedly, it is important to know where we come from, if we want to have any chance of surviving the difficult decades and centuries to come.
During the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, anti-semitism was rampant and became literally the norm. It was « cool » to be anti-semite in those days. Allan Levine’s book seems to deal about that extensively, as Mackenzie King was at the center of a political scene profoundly disturbed about this issue and that was forced to take a stand for strategicals reasons, among others. Levine provides a few examples of difficult situations where choices had to be made, such as an offer by the Jewish community of Canada to cover for the expanses of 10,000 Jews, which was rejected by King, the tragic fate of the SS St-Louis’ German Jew refugees who were turned away by Canada while they awaited a sure death in Germany, and the incredible statistic of only 5,000 Jewish refugees admitted in Canada between 1933-1945. The parallel with today situation throughout the world, which makes this book so extraordinary and important, is staggering, but with a slight difference. In effect, today, the new plague that corrupts this world is not anti-semitism per se. No. It is rather called « anti-zionism », which allows for hypocrit real anti-semites to cloak their hatred of Jews behind a veil of left-wing purity and candour. You see, these people are not anti-semites, no. They just can’t stand Israelis, that’s not the same… But Canada is on the good side now, with the good attitude, since the arrival of the Conservaties in Ottawa. And for Quebec, my friends and I with « Les Amis Québécois d’Israel » on facebook, are working on it… Eventually, it will pay off.