Canada not a model state

The Canadian Jewish News (Toronto) - - Letters To The Editor -

I read with shock Mira Sucharov’s col­umn “We must re­mem­ber that we were once strangers in Egypt,” (Feb. 9).

I could not be­lieve the praise this columnist was giv­ing to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, who tweeted “To those flee­ing per­se­cu­tion, ter­ror & war, Cana­di­ans will welcome you, re­gard­less of your faith.”

The praise con­tin­ues with Rabbi Dan Moskovitz de­scrib­ing Cana­dian im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy as a “model for the world.”

Did she and her sup­port­ers not have any knowl­edge about the re­fusals of ev­ery sin­gle con­sec­u­tive Cana­dian Lib­eral gov­ern­ment to al­low the ad­mis­sion of even one in­di­vid­ual Syr­ian Jew into this coun­try?

The Jewish com­mu­nity was suf­fer­ing in­cred­i­ble re­stric­tions in Syria, not be­ing al­lowed to leave, be­ing in­car­cer­ated in prison dun­geons and tor­tured for even try­ing to es­cape, be­ing watched and mon­i­tored con­stantly in their homes and syn­a­gogues by the Syr­ian se­cret po­lice, the Muhabarat, only be­cause they were Jews.

On be­half of the then-cana­dian Jewish Congress, dur­ing the years when I was do­ing the se­cret res­cue, I met with ev­ery Lib­eral min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs and im­mi­gra­tion to ask them, lit­er­ally to beg them, to al­low a few Syr­ian Jews, some or­phans and sin­gle young women to come to Canada and bar­ring that, just to al­low them to en­ter Canada tem­po­rar­ily for a few weeks un­til I could make other ar­range­ments for them. I was pay­ing ran­soms to buy these Jews. This took place not in the 1940s, but as late as 2001.

In dozens of meet­ings with min­is­ters and their as­so­ci­ates, I was ques­tioned about how I knew so much about the Syr­ian Jewish com­mu­nity and was ac­cused on a few oc­ca­sions of be­ing an agent of a for­eign gov­ern­ment. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Dur­ing those dan­ger­ous years of the res­cue, I was able to qui­etly and se­cretly, with enor­mous dif­fi­cul­ties and threats on my life, to bring out 3,228 Jews from the hor­ror of Syria. Five Syr­ian Jews were ad­mit­ted into Canada dur­ing the ten­ure of a Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment.

That was the grand to­tal, Ms. Sucharov.

Judy Feld Carr Toronto

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