Senator's defence of residential schools akin to excusing Holocaust, NDP MP says - Politics - CBC News
Senator's defence of residential schools akin to excusing Holocaust, NDP MP says
Lynn Beyak defended 'well-intentioned' residential school system in Senate speech Tuesday
An attempt by Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak to paint the residential school system as "well-intentioned" is akin to defending actions taken by Adolf Hitler against the Jewish people in the Second World War, NDP MP and residential schools survivor Roméo Saganash said Thursday.
"It equals saying what Hitler did to the Jewish [people] was good, that he wasn't ill-intentioned in doing what he did. So, that's why it's unacceptable," Saganash said in an interview with CBC News outside the House of Commons.
"I think she should resign, because we don't need those kinds of people either in Parliament or the Senate," Saganash said.
"If one reads the definition of genocide
under the UN convention, it's pretty clear to that effect that forcibly removing children … constitutes genocide, OK? That's the gravity of the comment in my view."
He implored Beyak to read the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which document the atrocities that tens of thousands of children faced. (The United Nations considers abduction and disappearances as one of the "elements" of the crime of genocide.)
A Jew's education on Canada's residential schools atrocity
How a trip with Indigenous leaders to Yad Vashem, Israel's museum of the Holocaust, was the beginning of my lesson on Canada's own crime against humanity
When I was in school there were two things I learned nothing about
: the Holocaust and the treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
And while the two genocides were much different, the pain, I would learn more than 30 years later, was the same.
That lesson began while I was with the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and had to deal publicly with anti-Semitic remarks made at a federal health conference by a former chief of the Assembly of First Nations, David Ahenakew
, in 2002.
Ahenakew would eventually be convicted of promoting hatred. The conviction was later overturned, the judge in the case ruling that while the remarks were "revolting, disgusting and untrue," they were not made with the intent to incite hatred. It was through this experience that I began to understand that our two peoples knew nothing of each other's ordeals.
That troubled me until I had the good fortune to meet Chief Phil Fontaine. We spoke. I learned that we were two peoples travelling parallel but separate paths. We planned a trip to Israel that included chiefs of Canada's First Nations and leaders of the CJC.
Many criticized it as a political trip. Others insinuated it was an attempt to propagandize the treatment of First Nations peoples in Canada. It wasn't either of those. It was a trip of mutual learning that helped us embrace each other's experience.
On the final day of our journey, we gathered at Yad Vashem, Israel's museum of the Holocaust. There, on the grounds, is a children's memorial designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie
The memorial is a dark hall of mirrors in which a single candle is reflected millions of times. On an audio loop, the names of the Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust are read out. It takes a year and a half to recite all the names once.
When we exited the exhibit overwhelmed by sadness and grief, Elder Fred Kelly
and Fontaine asked us all to form a healing circle.
When it comes to caring about children closer to home the Jews kind of lose all that compassion so fot the Indians of Canada it all seems like a exercise in being two-face in the extreme.
Video: Right-wing Israelis celebrate the deaths of Gazan children - Telegraph
Right-wing Israelis celebrate the deaths of Gazan children
Video from a far-right Tel Aviv demonstration shows the crowd chanting, "there is no school tomorrow; there are no children left in Gaza"
"There is no school tomorrow; there are no children left in
,” chanted the right-wing extremists gathered opposite Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, waving
flags and shaking their fingers in the air.
As the the cries of “I hate all the Arabs” and “Gaza is a cemetery” intensified, some of the protestors tried to accost the participants in one of the country’s biggest anti-war demonstrations this year.
“Go protest in Gaza!” they shouted at the thousands spread all over Tel Aviv’s main protest square, in a demonstration that dwarfed the extremists’ riot.
In one corner of the square, just metres away from those calling for the continuation of the war, dozens of tea light candles were set up as a border around the youths crouched inside. Quietly, they lit and placed candles around photographs of both Palestinians and Israelis killed in the war so far.
“Free Palestine” said one poster in shades of the Palestinian flag as it was held up by a protestor against the background of Tel Aviv municipality building which had been lit up in turn to look like a giant flag of Israel.