The Real Story
The Real Story Podcast
What happened here matters.

What happened here matters.

On the Feast Day of Saint Patrick, a conversation with a prominent Jewish woman who was purged from public life in an incident of antisemitic mass hysteria, in Canada, in 2024.

A thing I couldn’t do: stop remembering.

For anyone unfamiliar with the story of the public lynching of the mildly Zionist and inoffensively progressive British Columbia cabinet minister Selina Robinson last month, here’s some background.

Long story, short version: British Columbia Premier David Eby’s ouster of Robinson was a capitulation to some of the most vile antisemites you could ever have the misfortune to encounter. Whatever misapprehension you may have been harbouring, Robinson’s removal from office was not a consequence of something she said in a January 30 B’nai Brith panel discussion about antisemitism in Canada.

Do not allow yourself to forget what happened to this woman.

While this was a very public lynching, what went almost wholly unnoticed was that Robinson’s gallows were being noisily built for several weeks before January 30. The construction work was carefully orchestrated, and the ugly success of its purpose was celebrated by the propaganda offices of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, best known for airline hijackings and suicide bombings.

The PFLP’s Vancouver-headquartered overseas propaganda arm Samidoun was behind the Lynch-Selina campaign from the start. I point this out only to give you an idea about what was really going on.

Here’s some further background, which you could come back to after listening to my chat with Selina if you like.

My original report in the National Post: The despicable untruths behind Selina Robinson's political lynching. Too many journalists have fallen for claims that the B.C. cabinet minister said something 'racist.' She didn't. See also The Real Story backstory: The Problem With The Selina Robinson Story... It wasn't true. What follows is the story of what really happened. And in Robinson’s own words, the remarkable J’accuse letter she wrote to her New Democratic Party colleagues.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Because it’s the Feast Day of Saint Patrick I should probably make plain to newcomers here why this sort of thing is very personal. This should adequately explain: The Faith Of Our Fathers. But that’s really only half the story.

From long before the October 7 pogrom, the descent of the democratic “Left” into something that only rarely derives from its humane foundational mission has been something of a preoccupation of mine. Its 21st century avant garde iteration tends to only superficially resemble its antecedents. Antisemitism of a radical-chic sort, usually in the form of “anti-Zionism,” occupies a prominent place in Left polemics, and has become a central standpoint of the “progressive” worldview.

Since October 7, as a journalist, I have tried to find ways to make myself useful, to tell people things they probably didn’t know, to report aspects of this civilizational struggle that illuminate the stakes involved for our common humanity. I’ve already included enough links here. Just Google me.

Those high stakes very much do involve the horrible suffering of the Palestinians of Gaza. Israelis do not need to take instruction about this from me or anyone else. Jews do not need to be hectored about this.

I find myself searching for angles that show that the glass is half full. I look for places where you can see some light getting in. The current atmosphere of antisemitic hysteria across the “western world” is without precedent since the time of the Shoah.

I’ve tried to make some use of myself to my Jewish friends, but there’s little to be done beyond calling or popping in. How are you getting on? That kind of thing. Chin up, I keep finding myself saying.

This is not entirely useless I guess, but because of the day it is I’ll conclude as I did on March 17 last year with a distinctly Irish contemplation of uselessness. It’s from Timothy O’Grady’s lovely novel I Could Read The Sky.

What I couldn’t do.

Eat a meal lacking potatoes. Trust banks. Wear a watch. Ask a woman to go for a walk. Work with drains or with objects smaller than a nail.

Drive a motor car. Eat tomatoes. Remember the routes of buses. Wear a collar in comfort. Win at cards. Acknowledge the Queen. Abide loud voices.

Perform the manners of greeting and leaving. Save money. Take pleasure in work carried out in a factory. Drink coffee. Look into a wound. Follow cricket.

Understand the speech of a man from West Kerry. Wear boots or shoes made from rubber. Best PJ in an argument. Speak with men wearing collars.

Stay afloat in water. Understand their jokes. Face the dentist. Kill a Sunday.

Stop remembering.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. Drink in moderation if you take a drink at all. Try to be useful and happy.

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