Over the past few days, the Jewish Community and the Montreal police have been jumping through hoops trying to assure the Jewish Community that the bombings of two restaurants and a Jewish home in Cote St. Luc were not hate crimes, even though the evidence, and common sense tell otherwise.

The truth of the matter is, regardless of what the actual motivation of the bombers were, these three acts of terrorism on the Jewish community, (and yes, I will use the word terrorism mainly because the last bombing at Chops Restaurant was done while the establishment was open with customers inside) have shaken the Jewish Community. With everyone remaining tight lipped on a potential motive but insisting  that the bombings weren’t hate related, one has to wonder why the lack of transparency when the community needs answers.

On Monday, the Montreal police said that the three crimes had different “MOs” even though all three used Molotov Cocktails. Spokesman Simon Delorme said investigators believe different individuals carried out each attack, but wouldn’t specify what the differences were.

Apparently the Montreal police department have never heard of terrorist cells that work independently of each other to attack a community.

Syvain Hazan, owner of Restaurant Le Shalom, the first restaurant bombed on Friday, told the National Post that this past weekend was the “worst weekend of [his] life”.  

Ouri Ohayon, the owner of Chops Restaurant, who has offered a $20,000 reward for the capture of the attackers, told the National Post that he didn’t feel it was an anti-Jewish attack because those are usually aimed at synagogues.

Reza Tehrani-Cohen, the owner of the home in Cote St Luc that was attacked, who has a long history of being attacked due to his business dealings, also affirmed to the National Post “I don’t know what the reason is … But there is no hate crime. It has nothing to do with that.”

David Ouellette, spokesman for Federation’s Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs agreed, claiming that the incidents didn’t match other anti-Jewish incidents because they weren’t targeted against major religious centers like synagogues.

A preposterous claim, since every kosher establishment, to a hater, is a Jewish target.

It seems to me, a simple observer with no access to the evidence, that all the responses seem to be coordinated and scripted to assure the Jewish Community that there is no threat against them. Going with the theory If you repeat it enough times, it becomes true, Federation and company are trying very hard to placate the community to avoid panic.

But facts are facts, three attacks against three unrelated Jewish locations in three days tells the story.

Until our Community leaders and police department come clean and tell the community why they don’t consider this a hate crime or an act of terror, we should be very afraid. Not afraid of attackers, but afraid of the Federation media machine that has turned the police department and each and every victim of this crime into a Stepford Wife, each armed with the same script, each spouting the same conclusion.

By Howie Silbiger – publisher of The Montreal Jewish News

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