A Jewish guy, a Pakistani, and an Irish guy walk into a bar. . .
Some crazy redneck walks up to our threesome, notices the guy in the middle is a Jew because he's wearing a kippah, and the redneck unleashes a stream of antisemitic invective. And he won't stop. And he won't go away.
The bar is crowded. Everybody's furious and disgusted. Nobody's quite sure what to do.
The Pakistani guy says: "Look, I'm a lawyer. How about I file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission?"
The Jew objects, and says: "The marketplace of ideas needs its fearless mavericks."
The Irish guy turns to the redneck and punches the guy's lights out. Everybody in the bar returns to their quiet conversations. End of story.
This wasn't a story about which way is best. The point is, it's about all of us, and this is a crowded bar.
Two good things about Jonathan Kay's column:
The first is that it shows there's something rather less than true about the things we always hear about how the "Jewish lobby" controls the media in Canada. The Asper family's flagship National Post has been going after the Canadian Jewish Congress so much lately it's now winning popularity contests all over the Neo-Nazi and Anti-Zionist interwebs.
The second is that there are a some important things in the column that Kay gets quite right.
Where he's wrong is in thinking that the ongoing free speech hulabaloo in Canada is merely "a struggle for the political soul of the Jewish community," and and that "anti-Semitism is completely extinct in our society's respectable mainstream."
If he really thinks that, he needs to get out more.
This is a fine bar, especially when it's noisy and crowded. There's all sorts of interesting people here.