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An American Loves St. John’s and Fears for the safety of the Jewish community


Anti-Semitic messaging leads to anti-Semitic violence and intimidation.

My wife and I are immigrants from the United States. We moved to St. John’s in 2018, and since moving here we have marveled at how lovely, welcoming, and safe the city is. We are both proud to have welcomed our first child - Asher Grant Rubinstein - into the world in 2021, and are doubly proud that he is a native born Newfoundlander. We absolutely love it here, and want our son to as well.

So we’ve been frankly horrified by the recent anti-Semitic ads on the Metrobus. I understand and affirm that political speech is a sacrosanct right, but this is not political speech. I come from a mixed family background - Catholic on my mother’s side and Jewish on my father’s. My father’s father, Chaim “Harry” Rubinstein, was a Holocaust survivor, and the only one of his family to survive. I understand why these ads may be viewed as simply political in nature, but unfortunately they are not political - they are hateful and inciting. It is not critical of a policy or government, it is a racist lie aimed at an entire people. They are classic anti-Semitic messaging that, intended or not, will lead to anti-Semitic violence and intimidation. The lie that Israel is an apartheid state is the modern version of the Medieval blood libel - that the Jews are a dangerous, insidious group intent on harming the innocent. It is notable that Israel alone is targeted with this label, even in the face of the treatment of the Uyghars by the PRC, the Kurds by Turkey/Syria/Iraq, and all religious minorities by the current Iranian regime. This is not an oversight, it is an intentional smear. It is, firstly, easily disproved - there is freedom of religion, speech, and assembly in Israel, and citizens of every race, creed, gender, and sexuality freely permeate every aspect of social, academic, economic, political, and military life in Israel, to an extent not even seen in some G7 countries - and secondly it is entirely intended to harm the Jewish people as guilty by association.

Anti-Semitic messaging leads to anti-Semitic violence and intimidation.

As of this writing there have been at least one arrest on grounds of threatening violence and possibly terrorism, two investigations into threats of violence, and one act of pubic anti-Semitic vandalism. These are all aimed at my people. They are indubitably incited by these ads.

Tomorrow I will go to synagogue to celebrate the Sabbath, but I will be leaving my son at home with my wife. It is because I am afraid of what could happen to him if we were attacked.

That may sound hysterical to you. But anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise worldwide, and ads like these incite the bigoted and mischievous alike - you don’t have to look far to see it across the globe. I hope we see no more than we already have here in St. John’s. Please help have them removed on the grounds that they are offensive, racist, and inciting.

Anti-Semitic messaging leads to anti-Semitic violence and intimidation. Below you will find information from the Anti-Defamation League about the rise of anti-Semitism, as well as that the apartheid lie is intrinsically racist.


Paul Jason Rubinstein


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