Canadians are expected to posses none of these things. It seems what is good for the goose isn't good for the gander. Two recent stories published in the Toronto Star help to illustrate what I mean.
The first one can be read in full here. It tells the tale of a Canadian's efforts to protect the fledgling state of Israel in 1948. He is proud of the establishment of the Jewish state and its accomplishments since then - accomplishments largely subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer - but he offers some reservations about Israel's demographic future.
Margolese, 84, has come a long way from the somewhat sheltered 24-year-old who set out from Manitoba six decades ago, determined to risk his life for the Zionist cause.
When he looks to the future, Margolese is even more anxious about the Holy Land's steadily swelling population of Arabs, whose ranks are increasing more quickly than those of Israeli Jews.
This is what some call the regionn's demographic "time bomb" – a slow-motion explosion that may well pose a more serious threat to Israel's existence as a Jewish state than the seven wars and two Palestinian uprisings it has survived so far.
"They're growing slowly but surely," said Margolese. "They're doing to us what we did to them. We did it with immigration. They're doing it with birth."
When figures reveal that the Canadian population is increasingly foreign born and that visible minorities are forming a greater segment of the population this is usually hailed in the media as a good thing. However, when Jews in Israel are courting minority status due to the increasing number of Israeli Arabs this is something to be taken with concern. Why the difference?
Meanwhile, Israel has transformed itself into a modern and mainly prosperous land, where vineyards, orange groves, and date palm plantations alternate with high-tech industrial parks.
Those gains have come at a great cost. Today, while Israeli Jews celebrate their six decades of independence, Palestinians remember 60 years of sorrow, bloodshed and loss.
Why? If Palestine were Canada we would be celebrating the diversity the Jewish immigrants bring. We would welcome minority status for the host population as a progressive and positive inevitability. So why are Palestinians sorrowful when Canadians are supposed to celebrate?
The exile Tibetan community offers another example of the double standard. You can read the whole story here.
'At home' in Little Tibet
In numbers of about 1,700 and growing, Parkdale Tibetans find comfort in their burgeoning community and the culture they're preserving
May 15, 2008 04:30 AM
In the last decade, more than 3,000 Tibetans have moved to Toronto, making it the largest Tibetan community in North America, according to the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario. Of those, roughly 1,700 settled in Parkdale, which had no Tibetan residents prior to 1996, according to Census data.
"It's only going to grow," said Norbu, who projects the population will reach 10,000 city-wide within five to 10 years.
Most Tibetans say they came to Canada because it's easier to apply for refugee status than in the U.S, particularly since 9/11. But they also acknowledge the snowball effect: once a few Tibetans moved here, others followed.
"Tibetans come here (to Parkdale) because it's easy to find a place to live, and Tibetans are here," said Lhakpa Tsering, who came to the neighbourhood from India two years ago. His wife and two children were already here.
Not only is it easier to apply for refugee status in Canada than in the U.S., it is also easier to apply for refugee status in Canada than anywhere else in the western world. Everyone in the developing world knows, and I mean everyone, that if you want to make a refugee claim Canada is the place to do it. We have the laxest and the most abusable refugee system in the entire world. Also, Canada shouldn't be accepting Tibetan refugees who arrived here from India. To do so is an insult to India. India is a safe country for asylum seeking Tibetans.
"When I first started to stay in this area, I feel like I'm still at home, because I still see all my friends, all the familiar faces who talk the same language," said Kunga, now a board member of the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario.
He said Parkdale Tibetans are cohesive and work hard to preserve their culture, partly out of fear for the future of their homeland, which has been under Chinese control for a half-century.
"I used to fear that Tibetan culture would be destroyed outside of Tibet," he said. "Now I fear Tibetan culture will disappear more in Tibet."
That last quote is telling. The intention inherent in that statement is the preservation of one's culture in another's cultural space. When taken to extremes the introduced culture overwhelms the host culture and the host culture is effectively replaced. This is at the heart of the concern over a future Arab dominated Israeli state, the loss of land by the Palestinians, and the colonization of Tibet by the steady introduction of Han Chinese by the Chinese government to overwhelm and pacify the Tibetan people.
What these people have in common are aspirations for national sovereignty to preserve their language, history, and culture. What they all express is sorrow or anxiety over the loss of their lands and their language, history, and culture. And how does this loss come about? By a demographic shift manifested by immigration and/or by being out-bred by an internal segment of the population. The Palestinians lament the loss of their land by Jewish immigration. Now the Jews lament the loss of Israel by the higher Arab birth rate within Israel. The Tibetans are lamenting the loss of Tibet by Chinese immigration, a weapon of pacification being employed by Beijing.
So why are Canadians to be harangued for expressing the same concerns because of mass immigration and multiculturalism? Why the double standard? Why is it expectant of Canadians to be "multicultural" and embrace its tenets yet immigrant and ethnic groups are allowed, and encouraged, to remain uni-cultural within the Canadian cultural space? How is a unique Canadian identity to be forged within such an environment let alone be preserved? Why do immigrant and ethnic groups champion a multicultural Canada but don't care for such a thing occurring in their home countries? Do they not see that multiculturalism is to Canada what assimilation is to them? That being cultural death.
It seems Canadians are not allowed the development, propagation, and preservation of a Canadian cultural identity. We are supposed to put away such aspirations so that introduced peoples may develop, propagate, and preserve their respective cultures within Canada. When Canada becomes increasingly more Asian that is a good thing. When Israel increasingly becomes more Arab that is a bad thing. When Tibetans immigrate to Canada and colonize portions of it that is a good thing. When Chinese immigrate to Tibet and colonize portions of it that is a bad thing. The list goes on and I hope I've made my point.