On Sunday night, Montreal’s Hillel Concordia abruptly cancelled a Monday talk by political activist Ryan Bellerose, founder of Calgary United with Israel (CUWI).
It would have been a pro-Israel talk, which nowadays, Jews being so passionately divided on Israel, made certain Hillel constituents volubly unhappy. A pretext for disinviting him was found in what were deemed unacceptably crude satirical tweets posted by Bellerose about Hamas terrorists, unremarkable in their context, on an #AskHamas thread. Conceived to market Hamas propaganda, the thread ended up being buried in an avalanche of vicious and often hilarious anti-Hamas ridicule (e.g., “#AskHamas. Dying to know how to kill Jews, gays, women, kids…?” by Anne Bayefsky).
But Hillel’s bad faith (in my opinion, weighing their explanation against credible other sources) is not the story today. Rather, let me introduce you to the remarkable Ryan Bellerose.
Ryan Bellerose is a Métis from Northern Alberta. He grew up living rough on a “rez,” speaking “michif” until he was five years old. His father is Mervin Bellerose, who co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990, which cemented Métis land rights. Ryan’s own people’s indigenous rights — and indeed all human rights — are therefore a passion he comes by honestly...