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 Posted Wednesday, March 3, 1999

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March 3, 1999

Letters to the Editor

Misplaced revenge is not so sweet [letter]

by John Martin

Re For Crimes Not Committed (Focus -- Feb. 20) and War-Crime Process Imperfect, Vital (letter -- Feb. 27):

Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Kudos to Kirk Makin for his courageous report on the case of Johann Dueck. He must have known what kind of malicious vituperation would inevitably follow such an article.

And, sure enough, Moshe Ronen, of the Canadian Jewish Congress, reacted in predictably knee-jerk fashion, imputing to Mr. Makin an "insensitivity that borders on the obscene," continuing to say that his commentary "goes beyond the borders of decency."

Mr. Makin's comments were certainly not obscene. They were an appeal to justice and compassion. The description of the government's case against Mr. Dueck as a "witch hunt" was right on the mark. Or should one speak of it as the government's case at all? Nothing could be plainer than that the government, in this case, was acting on behalf of interests not its own and not of the people of Canada.

What is obscene, in my view, is the insufferable arrogance and insensitivity displayed by Mr. Ronen. When Mr. Ronen speaks of the "pursuit of justice against Nazi war criminals in Canada," one understands it is not justice that concerns him. It is clear that what he is interested in is revenge. And not even revenge against one who has committed the crimes of which he was accused.

It plainly matters not at all to Mr. Ronen that Mr. Dueck appears to be innocent. For him to speak of this case as one that "Canada as a nation must pursue in the interests of fundamental justice" is ludicrous.

What he apparently means to say is that Jewish people have suffered and, by God, somebody is going to have to pay for it. Had he simply said that, it would have offended far less than did his hypocritical pretence of a search for justice.

Our opinion
WE unhesitatingly place this reader's letter, published by the increasingly outspoken Globe & Mail, in our dossier on The Origins of Anti-Semitism.

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