The shame of the Law Society of Ontario | Gary Joseph

By Gary Joseph

Law360 Canada (October 31, 2023, 11:35 AM EDT) --
Gary Joseph
Gary Joseph
Several weeks ago I wrote and had published my goodbye to Osgoode Hall Law School article following dean Trevor Farrow’s refusal to condemn in a clear and unequivocal manner the atrocities of the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas massacre. Osgoode and dean Farrow continue to equivocate and skate upon the thin ice of “moral equivalency.”

My request for a round table discussion with the leaders of Osgoode has been ignored. I intend to deal with the rot in our academic world in other constructive ways. I move on now to the refusal of the Law Society of Ontario to stand up for moral decency and publish a much-needed statement on the massacre.

My emails to the LSO treasurer have been ignored. Again, Jewish members of the bar and the Jewish community harken back to the silence of the 1930s in Berlin as Jewish citizens experienced the gradual drift towards the Holocaust. What? You think I am being dramatic? Whoever would have thought our streets here in Canada could be filed with such disgusting rallies calling for the extermination of the nation of Israel (yes, protesters, it is a democratic nation recognized by the United Nations). Could you imagine chants of death to the Jews in downtown Toronto? What’s next, mandatory Stars of David on our clothing? Never!

This is an issue of morality not politics. I was happy to read the pushback of a respected Indigenous leader in comments published recently against the protesters aligning their vicious protests with the legitimate complaints of our Indigenous people. Meaghie Champion stated, “decolonization is not about rape, kidnapping, hostage taking, mass violence and child-murder.” Well said.

The acts of Oct. 7 were war crimes. Yes, CBC, yes CNN, yes Osgoode, yes LSO, they were! The protesters on our streets are Jew haters and are spreading hate speech. Where is my law society on these issues? Where is the elected leader of the bar on these issues? Why must we Jews beg for support when support for other groups is so easily and quickly given. Silence is support. The refusal to speak out against evil regardless of your political views is shameful.

Addendum: I wrote this post last week but since doing so, I have been shocked to learn that the LSO “after many days of consideration and dialogue” (their words) have decided that the LSO “should not comment on or issue a statement regarding the events in Israel or Gaza.” What?? The LSO that has been out front on issuing statements on multiple social issues has now (now that Jews are being slaughtered) decided to not speak out. Edmund Burke said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. The LSO will regret this decision.

Gary S. Joseph is counsel to the firm of MacDonald & Partners LLP. A certified specialist in family law, he has been reported in over 350 family law decisions at all court levels in Ontario and Alberta. He has also appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada. He is a past family law instructor for the Law Society Bar Admission Course and the winner of the 2021 OBA Award for Excellence in Family Law.

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