Deluged with achievement, grief, and no shortage of historic firsts, 2018 can best be described as a roller-coaster year. With so many significant moments over the last 12 months, it was no easy task narrowing them down and picking the very best to fit our word-limit. Nonetheless, here they are!

China Successfully Clones Monkeys (January 24)

Two monkeys have been cloned using the technique that produced Dolly the sheep. Identical long-tailed macaques Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were born several weeks ago at a laboratory in China. Scientists say populations of monkeys that are genetically identical will be useful for research into human diseases. But critics say the work raises ethical concerns by bringing the world closer to human cloning. Qiang Sun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience said the cloned monkeys will be useful as a model for studying diseases with a genetic basis, including some cancers, metabolic and immune disorders.

Launch of the Falcon Heavy (February 6)

The Falcon Heavy test flight (also known as Falcon Heavy demonstration mission) was the first attempt by SpaceX to launch a Falcon Heavy rocket. The successful test introduced the Falcon Heavy as the most powerful rocket in operation, producing five million pounds-force (22 MN) of thrust and having more than twice the lift capacity of the NASA Space Shuttle launch system. The dummy payload was a Tesla Roadster, the flagship vehicle of Tesla — which is also owned by SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk.

Black Panther’s success (February 16)

Black Panther is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Critics considered it one of the best films set in the MCU and noted its cultural significance. It grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, breaking numerous box office records including the highest-grossing film by an African-American director. For 2018 it is the highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada and the second-highest-grossing film worldwide; it received numerous awards and nominations.

Nerve Gas attack on Russian agent (March 4)

On March 4th, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer and double agent for the UK’s intelligence services, and his daughter Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, England. According to official UK sources and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the two were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent known as A-234. Two Russian GRU operators were the suspected perpetrators.

Stephen Hawking: 1942-2018 (March 14)

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of March 14th. The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, with several bestselling books — most notably, A Brief History of Time — under his name.

Hawking’s biggest accomplishment was unifying fields of relativity and quantum mechanics through his research in black holes. He discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation. Through his work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, he demonstrated that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes. At the age of 22 Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease. Defying the odds, Hawking not only lived to 79, he continued assiduously working in search of new discoveries.

Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies (March 20)

The world’s last male northern white rhino has died leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from extinction. The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan had been in poor health in recent days and was being treated for age-related issues and multiple infections. A veterinary team made the decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition deteriorated significantly, the conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday. Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death to protect him from poachers. This has made the subspecies functionally extinct, with only two female rhinos left.

End of Castro Rule in Cuba (April 19)

When Cuba’s president Raul Castro stood down on April 19th, it marked the first time in nearly six decades that the island will not be led by a Castro. The country’s national assembly selected the current vice-president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the sole candidate to replace Raúl Castro. The handover will mark the end of an era: Cuba without the Castros has been the holy grail for Florida-based Cuban exiles – and a policy vigorously pursued by a dozen successive US presidents. Castro’s departure from the Cuban throne is best summarized in The Who’s 1971 hit song, Won’t Get Fooled Again, with the lyrics, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. Sure, it’s the end of an era, but for the poor, downtrodden population of Cuba, little will change. The average monthly salary will still hover at $25 a month, and political dissidents will continue to live under constant fear. Real, meaningful change in Cuba requires an embrace of economic liberalism in lieu of the current communist system that imprisons its people.

US Embassy to Israel officially opened in Jerusalem (May 14)

Following through on a campaign promise, United States President, Donald Trump moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — the historic Jewish capital — on May 14, 2018. This marked the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel.


A Farewell to Stephen Harper

The opportunity to express pride in having lived under the stewardship of any statesman is a rarity. Especially today, in an era where political leaders prioritize their self-aggrandizement over the state of their countries.

Just as I write this column, Canada’s sitting Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is busy doing…. as the New York Times put it this morning, “Justin Trudeau Is on the Cover of a Marvel Comic Book. He Is Now a King Among Memes”. Meanwhile, in the real world, Bashar Al-Assad is carrying out chemical attacks in Syria.

In contrast, Canada’s former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has just been awarded The Order of Liberty — of Ukraine’s highest honors — as recognition for his foreign policy and unwavering determination to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Seldom before Harper had Canada’s foreign policy been so clear and resolute. Under Stephen Harper, we sent a message to the world that left nothing to speculation. Canada stands by its allies, and will fight to defend their sovereignty no matter the cost.

Even before assuming office a decade ago, Harper had made it clear that under his tutelage, politics would not precede our moral duties. He famously said, “This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of public opinion.”

Back in 2004 — just prior to becoming Prime Minister — Harper was the leading voice in Canada’s official recognition of the Ottoman Turks’ systematic extermination of 1.5 million Christian Armenians.

Meanwhile Liberal Party leader and then Prime Minister, Paul Martin was not only absent from the vote, he actually ordered his cabinet to vote against the recognition of the Armenian genocide. (Nothing says progressive-liberal like genocide denial, right?)


Does the Green Party Believe Israel Created Global Warming?

What do an idolatrous, pagan worship of the Earth, overzealous infatuation with government and a deeply rooted ire for the Jewish state all have in common? Apparently, these are the mainstays of the Green Party.

Last week, Canada’s Green Party officially adopted the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against the state of Israel. A move that made already far-left leader Elizabeth May doubt her future with the party.

As a primer, Elizabeth May is the endearing environmentalist who last year, fawning over former-Guantanamo detainee terrorist, Omar Khadr, at a Parliamentary Press Gallery’s dinner, said; “Omar Khadr, you’ve got more class than the whole f****ing [Conservative Party] cabinet”.

Transposing her progressive platitudes to Twitter last month, May downright denied that any of ISIS’s actions towards religious and ethnic minorities are genocide.

Needless to say, (in Green terms) the current Green Party leader is one banana short of a bunch. And yet, even she is not far left enough for the current party base.

Then, of course, we have Monika Schaefer. The Green Party finally had to disavow the party candidate after she released a virulently anti-Semitic YouTube video, referring to the Holocaust as “the most persistent lie in all of history.”

Proving that Canadians really are the nice ones, in America, the Green Party somehow manages to be even more of a moral hernia.


Arabic Newspaper In Canada Publishes Despicable Holocaust Piece

An Arabic-language newspaper in Canada recently published an article with the headline: “The Question Which Everyone Ignores: Why Did Hitler Kill the Jews?” Parading anti-Semitism straight onto the printing press, the Arabic paper, al-Saraha – which is recommended to new immigrants by a government-funded immigration organization – suggests the Jews and “Jewish propaganda” were in fact responsible for the Holocaust.

Delving into Holocaust-denial from the get-go, the article accuses the Jews of inflating the Holocaust’s death toll from between “100,000 and 600,000 to six million”. According to the article, the Nazi regime’s systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews was all propaganda, fabricated by the Jews to smear Adolf Hitler – Goebbels was clearly no match. “This Jewish propaganda succeeded, until it became prevalent throughout the media that six million Jews were victims of Hitler, even though the total number of Jews in Germany was less than a quarter of this figure that they say Hitler burned!”

 Even more vitriolic, the author has the gall to then blame the Jews for the Second World War by holding them responsible for Germany’s economic collapse in the 1920’s. Writing, “The Jews caused most of the economic collapses that occurred in the banks in the period between 1870 and 1920.”

Still playing “let’s blame everything we don’t like on the Jews”, the article goes on to say: “The first theatres of homosexuality appeared in Berlin in the 1920’s, and the first presentations of pornography appeared in 1880 and 1890 by the hands of Jewish authors”. I assume the author isn’t the biggest fan of Mel Brooks’ Springtime for Hitler.


University of Toronto Student Newspaper is an Anti-Israel Propaganda Outlet

The University of Toronto’s student newspaper – The Varsity – has quite the history of peddling anti-Semitic tropes.

A select roster of the paper’s writers and editors must think recruiters from Al Jazeera or Haaretz are rigorously reading each of their pieces. Honestly, it’s a mystery how else a student paper at such a pristine university could produce such inane drivel – sorry leftists, you don’t get to just quote wild conspiracy theories with no substantial evidence.

In 2003, an article on The Varsity written by Hazem Jamjoum – who’s also written for the Electronic Intafada – a palpably anti-Israel outlet as laid out here or here.

In his Varsity article, Jamjoum writes,

The Palestinians under Israel have been dispossessed and brutalized. All people have the moral right to resist such oppression, just as the rest of us have the moral obligation to oppose it. The goal of campaigns like “More Humus, Less Hamas” (or “More Fried Chicken, Less Black Panthers”) is to vilify resistance to oppression by appealing to the “both sides” logic, and concealing the injustices committed by oppressors. From Jenin to Grassy Narrows, oppression must be resisted, and we must refuse any arguments that allow it to continue.

The author makes the case against campaigns attempting to bring about real, meaningful discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by suggesting that Hamas, a terrorist organization hell-bent on Jewish genocide, is a legitimate “resistance to oppression”.


In 2006, the Varsity newspaper published a piece titled “No Ma for Hamas”.

The author, Adrian Morson writes;

the Harper administration declared that Canada would cut funding to the new democratically elected Palestinian Authority. I emphasize “democratically elected” because it is crucial to remember that under incredible hardships-both domestic and international-the Palestinian people were out en masse to exercise their right to vote. And in return for this commitment to the democratic process, Canada was the first among the Western states to cut funding to the new Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

No mention was made that Hamas’ sworn mission – as stated by their Covenant – is the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jews.

Morson continues writing,

Canada’s cessation of economic aid to the Palestinian government represents a blow to both Palestinian democracy and to Canada’s reputation within a region where it has historically been held in high regard. While our own government is also new, we should hope that its future policies for the region and beyond are based more on the values and interests of Canadians than on the appeasement of our more traditional allies.

The Varsity published paragon of anti-Semitism concludes by suggesting that the Canadian government’s refusal to subsidize the genocidal aspirations of Islamic zealots strikes a blow to our democracy.

In 2009, the Varsity published a piece written by Ahmed Mahmoud, titled “All in Self-Defense?”

Further fueling its mendacious movement against the Jewish state, Varsity columnist Mahmoud compares the Gaza Strip to concentration camps used by the Nazis to house Jews prior to exterminating them en masse.

As Gazans struggle to make ends meet in what is essentially the world’s largest concentration camp, the Israeli government, in its battle to shore up diminishing support for the upcoming election,

Conveniently omitting the documented fact that Hamas uses civilian human shields, specifically to maximize their casualties – thus indulging the exigencies of such leftist publications as the Varsity – Mahmoud continues, dismissing the targeting and murder of Israelis as “resistance to occupation”

Consider that Hamas’ rockets have killed 20 Israelis in the past seven years, while 5,000 Gazans were killed by Israeli jets, tanks, and helicopters during the same time frame. The issue is not the vast disparity in power, but that one side is the occupier and the other is the occupied. If you were dispossessed of your land and had to live under a foreign occupation for four decades, any action you took could be justified as retaliation to the occupation of your land.


In 2009, the Varsity published another piece by Samya Kullab, titled “Palestinians in Toronto enraged at Canada’s support for Israel’s war”.

Varsity writer Kullab writes,

The sequence of events following Dec. 27 2008 when Israel launched its ongoing offensive attack against Gaza, was predictable.

Oddly, the author fails to mention the actual cause of the Israeli operation – codename “Cast Lead”. The aim was to stop the incessant rocket fire into Israeli cities and smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

The author continues, writing;

Before the Israeli blockade made traveling to Gaza problematic, Hamman used to spend every summer there.

Again, omitting those pesky, narrative negating facts like perhaps the fact that the blockade – albeit a liability to the Gaza strip’s non-existent tourism industry – was established to stop Palestinian terrorists from blowing up Israeli buses.

In 2009, the Varsity published yet another piece by Ahmed Mahmoud titled “The Gaza War in Our Own Backyard”.

Varsity columnist, Mahmoud writes,

To make matters worse, two medics with the Norwegian aid agency NORWAC have recently charged Israel with using Gaza as a “test laboratory” for new “extremely nasty” chemical weapons such as Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), which have a carcinogenic effect on people within its blast radius. This is precisely where the self-defense argument falls apart. 

Ironically claiming that the Israel’s self-defense argument is bereft of vindication, the author actually cites Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert – a known 9/11 conspiracy theorist. His twisted fabrication of chemical weapons being used by the IDF has been discredited. However, the Varsity editorial board didn’t deem it appropriate to fact-check this villainous lie, given that it fits their narrative.

In 2012, the Varsity published a piece titled “Preserving free speech: Israeli Apartheid Week can’t be dismissed just because it’s controversial”.

Free speech however, is ostensibly only of importance to the campus leftists when necessary to drive an agenda.
As an example, when pickup artist and blogger, Daryush Valizadeh (Roosh V), was in Toronto for an event, the same student newspaper published a piece titled “Not in my city”, calling for his event to be shut down.
Going back to 2009, the Varsity has another piece titled, “Duplicity, hypocrisy, and blind acquiescence”. Here, the author decries a ban on vicious anti-Semite, British MP George Galloway, writing, “The ban on George Galloway is an affront to the most fundamental principles of Canadian democracy: openness and freedom of speech.”
True paradigms of free speech.

This year, in 2016, the Varsity put out their year-end interview with The University of Toronto president, Meric Gertler.

Amid the interview, there was one question on international affairs. As expected, this would be about boycotting – not Saudi Arabia, Iran, or the Palestinian Authority – Israel of course!

Interviewer Iris Robin asked,

TV: Do you currently have plans to strike an ad-hoc advisory committee — in a similar way that there was one for divestment [from fossil fuels] and one for sexual assault and harassment — do you plan to strike a similar committee for that, to consider boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel?

In response, I tweeted that while portraying themselves as an objective student paper, the Varsity aggressively promulgates blatant anti-Israel propaganda.

The Varsity does indeed have a few articles presenting pro-Israel viewpoints – see here, here, here, here or here. Thus, the argument from the Varsity is presumably the following. Because the Varsity has published articles calling out Hamas as a tribe of anti-Semitic Muslim terrorists with genocidal aspirations, it’s totally fine for them to also publish editorials that compare Israelis to Nazis, or cite debunked claims of Israel using chemical weapons in Gaza.

If you’re wondering how exactly the leftist Labor Party in the UK has become such a cesspool of anti-Semitism, look no further than the leftist run high echelons of academia who foster the very same sentiments.

Update: 7.26.2016 

The Varsity has come back with yet another dose of Israel bashing. This time, the student paper penned a response to a University of Toronto news article, titled, “Parks, planning and public spaces: Toronto can learn lessons from Jerusalem say U of T students”.

As you can guess, the mention of “Jerusalem” sent the Varsity’s left-wing staff running wild in circles. Had the piece discussed “Mecca” (the Saudi Arabian city where homosexuality is illegal), they wouldn’t lift a finger.

But nevertheless, UofT News’s published piece had the gall to mention the Jewish capital without demonizing Israelis and calling them blood-thirsty oppressive murders. Not to worry, the Varsity stepped in to save the day! Writing,

“We write out of concern for the university media coverage of this course and the image it presents of Jerusalem. The article makes omissions that obscure the deeply unequal and contested nature of urban development in that city. Nowhere does the article address the well-documented demolition of Palestinian homes and expropriation of Palestinian lands that constitute the broader context for urban planning and development in Jerusalem, for instance.”

Um, yeah. They demolish the homes of terrorists. The Israeli government explained however, that they will refrain from destroying the homes of Palestinian families who turn in their would-be terrorist kin.

The left’s adoration for the Palestinian nationalist cause, and even lament for the destruction of terrorists’ houses, while at the same time virulently decrying Jewish nationalism and support for Israel as “racist”, throwing out “Zionist” as dirty word, is truly baffling.