Jewish groups and politicians are calling on the Canadian military to do more than just impose a $3,000 fine and severe reprimand on a soldier who made “disgusting” antisemitic comments during a training course he led at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in 2021.
The court martial judgement was handed down in the fall of 2022, but it’s just come to light now. It involved a 20-year veteran soldier with the Royal Canadian Regiment named Sgt. K.E. Bluemke. He pleaded guilty to violating Canadian military law and was ordered to undergo counselling, and also be put on probation, while continuing his career in the army.
But Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Ed Fitch, who helped investigate systemic racism in the Canadian military, is pleased with the outcome of the court martial. Fitch, who retired as the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, believes the fact that this case went so far actually signals a major positive change in how the military deals with antisemitism in the ranks. Fitch joins The CJN Daily to explain why.
What we talked about
- Read the court martial decision against Bluemke for antisemitism
- Why the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded the penalty be revised
- Learn more about the Department of National Defence study of racism and discrimination, led in part by Fitch, in The CJN
The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.