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A different kind of book launch: A Quebec Jew: from Bloc Quebecois MP to Jewish Activist Thursday, March 15, 7:00pm McNally Robinson (Atrium)

Jim Carr, CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba interviews author Richard Marceau: a French Quebecker who converted to Judaism and identifies as pro-Palestinian Zionist

WINNIPEG, March 8, 2012. Lawyer and former Bloc Quebecois MP Richard Marceau converted to Judaism at the age of 34 after a long process that began with him meeting the woman of his dreams and future wife, Lori. However, Richard found more than marriage: he discovered a faith, a community, and an entire people who have become as much a part of his identity as his French Quebec roots.
Born in Quebec in 1970, Richard became a political activist and founded a Bloc Quebecois club at the University of Western Ontario. A lawyer with degrees in both civil and common law, he completed his education at France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration. Upon return to Quebec, he was elected as a Bloc Quebecois member of Parliament and sat in the House of Commons from 1997-2006 (justice critic).
The book provides readers with a history of the Jewish people in Quebec and a crash course in Jewish culture in order to dissipate the misconceptions that many Quebeckers have about Jews and about Israel. Marceau shatters myths about Israel – including those he previously had – presenting instead a country he found to be a liberal, Western democracy like Canada. “I define myself as a pro-Palestinian Zionist.”
Marceau presents his analysis of the conflict, criticizing the double standard that systematically attributes victimhood status to the Palestinians while assigning blame to Israel. He addresses why so many Quebeckers identify with the Palestinians and denounces those who regularly support human rights, religious rights, gender equality yet defend the radical Islamist groups who advocate the eradication of Israel and within whose ranks these human rights are not respected.

Shelley Faintuch
Community Relations Director, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
Associate Director, Local Partner Services, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
(Mobile) 229-3668; (Office) 477-7423
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