A remarkable man passes on…

This weekend Sandra Martin of the Globe and Mail published this article/obituary on my grandfather, Israel Halperin (I’ve put a PDF version here in case the G&M link goes dead). As some of you already know my grandfather passed away on March 8 at age 96. He was a remarkable man, a fact attested to by the article’s summary:

“He was a brilliant mathematician and an influential Cold War peace activist who saved the likes of the dissident, Anatoly Shcharansky, from a Soviet labour camp, reports SANDRA MARTIN. Before all that could happen, though, he bravely and resolutely faced down espionage charges in the Gouzenko Affair of 1945.”

For those who pay attention to this blogs’ reading, this fact may clear up tit accounts for why I read Gordon Lunan’s autobiography “Redhanded: Inside the Spy Ring that Changed the World” (Gordon Lunan was the Canadian foreign affairs officer who ‘operated’ the spy ring for the Soviets in which my grandfather was alleged to have been involved). What makes the book remarkable is how it tracks the complete breakdown of law and order – and specifically the gross violations of Habeas Corpus – made possible by the use of the War Measures act, even after the war had ended. For those who believe that the mishandling of the Arar case is something new in Canadian history, my grandfather’s case offers a possible counter point…

[tags]Israel Halperin, Gouzenko, Canadian history, cold war, Arar[/tags]

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