"Tory flyers targeting Jewish votes raise hackles" - Globe

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hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture
"Tory flyers targeting Jewish votes raise hackles" - Globe

"[URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/bureau-blog/tory-flyers-targeting-j... flyers targeting Jewish votes raise hackles[/URL]" - Globe and Mail

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Unionist

Very good. The Liberals and Conservatives arguing over which ones are the greatest defenders of the Israeli aggressors and mass murderers. Jews must stand up and declare clearly that their interests are not served by either of these dastardly toadies.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The Conservatives are better than the Liberals at getting people to fight among themselves over psuedo issues like "which party better supports Israeli ethnic cleansing in Palestine" and the like. But, perhaps, the Liberal leader can show us some clever ideological backflips.

Slumberjack

N.Beltov wrote:
But, perhaps, the Liberal leader can show us some clever ideological backflips.

Difficult to accomplish without a spine.  Mr. Feckless himself, from 1:23.

remind remind's picture

Well interesting that this goes hand in hand with the BBC's ad.....

Stockholm

From the people that brought you "Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography"....opening soon at a theatre near you "Irwin Cotler is an Anti-Semite"

Star Spangled C...

Antonia Zerbesias of the Toronto Star DID question Cotler's loyalty to Canada because one of his daughters served in the Israeli army...after living there for many years, being a citizen and having been born to an Israeli mother.

I really wish all the bullshit questioning of people's motives could disappear from these debates.

Star Spangled C...

Stockholm wrote:

 "Irwin Cotler is an Anti-Semite"

Actually, Irwin Cotler's own wife tore up her Liberal membership card over concerns about the Liberal Party. Bob Rae's was smeared during the last leadership because his wife is Jewish. There's a reason many life long Jewish Liberals like my parents are moving over the Conservative camp.

Michelle

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

There's a reason many life long Jewish Liberals like my parents are moving over the Conservative camp.

Sure there is.  The more you side with oppressors, the more likely you are to vote Conservative.  The Israelis are the oppressors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  People (whether Jewish or not - I don't buy this whole "Jewish people vote as a bloc" thing, anymore than I do about anyone else) who side with Israel in this conflict side with the oppressors.  The Conservatives always side with oppressors and so of course they do in this conflict too.

Sometimes it really is just that easy.

Where it becomes tricky is that Conservatives always side with the oppressors both domestically AND abroad.  Some people who side with oppressors internationally don't like to side with oppressors domestically.  Perhaps your parents fit into this camp, I don't know, since I don't know your parents.  The question becomes, when does someone's support for a politician who oppresses Palestinians overcome that person's distaste for that same politician's support for domestic oppression?

For some people, that time is now.  For many others, though, that time will never come.  Thank goodness!

nussy

I see the Liberals and Conservatives mentioned in this forum. Where do the NDP stand? 

Stockholm

I think the NDP is wisely saying as little as possible other than denouncing the larger pattern of the Tories usingt these "ten percenters" to spread malicious propaganda. Since the flyers were all about denouncing the Liberals and the Liberals and Tories are now in a bizarre fight of each saying "mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most pro-Israel one of all" - I think that the best response from the NDP is to say nothing.

skdadl

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Antonia Zerbesias of the Toronto Star DID question Cotler's loyalty to Canada because one of his daughters served in the Israeli army...after living there for many years, being a citizen and having been born to an Israeli mother.

I really wish all the bullshit questioning of people's motives could disappear from these debates.

 

I think this is a misrepresentation of Antonia's argument. (I know; you're shocked. Consider this your Captain Renault moment of the day.)

 

I can't speak for Antonia and I don't have her text in front of me, but for many of us, the family relationship was irrelevant to the genuine problem with Cotler's remarks. Cotler is a former minister of the Crown. He was praising a Canadian citizen for joining the armed forces of a foreign country.

 

No, that is not illegal, neither the joining nor the praising -- or at least in theory it's not illegal, although I suspect the ground could begin to shift a little depending on which foreign nation's armed forces a young Canadian decided to join.

 

However, it's a bit unsettling to some of us to see the bar set that low for Canadian public servants. Gee: isn't Cotler wonderful? He isn't breaking the law!

 

Is recruiting for foreign armies something we really want to see past and possibly future ministers of the Crown doing?

Star Spangled C...

skdadl wrote:

 He was praising a Canadian citizen for joining the armed forces of a foreign country.

 

 

The exact quote (it was from Twitter) is as follows: "MP Irwin Cotler's children join IDF. http://bit.ly/1Ttsq0 Which country are you loyal to, sir?"

And she was not joining a the armed forces of a "foreign country". Cotler is married to an Israeli, one of his daughters was born there, both of them live there and have for some time and are citizens of israel. I certainly don't agree with Cotler on everything but a guy who has served as an MP for many years and been a staunch federalist in Quebec seems pretty "loyal" to Canada to me.

 

 

Stockholm

I agree that it is inappropriate to question Cotler's "loyalty" based on one of his children being a foreign national and livging in another country. I'm sure he is not the only MP with close family members who may serve in the armed forces of another country. Let's not go down that road - unless we want to rehash whether or not Stephane Dion is loyal to Canada when he has a French passport.

The only way I see this being an issue at all would be if Cotler were ever appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs or Minister of Defence and then you might be able to argue that this creates a possible conflict of interest.

Michelle

I don't know whether Antonia should have said what she did. I have no comment either way on that.

But I do wonder...if I was an MP, and my son joined the Iranian army and I praised him publicly for it, and a National Post columnist asked me which country I was loyal to as a result, do you think there would be the same outrage against that columnist for saying that as there was against Antonia for saying that about Cotler?

I don't know.  What do the rest of you think?  I'm betting not.

skdadl

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

skdadl wrote:

 He was praising a Canadian citizen for joining the armed forces of a foreign country.

 

 

The exact quote (it was from Twitter) is as follows: "MP Irwin Cotler's children join IDF. http://bit.ly/1Ttsq0 Which country are you loyal to, sir?"

And she was not joining a the armed forces of a "foreign country". Cotler is married to an Israeli, one of his daughters was born there, both of them live there and have for some time and are citizens of israel. I certainly don't agree with Cotler on everything but a guy who has served as an MP for many years and been a staunch federalist in Quebec seems pretty "loyal" to Canada to me.

 

Rule 1 about Twitter: If someone includes a link in the tweet, then the content of that link is part of the tweet, eh? That link is to a video, I believe, that is Cotler being disturbing all on his own, in the terms I wrote out above.

 

Yeah, a lot of Canadians have dual citizenship, although most don't. Every once in a while, that looks like something of a problem to democracy here, but as long as no one pushes it too far, other Canadians have mainly not pushed back. I repeat: there is nothing illegal about urging young people to join the armed forces of a foreign nation, but there is something troubling about the possibility that that could become a policy endorsed at ministerial level, since the priority for ministers of the Crown is supposed to be Canadians, all Canadians, all the time, and it is not in the interest of all Canadians to be defending the armed forces of a foreign country.

Sean in Ottawa

Are some people forgetting that the IDF is a compulsory national service?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The flyers are divisive, nasty propaganda that should not be allowed in house holders.  When are our politicians going to try to reign in this misuse of tax dollars?  The Cons are the worst for their messages but I think we should just get rid of the whole concept of the parties getting to send out these 10%er's.  You have something to say to your own constituents then that is one thing but these attack ads targeting swing ridings are outrageous.  From the link above here is what they bring to the political discourse.

 

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skdadl

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Are some people forgetting that the IDF is a compulsory national service?

 

Compulsory for whom? All Canadians? If not, then how does that pose a quandary for all Canadians?

 

We're talking about public statements by Canadian public servants here.

Debater

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

 "Irwin Cotler is an Anti-Semite"

Actually, Irwin Cotler's own wife tore up her Liberal membership card over concerns about the Liberal Party. Bob Rae's was smeared during the last leadership because his wife is Jewish. There's a reason many life long Jewish Liberals like my parents are moving over the Conservative camp.

The large majority of Jewish voters are still Liberal.  And Irwin Cotler was pretty angry with the Conservatives over this latest stunt.  He spoke about it yesterday during interviews.

Stockholm

"There's a reason many life long Jewish Liberals like my parents are moving over the Conservative camp."

There's also a reason why many, if not most, Jews refuse to vote Conservative - like the fact that the Conservative party is full of fundamentalist Protestants who think that Jews will all burn in hell during the Armageddon!

ghoris

And just finished raising a point of privilege in the House.

The Tories had Pipsqueak Pierre Poilievre give their response, which was basically a catalogue of quotes from various Liberals (including Ignatieff and Dion) where they expressed something other than a slavish devotion to defending Israel.

These ten-percenters disgust me. Ten-percenters and other franking privileges (paid for by you and me as taxpayers) are supposed to allow MPs to communicate with their constitutents and report on the work they are doing in Ottawa and in the riding. They are not supposed to be taxpayer-funded political propaganda to be used to slam your political opponent in the neighbouring riding. The rules should be changed to restrict franking and ten-percenters to the MPs own riding. If the parties want to distribute political propaganda, let them do it on their own dime.

What's more, these pamphlets are stupid politics. I would have thought that the most rabid Israel-defenders would have all switched to the Tories a long time ago.

Michelle

Exactly, Stockholm. :D

remind remind's picture

And that is only 2 years away ......

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

I found this via Twitter today, and while I suspect this may be old news for many of you, I thought I'd share (interesting video and information about John Hagee and Charles McVety and their influence on the CPC):

[URL=http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-canada-may-be-headed-for-seri... Canada May be Headed for Serious Trouble[/URL].

[URL=http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2009/04/conservatives-playing-dangerous-g... Playing a Dangerous Game[/URL]

Jaku

Lord Palmerston wrote:

I wonder what impact this will have, now that Ignatieff is taking an identical position to Harper on Israel.  Certainly the number of Jewish voters in Canada who have Israel as their main vote determining issue represents a minority of the community, so I don't know how much further the Tories can play the "we're the only party that supports Israel" (and by definition the Jewish people) card.

LP can you show me where you get your stats on your assertion that "Certainly the number of Jewish voters in Canada who have Israel as their main vote determining issue represents a minority of the community." Thanks.

Jaku

And to quote my friend Unionist who posted this in the B'nai Brith thread:

"Unionist wrote:

 

Throwing around phrases like "most Jews believe..." is the same as this treacherous "mainstream Jewish" phraseology. It's an attempt to marginalize and demonize the enlightened and progressive Jewish opinion, not by argument and debate, but by ignorant unprovable appeals to some silent majority."

Polunatic2

I received one of these flyers yesterday. I can't see how it's part of a "10%er" since it came from John Duncan, MP- Vancouver Island North. My MP is Caroline Bennett (Liberal). It's got a tear off form to mail back to him in Ottawa. Recipients of this hate mail are asked to select which of the 4 party leaders (May, not Duceppe) "is on the right track to represent and defend the values of Canada's Jewish community". So Duncan and Harper now speak for me. Talk about appropriation. 

Anyone notice that when Harper was in India a few days ago, he made  a visit to the Jewish community centre where a number of people were murdered in the Mumbai attacks. He lit a candle. More pandering. Now they can attack the liberals for not lighting a candle and therevby desecrating their memory. 

Lord Palmerston

Jaku wrote:
LP can you show me where you get your stats on your assertion that "Certainly the number of Jewish voters in Canada who have Israel as their main vote determining issue represents a minority of the community." Thanks.

I never suggested that the majority of Canadian Jews are indifferent to or hostile to Israel or anti-Zionist or whatever.  I am basically saying that only a minority of Jews are one-issue voters based on Israel.  I'm surprised you find my post so offensive.  Anyway if that were the case, the Jewish community would vote for a bloc for the Conservatives, which they certainly don't.  In fact I would wager that Jewish Canadians vote Tory at a lower rate than the general population.

My feeling is this flyer just preaches to the converted.

Stockholm

What I don't understand is why the Tories and Liberals have gotten into this ridiculous bidding war that consists "We are 100% pro-Israel, No, WE are 1000% pro-Israel" and the Liberals have made the mistake of trying to answer a "when did you stop beating your wife?"-type question.

What would be so bad about saying, our party accepts a diversity of views on the Middle East and occassionally criticizing Israeli policies falls well within the purvey of "acceptable" political debate in Canada.

Its outrageous for the Tories to try to spread obvious falsehoods - but it should also be said that there is nothing wrong with trying to be even handed about the conflict in the Middle East

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

This sort of political pandering is both dsturbing and dangerous.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Stockholm wrote:

What would be so bad about saying, our party accepts a diversity of views on the Middle East and occassionally criticizing Israeli policies falls well within the purvey of "acceptable" political debate in Canada.

Well, the Conservative faux support for Israel appears to be religiously motivated (see the links and video in my last post above), so perhaps that is why they are clamping down on free speech and alternative views.

Jaku

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Jaku wrote:
LP can you show me where you get your stats on your assertion that "Certainly the number of Jewish voters in Canada who have Israel as their main vote determining issue represents a minority of the community." Thanks.

I never suggested that the majority of Canadian Jews are indifferent to or hostile to Israel or anti-Zionist or whatever.  I am basically saying that only a minority of Jews are one-issue voters based on Israel.  I'm surprised you find my post so offensive.  Anyway if that were the case, the Jewish community would vote for a bloc for the Conservatives, which they certainly don't.  In fact I would wager that Jewish Canadians vote Tory at a lower rate than the general population.

My feeling is this flyer just preaches to the converted.

Whoa Nelly, where in heaven's name did I say I found your post offensive? I asked a simple question which you clearly are unable to anser. It was not about jews being anti-Israel or anti-Zionist it was simply to ask for your stats when you claim "...the number of Jewish voters in Canada who have Israel as their main vote determining issue represents a minority of the community" Sheesh.

Debater

I'm not sure why the Conservatives feel that targeting the Jewish vote will win them a lot of seats.  They won Thornhill in the last election, but that is the only seat with a large Jewish population that is on the radar screen for them in the immediate future other than perhaps Winnipeg South Centre.

The other seats with large Jewish populations include:

Mount Royal

Outremont

Westmount

Pierrefonds-Dollard

Toronto Centre

St Pauls

 

I don't see any of those going Conservative in the next election.

Lord Palmerston

Also, Eglinton-Lawrence.  The Tories came close there last time.  Quite the contrast from St. Paul's.

Jaku, check your PMs.

ghoris

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Also, Eglinton-Lawrence.  The Tories came close there last time.  Quite the contrast from St. Paul's.

Ditto York Centre.

Debater

True.  Eglinton-Lawrence was close.  Part of that may be Joe Volpe though.  Perhaps next time he will work harder and not take it for granted.

Polunatic2

What's interesting about them distributing this vile propaganda in St. Paul's is that Carolyn "Bennett was chair of the Canada-Israel Friendship Group from 1999 to 2003 and is a member of Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel. (Wikipedia)" Her pro-Zionist credentials are pretty impeccable. 

I wrote to John Duncan, Republican MP- Vancouver Island North to register to my protest about his distribution of anti-Palestinian literature in my riding and his attempts to speak for me and for all Jews in Canada. I wonder if he'll write back? 

Ever since some in the Toronto Jewish community began their boycott of the "anti-semitic" Toronto Star (all Jewish obituaries moved to the National Putz), I think that the conservative-leaning Jews have had the upper hand over the liberal-leaning Jews. That Peter Kent did so poorly in St. Paul's yet won in Thornhill a couple years later is not insignificant. 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

I wrote to Bob Rae, about the CPCCA, and received a response from his assistant. I'd post it, but I would have to obtain permission first. It wasn't very reassuring - suggesting, among other things, they are concerned about comments advocating the destruction of Israel and its people (sounds like he is mixing us Canadians up with the President of Iran) and about intimidation of Jews at our universities. He said part of the modern form of anti-semitism uses criticism of Israel as a cover.

The response didn't mention Iran, but given the objectives of the organization "[URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christians_United_for_Israel#Support_for_Is... United for Israel: Support for Israel against Iran[/URL]", I wonder whether that has anything to do with it.

Stockholm

There seem to be two apparent phenomena here:

a. Anti-semites using extreme criticism of Israel and Zionism as a coded way of attacking Jews as a whole (I'm sure that this does happen, but I don't know that its particularly common - and its probably mainly something you in eastern Europe where you get neo-fascists going on about "Zionists and Cosmopolitans" (sic.))

b. People who try to brand and dismiss any and all criticism of Israel as being what I describe in "a." above - even though in realit thye vast majority of criticism of Israel is just criticism of Israel - just like we can criticize the government of Myanmar and not be anti-Burmese bigots!

Ultimately, I think that the real hidden agenda is get everyone side tracked away from having any reasonable debate about the Middle East - by transforming every debate into a "when did you stop beating your wife?"-type debate about anti-semitism.

 

Polunatic2

My grandfather (who'd been gone for about 13 years) was no NDPer but he always loved Bob Rae. Why? Israel. 

Lord Palmerston

 

Quote:
That Peter Kent did so poorly in St. Paul's yet won in Thornhill a couple years later is not insignificant.

It isn't insignificant but the Jewish communities in St. Paul and Thornhill are quite different, and I really doubt the Conservatives get anywhere near a majority of the Jewish vote.  The Conservatives made significant gains but it's hard to believe that something like every other Jewish Liberal swung Tory between '06 and '08 because of Israel.

Slumberjack

Stockholm wrote:
Ultimately, I think that the real hidden agenda is get everyone side tracked away from having any reasonable debate about the Middle East 

A discussion can accurately be described as a debate when the sides engaging in it approach the issue with more or less reasonably sounding and valid points of view.  In the Israeli-Palestinian context, fraudulent is the mildest word that can be offered when one side of the discussion excuses the monstrous atrocities being perpetuated by the Israeli government.

Stockholm

There are plenty of people on the other side too who try to excuse "monstrous atrocities" perpetuated by Hamas and Co. as well. But that's not the point. It accomplishes nothing to debate what came first - the chicken or the egg. In the Middle East there is plenty of blame to go around against both sides for the current situation.

We should be free to criticise Israel without being labelled anti-semitic and we should also be free to criticize Hamas and Fatah without being accused of being "Islamophobic" or whatever other word you use to describe being bigoted against Arabs regardless of their religion.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Ultimately, I think that the real hidden agenda is get everyone side tracked away from having any reasonable debate about the Middle East - by transforming every debate into a "when did you stop beating your wife?"-type debate about anti-semitism.

Yes, though it isn't very well hidden. My understanding is that the US (and now Canada) doesn't want to see peace in Israel-Palestine. If they want to see peace, they'll need a significant attitude adjustment as right now they are just adding fuel to the conflict and are in no position to be involved in peace negotiations given their obvious bias and willful ignorance: [URL=http://www.progressive.org/mprubeiz110509.html]House resolution indicates America remains solidly behind Israel[/URL].

Progressive Magazine wrote:
This sends a signal to Israel that it can get away with aggression.

It tells Palestinians that Congress cares nothing for them.

And it tells the Arab and Muslim worlds that Washington is not their friend.

The House resolution proves that rational debate in the Congress about Israeli policy is taboo. Until that taboo is lifted, we cannot expect progress in Mideast peace talks.

Stockholm

I'm not sure that anyone (Other than maybe some arms dealers) actually opposes "peace" in the Middle East. Its just that everyone has very different views as to what a peaceful settlement would look like. The Likudniks in Israel would love to have peace if it meant Israeli sovereignty over everything between the Med. and the Jordan river and all Palestinians taking the hint and moving to Jordan. Hamas would love peace if it meant that the entire population of Israel would be re-settled in other countries and a theocratic palestinian state occupied 100% of the same territory.

If there actually was a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that made everyone happy - the US would be a big winner because it would mean that a gigantic burr in the saddle that has poisoned relations between the US and most of the Arab world would be removed. Just like the UK government is quite happy that the conflict in Northern Ireland is over. Its a win win.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

I'm no expert, but in my view the US does not want peace. Noam Chomsky discusses that here: "[URL=http://sudhan.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/chomsky-neither-the-us-nor-israel... follows, by elementary reasoning, that neither the US nor Israel is a “genuine party to peace.”[/URL]"

Stockholm

20 years ago people argued that the Cold War could never end because the US didn't actually want it to end. But then it ended and the Americans were quite happy to be triumphalistic about it.

I think that if by some miracle, Israel and the Palestinians negotiated a comprehensive peace treaty and Tel Aviv became a train stop on the road from Cairo to Beirut and there was a Middle East Economic Union with free trade between Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt etc... that Obama would be more than happy to be the impresario and have a ceremony in the Rose Garden and everyone would live happily ever after.

Seriously, what possible down side would there be for the US if there was peace in the Middle East?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Seriously, what possible down side would there be for the US if there was peace in the Middle East?

If they get to control the regions oil there is no down side for them.  For the people of the region I suspect many of them would see a down side to that control.

Stockholm

There's no oil in Israel or Palestine

kathleen

Stockholm wrote:

There's no oil in Israel or Palestine

 

I believe there are some rich gas reserves in the Gaza sea. Don't know how relevant that is though, except to the Gazan fishermen.

What I really wanted to know is how and why Canadian politicians are not willing to discuss the Palestine/Israel issue on the basis of international law instead of mushy friendship and support. Why should we care about their personal feelings about Israel? They're members of parliament, and our government is a member of the UN.  As Finkelstein says, his opinion isn't important - he's not a moralist.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24015.htm

There are laws. Canada is a signatory to these laws. And in lieu of the current Afghanistan detainee crimes, we should be discussing international law. Loud and clear.

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