The Liberals’ cold-blooded pragmatism and their lack of any serious concern for ‘Jewish issues’ should be extremely troubling not just to Canadian Jews, but to all Canadians who believe in a balanced, fact-based approach to Middle East issues.
By Henry Roth, World Israel News
The American political landscape, not to mention U.S. society as a whole, seems to resemble a Hatfields versus McCoys dichotomy.
If you’re an American, you’re either a person of color or white (and progressive orthodoxy currently requires you to behave with 100% fidelity to whatever values are deemed appropriate for your racial group), you’re either a Democrat or Republican (meaning you will vote for the party you’ve always supported whether or not you happen to agree with their policies at any given moment in time) ,and you’re either a progressive or a normal, reasoning human being (yes, there is a value judgment being made here).
In Canada, the political landscape is markedly different in that there is a plethora of parties providing a ‘safe space’ for you wherever you happen to fall on the political spectrum (almost like Israel in fact), but make no mistake: the progressive mindset in Canada’s ruling Liberal Party mirrors the orientation of their American cousins in the Democratic Party, and Liberals are in firm control of the political reins in Canada.
What this means is that for those Canadians who favour the interventionist, top-down, free-spending, government-as-solution-to-every-unmet-expectation, labelling every citizen either a victim or an oppressor approach, the Liberal Party is their dream come true.
But for Jewish Canadians who might otherwise be entirely onside with the Liberals’ philosophical underpinnings, there is the very troubling complication that Justin Trudeau’s government has never been particularly friendly to Israel.
From its earliest days in power, Trudeau’s Liberals have hardly been a reliable ally at the United Nations; Canada has routinely voted against Israel or abstained. The party has had no problem sending millions of dollars to the terrorist regime controlling Gaza and the terrorist-abetting UNRWA (almost $100 million in the past six months) with no concern for how that money is spent.
On Tuesday, our prime minister appointed Hassan Yussuff to the Senate despite the gentleman’s eager and repeated support of the BDS movement and despite his opposition to a very modest government proposal to combat anti-Semitism. Coming on the same day that B’nai Brith Canada published a report showing there were more than 250 cases of overt (and oftentimes violent) anti-Semitism in May alone, I am left to wonder what more evidence Canadian Jews require in order to reassess their apparently unbreakable bonds to the Liberal Party.
Also recently, we have the unseemly matter of the Liberals welcoming to their fold a defecting Green Party member who left the Greens because they weren’t sufficiently anti-Israel.
The Liberals had no problem embracing Jenica Atwin, a person who accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah (despite this episode being a fairly straight-forward landlord/non-paying tenant dispute being adjudicated by the Israeli judicial system), denounced Israel’s “unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza” (guess Israel should have just politely asked Hamas to stop firing lethal rockets at civilian areas), complained about “children in Gaza murdered by these airstrikes” (not a word about Hamas placing their rocket launchers in schools, hospitals and apartment buildings), and condemned Israel for its “violent assault on Al Aqsa” (there never was any assault on Al Aqsa; there was a small number of Israelis exercising their right to visit one of Judaism’s holiest sites in accordance with agreements with those responsible for administering the area).
Despite the blatant (and easily disproven) lies uttered by Atwin, the Liberals could not be bothered to criticize her, let alone repudiate her blood libels. In this respect, Canada’s Liberals resemble their American comrades in the Democratic Party in their apparent lack of concern about anti-Israel and anti-Semitic expressions by their members. Americans have their ‘squad’ and now we have Atwin.
In Canada, the decision-making process in government is also becoming a mirror image of the approach of their Democratic brethren: whatever their predecessor supported (and Stephen Harper was a great friend to Israel), Liberals have worked very hard to reverse, in the same manner as Democrats’ every decision seems to be based on reversing whatever position Donald Trump adopted.
And in yet another shared behaviour with Democrats, Liberals are also quite prepared to embrace any policy or bias that improves their chances for re-election, and Liberals can count well enough to know that Muslims now outnumber Jews by a 2 to 1 margin. Hence, Jewish support matters very little in their electoral calculus.
The Liberals’ cold-blooded pragmatism and their lack of any serious concern for ‘Jewish issues’ should be extremely troubling not just to Canadian Jews, but to all Canadians who believe in a balanced, fact-based approach to Middle East issues. Unfortunately, we cannot expect a shift in Liberal policy any time soon judging by the Liberals’ track record or their seeming devolution into the northern branch of the Democratic Party.
The writer is a resident of Montreal, Canada.