Are Conservatives "pandering" to Jews?
Dave Gordon - Wednesday, 23 September, 2015
(1991 views, Comment on this article)
Imagine a Jew screaming from the mountain top that the Canadian government
far too much.
Cohen’s latest piece in the Ottawa Citizen did just that.
Pandering, it was called. And he cited examples to prove it.
This stuff’s actually getting old – with liberal columnists and Liberals kvetching
for years that Conservatives are ostensibly acting more Zionist than most Jews.
MP Jason Kenney was implicitly criticized in Cohen’s piece, unbelievably,
for wishing the Jewish people a happy New Year and a meaningful Yom Kippur.
offered a litany
day greetings over the years.
But when a Conservative says “shalom!” to Jews, it’s “pandering.”
It was also noted in Cohen’s piece that Kenney’s made frequent visits to synagogues.
leader Justin Trudeau, of course,
across the country–
But it’s “pandering” only if it relates to Conservatives, and Jews.
Cohen believes, moreover, that Jews are more and more voting singly on the Israel
Are they unconcerned about the economy, taxes, ISIS,
terrorism, or even crime?
Cohen – with magical insight to the Canadian Jewish mind – thinks so.
“It is about Israel,
all the time,” he states.
Further, Stephen Harper must be wrong, he contends, especially
given how other nations of the world so easily criticize Israel
- while Harper has the chutzpah to criticize those who attack
Since when does the relative popularity of a position dictate its goodness?
Indeed, true to his word, Harper doesn’t simply “go along to get along.”
was not always an issue. All parties supported it,” Cohen writes.
Have “all parties supported” Israel?
Not so fast.
- Stephen Harper removed $30
million in funding of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian government in one
of his first acts as Prime Minister. In contrast, Liberal leader Stéphane
Dion demanded that funding increase.
- In 2001, Liberal Deputy Prime
Minister John Manley opposed putting Hezbollah on the terrorism list,
based on the flawed notion that it does some charity work.
- Former Liberal MP Borys
Wrzesnewskyj, the one-time associate foreign affairs critic, said that he
favoured removing Hezbollah from Canada’s
list of terrorist organizations. That same MP said he believed Israel
indulged in “state terrorism” against Lebanon.
- In December 2002, the
Liberals finally got around to listing Hezbollah as a terror group. The
Conservatives had been pushing the issue for years.
- When it came to Israeli-Arab
negotiations, PM Chretien said in 2000: “Palestinians should use the
threat of a unilateral declaration of independence as a bargaining chip
during peace talks.”
- In 2006, Liberal MP Ken Dryden
bumbled through a press conference when asked — twice — whether he agreed Israel
committed war crimes in Lebanon.
- Former MP Omar Alghabra had
condemned CanWest newspapers for labelling groups like Hamas and Hizbollah
“terrorist” groups; he supported an Arab conference on a Montreal
campus whose stated mission was the elimination of Israel;
and Alghabra has called for the total abolition of Canada’s
- In 2002, Liberal MP Carolyn
Parrish went on a trip to the Palestinian territories, funded by
Mississauga-based Palestine House. She said in the Arab press: “They
[Jews] have no business being there [Israel].”
Liberal MP Colleen Beaumier joined Parrish. Arab press reports her saying:
“The acts of Sharon and the
acts of the Israeli government are acts of terrorism.”
That’s just a partial Liberal record on the topic. The NDP’s is worse.
“All parties supported Israel”?
Cohen’s main argument is that the Harper government goes to extraordinary
lengths to woo Jewish votes.
However, such an obsession could only be useful in four ridings: Mount
Royal, York Centre, Thornhill, and Eglinton/Lawrence.
The other 334 ridings have such a statistically insignificant Jewish
population to make “pandering” useless.
Let’s look at York Centre.
That riding holds about twenty
per cent of Jews.
That’s about thirteen per cent or so of eligible voters, sixty per
cent of those bother to show up on Election Day.
Now, at seven per cent of the riding actually being Jewish voters, about
half or so tend to side with Liberals.
All this effort at “Jewish pandering” for roughly three per cent of votes?
Had no one at Conservative HQ bothered to look at the numbers?
It’d surely be easier to pander to Canada’s one million
to triple in 15 years), versus the 300,000 Jews.
It’s almost as if … as if this has little to do with votes, and more to do
with standing for what’s right, even at great political cost?
-with files from Andrew Lawton