The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
May the Schwartz be with you
As EBD notes in a comment to one of my earlier posts, the CBC's Larry Zolf argues that Harper's refusal to play the equivalence game between the Islamic terrorists attacking Israel, and the soldiers defending Israel from ongoing missile and terrorist attacks, is a smart move politically and may secure him a majority government. The reason: "Canada's Jewish community is an influential one in Canadian media and business circles" and there are several heavily Jewish ridings in the country that could turn Tory.
I would stop short of suggesting that Zolf is floating some kooky conspiracy theory here, that Jews control politics or the media, or whatever. The fact is, that the Liberals never felt the need to court the Jewish vote by being fair to Israel—they were always rather unfair to the state, especially under Martin, as Zolf notes. Also, Zolf argues that Harper comes by his "Zionism" honestly: He truly believes in the right of a free and democratic state to defend itself against attacks, and he surely understands the reality of who Hamas and Hezbollah truly are, and what they ultimately stand for.
Zolf also happens to be right about the fact that this will make some of Canada's more powerful Jews take another look at the Conservatives. Want proof? Here's Onex CEO Gerry Schwartz yesterday praising Harper in a press release from the The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (the release is not on the website, as far as I can tell):
CIJA co-founder and Director, Gerald Schwartz O.C., observed that: "Earlier this year, Prime Minister Harper demonstrated great courage in expressing opposition to the new Hamas government - a position quickly adopted by the international community. Today, the Prime Minister has again assumed a leadership role through his unequivocal support of Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism. "
Schwartz is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest wallet the Liberals have. He was Paul Martin's top financier. Now he's swooning for Harper. And what have the Liberals been up to in the meantime? Apparently allowing Omar Alghabra (you'll remember him from the "Islamic power" nomination celebration last winter) to set the tone for their foreign policy.
In a press release I received from the Saudi-born Alghabra yesterday, the Mississauga MP complains about Israel's "irrational flurry of bombing . . ." Criticizing Harper's declarations about Israel's right to defend itself, he adds: "Canadians have been contacting me to express their puzzlement with the Prime Minister's statement when he didn't promote calm and restraint," said Alghabra. "Canadians expect their leaders to be the voice of balance and reason both domestically and abroad."
Of course, "reason" and "balance" don't always go together. And it seems some Canadians prefer a voice of reasoned, moral clarity to balance. So what if one or two of them just happen to be the most powerful political players in Canada?
Posted by Kevin Libin on July 18, 2006 | Permalink
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I truly find Mr zolf to be an anti-harper bashing noise-maker. While he may very well be right this time he usally rants and raves without letting any facts get in the way. If it wasn't for the cbc this person would probably be on welfare. Mr Harpers stand speaks for itself, a clear response to terrorism. Of course, this is only my humble opinion.
Posted by: melwilde | 2006-07-18 10:49:11 PM
Zolf is the guy who said that the media are in control (or words to that effect). He is the quintessential CBC elitist hack.
"experts" claiming that SH's position on this issue is either good or bad politics completely misread him. He is speaking from a very strongly held moral position on it. Political calculation has nothing to do with it.
Posted by: Gord Tulk | 2006-07-18 11:04:05 PM
I agree strongly with the prior comments. There is no excuse for attacking another country, and when attacked, any sovereign state has a right to defend itself. However hezbollah is not a sovereign state, nor a duly elected representative body, therefore it has no such rights, and are solely to blame for the current events. Somehow, through some thought process I can't understand, many people still find a way to blame Israel for this. In my eyes this is black and white.
Example: NBC news story titled "Witnessing the random violence of war" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13922915/
There is a very moving video clip on the page in the above link showing the minutes after several Hezbollah rocket attacks in Haifa. It includes a distraught woman attempting to phone her husband's cell phone, only to have it ring on a charred body nearby. The title NBC chose for this story calls it "random violence". This is not random. The terrorists planned these attacks; their goal is to kill Israeli civilians. Why does the left and most of the media (with the notable exception of the Western Standard of course) refuse to accept that there are only 2 sides to this war, the free world, and the evil empire (of radical Islam, and communist China and its puppet state North Korea).
Posted by: Big Makk | 2006-07-18 11:35:12 PM
One would hope that Canadian Jews would appreciate Harper's unequivocal stance, especially because his position is based on what is morally correct. If his position turns out to be politically expedient as well, that would be icing on the cake.
I have personally been quite pessimistic about Canada ever showing such moral leadership as Harper on this issue -- I've always assumed that Canadian Jews would always be a much smaller electoral force than those anti-Israel forces comprised of various ME ethnic groups united with the broad left. If this assumption is a mistaken one, I'll be awfully happy to have been wrong.
I was certainly wrong about Mr. Zolf's column. Certain cues hit harder than meant, and in the context of Canadian political discussion "Zionism" and "Zionist" are predominantly wielded as perjoratives, especially if uttered by someone raised in "the hotbed of general strikes and socialism". But in this case, I took the bait even though it was neither bait, nor offered.
His column is actually infused with a tone of respect for Mr. Harper, both as a man and as a political animal. My anger over recent media coverage, combined with dumb reflex, and haste, and an over-watered pandering-instinct caused me to overlook the actual contents of his piece. I'm embarassed, but once again happy to be wrong.
Hope I never get too happy...
Posted by: EBD | 2006-07-19 12:05:35 AM
Larry Zolf is right. Jews most Halifax Nova Scotia merchants were among the founders of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party in 1835. The Canadian Jewish community have been Liberal supporters for many, decades. Trudeau was the first Prime Minister to appoint a Jew to the Senate, but I have observed a transfer of loyalities in recent months, particularly among young, highly mobile Jewish urban families. But the phenomenon of multi cultural support for the Liberal Party in central Canada was created by the Liberal Party of Canada in the late 1960's. Focused on several ethnic groups to ensure long term voter support for the Party - it worked of course, look at the
number of Liberal MP's from the 416, and 509 Codes of Ontario. The dual citizen's Lebanese vote Liberal, if they vote at all. My opinion is that Canadians admire and like Harper, who will be Prime Minister for a long, long time. Canadian
Jews as Zolf says, have moved their loyalities to
the abvious winner. His support for the State of Isreal is greatly appreciated in our House and by all our partners and associates.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-07-19 4:14:52 AM
The Zolf article took me by surprise as it seemed objective.
Harper is following John Howard in plain speaking. I love it; it's time there were voices to counter the sickening Euro / Russian hypocritical blather so well supported by Canada and others over the years. It's achieved nothing.
Posted by: greenmamba | 2006-07-19 4:44:59 AM
On this issue there is only one "side" to take for god's sake, it's a no-brainer! It's either on the side of a democratic state trying to defend itself or terrorists. We are so fortunate to have Stephen Harper as Prime Minister at this time, he has the guts to defend Israel and the free world against radical Islam. It's time the world take seriously the threat these radicals pose to the world and wipe them out from wherever they lurk, sadly that could be anywhere, including in our midst due to lax and stupid immigration bolstered by our Charter, and multiculturalism. Jack Layton and the liberals can take over as the talking heads spewing empty rhetoric,at last we have a Prime Minister who doesn't insult our intelligence by doing the same. Kudos to PM Howard of Australia for speaking the plain truth. This is the time for the Western world to get serious and root out the radicals and stop giving them safe haven, enabling them to plot their evil against us while living among us.
Posted by: Liz J | 2006-07-19 6:53:24 AM
There is no longer any need for the CBC. It has proven that its staff have been abusing their privileged position for far too long. END this pro-Nazi (Valor and the Horror) institution NOW!
Posted by: Scott | 2006-07-19 8:05:16 AM
I am happy with SH views and stance on this subject. However I was truly disturbed that there were what 20,000 canadian's to be evacuated. Wow what are all those canadian citizens doing there.
Posted by: Mike | 2006-07-19 8:35:25 AM
If the Bush experience is anything to go by, Harper's support for Israel will mean little at the polls. Exit polls in 2000 showed Jewish votes cast 79 % to 19 % in favour of Gore and in 2004 74% to 25% in favour of Kerry. A gain of 6 points for Bush.
Remembering James Baker, Bush I's secretary of State and closest of friends, famous quote, "Fuck the Jews; they didn't vote for us anyway."
Posted by: DJ | 2006-07-19 10:00:15 AM
Part of the appeal of the Liberal party is on the semantic (no, not semite) level.
Liberal is equated with compassion (ie the compassion of the people, the people being the state), so if you're not liberal you're not compassionate.
Has anybody heard this morning's news from Paris?
PM Harper was due to fly directly from Paris to Ottawa today, but redirected his plane to Cyprus, the staging area for the Lebanese-Canadians. (Why there's no mass evacuation of Canadians from Israel is an interesting question, but a topic for another time).
He said there was room on his plane for 120 Canadians.
What a brilliant move!
Not only does he neutralize the sting of his critics about why Canada is moving so slowly (because because those now in a position of critic made sure Canada did not have a navy ... you figure?) but he has handed out a strong statement about his personal compassion.
Not for a second do I doubt this gesture is genuine and from his heart ... the difference being is that conservative people generally do not boast about their compassion ... unlike the Liberals.
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-07-19 10:31:01 AM
The Globe and Red Star are pouncing on PM Harper at this very moment but the MSM have not questioned why 5000 so called Lebanese Canadians
are in Lebanon to begin with. The entire concept of dual Citizenship must be dealt with by the Harper Conservative government. Shortly, the entire Canadian Lebanese Communities in Canada will be bombarding the MSM with complaints about
how "Canada" is treating them. Due diligence must be exercised by the Federal government during this "evacuation" process to ensure none of those evacuated are in fact Hezbollah gunmen and murderers.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-07-19 11:05:40 AM
Details are hard to come by but it appears that a number of the "Canadians" in Lebanon aren't visiting, but live there full time in the south where Hezbollah have their strongest support.
They're Canadian because they have their Liberal passport to prove it, plus they demonstrate an unmistakably Canadian sense that the Canadian government is responsible for their well-being, even if their home and native land, in this case, is thousand of miles away, and wedged against Syria.
It's almost certain that many of these residents of southern Lebanon clamouring for rescue are Hezbollah supporters. I think it's reasonable to ask, if you are Lebanese, and live in Lebanon, why do you have a Canadian passport, or receive all the benefits of being Canadian?
Posted by: EBD | 2006-07-19 11:21:22 AM
If this is true, that most of the Canadians of convenience live in the Hezbollah strongholds, it does pose an interesting situation for this country.
Like much of the hyphenated-Canadian experiment, it appears much of the split loyalty is toward the country of origin, rather than the country of convenience.
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-07-19 11:31:29 AM
I don't know if most of the Canadians of convenience live in Hezbollah strongholds, just that those who need to be evacuated are in the south of Lebanon where Hezbollah's base is.
Sidebar: on CBC a Lebanese-Canadian woman was shown wailing that *her country* was in ruins. She wasn't talking about Canada.
Posted by: EBD | 2006-07-19 11:52:55 AM
I have been Conservative for as long as I have been in politics. No one ever walked up to me and said, speaking to a Jew, would you like to join the party?
They spoke to me as a person, and invited me to join. It just so happens that I saw some terrific substance in the people I met and spoke with. And, PM Harper has continued to impress me, over and over again, with his clarity of thought. There is no mincing words, he is oppossed to terrorists.
As for Jews joining the party, I have seen some very liberal Jews join the party. I have seen even some socialist Jews join the party. Why? Because when push came to shove, the Liberal Party and the other parties, although they held some views which they agreed with, they also sided with terrorists!
Given the fact that there is a value called life over limb, and given the fact that those other parties NEVER STOOD AGAINST TERROR, and given the fact that THEY SIDED WITH TERRORISTS, and NEVER SPOKE OUT IN HORROR AGAINST THE TERROR WAGED AGAINST ISRAELIS, including Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, the message was received.
And what a message that was.
What was it?
Well, it was apparently quite the betrayal. Sure, they could work like the sky was falling, volunteer to do everything, but when Jews were in need, the party walked away! For many of these folks, they actually built the other parties. Like any Canadian, they had spent time looking into what they valued, and it is no surprise, that Jews never block voted. So, you found some deeply emmersed in every movement out there.
So, what happenned?
What has been happenning?
Well, there is this thing called reciprocity. It is a social behaviour. It is an expectation that, when one supports the other, that the other will be there when you need them. Well, at no other time since WWII have Jews needed these parties more. Our teeny tiny little Israel has been attacked, in the media, in academia, in unions, on the streets, and by these terrorist forces. Israel has been showered by rockets and bombs for years! Thousands have been murdered. Heads cut off, machine guns turning babies into hamburger, and average Joes, slaughtered. Who have the terrorists killed? They murdered pregnant mothers taking their children out; fathers with their daughters; families on holiday; youth at disco-techs; people commuting in buses; children in malls; anyone and as many as they could kill, they killed. Tens of thousands have been maimed.
They even seduced young men, drew them away from safety, and then when isolated, killed them with no defence.
And what did those parties do?
They ignored the crisis, while attending ceremonies for dead Jews, who died in WWII.
They ignored the fact that the current terrorist movement is no different than the Nazis, and was linked through Yassir Arafat's Uncle, who formed most of the structures, that lead to the current stream of terrorist groups, attacking Israel.
And what have these parties done for Jews?
They have ignored the fact that terrorists waged intifada on Israel for years!
And the Liberals, to say the least, wanted to be everyone's friend, and yet had the sheer audacity to go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, and attend a Holocaust Ceremony, and then go visit the grave of the terrorist Yassir Arafat, ON THE SAME DAY!
Let me see, they felt the terrorist movement had the same weight as the holocaust victims?
And these Liberal and socialist Jews, well they either wrote letters to their parties, pleading for support, or they turned a blind eye to the sufferring of their own people. Or, they, like many, worked on their own issues outside the party, while attending, and hoping that the parties would come to their senses, as if it were a short lived nightmare. Many were not survivors of the holocaust, as they and their families have been a part of the fabric of Canada for hundreds of years. It seemed as though the parties did not have a problem attending ceremonies of dead Jews, but could not, for the life of them, make a stand for the lives of living Jews.
Sure, a few did, but really, those were isolated incidents at best.
Lucky for me, I found some friends with Conservatives many years ago. I saw the principles they espoused, and held dear, and through discussions, and seen examples, knew that they were not what the other parties had painted.
And these were people who were not ashamed to say that what the other parties had stood for, had been a total and utterly disgusting spectacle.
The other parties had used Jewish people, and then when terrorists were attacking and killing Jews, they walked away. They pretended neutrality, or worse, sided with the terrorists. Many said nothing at all, and gave no comment either way.
While others bemoaned the fact that Jews actually fought back. And yes, that meant getting armed, and learning how to fight back, and then carrying it out without targetting civilians.
By listening to the Liberals or socialists, you would think that Israel had done nothing in the way of negotiations with these people, when the fact remains, no nation on earth has done as much as Israel has, by freely giving to them when they were in need, and working towards their own self-determination.
And it is apparent, that these terrorists, they do not want self-determination. What they want, is the total and utter destruction of the State of Israel.
Well, Jews were not prepared in WWII. Jews, unarmed, were lead to the slaughter. And what was learned, was that Jewish men, women and children are NEVER going to be lead to the slaughter AGAIN.
And what I see in PM Harper, is a man of his word. He will not be cowed by terrorists. And, unlike the Liberals, he is actually doing something for Canada. He is making us all proud to be Canadians, yet again.
Posted by: Lady | 2006-07-19 12:00:03 PM
After listening to the CBC 7AM news cast this Morning (my wake up call in more ways than one;my Doctor has warned me about starting my day like this!)
The topic was about MotherCorp's access to information regarding Media coverage of the repatriation of Canada's dead soldiers upon returning to this fair land.
Since this forum is about other topics, I'll be quick and get to the point.
The CBC implied specifically that Harper lied.
My point being that the Liberal/left leaning machine in Canada(as elsewhere)is really just a feel-good club that runs on equal doses of engineered compasion and an adolescent puppy love mentality as to what goes on in the real world.Bill Graham's comments show this beyond a doubt.
No Bill you can't sit on the fence, waffling and spewing platitudes about Canada as a neutral country or about the PM being slow about evacuating Cdn. citizens from Lebanon.Its your party that trashed the Navy.
Sheez;When we gonna grow up?
Posted by: in ques t | 2006-07-19 12:04:56 PM
What an impassioned post!
Make sure you tell all your friends what you've just posted. Then, and only then, will Canada have a chance to restore itself as a nation willing to stand up for its God-given freedoms.
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-07-19 12:07:53 PM
Yes the population is not huge. Yet larger than many, and with very deep roots in most communities.
But, in relation to the values, the values of the Jewish community in particular and in general, that of freedom AND democracy, are common amongst most Canadians.
Actually, come to think about it, I don't believe I have ever met a Jew who has disagreed with those two principles. And, unlike some other folks, Jews do not use the principles of freedom and democracy as mechanisms to inforce submission, as that goes against the Jewish faith and ethos.
And furthermore, Jewish people are well assimilated into every part of the country. Sure, you can recognize observant Jews sometimes, but chances are, you walk by Jewish folks every single day, and you have not a clue, from how they look, as to their faith or Jewish secularity. You may have even worked with someone who was Jewish, and it never occurred to you that they were. And some people, due to assimilation, have even lost the knowledge that they are Jewish. This is something that has always interested me. They tend to do interesting things, without even knowing why they do them, like collect pairs of candles amongst other things.
Jews, by and large, in relation to a higher percentage of the population, as compaired to many of the other groups, vote. So, belief in democracy is also exercised in practice, including all age groups.
Aux contraire, the extremists, social resistors, anarchists and those who side with terrorists, and their values, tend to reject democracy, and therefore vote in lower percentages. In fact, according to most of the extremists, many believe that voting is a sin at the level of blasphemy against their deity, and that people have no right to determine their governmental laws. You can google that. They have been quite vocal in certain parts of the world, about taking a stand against democracy.
And while many Jews have been Liberals, fact remains, PM Harper is PM of all Canadians, regardless of the party to which individuals may or may not belong.
Posted by: Lady | 2006-07-19 5:43:48 PM
Set You Free,
You can say that again.
And I do believe they are, as you stated, G-d-given freedoms.
As for my position, my friends, both Jews and others, know just how empassioned I am about this matter.
Posted by: Lady | 2006-07-19 5:47:33 PM
I'm pretty sure if you polled Jews in Canada today, the overwhelming majority would be PC. The terror sweep, Alghabra's documented open support of Hamas, and Harper's firm stance supporting Israel have turned the tide.
Insightful Canadians are realizing Liberal policies have laid the groundwork for terror cells to fester in Canada. The Liberals are perceived as terrorist apologists these days.
Posted by: The Atheist Jew | 2006-07-20 8:17:22 AM
It's not an issue of whether Jews look like Euro-gentiles or even vote PC. The simple question is whether Jews are acting in their own ethnic interest or not.
"Jewish and European native interests necessarily conflict. But it is the well-attested phenomenon of Jewish hyper-ethnocentricity that renders the conflict deadly. In a deadly conflict there are few niceties such as a careful judgement of the balance of contributions. The issue is survival, not scrupulous fairness - with all the attendant dangers that will bring as the understanding of what is happening to the West sinks in over the next two or three decades and normal interests re-assert themselves."
In the 1930s, Reverend Claris Silcox, the 'United Church's most vigorous and effective foe of anti-Semitism,' wrote and spoke actively to support the admission of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe, however, he was condemned, largely by Jewish groups because of his racialist views. Why? He believed that Canadians were justified in seeking to keep their country 'dominantly and overwhelmingly European.' The same belief that is voiced by Kadima today. Israel should be dominantly Jewish.
It is the efforts and financial power of groups like the CJC, B'nai Brith (supporters of Sharia law in Ontario), and individuals like Kalmen Kaplansky (the architect of the human rights campaigns in the labour movement), Irving Himmel [Drummond Wren] and Maxwell Cohen, Chairman of the Special Committee on Hate Propaganda (1965-66), that have worked to end freedom of association, freedom of speech and the deire of Cdns, like Silcox, to keep their country 'dominantly and overwhelmingly European.'
Posted by: DJ | 2006-07-20 9:38:06 AM
Considering the recent event, keeping Canadian predominantly Europe may not be such a bad idea.
I'm sure when Parliament gets back in session, one of the top priorities would be to better define immigration policy.
Who is actually responsible for picking up the tab for citizens of convenience in war zones could be an interesting debate.
I guess we should send the bill to Iran and Syria, sponsors of Hezbollah. Do you figure they'll pay?
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-07-20 10:53:18 AM
Having observed the trends of terrorists and terrorism over the past few years, it has been blatantly obviouse that very few terrorists have western roots. Even when you compare white extremists in their entirety, with one single terrorist group, let us say, islamic jihad, it is glaringly obvious that IJ killed and maimed more people last year alone, than the entire white supremacist movement did, in the USA, in the entire last Century.
Now no one can say one is really worse than the other, as nazis hold the record for genocide and ethnic cleansing.
And yet, if we are looking for a place of origin of immigrants, as a way of determining whether or not a person will turn extremists, we had better look a little deeper, and make better assessments, as the actual place of birth does not appear to be a direct cause of an individuals actions. Same with economic status, as some of the biggest terrorists on the planet, have millions of dollars, and even western higher education. Yassir Arafat himself, died with estimates that his estate controlled somewhere around 8 Billion USD. And almost all of that did not come from his short career as an engineer in the oilfield.
Posted by: Lady | 2006-07-21 9:58:07 AM
This is a very interesting question. I do wonder what a poll of the Jewish community would conclude. Traditionally, Canadian Jews have voted Liberal. They even helped to re-elect certain Chretien cabinet ministers who made unequivecal anti-Israeli statements (critical of Israel's foreign policies). The bond was strong.
I wonder if voting patterns have started or will start changing. I do have certain doubts but I'm hopeful. Onyx, of course, is a weak example. Corporations (and heads there of) are primarily motivated to donate to the party most likely to get into and stay in power. The reasons for this should be obvious and Gerry Shwartz is no exception. While he supports our Prime Minister's stance on the middle-east situation, it would be reaching to say that this will automatically translate into increased corporate donations from Onyx.
A more interesting question if whether the Jewish community at large will support the Tories. Strangely enough, Jewish leaders have tended to support parties who were more socially liberal and fiscally prudent. Since the Tories are morphing into exactly such a party, mabye voting patterns will indeed change.
Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2006-07-21 11:03:21 AM
Voting patterns have changed, and are changeing. I know some folks who voted either Liberal, or others, NDP all their lives, and who volunteered, and worked very hard for those parties, who now will not vote for either of the left parties! They have openly said they will not vote for any other party, but the Conservative party.
The reasons are pretty clear.
We know what it is like to have our families blown up, killed or maimed by terrorists. So, when a party is neutral to terrorism, such as the Liberals (reference Bill Grahams recent statement made in public), or worse, supportive of the resistence movements that profess arms against Israel, well that leaves no other party with which to vote for, except the Conservative party.
Posted by: Lady | 2006-07-21 4:59:17 PM
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