Conservative hopeful Andrew Scheer recently mailed a platform statement to selected Jewish Canadian voters. It had 10 points, of which none relate to defending the rights of the Jewish minority in Canada. Eight of the ten relate to defending Israel. Read more.
Concern has been raised in the Canadian Jewish community over how the Conservative Party of Canada got access to lists of Jewish voters and then asked for their support based on the fact that the Conservative Party is a staunch defender of Israel.
Recipients of the flyers, which were delivered by Canada Post, are wondering how the Tories were able to target Jewish homes by mail. The mailings have turned up in several ridings in and around Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg.
“Who is the real friend of Israel and the Jewish community?” the double-sided flyer asks. The flip side shows a checklist of 10 issues. Boxes on the Conservative side of the page are all ticked, while those on the Liberal side are marked with a negative “X.”
Elliot Borins, who lives in the Toronto riding of Don Valley North, told Canadian Jewish News (CJN) , “It’s creepy as hell that a federal party is both aware and concerned about my religious affiliation,” and that “they assume Jews are naive and sheepish to follow the first person who says, ‘we support Israel.’ ”
Ottawa resident Benita Siemiatycki, who also received the flyer in the mail, said she “would love to know” where the Conservatives got the names and addresses of the recipients.“And do they think (…) that we are a monolith who vote according to which party supports Israel?”she asked.
The CJN reached out to several Conservative spokespeople, including one for leader Andrew Scheer to try to find out how they got the names. Neither the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) nor B’nai Brith Canada (BB) would respond to inquiries from CJN when asked about the issue.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper used to claim that “Canada is Israel’s best friend”. Under Scheer, the Tories have actively promoted the adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism (called the IHRA definition) that claims almost any criticism of Israel amounts to anti-Semitism.
But not all Jews agree. “The IHRA definition of antisemitism is designed to silence criticism of Israel and of Zionism by equating this criticism with anti-Semitism”, argues Independent Jewish Voices Canada. “Criticizing Zionism (or Israel) is not anti-Semitic“.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do? Contact us at: email@example.com.
Thank you, Peter, for this important post.
Amazing! Makes me want to vote Liberal.
Thank you, Peter, for sharing. I circulated to my contact list. Regards! Monzer
Hope Brings Life!
Sheer is Harper 2.0 with a smile that is not trustworthy.
Talk more on Sunday,
I circulated it to my list..
This does not make me want to vote Liberal but it does make me want to vote against Sheer. The net effect is the same. No party is taking a moral stand on the status of Palestine..
Thanks for posting this Peter. The Liberals have not little to stand up to Israel over the past four years. These two parties both leave me wondering if they truly believe in human rights. All I can say is that it is somewhat easy to figure out the lesser of the two evils.
Makes me want to vote
conservative it was the right thing to do
A very mixed perhaps self defeating strategy by Conservatives to appeal to Canadian Jewish voter solely on support for Israel in 10 categories in direct comparison to Liberal positions.
The positions themselves reflect the Harper position of unconditional support for Israel. It introduces previous Conservative policies that have been disastrous such as moving embassy to Jerusalem and policies even opposed by Israel such as cutting off funding to UNRWA. It does nothing to support a traditional Canadian policy of a 2 state position and offer no useful advice to a Canadian Liberal govt that has been relatively silent on these M E issues.
Although not known whether Israel liobby cija and Bnai brith Canada are directly behind this, it would represent for them a strange journey into political partisanship. Israel. Lobby usually restricts itself to attacking individuals persons candidates politicians, academic,media that are critical of Israel and supportive of Palestine – sometimes using antisemitism charges.. Entering into politically partisan political fights on these issues risks putting the lobby on one side or other – something that AIPAC tries to avoid but cannot always.
Jewish Canadian reaction has generally been negative on Twitter with most not wanting to be taken for granted as one issue automatic supporters of Israel. Some regard this propaganda as badly as Trumps assertion that American Jews should vote for him and Reoublican or risk betraying Israel. This is not likely to swing many votes in a, Jewish community in Canada that is numbered at less than 150,000. Indeed it may result in many more votes against the Conservatives by Jews and others who support a just settlement of Israel Palestine and simply do not see it in CPC policy.
Unfortunately the bar was set by Harper in “being the friend of Israel”. Scheer follows that bar wholeheartedly, if for the Jewish votes, financial contributions, the general clout of the Jewish community, out of ignorance as not knowing the real truths and the history of the last hundred years, plus perhaps also for religious reasons.
However the Liberals are not far behind in their support. In the last couple of years Trudeau and Freeland voted against all UN resolutions re Palestine/Israel, siding totally with Israel. For example two resolutions which said that the Palestinians have the right to their own resources and the other (if I remember correctly), is that the deserve their sovereignty. Canada voted against together with U.S. and Israel, against 156 countries who voted for, (among them all European countries).
Trudeau also strongly came out against BDS as being Antisemitic. Also will appeal a recent Federal court ruling that Israeli wines made in West Bank can not be labeled “made in Israel”, since West Bank is not legally part of Israel.
Most likely all policies are for the above reasons.
If these kind of support was given to any other country, one would question if the Conservatives and Liberals loyalty is to Canada or more to that country.
Thanks Peter for this.
I addition to moving the embassy and putting an end to UNRWA funding , Scheer has vowed to cut foreign aid by 25 per cent. I wonder if this includes any aid currently given by Canada to Israel?
Hey Stephen, Thanks for this. I am not aware of ANY direct foreign aid funding from Canada to Israel.
Some might argue that the support we give to the Palestinian Authority for its security system amounts to a subsidy to Israel because the PA often uses its police to protect Israel and Israelis. (E.g. during the bombing of Gaza, the PA police broke up demonstrations of solidarity in the West Bank.
Hi Peter. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
I’m also not sure about direct funds to Israel and by how much, but hundreds of millions go to Israel every year by way of individuals and corporations donations, which are tax deductible. some of those funds funneled to the army and settlements.
Take the case of JNF – Jewish National Fund, that raises millions every year and has a charitable status. Not to mention all the violations and dispossession that JNF is involved in, which are direct contradiction to Canadian and international law.
In effect all Canadians are subsidizing Israel by forgoing millions of dollars of tax that is not collected. Definitely those charitable status could be changed, but which government has the guts ……..
Forgot to mention. Some years ago I heard that there are 320 organizations in Canada that collects monies for Israel all year around.
Good to see this conservative tactic exposed. To the extent that reasonable Canadians pay attention, it is self-defeating.
Comments are closed.