Friday, December 10, 2010

Newco To Replace CJC

There have been all sorts of rumours of the Canadian Jewish Congress being absorbed into the Canadian Council for Jewish and Israel Advocacy (CCJIA), and a few stories in places like the National Post . This long but fascinating blog post from Mike Cohen, their one-time national director of communications, suggests that the merger is a done deal, and "Newco" is the code name for the emergent entity. Sad news, which probably means that the official politics of Canada's Jewish community will shift significantly right...what kind of Canadian council has Israel in its name, for chrissakes?

In any case, while most talk of the Stephen Harper Tories breaching Fortress Toronto has been baloney, if you're a Lib this bit of blue-skying ought to send a chill running down your spine:

I feel badly for someone like Farber, probably the brightest Jewish advocacy expert in this country. He has stood up to hatemongers and delivered countless lectures and presentations to spellbound audiences. His talent has been underutilized. It is time for Bernie to become a politician. For Stephen Harper’s Tories, I could not think of a better star Jewish candidate in the Toronto area than him. Add B’nai Brith Canada executive vice-president Frank Dimant into the mix as a potential Tory Senator and our community will really be well served.

16 comments:

Titanium said...

If Canada's Jewish community does shift right which ridings would that put in play for the Tories??? The only ridings I know of a significant Jewish vote is Thornhill(Peter Kent)amd Irwin Cotler's riding.

bigcitylib said...

I don't know that it would put too many directly into play, other than the one's you mention.

I think the effects would be less direct. CJC has always been a relatively moderate voice over issues like the Burkah and immigration policy and such like. Remove them from the mix and, given the outsized influence of Jewish community groups in general, unpleasant things might happen.

And I think Farber would do well in most TO ridings regardless of their strict demographic makeup.

Marky Mark said...

More and more Jewish Canadians are starting to see "the Left" as having Jennifer Peto type views such that they are considering voting CPC for the first time. I think more ridings are in play than you might think but still not enough to turn an election.

nos200 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nos200 said...

Damn spelling!

Given Mr. Farber's support for the CHRC and Section 13, I've a feeling that the Speechies' collective brain would explode should he ever decide to run as a Tory. Might actually be fun to see the histrionics.

Robert McClelland said...

If Canada's Jewish community does shift right...

I don't see that happening simply because it hasn't happened yet despite the nonstop propaganda effort over the past several decades to convince Jews to do just that.

Robert McClelland said...

More and more Jewish Canadians are starting to see "the Left" as having Jennifer Peto type views such that they are considering voting CPC for the first time.

Do you mean Jewish Canadians like Jennifer Peto? The simple fact is, Mark, that most Jewish Canadians are more like Peto than Levant. They jsut don't buy into the silly rightwing propaganda and have no qualms about criticizing Israel.

Marky Mark said...

Do you mean Jewish Canadians like Jennifer Peto? The simple fact is, Mark, that most Jewish Canadians are more like Peto than Levant. They jsut don't buy into the silly rightwing propaganda and have no qualms about criticizing Israel.

Robert, she isn't criticizing Israel. She is making a Zionism is per se racism and apartheid argument coupled with the idea that Jews are privileged and white and, accordingly, don't deserve a state. That is nowhere near the prevailing view among Jewish Canadians. Jewish Canadians on the whole have no problem criticizing various policies of the State of Israel anymore than they'd be comfortable criticizing policies of the Canadian government. The notion that most Jewish Canadians are more like Peto than Levant seems incorrect but if you want to commission a poll we can look at the results.

More to the point, the counter isn't Levant, but something more mainstream. There are plenty of leftis, Jewish and otherwise, who passionately disagree with Peto's thesis.

Robert McClelland said...

That Jewish Canadians disagree with what Peto wrote in her thesis is irrelevant to the fact that most Jewish Canadians are more like her. And by that I mean the majority of Jewish Canadians are liberal. They aren't conservative. They aren't socialist. They aren't libertarian, etc. That's why they vote for the Liberals. Because they are liberal. And no amount of blame "the left" propaganda is going to change the fact that most Jewish Canadians are liberal and will remain liberal and vote for the Liberal Party.

Marky Mark said...

Jewish Canadians (like Jewish Americans) are on the whole more liberal and far from single issue voters. No disagreement there. And Peto isn't a Liberal nor would the basic views in her work be representative of the NDP. But there is in this country (like in the US) somewhat of Left/Right divide, and it is growing. To the extent that views such as Peto's are seen as representative of "the Left," that will make it harder for centre/left and left of centre policies to win hearts and minds in many ridings.

Robert McClelland said...

We've seen the opposite happen though, Mark. As the right/left rhetoric has heated up in the US over the past 3 decades Jewish voters have even more so become Democrats. There's no reason to believe the same will not happen here.

Marky Mark said...

Robert, what I think has changed is the intensity and goals of the Palestine solidarity/anti-Israel movement. We're now in an era of BDS with annual events like "Israel Apartheid Week." These initiatives don't come from anyone right of centre. To the extent that Jewish voters think there is a realistic chance that this campaign to delegitimize Israel will succeed, and that is being led from left of centre, that will play into voting decisions. Most Jewish voters aren't at all like Peto on that issue. I think you're taking for granted the permanence of a voting bloc that has been reliable for generations-sometimes things do change.

deboaned said...

I too have been watching the politics in the jewish community and given what I have read in the Canadian Jewish news and National Post I wouldn't count CJC out yet.

In years past we have heard the common refrain that CJC is being wound up and yet it remains, more I think for its integrity within the community and its leadership which continues to be well respected in comparison to other groups.

As for Mr. Farber he is a populist who is well liked by Canadian Jewry. I suspect whatever goes down with CJC, whatever arises from there he will remain one of its top stars. It would truly signal a sharp turn to the right for canadian Jewry if he were to decide to leave as a result of the changes.

Chapel said...

The potential loss of the CJC as a rational voice of the Jewish community should be taken very seriously. It kind of boggles the mind doesn't it though? Here is possibly one of the best known and respected groups in the country and there seem to be those in the Jewish community that want to silence it. What can they be thinking. I just don't understand the logic.


As for Cohen's speculation that Farber might run as a Tory, well I wouldn't hold my breath, I'm sure he would have the pick of any party or riding in the province if he really wanted it. But Farber strikes me as too smart to get involved in any kind of politics Tory or otherwise. However I guess you never know. Sad thing is it would serve to silence him as an advocate and really on that I agree with Cohen, Farber is probably the best in the country.

Matt said...

I don't think Farber would run as a Tory or go into politics. But he strikes me more as quite liberal on issues that don't involve the Mideast. For instance, on the issue of poverty he seems pretty passionate. I think he'd be out of sync philosophically most of the time.

Matt said...

As for Jenny Peto and Ezra Levant - both are both unrepresentative of where Canadian Jews are politically. But it seems quite far-fetched to suggest that Jenny Peto will really have any impact on voting patterns whatsoever. There are variations depending on both the national trend and sometimes issues around Israel, but it doesn't change the basic character of the Jewish community, politically.

For instance, Obama got 78% of the US Jewish vote in a good year for the Democrats, and in this year's midterms (GOP landslide) it looks like something like 31% of American Jews voted Republican. And obviously Israel probably swung some votes, but so did the general trend against the Dems. These are the kind of "shifts" we can really talk about, enough to maybe swing a close race, but not a fundamental change in values.