Thursday, March 14, 2013

Zach Paikin Chides Canada's Jews, P.M., for Their "Faulty" Israel First Orientation

Young Liberal Party activist Zach Paikin thinks Stephen Harper's and Canadian Jewry's "Israel first" orientation is upside down, and that instead of putting Israel first, we Jews should put the world first.

Yes, my friends, the squishy tikkun olam mentality strikes again:
It is an oft-cited axiom that Canada’s Jewish community is becoming increasingly one-issue oriented, opting to place Israel atop its pyramid of issues of concern. The reasons for this are numerous – rising global antisemitism, Barack Obama’s less-than-stellar record on Middle East issues, and Canada’s Jewish community being more directly removed from the Holocaust than that of the United States all come to mind. 
It is the latter reason that gives me hope that the increasing focus on Israel – which in reality is a growing polarization within the community between social justice-concerned and Israel-preoccupied factions – will dissipate with changing geopolitical conditions.
The argument goes that Canada’s Jews are either Holocaust survivors or the descendants thereof, and hence identify more with Jewish nationalism and existentialism. America’s Jews – having arrived in the New World largely before the World War II – are far more progressive in their political expression, voting for the Democratic presidential candidate overwhelmingly in each election. This distinction is also reflected in the choice of synagogue – the Reform movement is far larger south of the border. 
But if Canada’s Jewish community’s formative event – to use a term often employed by the great political sociologist Seymour Lipset – was the carnage that took place on the Old Continent, then surely it would care deeply about eradicating mass atrocities (war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity) from the planet as well.  
Never again should a nation be subject to genocide. 
Although Stephen Harper’s tone when it comes to Israel-related subjects appears solid, his record on fighting genocide is anything but...
Memo to the Zackster: a few things you might want to bear in mind. Zionhass, the often irrational and pathological hatred that fixates on Israel, the Jewish state, is the way Jew-hate has manifested itself in our time. Therefore, Stephen Harper, along with much of Canadian Jewry, are correct in placing "Israel first." To fail to do so and to return to the M.O. of the Liberals when they were in power, which is to say, to pay lip service to support for Israel while waxing moronic about the need to play the role of "honest broker" between Israel and its enemies, and to blend in with the rest of the pack of UN jackals in passing endless resolutions against the Jewish state, is not only bad for Jewry, not only bad for Canada. It is bad for the free world in particular and the entire world in general.

Also--you may have heard that there's a jihad on--against Israel, yes, but against Canada and all non-Dar-al-Islam-y places, too. As such, this would be an excellent time to return to the sort of nationalism which prompts people to act in their own self-defense, and give the "tikkun olam/internationalism-is-best mantra the old heave-ho.

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