Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Margaret Wente on How Harper's Israel Trip Brought Out the Worst in the Left--Especially the Jews

The idea that Harper's visit was a naked bid to wrap up that "all-important" Jewish vote is just plain wacky, she writes:
Some of my Jewish friends can’t decide what’s more offensive – Mr. Harper’s lovey-dovey friendship with Bibi Netanyahu (not their favourite guy), or the casual assumption in some parts of the media that all Jews think alike, that all they care about is Israel, and that their votes can be bought so cheaply. 
“I find that completely offensive,” Donna says. “It’s insulting and demeaning.” 
There is something about Stephen Harper that makes a lot of people irrational. Israel makes people irrational, too. So I guess it’s no surprise that when you combine Mr. Harper and Israel, a lot of people start saying really stupid things. This applies especially to our progressive opinion elites, who seem to have decided that Mr. Harper has twisted Canada’s Israel policy out of all recognition. Some of them also seem to believe that Canada’s Jews are so numerous, so powerful, and so single-mindedly devoted to Israel that they can significantly influence our politics and foreign policy. I am afraid this vastly overestimates their clout. Although it’s true that their accomplishments are out of proportion to their numbers, Jews account for only 350,000 of all Canadians. That’s roughly 1 per cent of the population. 
As for Canada’s Israel policy, it’s pretty much the same as it ever was. Canada supported a two-state solution back in 1947, and that has never changed. The Chrétien regime tilted a little more toward the Palestinians, but the Martin regime tilted back. Those who say we’ve sacrificed our role as an “honest broker” in the Middle East are simply nostalgic for the days when the Liberals were in power. They bitterly lament the decline of a “principled” approach to foreign policy, by which they mean their principles, as opposed to Mr. Harper’s, which they don’t like...
More than a few of those leftist lamenters are Jews who loathe Stephen Harper and his (booga booga) scary right-wing agenda, and who can't wait until their mahdi, Justin, assumes the reigns of power. That eventuality is the only thing that can temper their Harper Derangement Syndrome and scale it back to non-pathological levels.

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