I wouldn’t normally re-publish a comment on an article website, but the Canadian Jewish News actually deleted my comment, so I thought I’d repost it here.
A CJN op-ed by an off-and-on Liberal operative named Adam Goldenberg caught my eye because of its provocative headline, on one of the news aggregator sites:
I don’t know anything about Mr. Goldenberg, but I have seen his articles before, trying to move Jewish voters away from the Conservatives.
This article is basically a Trojan horse for that mission. The putative story “Jews Will Know First” is silly, and I think the author knows this, but he uses it as an excuse to get a few digs in at Harper for a Jewish audience.
The article uses substantial words to paint an unflattering history of Harper’s relationship with Canadian Jews, before Goldenberg makes his claim that Jews (and a few other well-organized minority groups) will be the first to know when Harper is leaving because Conservative candidates to replace him will be in our shuls pandering for our votes.
First of all, Goldenberg’s whole argument here is premised on the contentious and totally unsubstantiated assertions that a) Jews are a holy grail of Canadian politics (at approximately 1% of the Canadian population, or one third the Muslim population), and b) that Harper has supported Israel and been aggressive with Islamic terrorists not because he believes it’s right, but to coax the Jewish vote.
But even forgetting that shaky stuff, the argument really turns on the (again unsubstantiated) theory that the actions of contenders to replace Harper will be the clue as to when Harper will leave. Here’s a clue: post-Harper contenders are already working as hard as they can to build their profiles, and they will have no more clue as to Harper’s intention than the general public. Or even the Jews. The column is a thinly veiled excuse to give a negative view of Harper to Jewish readers.
It’s fine if someone wants to lobby for the Liberal party to Jewish or other audiences. But they should have the honesty to argue their case straight up, not just use false arguments to toss drive-by smears. Perhaps more importantly, the click-bait headline for the article is irresponsible and perpetuates the adBusters style propaganda that Jews control everything. How many will see that headline and just add another note to their mental file on the too-powerful Jews?
If you’re reading this, and you’re Jewish, ask yourself, have you ever known what political leaders were going to do before anyone else? Do you think that’s an appropriate headline?
A final clue that the argument itself is bogus is that when you have 600 or 700 words to make a point you care about (in this case, ostensibly, that “the Jews will know”), you usually want every one of those words to make your point; you don’t want to waste them on filler and background flab. Look at this article. Almost the first HALF is “backstory” (re-told with a certain political slant) before it even gets to the point. Does this seem like someone genuinely trying to argue a case?
It’s such a silly little article, written as a cute cover for some hidden jabs, and it’s unfortunate that it had to promote itself with an irresponsible headline and theme. I doubt Goldenberg is trying to race-bait or promote anti-Semitic ideas, but in trying to be provocative he should try to be more responsible. Perhaps the CJN as well.