The Author


Why do so many Jewish-Canadians seem untroubled by the current Canadian government’s distancing itself from Israel and showing very little regard for the interests and concerns of its Jewish citizens?

By Henry Roth

There’s a federal election here in Canada this month, and despite Prime Minister Trudeau’s very spotty record (significant budget deficits, troubling economic indicators, trampled promises, jettisoning electoral reform, illegal efforts to subvert the course of justice, undercutting the energy industry, etc.), he is very likely to be re-elected, even if an entire scrapbook of pictures of him in blackface were to suddenly surface.

Perhaps some might argue that Trudeau’s path to re-election is facilitated by his weak opposition, but the leaders of the other major parties are at least as credible and accomplished as Trudeau, and their platforms are no more outlandish or unaffordable than the Liberal Party’s. So why do so many Canadians remain loyal to the Liberals regardless of the available options and despite their innumerable missteps and outright obfuscations?

And why do so many Jewish-Canadians seem untroubled by the current Canadian government’s distancing itself from Israel and showing very little regard for the interests and concerns of its Jewish citizens?

The answer to both questions essentially comes down to history and inertia. Most ‘liberal’ voters (and their parents before them) have opted for the Liberals ever since they were eligible to vote and they are intellectually incapable of recognizing that the party of their parents and of their own youth has mutated into an illiberal shadow of its formal self. And like the U.S., media in this country are overwhelmingly leftist in their orientation, meaning Canadians are routinely exposed to only one side of the political debate.

Tragically, the one other partial explanation for Jews supporting parties who are hostile to Israel is that these Jews no longer view their Jewishness as being the primary component of their identity, and their generally leftist politics means they have to vilify Israel in order to be onside with their peers.

During the Stephen Harper era (2006-2015), Canadian support for Israel was robust and unwavering.

Today, under Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party, Israel can no longer count on Canada’s vote at the United Nations (Canada has abstained on a number of anti-Israel resolutions); a member of the government tabled a bill formally condemning Islamophobia while ignoring real and growing threats against Jews and other recognizable minorities; the Prime Minister visited at least one mosque with proven ties to a designated Muslim terror group; the Liberals have reinstated generous cash transfers to Palestinian groups without any restrictions on payments to terrorists and without requirements for reform of an educational system that is virulently anti-Semitic; the government agreed that Israeli wines from Judea and Samaria could not be identified as coming from Israel; the government had no problem scheduling the election on a Jewish holiday; and finally, the Liberals had no problem nominating a Muslim cleric to be their candidate in a Montreal-area riding despite his repeated and well-publicized anti-Semitic social media postings (that candidacy was finally revoked due to intense media and opposition party criticism).

So I am making one last appeal to my fellow Jews in Canada: Justin Trudeau has shown himself to be no friend to Jews or to Israel. Yes, there are many other issues that matter in this election but even if you set aside Jewish interests, a strong case can be made to support conservative politicians who do not depend on the votes of so-called progressives whose agenda is largely at odds with Canadian values.

And for those Jewish voters who do care about the government’s actions on matters directly affecting the Jewish community and who recognize how critically important Israel’s well-being is to their own future welfare, please use your vote to express your solidarity with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.


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Article by Henry Roth

Henry Roth was born in Haifa and immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. The son of Romanian Holocaust survivors, he has been married to Brenda for 43 years, is the father of two sons, Marc and David, the happy grandfather of Nicolas and a proud and loud Zionist.