wRanter.com

Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.

wRanter.com - Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.
Featured wRants
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

Israel shouldn't be a political football or litmus test

Despite public and private appeals to call off the event, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) went ahead with its unfortunate decision to picket a Liberal fundraiser at the Toronto home of pharmaceutical magnate and Jewish ...

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He was burned by this very issue.

The Jewish community should fund its own schools

The fallout from the recent controversy over the creation of gay-straight alliance clubs (GSAs) in Ontario's publicly funded Catholic school system should give pause to those seeking funding – in the name of fairness – ...

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Thursday the rabbi walked out, or was he pushed?

Being a pulpit rabbi can be a cutthroat business

When Toronto Jews awoke last Saturday morning and collected their Globe and Mail newspapers from their doorsteps (those who still subscribe, that is), they discovered a front-page story detailing how Holy Blossom Temple, the city's ...

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The next occupants of 24 Sussex?

Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives. Here's hoping he's successful, but ...

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Being mislabelled by educators can make school a misery.

Your December-born kid may not have ADHD. He might just be immature.

A new Canadian study is bolstering an argument I've been making to my kids' teachers and principals for years: children born later in a calendar year are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit ...

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Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, ...

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Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in ...

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Israel shouldn’t be a political football or litmus test

Despite public and private appeals to call off the event, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) went ahead with its unfortunate decision to picket a Liberal fundraiser at the Toronto home of pharmaceutical magnate and Jewish philanthropist Barry Sherman.

Meir Weinstein

JDL head Meir Weinstein

Before the Aug. 26 protest, Sherman was viciously attacked on social media, with trolls questioning his motives and suggesting he was furthering his business interests by buying access to power.

Mercifully, the demonstration only attracted about 30 protesters. They called Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau a traitor for supporting the nuclear deal with Iran, which they likened to the Munich Agreement between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain, a classic case of appeasement.

“It is absolutely wrong for a leading philanthropist in the Jewish community to support a man that would support the regime of Iran,” the JDL wrote on its website, a reference to Trudeau’s support for re-opening Canada’s embassy in Tehran.

Fortunately, other Jewish leaders strongly denounced the decision to hold a political protest outside the private home of a fellow Jew. Continue reading

Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail.

York Centre Tory MP Mark Adler

Mark Adler

In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in the Tory stronghold of Calgary Nose Hill a day after conservative activists publicized noxious tweets from her past.

Ala Buzreba apologized for the posts, including one from 2011 in which she told a supporter of Israel his mother should have aborted him with a coat hanger. She said she made the comments “a long time ago, as a teenager, but that is no excuse.”

One wonders how her party managed to miss Buzreba’s outbursts when it vetted her candidacy, but more troubling was Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s initial response to them. Instead of simply condemning her remarks, he initially defended Buzreba. “Ala has unreservedly apologized for her comments, and I think it’s important to point out that she was a teenager and that we all make mistakes,” he said.

Meanwhile, York Centre Conservative MP Mark Adler became mired in a controversy that began when Walrus editor Jonathan Kay tweeted a picture of a 20-foot-high campaign poster outside Adler’s re-election office that noted Adler is the son of a Holocaust survivor.

The Twittersphere quickly erupted in righteous indignation, and by the next day, Adler was being widely accused of exploiting the Shoah for political gain.  Continue reading

Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, we look at Jews running for all four major parties across the country.

Mira Oreck

Mira Oreck is running for the NDP in Vancouver

Jews have served in the House of Commons almost continuously since Harry Nathan Jr., British Columbia’s first MP, represented Victoria from 1871 to 1874.

For decades, Jews have run federally across the political spectrum, and with Jewish Canadians comprising about one per cent of the population nationally, the community certainly punches above its weight when it comes to prominent participation in electoral politics.

Think former Liberal cabinet ministers Robert Kaplan, Irwin Cotler, Barney Danson, Herb Gray and Elinor Caplan. Think David Lewis, the second national leader of the NDP. And think Mulroney-era cabinet minister Gerry Weiner and current Tory MP Joe Oliver, Canada’s first Jewish finance minister.

Who might be the next big-name Jewish MP? Let’s take a look. Continue reading

Four ‘Jewish’ battleground ridings to watch

It’s no secret that Jewish voters have apparently shifted from being largely supportive of the Liberal party to heartily supporting the Conservatives in what seems like majority numbers, due largely to the party’s full-throated support for Israel under Prime Minister Stephen Harper (and to a much lesser degree its commitment to security for religious institutions).

Irwin Cotler

Outgoing Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler

An Ipsos Reid exit poll in 2011 found that 52 per cent of Jews voted Conservative (versus 24 per cent Liberal and 16 per cent NDP), and in a number of ridings with concentrations of Jewish voters, recent drops in Liberal support have been accompanied by increases in the Conservative vote.

Mount Royal: With the retirement of former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler, the Tories are gunning for a win here, after chipping away at Cotler’s margin of victory in the last few elections. The one-third-Jewish riding has been Liberal since 1940 and was once represented by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Two strong Jewish candidates, Côte-Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather and former English rights activist and provincial Equality Party leader Robert Libman, both won their nominations in hard-fought fights and have been ready to do battle for months. Continue reading