I write today as a proud member of the Jewish faith. I write to you as a father of three children and of someone who has voted Liberal and Conservative at various times in the past 34 years. I write to you as a community leader and someone who has given time and energy beyond the norm to do my part to ensure the survival of our Jewish community. It has long been said that we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions. In the case of this Liberal government, unfortunately the Jewish population has plenty of actions upon which to base their opinions. Your votes against Israel in the UN have been insulting.Your inability to come out strongly against anti-Semitism in the past few months without adding qualifiers has been worrisome to the Jewish people I know. Your government’s need to equivocate every statement about anti-Semitism with an equal comment about Islamophobia has been frustrating.

Take note, when the horrific act of violence perpetuated against a Muslim family in London, Ontario occurred last week, our Rabbi — Rabbi Mark Fishman — came out very publicly deploring the act with nary a mention of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t the time. When an online vigil was held, Jewish communities across the country participated out of genuine horror at the crime that was committed. (And not without the genuine feeling of knowing that it is what we have been fearing in our own communities the last few months). What were they left with? Anti-Israel comments as closing remarks. Is this your fault or responsibility? Of course not. Did you, however, condemn the opportunistic words of the cleric against one of Canada’s allies? Again, of course not.

These things can probably be explained away in a typical bout of rationalization. It is clear as day that the Jewish community is not that important to you. Or at least the Jewish vote is not. Frankly, we have let you off the hook for far too long. Make no mistake about it, Mr. Trudeau. We know what your government is about now. There is no sanitizing it.

When MP Jenica Atwin left the Green Party of Canada to go to the Liberals because the Green Party wasn’t anti-Israel enough or anti-Semitic enough for her, but the Liberal Party of Canada is, that spoke volumes. The fact that the Liberal Party opened their arms to welcome her? That speaks volumes as well. The fact that you tried to “educate” her afterwards and that she came out with a half-hearted apology doesn’t change the fact that you knew who she was and you opened your arms wide.The LPC used to be represented by people of valor. Sadly, when it comes to the Jewish people of Canada, those of us paying attention see just the opposite. I guess that the members of the Liberal party who should be taking a stand have forgotten the words of Suzy Kassem who has said: “Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.” When you opted to change Canada’s long standing position and chose to vote against Israel in the UN … that should have been enough. When you wouldn’t/couldn’t condemn anti-Semitic behaviors without adding qualifiers….. that should have been enough. When you wouldn’t mention Hamas in discussing the most recent Israel- Palestinian conflict…. that should have been enough. When you welcome a blatantly anti-Semitic and racist person to your party with open arms….IT’S ENOUGH.You have shown us who you are. This is not difficult. You cannot hide this one under the guise of splitting hairs between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. You simply can’t. Next election, this self-respecting Jew will be judging your government by its words and its actions, and will be working hard to make sure that your true colours are well understood by our community. You have shown who and what you are. This time, we are paying attention.

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(1) comment

Jamie Goren

I am aware that the track record of the Liberal government at the UN has been generally favorable towards Israel. In my comment within the open letter, I was referring to the change of long standing policy when the Liberal Government chose to vote against settlements at the UN.

I am also aware of the rebuttal by a Liberal MP being circulated. Fact is that it ignores the bigger picture issue. That the Liberals have seemingly embraced and welcomed in elements that are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. And that communications written by members who fly under the Liberal banner have been unbalanced. More importantly, the message was that we as Jews need to rise up and protect what is right. We have allowed ourselves to be taken for granted by the Liberal party.

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