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wRanter.com: It’s time to mend fences in the Jewish community

When we sat down in early summer to discuss how we’d cover what was expected to be a five-week fall campaign, CJN editor Yoni Goldstein asked me to write a weekly column about election topics of Jewish interest. The idea – a departure from past practice of mostly limiting ourselves to rather pedestrian riding profiles . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: It’s time to mend fences in the Jewish community

wRanter.com: Cultural and religious issues dominate as election day nears

Thank God for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I say that not because trade is an inherently Jewish issue, nor because I know for certain the recently negotiated deal will be good for Canada, especially since its details have yet to be released. Irrespective of its long-term effects, the TPP might be our only hope to . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Cultural and religious issues dominate as election day nears

wRanter.com: A national icon takes his leave

One of the questions I posed in this space a few weeks ago was: who will be the next big-name Jewish MP? With apologies to Joe Oliver, Canada’s first Jewish federal finance minister, what I may subconsciously have been asking is who will be the next Irwin Cotler, now that the 75-year-old Mount Royal Liberal . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: A national icon takes his leave

wRanter.com: Refugees: a Jewish issue comes to the fore

A quintessentially Jewish issue has dominated the news and become a prominent election issue ever since the picture of three-year-old Alan Kurdi lying dead in the Mediterranean surf generated headlines worldwide earlier this month. For many, the painful image has crystallized the ongoing question of what the world ought to be doing about the human . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Refugees: a Jewish issue comes to the fore

wRanter.com: Can we talk politics without lashon hara?

Over the course of the election campaign to this point, the Jewish community has seen repeated and sometimes flagrant violations of halachic and ethical prohibitions against lashon hara – wicked speech – and some of the 31 transgressions related to it, such as unnecessarily engendering controversy and division. But although negative politicking has become more . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Can we talk politics without lashon hara?

wRanter.com: 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. Before the Aug. 26 protest, Sherman was viciously attacked on social media, with trolls questioning his motives . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Israel shouldn’t be a political football or litmus test

wRanter.com: 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 the Tory stronghold of Calgary Nose Hill a day after conservative activists publicized noxious tweets from her past. Ala . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

wRanter.com: 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. Jews have served in the House of . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

wRanter.com: The PQ is embarrassing itself

FB.Event.subscribe(‘edge.create’, function(response) { _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’,’SocialSharing’,’Facebook – like button’,unescape(String(response).replace(/\+/g, ” “))]); }); Share this: It’s been an inauspicious month for Premier Pauline Marois’ minority government. First it tabled its so-called charter of Quebec values. Bill 60 – whose full, Orwellian name is the “Charter affirming the values of state secularism and religious neutrality and of . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: The PQ is embarrassing itself

wRanter.com: Preparing for the unlikely

FB.Event.subscribe(‘edge.create’, function(response) { _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’,’SocialSharing’,’Facebook – like button’,unescape(String(response).replace(/\+/g, ” “))]); }); Share this: A version of this post appeared as a signed editorial in The Canadian Jewish News on Sept. 12. As a new Jewish year begins, renewed U.S.-led peace talks continue between Israel and the Palestinians. Much has been written about the low . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Preparing for the unlikely

wRanter.com: Slicing through ignorant anti-circumcision rhetoric

FB.Event.subscribe(‘edge.create’, function(response) { _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’,’SocialSharing’,’Facebook – like button’,unescape(String(response).replace(/\+/g, ” “))]); }); Share this: Every once in a while, the subject of circumcising male newborns and boys rears its ugly head – no pun intended – and the discussion rarely takes long to veer into ethnocentrism, if not outright intolerance. With the best of intentions, . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Slicing through ignorant anti-circumcision rhetoric

wRanter.com: Church settlement boycott becomes interfaith train wreck

Share this: This past August, the General Council of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, adopted a motion urging its members to boycott goods produced in West Bank settlements. The proposal was part of a larger, rather one-sided report prepared by the church’s Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy. It aimed to . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Church settlement boycott becomes interfaith train wreck

wRanter.com: Why seek validation from the IOC? Instead, flip it the bird

Share this: I love the Olympics, but not for the reasons you might think. It can be truly inspiring to watch the best athletes in the world – and the best Canada has to offer – compete against one another at the highest levels of sport. And I’m proud when Canadians do well. I was . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Why seek validation from the IOC? Instead, flip it the bird

wRanter.com: 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 as I argued in an earlier post, it seems unlikely that he will be, because the left is as . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

wRanter.com: Things that make me go arghhhh! Part 1

I figure that this wouldn’t be a true blog without random kvetching about nothing in particular. So in that spirit, I present semi-aimless carping about disconnected aspects of modern life, or, with apologies to Arsenio Hall, what I like to call “Things that make me go arghhhh!”: • When a store’s website inventory checker says . . . → Read More: wRanter.com: Things that make me go arghhhh! Part 1