Jonathan Kay: Even some Zionists should find the Tories’ Israel zeal to be disturbingly manic | National Post

Interesting commentary by Jonathan Kay of the National Post on the messaging of PM Harper and the Conservative government. Ironically, it is possible that such unqualified support may, over time, undermine support for the Government’s activities and initiatives against antisemitism, given the relative silence of the important linkages with other forms of discrimination that impact on a wide range of communities in Canada:

Perhaps the best adjective I can use to describe the Conservatives’ zeal for Israel — and, indeed for all things Jewish — is manic. In interpersonal terms, it reminds me of a couple that professes their status as soul mates — loudly, and very repeatedly — as they bask in the bloom of first love (as opposed to the occasional bickering that characterizes the long, solid marriage between Israel and the United States). In my email inbox, I have lost count of the number of messages from Jason Kenney advertising his government’s support of Israel, its steadfast opposition to anti-Semitism, and its diligent observance of some anniversary or memorial day honouring a figure connected to Judaism. Many times, whole days pass in which this is the only type of message I get from his office. In each individual case, the spirit is admirable. But the overall effect comes across as a sort of monomania.

This fixation is beginning to express itself in somewhat reckless gestures. One of the members of Harper’s official delegation in Israel, for instance, is a Rabbi who has offered public support to Pamela Geller, an anti-Islamic conspiracy theorist. When taken to task for the Rabbi’s inclusion, the PMO shot back with the lazy, apparently baseless, and possibly libelous charge that the Muslim group raising the objections has “ties” to Hamas. This is the not the way a serious government responds to the legitimate concerns of its citizens.

The Harper government is to be lauded for the overall tendency of its foreign policy — which is to offer full-throated support for democratic nations that share our values. But where the Jewish state is concerned, our support is crossing the line into a sort of emotional mania. And it has never been on fuller display than this week, during the Prime Minister’s trip to Israel.

Jonathan Kay: Even some Zionists should find the Tories’ Israel zeal to be disturbingly manic | National Post.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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