A tale of Tory, tories and the torah

Emma Teitel’s well-argued rebuke to Conservative targeting of Jewish voters:

In a larger context, the Tory Pride comments are a microcosm of a fallacy to which well-meaning conservatives who support Israel’s right to exist are prone. I’ve mentioned before that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ongoing defence of Israel, genuine though it appears to be, is so automatic and unreserved, it can be, for someone who’s Jewish, almost a bit creepy. No Israeli I know is as one-sided in his analysis of his homeland. Usually, when you live in a place for a while, you have at least a few critical things to say about it. I love Toronto, but I don’t like T.O. fixtures Rob and Doug Ford.

Conservatives love to deride knee-jerk liberals who can’t take a joke—the kind of liberals in whose company you dare not make off-colour remarks about sexuality or ethnicity. But conservatives are equally skewed by their own PC touchiness. Their breed simply takes a different form: Israel these days is one of their sacred cows, an object of their guaranteed optimism and goodwill. By this formula, Tel Aviv isn’t allowed to be just a gay-friendly city; it has to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. Israel can’t just be an admirable, resilient country with flaws, it has to be, in its current form—in every form—irreproachable. To suggest that Israel can act immorally is to reveal your true colours: that you’d rather it didn’t exist.

These are false equivalencies, and they put Jews like me in an awkward position—the position, for instance, of having to defend the QuAIA (which I wish would disappear) from John Tory (for whom I’ll probably vote).

When everything constitutes anti-Semitism, nothing is anti-Semitism; words like holocaust and racism lose their meaning, and the resulting fog of moral relativism is bad for more than just Jews. And so, Mr. Tory and attendant candidates running for office, if we’re not part of the story, please leave us alone.

A tale of Tory, tories and the torah.

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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