Jewish power: some wins in the week that was


“Jewish power.”

At the dark centre of all antisemitism – with all of its conspiracy-theorized manifestations, like “Zionist Occupation Government,” and “international bankers,” and “globalists” – is envy. Envy about imagined Jewish wealth, Jewish media, Jewish Hollywood. Envy about illusions of Jewish achievement and power.

With envy always comes its more-murderous twin, resentment. Every political hack knows that resentment is the most powerful force in any campaign. For that, Jews have been hated – and even targeted with pogroms – for millennia. Simply because of that: envy, then resentment.

If the unspooling of sanity since October 7 has shown anything, however, it’s that Jews have less power, not more. If Jews were truly as powerful as the antisemites claim, they wouldn’t be seeing their schools shot up, their synagogues firebombed and their voices serially disregarded by police, prosecutors, politicians and the public.

But Jews are fighting back. They are scoring some wins.

The historic Toronto St. Paul’s by-election, for example. That Midtown Toronto riding has been one of the safest Liberal seats in Canada for decades. No longer. Outraged that Justin Trudeau has disregarded and disrespected them, St. Paul’s Jewish voters came together in sufficient numbers to drive the Grits’ hapless candidate to defeat. They changed the outcome. That is power – the democratic kind.

So, too, the Trudeau government’s recent appointment of the Chief Commissioner of its Human Rights Commission. Their choice, Birju Dattani, has said things like: “Palestinians are Warsaw ghetto prisoners of today.” And: “Workers should boycott Israel.” And: “Israel [has an] ideology of racial supremacy” and is “a colonial project.”

Dattani has also shared platforms with Islamic extremist groups; attended rallies with chants that “Zionism is terrorism” – and is reported to have compared Zionism to Naziism. Jews saw all that, came together to object, and have stalled – and likely stopped – Dattani’s appointment. That’s political power, expressed democratically.

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This is what the job is

Years ago, there was some advice I was reluctant to give to my boss, Jean Chretien. He knew it.

He looked at me and said: “I didn’t hire you to only tell me things I want to hear. I hired you to advise me about things I don’t want to hear.”

Will Joe Biden’s friends and family and top advisors do that? I doubt it.

Because those are the same people who hid his decline from the rest of us.


It was bad. For Joe.

Shit.

I supported Barack Obama. I worked for Hillary Clinton in three different states, including at her Brooklyn headquarters. I worked the phones for Joe Biden in 2020.

If there is any political party that I still support, it is the Democratic Party. Four years ago, right about now, I was working the phones for Biden, from New York to California. Four years later, for months, I kept asking myself why I wasn’t doing so again. Something was holding me back.

I couldn’t put my finger on it.

The 2024 presidential “debate” between Joe Biden and Donald Trump gave me the answer. I wasn’t rushing to help the Democrats, for the first time, because I silently wondered if the critics were right. I wondered if Joe Biden – after so many amazing achievements, after so many amazing years in public life – was too old.

No, not that. Not too old. Up to the job: that’s what I worried about. That’s what I wondered. Is he?

For six years, since he decided to pursue the presidency and remove the stain that is Donald Trump from our lives, I have completely and fundamentally believed in Joe Biden. I believed that he was up to the job.

The reason? Because, for many years, I campaigned for a guy who was also older than his opponents, also regularly mangled grammar and syntax, who everyone also said would never win. That guy, of course, was Jean Chretien. Biden reminded me of him. He really did. And both men won when everyone said they wouldn’t.

Well, that was then and this is now. With that execrable “debate” now over, I believe that Joe Biden is going to lose, and he is going to lose badly.

And don’t get me wrong: it was the worst fucking political debate in the history of political debates. Trump looked and sounded like he was on meth. He lied, he was insane. But Biden – my guy – looked and sounded like something was terribly, terribly wrong. Everyone noticed.

Last weekend, a smart guy came to film me for a documentary he is making. We talked about my affection for Biden, whose 2020 campaign sign still hangs on the wall of my house. The smart guy said to me that his wife is a physician and she thinks that Biden is stricken with something. Maybe Parkinson’s, maybe something else.

I gave him my talking points about Chretien and Biden, which are a few paragraphs up above. He seemed unconvinced. I felt unsure.

After watching what CNN called a debate, I felt sad and unsettled. And I felt and feel – because I owe you guys the truth – that Biden lost, badly. And that Biden needs to go.

So, as I sit here in the dark contemplating all of this, five parting observations.

One, there is only one Canadian who is pleased, tonight. And it is Justin Trudeau. Because Justin Trudeau will now argue, over and over, that Pierre Poilievre is the wrong guy to lead Canada through another Trump White House. Conservatives may not want to hear it, but many Canadians are going to agree with that.

Two, I am not the only guy kind of freaking out tonight. The leaders of the European Union, NATO, and all of America’s allies are all wondering, tonight, if the end is drawing a bit nearer. That should worry all of us, not just them.

Three, anyone thinking that Joe Biden can step aside, and that civilization can be saved by someone like Gavin Newsom stepping in, are dreaming in Technicolor. In the United States, there is this thing called the 25th Amendment. You should read it. If Joe Biden steps aside, Kamala Harris becomes president. Period. And she’s even more unpopular than Joe, these days.

Four, I am so angry at the White House staff and the Democratic establishment – some of whom I know, and I have relied upon for advice – who clearly lied to all of us about Joe’s fitness for another term. The FDR deception is nothing compared to this.

Fifth and finally: thank God I’m a Canadian, and thank God I live here.

Because things, which definitely have not been good?

They’re about to get a lot worse.

Shit.


My latest: bears, earthquakes and a by-election

I woke up. It was around 3 AM.

The cause: a security camera alert at my cabin, outside Bancroft. Something big.

I got up and quietly moved to the couch in another room, so as to avoid waking up E.

I looked at the camera. It wasn’t an earthquake – that was going to come about an hour or so later – it was a bear. She (I think it was a she) was sniffing around at the edge of the woods, looking utterly unafraid. I sat on the couch and watched her for a while until she disappeared.

It was shortly after that that I got the online alert from one of the reporters who had pulled the night shift.  There had indeed been an earthquake, in Midtown Toronto.

Not of the seismic kind. Another kind of earthquake: a political one. The Liberal Party of Canada, formerly the most successful political machine in Western democracy, had just gone down to defeat in an election in the riding of St. Paul’s.  The Tories had won. Narrowly, but they won.

By-elections often get dismissed by journalists and politicos as irrelevant – so often, perhaps, that voters start to believe them. So they don’t turn out. But in St. Paul’s, nearly 50 per cent of them did. For a by-election, in a riding that has been safely Liberal for three decades, that’s a big turnout. It’s a big deal.

And, while just a by-election, one that won’t change who gets to be Canada’s government, it was big, big, big. So big, it’s hard to put into words.

My friend and neighbor, author David Frum, tried. Here’s how he described the significance of the result: “This is roughly equivalent to a Republican winning a special election for a House of Representatives seat in west side Los Angeles.” My cruder take on X, having been rendered fully awake by a bear, and having predicted it could never happen: “The Trudeau Liberals are so, so f**ked.”

St. Paul’s is what political operatives like to call a “flyover” riding. As in, the leader and his or her marquee candidates don’t need to ever come there to campaign. It’s already in the bag. Nothing to worry about.

But for weeks, the Trudeau Liberals were indeed worried. They shipped staff from Ottawa to work there for the hapless Grit candidate, Leslie Church. Half of cabinet showed up to stump for her. Trudeau made clear that she was likely to be a minister when – not if – she won.

But she didn’t win. She lost.

As in any win or loss, the factors are myriad and multiple. Trudeau leads a tired old government, one that has made too many missteps on the economic front, and had too many scandals on the morality front.

But in St. Paul’s, where there is a not-insubstantial Jewish population, Trudeau’s regime alienated Jewish families who have felt isolated and ignored by their own government, while waves of antisemitism crashed all round them. If Leslie Church received a single Jewish vote, I would be astounded.  It more than accounted for the final margin.

And so, she lost. If Church is to be remembered for anything, it will be for losing one of the safest seats there is.

And  Justin Trudeau? What about him?

He has to go. He has to leave. Everyone knows it, although perhaps not him. Not yet.

St. Paul’s wasn’t just a by-election, you see. It was actually a referendum in disguise – a referendum on the most unpopular Prime Minister in more than a generation. More than anything else, it was about him.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, now resemble that big bear I saw on an early-morning security camera: unwavering, unafraid, mostly unbeatable.

Time to head off into the woods, Justin Trudeau. A big Tory bear is coming your way.


My latest: an open letter to Justin

Dear Justin:

You don’t mind if I call you Justin, do you?

Because, for starters, I don’t think many people are going to be calling you “Prime Minister” for much longer. You need to get used to it, big guy.

We were never particularly close, Justin. I was a Jean Chretien guy, which means that I believe in being socially progressive and economically conservative. You, on the other hand, have a different approach: spend like the drunkenest drunken sailor, and promote social policy favored by the Deepest Annex Intersectional Pro-Hamas Front Hole Meatless Collective. Not Liberal, in other words.

The country voted for your “vision” three times in a row, you might protest, and you’d be sort of right. But that’s because you fooled everyone. You promised to be different than you are now. You promised to bring people together, not drive them apart.

Instead, you have become what you came to Ottawa to change. You have gotten people madder than I can ever recall them being. Ever.

I’ve been talking to Chretien Liberals, Martin Liberals, every variety of Liberal, Justin. Most of them know you, many of them like you. But they all say – every single one of them – that it’s all over. You’ve been 15 to 20 points behind for more than a year. That’s not just unpopular: that’s a death sentence.

So, you have to go. And you will go, hopefully soon. Five reasons.

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