Watch now (9 mins) | Our Zoom call this week will be at our regular time: Friday at Noon EDT. Our guest will be Maytal Kowalski. Maytal says she was fired in August from the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver after objecting to its refusal to ask the Canadian government to oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. We’ll talk about her experience and about the particular dynamics inside Canada that make Jewish institutions there even less tolerant of criticism of Israel than their counterparts in the US.
Ronnie Kasrils played a heroic role in the fight against apartheid. I agree with him that Palestinians deserve equality and freedom. I think he advised Hamas to cease attacks on civilians but he may well have interacted with them in ways I would not. Certainly I don't share the values of an Islamist group and oppose attacks on civilians. But I interview people I disagree with all the time: most recently, Benny Morris. Before that Bret Stephens and many others to my right. That's kind of the point of this. So why not Kasrils?
Carol, someone put me in touch with Kasrils. So nice to have a former student of my dad's as a reader. Thanks.
I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to remember that every single Republican presidential candidate was, according to the mainstream liberal left, the worst person in the universe and their election would literally cause the end of American democracy. The rhetoric was the same regardless of the candidate, whether it was Bush Jr, McCain, Romney, or of course Trump.
Let's talk about Mr. Romney, shall we? When he was running for president, he was the guy with the binders full of women. The guy who bullied a gay kid and shaved his head. The guy who tortured dogs. The guy who hated 47% of Americans. His Mormonism wasn't a sign that he respected American values, but that he was a religious ultra fundamentalist who hated women and wore magic underwear. And of course, let's not forget that according to Joe Biden, Romney was going to put Black Americans "back in chains."
So to come around now some years later and suddenly praise Romney and declare he's a decent fellow worth listening to, just because he doesn't like the latest evil Republican presidential candidate, just comes off as dishonest and disingenuous.
As for the Orthodox Jews who need to be taught a lesson, they've already learned their lesson, Beinart, from you and the progressive left. They know that you don't give a crap about them or their values. They know you only wrote this essay because you think you can use Romney's anti-Trump position to try to slay your personal dragon, AIPAC. Whether they agree with you or not, tomorrow you'll be back on the progressive warpath calling them Bible thumpers and their religious community illiberal, anti-women, and anti-gay. No one buys it. Go back to sucking up to the Palestinians, people who clearly share your values more than your fellow Jews.
Jews have a much more extensive history of persecution in the United States than Mormons. I don't think your logic tracks, Peter.
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Your comments on AIPAC are bizarre. AIPAC backing candidates who support Israel is their mandate, not other issues. Should AIPAC not back a candidate, for example, who is pro or anti abortion? From the AIPAC website: "AIPAC brings together Democrats and Republicans to advance our shared mission. Building bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is an American value we are proud to champion."
First of all-Ronnie Kasrils…?
In May 2007, during a visit to the Palestinian territories, Kasrils met with the Political Leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh and invited him to make his first visit outside the Muslim world to South Africa. South Africa's Jewish Board of Deputies criticised the invitation, saying the "racist ideology" of Haniyeh's Hamas organisation, which led the Palestinian unity government at that time, stood in contrast to South Africa's own post-apartheid ideals.
How can you give a platform to a person who met with Hamas…not to mention his Marxist rubbish that led to the current state of South Africa …which he laments
A person that speaks to Hamas based on revolutionary ideology should be beyond even your pale…it’s one thing for protagonists to speak (Israel and Hamas one day) but another for a putrid ideologically bankrupt loser like Kasrils…why not resurrect Hitler and invite him to speak
Peter, I am a friend of your father and studied under him in Cape Town, as did my late husband Tony. You ask about Ronnie Kasrils. I think my friend Barbara Meyerowitz abd her husband Colin May know how to contact him if he is still alive. She lives in Australia, ex Johannesburg. If you have difficulty contacting her I can do it for you, or send her an email from you
My name is Carol Barac (née Cohen)
Interesting. I am not a jew, and most of the Jews I do know are secular and not political. However, I do get angry when I see the Canadian Political Parties take stands that are not reflective of my interests as a Western Canadian due to lobbying by the Canadian Jewish Congress. This is on many issues, but primarily in respect to getting involved in things in the world that are none of our business.
In talking to business people, I see them becoming resentful of that influence. Long term, creating resentment on the part of non-Jewish Canadians is not a good strategy. Calling people who point this out antisemite is even worse, and if not curtailed will end badly.
I am writing this here, because I hope that there are fair minded people of the Jewish faith that can speak within the Jewish community as to how damaging the Canadian Jewish Congress is to the long term relationship of Jews with the rest of Canadians.
Insightful backstory. I keep learning from you. When will the day come that persecution of any people be deemed equally needing to be remembered so as to never happen again to anyone?
I’ve become a subscriber but there’s no information that Incan find about how to access the Friday “Paid Subscriber” Zoom call mention at the beginning of the podcast.
Golden plates and multiple wives. All religion is Mickey Mouse but Mormonism is just a joke. Catholicism is dangerous. Did you read yesterday that in 1940 the POPE received information from a Catholic Bishop in Germany -- thus he could trust it-- about the gassing of Jews.? He did nothing, of course. Why? They killed our Lord JC.
So true! I grew up in Canada and went to a modern Orthodox high school, and can speak firsthand to the near-fanatical reverence for Israel in that circle.
Hamas is ideologically and religiously anti semitic and Salafist …they only meet with ideologues like him to promote revolution and to be able to say they have met with a “Jew.” We don’t need him to tell us what Hamas thinks or what their goals are …or to act as a dupe to say they have a more pragmatic side. The only time Hamas is willing to stop its violence is by Hudna which is basically a tactical truce which it can negotiate/agree to with other parties without the help of a washed up Marxist
Paul Krugman wrote about Mitt Romney and his true legacy in the NYT Editorial today.
It is important to understand and remember that Romney's political viewpoints primarily represented and supported the wealthy and the white. His religious beliefs are tied to this point of view. He was both an economic and a cultural conservative based, largely, on his religious outlook. If one considers oneself anything other than a traditional Republican conservative, opposed to universal health insurance and even Obamacare, in favor of cutting taxes to the wealthy for the questionable purpose of growing the economy, please don't celebrate either Romney, the person, or his legacy. Yes, he opposed the corruption of Trump, but he is no hero to the ordinary American.
What you say has to be heard. By the end of this century RELIGION should be dead, but that is too long to wait.