NDP Candidate Chosen in Mount Royal

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Ripple
NDP Candidate Chosen in Mount Royal

http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19776&It...

Quote:
As a lifelong supporter of Israel, Jeff Itcush says the New Democratic Party's (NDP) endorsement of his candidacy in the next federal election is proof that the party is open to people who will not hesitate to stand by that country.

New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, left, spoke at the nomination of Jeff Itcush as the party's standard-bearer in Mount Royal. Granted, Itcush has not been handed a plum riding. He'll be running in Mount Royal, which has been firmly in the grasp of Irwin Cotler for 11 years, and a Liberal stronghold since 1940.

But none other than NDP party leader Jack Layton, as well as deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, spoke at Itcush's nomination meeting Aug. 23 at a Snowdon restaurant. About 120 people turned out for the event, which, Itcush observed, was probably the largest number of NDPers that had ever gathered in one place in the constituency.

 

Wilf Day

I expect more than 120 New Democrats gathered in Mount Royal back in 1963 and 1965:

 

1963:

Lib Alan MacNaughton 37,648 70.35%

NDP Charles Taylor 8,855 16.55%

 

1965:

Lib Pierre-Eliott Trudeau 28,064 55.65%

NDP Charles Taylor 14,929 29.60%

 

Cotler is 70. Is he really going to keep running forever?

 

Debater

Cotler has only been an MP since 1999.  I suspect this next term will be his last, but why are you bringing up his age?

Wilf Day

By the way, Jack Layton's grandfather had a connection to Mount Royal.

He was executive secretary of the Montreal Association for the Blind. (His father was a blind activist who led a campaign for disability pensions in the 1930s.)

Elected MNA for Montréal Saint-Georges in 1936 for the Union Nationale. Sworn in as a Minister without portfolio August 26, 1936. He supported extending the vote to women, which was defeated 49 to 23. Left the Union Nationale Oct. 5, 1939 because it opposed conscription. Independent candidate in Westmount Saint-Georges in 1939, defeated. Independent Conservative candidate in Montréal Mont-Royal in 1945 federal election, defeated.

genstrike

Quote:
"I think the party's stance on Israel has changed in the past three years; it has moderated with Mulcair's presence and with the leadership," Itcush said in an interview. Mulcair's wife is Jewish, and Outremont has a significant Jewish population.

Yeah, good thing Mulcair joined in on that pile-on against Libby Davies.

And good thing the NDP has a candidate boasting about his support for an apartheid state.  I wonder, would Jack Layton have spoke at the nomination of a candidate in the 1980s who boasted about being a "lifelong supporter of South Africa"?

DaveW

I was very involved in a Trudeau-era (his riding) NDP campaign in Mt Royal, and believe me, after then Opposition leader Joe Clark proposed the move of the Cdn embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, that was the only issue we were asked about at Cote des Neiges mall or anywhere .... PQ, language and the national economy, be damned

btw, 150 people at a meeting would have looked darn good: in those years there were about 6 McGill students and an aged corps of Jewish Bund members supporting NDP in the whole riding

Wilf Day

genstrike wrote:
And good thing the NDP has a candidate boasting about his support for an apartheid state.  I wonder, would Jack Layton have spoke at the nomination of a candidate in the 1980s who boasted about being a "lifelong supporter of South Africa"?

For the record (not that I am asking for any action), that is an offensive comment.

Ripple

I think apartheid is offensive.

genstrike

Wilf Day wrote:

genstrike wrote:
And good thing the NDP has a candidate boasting about his support for an apartheid state.  I wonder, would Jack Layton have spoke at the nomination of a candidate in the 1980s who boasted about being a "lifelong supporter of South Africa"?

For the record (not that I am asking for any action), that is an offensive comment.

Personally, I find apartheid infinitely more offensive than a mention that someone is supporting an apartheid state.

How is this comment possibly offensive?  Lets go slow here:

Fact:  Israel is an apartheid state.

Fact:  The first words quoted in this post were "As a lifelong supporter of Israel..."

Fact:  The person in question is an NDP candidate.

Fact:  Jack Layton spoke at his nomination

Ergo, we have an NDP candidate boasting about his support for an apartheid state while Jack Layton is speaking at his nomination.

What could be possibly offensive about my statement?  Is it because the candidate wears and orange tie that it is offensive?  If I said that Irwin Cotler and Jason Kenney support an apartheid state and often boast about it, and have the full support of their party leaderships, would that be an offensive comment - because I'm sure it is one that has been made many times on babble.

Stockholm

Here we do again - I think we should have a thread specifically devoted to a debate on what topic tends to degenerate the most rapidly into ad hominem insults and "Certs is a candymint, NO Certs is a breathmint" type arguments. Is it anything to do with the middle east or anything to do with the gun registry?

I'm overjoyed that a wonderful candidate like Jeff Itcush is running for the NDP in Mount Royal - he is a perfect fit for the riding.

genstrike

Have there been any ad hominem insults in this thread?

I reiterated that Itcush supports an apartheid state (which is true)

Wilf said that that was offensive (which I can't see how, but even if it is bullshit, it's not an ad hominem)

Stock, I'm glad you think that candidates who boast about their support for apartheid states are "wonderful"

Stockholm

I personally find your description of Israel to be an ad hominem insult that is specifically designed to provoke a furor and put fuel on the fire and you want nothing more than to start a dehumanizing flame-war - nothing more. But rather than complaining, i will take the high road secure in the knowledge that your views are shared by only a tiny minority of fringe extremists.

genstrike

Stockholm wrote:

I personally find your description of Israel to be an ad hominem insult that is specifically designed to provoke a furor and put fuel on the fire and you want nothing more than to start a dehumanizing flame-war - nothing more. But rather than complaining, i will take the high road secure in the knowledge that your views are shared by only a tiny minority of fringe extremists.

Channelling Cheri DiNovo much?  Or perhaps Cotler or Kenney?

Many people agree that Israel is an apartheid state.  I've been to Israel/Palestine and what I saw was perfectly congruent with the definitions of apartheid.  Many people I talked to - both Israeli and Palestinian - agreed.  I'm sure all the folks who work their asses off to bring Israeli Apartheid Week to 60 cities around the world are more than just a "tiny minority of fringe extremists".  I guess Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Judy Rebick, etc. are all just "fringe extremists" to you.

I find your denial of Israel's apartheid and smears against good activists and organizers working to end that system of oppression to be sickening and not babble material, but I'll just take the high road knowing that I'm part of a movement for peace and justice in Palestine/Israel which is democratic, progressive, and that one day the apartheid wall will fall and history will absolve us.

genstrike

Wilf Day wrote:

A pretty diverse riding, but the Jews are the largest group. The riding has had two Jewish MPs since 1984. Hardly surprising that the NDP would have a Jewish candidate.

No one is upset that the NDP has a Jewish candidate.  I simply pointed out that the NDP is running a candidate who boasts about being a lifelong supporter of an apartheid state.

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

I'm overjoyed that a wonderful candidate like Jeff Itcush is running for the NDP in Mount Royal - he is a perfect fit for the riding.

Except for the fact that he is very unlikely to win the riding. Wink

Wilf Day

Mount Royal riding in 2006 had income levels 94% of the average levels of Metropolitan Montreal, and was made up as follows:

50% non-immigrants

47% immigrants

3% non-permanent residents

of which 15% are non-citizens and have no vote.

32% have English mother tongue

21% French mother tongue

1% English and French mother tongue

46% other mother tongue

It had the following religious characteristics in 2001:

36% Jewish

29% Catholic

8% no religious affiliation

7% Protestant

6% Muslim

5% Christian Orthodox

4% Hindu

3% Buddhist

2% Other (including Jedi Knights, I suppose)

In 2006 it contained the following visible minorities:

9% Filipino

6% South Asian

6% Black

3% Chinese

10% other

A pretty diverse riding, but the Jews are the largest group. The riding has had two Jewish MPs since 1984. Hardly surprising that the NDP would have a Jewish candidate.

(It might also be noted that the riding includes the town of Hampstead which was 74% Jewish in 2001, and Cote-Saint-Luc which was 69% Jewish.)

Stockholm

The more votes he gets the better - every extra vote the NDP gets thanks to having Itcush as the candidate means an extra $2/year.

Besides who knows what the next redistribution might do to Outremont - they might move the boundaries to the west and take in some areas of Snowdon that are now in Mount Royal so its never to early for the NDP to start to prime the pump!

Debater

It will be interesting to see how many votes he gets, yes, and to see how the NDP does in relation to the Conservatives.  Can the NDP beat the Conservatives the way they did in Westmount in 2008?

I think the question I would ask as a political analyst is, what is the NDP's purpose in running in all these Liberal strongholds?  I assume it isn't because they think they can win these ridings (the results in Westmount demonstrated that in 2008).  I think the strategy may be one of psychological tactics in political battle - sending a message by going right into the heart of the rival's stronghold.  It sends a message to the opposing party that they are here to stay and to its own troops that they have the confidence to take on the battle ahead.

Ripple

Just realized this was discussed [url=here[/url]">http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-resurgence-quebec-cant....

From the Canadian Jewish News article linked above:

Quote:
"I think the party's stance on Israel has changed in the past three years; it has moderated with Mulcair's presence and with the leadership," Itcush said in an interview. Mulcair's wife is Jewish, and Outremont has a significant Jewish population.

"The NDP is, as its name suggests, democratic... You will find varying opinions, and unlike other parties they are expressed and sometimes there are arguments. The best way to guide opinion is to be active.

"I think it is a very positive step forward that the party has recruited somebody who is unabashedly supporting Israel, which I have demonstrated all my life."

I actively work towards having the NDP adopt a non-negotiable party position which supports the rights of the Palestinian people, their right of return, and an end to the Israeli occupation. I work towards a party position guided by international law and UN resolutions that upholds the equal worth and dignity of all people, one that affirms democratic rights and opposes apartheid structures.

melovesproles

Well hopefully, he and Mulclair enjoy their influence in the peanut gallery after the next election, good seats to shout down excellent MPs like Libby for speaking up against the apartheid state they feel so loyal towards.

adma

Debater wrote:
I think the question I would ask as a political analyst is, what is the NDP's purpose in running in all these Liberal strongholds?  I assume it isn't because they think they can win these ridings (the results in Westmount demonstrated that in 2008).  I think the strategy may be one of psychological tactics in political battle - sending a message by going right into the heart of the rival's stronghold.  It sends a message to the opposing party that they are here to stay and to its own troops that they have the confidence to take on the battle ahead.

Er, by that measure, what's the purpose of *any* party with a losing record in running in all these Liberal strongholds?  Ditto with Green, the Bloc, even the Tories (despite their impressive-for-Montreal finish last time)

Stockholm

Libby Davies is on record as supporting Israel's right to exist - I guess she should also be burned in effigy as a supporter of "apartheid" (sic.)?

Ripple

Who are you talking to, Stockholm?

Wilf Day

Debater wrote:
what is the NDP's purpose in running in all these Liberal strongholds?

Other than Outremont, Westmount and Duceppe's own riding, the NDP's best Montreal riding in 2008 was Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie: 16.3%. But in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Lachine it got 15.2%. Why not run strong campaigns in both?

genstrike

Stockholm wrote:

Libby Davies is on record as supporting Israel's right to exist - I guess she should also be burned in effigy as a supporter of "apartheid" (sic.)?

Why the (sic.)?  "Apartheid" is the correct spelling for the political situation in Israel/Palestine.

Lord Palmerston

 

Wilf Day wrote:
I expect more than 120 New Democrats gathered in Mount Royal back in 1963 and 1965:

I suspect that many supporters of Fred Rose - the only Communist MP ever elected in Canada - might have ended up voting NDP in Mount Royal in the 60s (just as many supporters of David Lewis in York South would have supported J.B. Salsberg in the 1930s and 1940s).

Debater

Wilf Day wrote:

It had the following religious characteristics in 2001:

36% Jewish

Mount Royal is 24% Jewish according to the 2006 census.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/riding/079/

Cueball Cueball's picture

Who cares? Geeze.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

 

Wilf Day wrote:
I expect more than 120 New Democrats gathered in Mount Royal back in 1963 and 1965:

I suspect that many supporters of Fred Rose - the only Communist MP ever elected in Canada - might have ended up voting NDP in Mount Royal in the 60s (just as many supporters of David Lewis in York South would have supported J.B. Salsberg in the 1930s and 1940s).

I doubt that, given the hate campaign the Communists ran against David Lewis in the Cartier byelection-the campaign in which they put out posters that showed Lewis wearing a Nazi uniform(this, from the party that cheered for and defended the Pact).

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

OK. I'll ask this, since nobody else has actually done so:

Has this Ictush fellow insisted that "support for Israel" means that no criticism of Israeli security policies or Israeli treatment of Palestinians is tolerable?

Has he been involved in actually trying to silence debate on the I/P issue?

Or does he simply believe that the State of Israel, in some form, has a right to continue existing?

It's important to distinguish whether the guy takes a Likud/Beitenyu position or a Meretz/Yachad position.

And, for the record, is there any reason why, if nothing else, that Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the Territories should NOT be considered apartheid?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And can the people who've taken a pro-Israel position in this thread PLEASE accept that opposition to nominating a candidate who identifies as Zionist does NOT equate to opposition to nominating a candidate who simply happens to be Jewish?  Nobody here was complaining about Ictush being Jewish, for G-d's sake.

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

And can the people who've taken a pro-Israel position in this thread PLEASE accept that opposition to nominating a candidate who identifies as Zionist does NOT equate to opposition to nominating a candidate who simply happens to be Jewish?  Nobody here was complaining about Ictush being Jewish, for G-d's sake.

I'm not sure what you're talking about here - whoever implied that in the first place?

What I do object to is the implication that anyone who thinks Israel should exist is a supporter of apartheid. If that is the case, then I guess all 308 MPs (including Libby Davies), all candidates for public office in Canada, all political parties in Europe, as well as Mahmoud Abbas support apartheid.

As Jeff Burch pointed out - we know nothing about what exactly Jeff Itcush's exact view are on every facet of the Middle East conflict. I think its unfair for people to start projecting views on to him that we know nothing about. So far, all we know is he "supports Israel" - and so does Libby Davies. What's not to like?

No Yards No Yards's picture

But, you do accept Stock, that the question about his unknown as yet position on how exactly his "Life long support" of Israel manifests itself, is a valid question?

Oh, and about that $2/vote thing ... I don't see that as a valid reason to gloss over a candidates stance on the issues, otherwise maybe the NDP should run a climate-change-denier in Calgary- sure, even a climate change denier NDP candidate would not likely win there, but the extra $2 wouldn't hurt would it?

 

Caissa

I concur with Stockholm when he says:

I have always opposed Israel being liquidated and its people massacred. I guess that makes me a "life long supporter of Israel" as well. You could call me a "life long supporter of Palestine" as well since i also have always supported the creation of a palestinian state.

Stockholm

If you think its such an important question, why don't you write to him? Let us know if he passes your "purity test".

I have always opposed Israel being liquidated and its people massacred. I guess that makes me a "life long supporter of Israel" as well. You could call me a "life long supporter of Palestine" as well since i also have always supported the creation of a palestinian state.

As for the $2/vote issue - my point had nothing to do with Jeff Itcush's views on the Middle East. I responding to a post questioning why the NDP would bother to campaign actively in Mount Royal at all - given that it is widely viewed as an unwinnable seat and i was simply pointing out that there is something to be gained from boosting the NDP popular vote in all ridings - even if it doesn't result in a win. In reading the long article about Jeff Itcush's background it was clear to me that he is an impressive guy with a very strong resume and an interesting biography and who seems to have been very involved in the community. That makes him a good fit for the riding.

The fact that he teaches history at a Jewish parochial school also suggests to me that he could express a more "Meretz" as opposed to "likud" view on Israeli policies and not be accused of being an anti-semite!

Ron Mtl

As the Canadian Jewish News article points out, NDP candidate Itcush is a director of the Canadian Jewish Congress.  According to the Government of Canada registry of lobbyists, the Canadian Jewish Congress is a registered lobby group which operates under the direction of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, whose website states that its mandate includes directing strategies for increasing support for Israel.  In effect, the NDP has appointed as a candidate the director of a group which lobbies on behalf of a foreign state which is generaly viewed to be an Apartheid State.  Obviously this appointment is an affront to anyone who believes that the NDP should respect human equality and should oppose all forms of discrimination.  Criticism of this appointment is very valid, just as criticism of the NDP if they had apponted as candidate a director of a group which lobbys on behalf of the defence industry or the oil industry would be.  Indeed shame on the NDP for apponting as candidate a director of a lobby group for an Apartheid state.

melovesproles

That`s all well and fine but anyone with an elementary understanding of the situation knows that Israel has continued at full pace to build settlements throughout the proposed Palestinian state making it nothing more than a bunch of bantusans.  Israel`s existential question is its own doing and a direct result of its settlement policies.  You can`t be a supporter of a Palestinian state and support what Israel has done for the last four decades.  Israeli apartheid is the predictable result of Israel`s ongoing occupation of Palestine which has lasted longer than some of us have been alive.  People can wax nostalgic about political realities that existed in the 1960s but they`re completely out of touch and they`re lending cover for the apartheid regime that exists now.  Jewish Israelis of course have the right to exist but their racist settler state does not and either it gets increasingly ugly and brutal(a very observable trend we`ve all witnessed) in its occupation or it`s transformed into a polity that treats all of its citizens equally regardless of ethnicity.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
“I think the party’s stance on Israel has changed in the past three years; it has moderated with Mulcair’s presence and with the leadership,” Itcush said in an interview....“I think it is a very positive step forward that the party has recruited somebody who is unabashedly supporting Israel"

I think it's very clear what "supporting Israel" means in this context, and it is not in the euphemistic way Stockholm would have us believe. Keywords: moderated, Mulcair, unabashedly.

No Yards No Yards's picture

Quote:
If you think its such an important question, why don't you write to him? Let us know if he passes your "purity test".

"purity test"? You mean the same "purity test" Dana Larsen, Kirk Tousaw, Micheline Montreuil and Francis Chartrand had to pass? Sure, why not, let's ask the NDP to release the details of their official "purity test" and see if there is anything in it that might apply in this case.

 

St. Paul's Prog...

Jeff Itcush sounds like an excellent candidate.  Contrary to the claims to some here there are a lot of progressive Jews, even if they don't pass the anti-Israel purity test.  It's a good opportunity to make inroads in the Montreal Jewish community - even left-leaning Jews there have voted Liberal for years because there's never been a serious NDP run there.

 

Ripple

Talk about ad hominem attacks ...

 

No one here has called for Israel to be liquidated and it's citizens massacred nor claimed there aren't progressive Jews.  I am opposed to the NDP running a candidate who is "unabashedly supporting Israel," and has done so "all [his] life," despite Israel's continuing atrocities, including the continued seige of Gaza.

 

But, of course, you know that.

No Yards No Yards's picture

St. Paul's Progressive wrote:

Jeff Itcush sounds like an excellent candidate.  Contrary to the claims to some here there are a lot of progressive Jews, even if they don't pass the anti-Israel purity test.  It's a good opportunity to make inroads in the Montreal Jewish community - even left-leaning Jews there have voted Liberal for years because there's never been a serious NDP run there.

 

"anti-Israel purity test"? Care to elaborate?

 

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Libby Davies is on record as supporting Israel's right to exist - I guess she should also be burned in effigy as a supporter of "apartheid" (sic.)?

I have a major problem with the phrase "Israel has the right to exist." Really? Where did that right come from? Why does Israel have a "right to exist?" Does Canada have a "right to exist?"

The discussion about whether or not Israel (or any other country, for that matter) has a "right to exist" goes to the fundamentals of the nation state itself. Which is fine in and of itself, but really does not advance discussion on matters within the Middle East.

David Young

Wilf Day wrote:

I expect more than 120 New Democrats gathered in Mount Royal back in 1963 and 1965:

 

1963:

Lib Alan MacNaughton 37,648 70.35%

NDP Charles Taylor 8,855 16.55%

 

1965:

Lib Pierre-Eliott Trudeau 28,064 55.65%

NDP Charles Taylor 14,929 29.60%

 

Cotler is 70. Is he really going to keep running forever?

 

 

Speaking of Charles Taylor...!

I met him this morning when he came to the Lunenburg Post Office to mail a letter.

His daughter is a physician here in Lunenburg.

We had an interesting chat, and seemed pleasantly surprised that someone would recognize him so far from Montreal.

I told him that I was a Jack Layton supporter since the Leadership Convention in 2003, whom I think of as a man of the people.

He also had a laugh when I told him why I think Michael Ignatieff will never become Prime Minister...

When Ignatieff hears the William Tell Overture, he thinks of Rossini.  When average Canadians hear it, then think of the Lone Ranger!

Making Charles Taylor laugh!  A high-light of my day!

 

Debater

Getting back more to the main topic of this thread, how do people feel the NDP will do in Mount Royal in the next election?  How far do you think it will climb up the standings?  Eg.  how will the NDP finish in relation to the Conservatives?

adma

Look: when all is said and done, under the present circumstances, anything higher than 3rd for the NDP would be a shocker--all the more so if the "Asper Tory" element holds reasonably steady.  Not implausible; but a shocker all the same.

Emphasis on "not implausible".

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Debater wrote:

Getting back more to the main topic of this thread, how do people feel the NDP will do in Mount Royal in the next election?  How far do you think it will climb up the standings?  Eg.  how will the NDP finish in relation to the Conservatives?

If this dude is the NDP candidate, I really don't give a rat's ass.   I mean...what's the difference between him and Cotler?

Now if the NDP had nominated a candidate who was active in an organization like Independent Jewish Voices, then I'd be interested.

Israel is an apartheid state.   I've been there, seen it in action and there's no doubt about it in my mind.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

One more thought.

Last spring I heard a South African give a talk where he explained one big difference between South African and Israeli apartheid.

He said that the South African military never used jet fighter planes to bomb civilian areas in the townships during the apartheid era...but Israel does use jet fighter planes to bomb civilians in the occupied territories.

 

Pogo Pogo's picture
  1. Incumbent (with current or new candidates)
  2. Winnable Seats
  3. Competitive Seats
  4. Ridings with some profile
  5. Respectable losers
  6. Pathetic losers

I think that Mount Royal is either #4 or #5.  In other words a riding fairly low on the radar.  Any discussion of the candidate must also include the point that he has almost zilch chance of being an MP.

Coming from Richmond I have seen that it has become increasingly hard to find candidates willing to put their name forward when victory is almost impossible. 

Stockholm

radiorahim wrote:

 I mean...what's the difference between him and Cotler?

You sound like some of the pro-Israel fanatics I meet who think that the extent to which a Canadian politician is pro-Israel is the one and only issue of any consequence. Maybe Itcush has the same view son the Middle East as Cotler and maybe he doesn't - but there are about a thousand other political issues out there where the NDP and Liberals do have different views and where I expect that a social democrat like Itcush from an CCF/NDP family in Saskatchewan has far more progressive views than a rightwing Liberal like Cotler. But then again if you think that ISRAEL ISALL THAT MATTERS - none of that is of any consequence!

Lord Palmerston

I'm not sure if having Itcush run really means much in terms of the NDP's position on Israel...though I do find it interesting that Jack Layton actually attended his nomination and that this nomination was considered newsworthy by the Canadian Jewish News.

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