WTF? Why is Jack Layton addressing a rightwing organization?

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Max Bialystock
WTF? Why is Jack Layton addressing a rightwing organization?

Jack Layton WTF? He should be ashamed of himself. Why is going to the celebration of a far-right group that supports Israeli apartheid and segregated schools?

 

Quote:
CJC 29th Plenary Assembly

Join CJC as we proudly honour Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Julia and Henry Koschitzky with two of Canadian Jewry's most prestigious awards. Hear from keynote speaker Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition; and policy addresses from NDP Leader Jack Layton and BQ M.P. Carole Freeman on matters of importance to the Jewish community. Come see Israel's Vice Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom, make his first North American address at the CJC plenary.

Don't miss this remarkable opportunity to hear from the leaders of our national political parties on matters of importance to the Jewish community.

Reserve early. Space is limited.

Registration Deadline: May 25, 2009
Registration Fees (including luncheon):
VIP seating - $252 + GST
General seating - $54 + GST
Students - $18 + GST

 

 

Fidel

I'm just glad they describe Iggy as leader of the "official opposition", because that might not be apparent to everyone concerned.

Max Bialystock

Well maybe Jack has a trick pulled up his sleeve where he calls them on their bullshit, but Jack's not that kind of guy.  If there was even a 10% chance of him doing that I would have coughed up the $250 for the best seats in the house.

V. Jara

I would guess Jack didn't want to stand out by way of his absence more than any sort of impending act of rebellion. I expect a short spiel.

Max Bialystock

Yeah like some nonsense about how we deplore violence on all sides and how we support Israel's right to exist, etc.

Coyote

It's not at all inappropriate for the leader of the NDP to attend a CJC event. I have my criticisms of the CJC (and have voiced them on this board) but this is not beyond the pale.

In fact, I think the leader of the NDP should attend a broad array of events, including if the Canadian Taxpayers Federation or Frasier Institute or whatever. Why not? They have legitimate voices in the public square. One doesn't have to agree to attend a given organization's event.

This is pretty much a non-issue.

 

Unionist

I agree with Coyote. I am far more interested in what Jack Layton has to say than where he chooses to attend. If he panders to these apologists for racism and international illegality, there will be ample time to critique his comments. But I'm confident he will go there and tell them to stop accusing anti-Israel and anti-Zionist people of being anti-Jewish - don't you think?

 

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

No I dont think Jack will pick a fight with the CJC.

Good move. Have no confidence in his principles, and make excuses for him in advance. Excellent tactics. Bravo.

 

Fidel

No I dont think Jack will pick a fight with the CJC.

 Just like Howard Hampton didnt think to raise public concern among some small percentage of swing voters(red&blewies) about what is considered to be a third rail of politics in Ontario during the last week of an election campaign. In other words, why?

Fidel

 According to the USA's own governmental reports, Israel will cease being a viable frontline state by such and such a year into the not so distant future. Sometimes fascist frontline states just fade away for lack of long term central planning.

Unionist

He doesn't need to attack Israel. He does need to condemn the attempts to silence people, including Jews, who speak out against Israel's crimes. He can at least distance himself from Jason Kenney. If he doesn't do that, then who the f*** needs him?

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Could be a long thread.

Fidel

I suspect it will be Jason Kenney and Ignatieff distancing themselves from Jack Layton. Jack's a bulldog, and they know it.

KenS

woof

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fidel wrote:

I suspect it will be Jason Kenney and Ignatieff distancing themselves from Jack Layton. Jack's a bulldog, and they know it.

I haven't seen the video of that speech. I have seen several where he looks kind of like an awkward big headed puppet operated by semi-skilled marionette operator. I cringe everytime he trips over those hokey one liners. Yeash.

Peter3

Fidel wrote:

 Sometimes fascist frontline states just fade away for lack of long term central planning.

Unfortunately, in this particular case the the fade will have a long half-life.

The status of Israel is/has been/and will be a difficult one within the NDP because significant constituencies within the party hold strongly opposing views.  My views on Israel are unsympathetic to CJC dogma.  On the other hand, I have worked shoulder to shoulder on election campaigns with strongly pro-Israel feminist, labour activist party stalwarts whose work in the community and in the party has contributed much.  I'm buggered if I know the correct response to that particular collision of interests.  I state my case when the opportunity comes up and move on.

Politically, I figure that Jack could not turn down an invitation without alienating a bunch of people within the NDP and elsewhere.   He will probably call for Israeli support for a Palestinian state and an end to the blockade of Palestinian territories, and he will call for an end to attacks on Israel. I doubt that there will be more.

Should he say more?  If anybody would listen, sure.  But in practical terms what would be the point of plainly speaking facts that have been laid out a thousand and one times before and flat out ignored? The truth and a buck will get you a cup of coffee in a cheap restaurant.  If the NDP is to have any hope of making a meaningful contribution on this issue or any other, making itself a target on an issue that most Canadians graps only vaguely is not the way to go.  Jack has to pick his shots, and I'm pretty sure this one isn't lined up for anything but blowback.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Agreed.

As I see it, no good can come of setting foot in the place.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not actually a very good take on this issue. In fact, Layton has often veered into the realm of overtly supporting the Israeli occupation on many occassions. This is not simply a matter of getting through a speech with a bunch of harmless pitter-patter, this is an issue of getting through it withoug saying something which is clearly biased in favour of his hosts.

Jingles

The rightward drift of Layton and the NDP isn't surprising. They're intent on chasing Michael "electrodes on the testicles" Ignatieff, and see themselves as Canadian versions of the Obamanaughts. In other words, they are actively and deliberately pushing the political discouse to the right in an ill-advised (some would say stupid) strategy to out neoliberal the liberals.

The entire left of the spectrum has been abandoned in the chase after the reactionary bigot vote.

I won't bother reprinting the text of the email response I received from the NDP regarding their lack of direction on the occupation of Afghanists. Suffice to say that for the poor grammar, empty smarmy rhetoric, and dull corporo-speak, it might have been copped from a Kipling book.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Kipling could write that is for sure, and it is partly because of this that his writing often exposed enough of the underlying truth to make reading him well worth while. It is in tha nature of good writing. Jack is not so gifted though.

Fidel

Peter3 wrote:
If the NDP is to have any hope of making a meaningful contribution on this issue or any other, making itself a target on an issue that most Canadians graps only vaguely is not the way to go.  Jack has to pick his shots, and I'm pretty sure this one isn't lined up for anything but blowback.

And that's the nature of politics in Canada. It's so easy to be a political leader in the sense that nobody's really paying attention anyway. I think the political gladios will be disappointed with Jack's speech. I bet he leaves them scratching their heads for a bone to chew. And we'll likely be parsing a single sentence of what Jack says, in search of some obscure and hidden meaning, right here on babble.

al-Qa'bong

Fidel wrote:

I suspect it will be Jason Kenney and Ignatieff distancing themselves from Jack Layton. Jack's a bulldog, and they know it.

 

I'm not so sure.  If Kenney and Iggy were in a room with Jack, which one would Jack let rub his belly when he rolled over onto his back?

Fidel

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I suspect it will be Jason Kenney and Ignatieff distancing themselves from Jack Layton. Jack's a bulldog, and they know it.

 

I'm not so sure.  If Kenney and Iggy were in a room with Jack, which one would Jack let rub his belly when he rolled over onto his back?

How long after winning a phony majority do you think it would take for Iggy to jump into Uncle Sam's lap and beg for a bone? Snivelling, grovelling, low life stooges anyway!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fidel wrote:
And that's the nature of politics in Canada. It's so easy to be a political leader in the sense that nobody's really paying attention anyway. I think the political gladios will be disappointed with Jack's speech. I bet he leaves them scratching their heads for a bone to chew. And we'll likely be parsing a single sentence of what Jack says, in search of some obscure and hidden meaning, right here on babble.

 

Yeah, something like: "much of what is being done [by Israel] is necessary", or some other hard to fathom remark.

Peter3

OK, let me be more clear.  I don't think the NDP has a coherent policy that its leader could speak to because the party is deeply conflicted among its own membership. I don't know what Jack Layton's personal take is on Israel.  I'm pretty sure that whether it is similar to mine or antithetical to mine, he couldn't state it without pissing off half the party and he knows that.

Fidel

I think Jack is going to try to win support for the party. And he'll do it in a way that makes our two old line party leaders look like the vicious toadies to Uncle Sam and his client states that they are. US policy for Israel is harmful to the future of that country, and our toadies in the Liberal and Tory parties arent helping matters. That's what I think, and I could be entirely wrong at the same time.

Cueball Cueball's picture

His personal take seems to be that "much of what is being done is necessary". The party policy is actually quite clear on this issue. It is based in the ill-fated Oslo accords, and calls for a negotiated two state solution, not that ongoing security patrols, check points, and targetted assassinations by the IDF are necessary security measures.  To be fair, Jack did say that he would "prefer" if Palestinian "war crimes" (Suicide Bombers) were dealt with through the world court, and not through targetted assassination of the Palestinian leadership.

Peter3

Jeez, Oslo.  Those were the days...

Like I said, no coherent policy. That policy reflects a moment in the history of the conflict during which common ground appeared possible and a policy could be agreed on that spoke to at least some of the demands of all sides.

I'm curious whether you think it would be possible to pass a similar, updated policy in Halifax this summer.  I very much doubt it. That's one I'd love to be wrong on, but I don't see it.

Unionist

I hope he doesn't talk about Israel. It's the Canadian Jewish Congress. I hope he talks about Canada primarily, and also about Jews. I hope he gives no credence to the antisemitic lie that Jews owe their allegiance to Israel. I hope he recognizes us as Canadians. After a few hundred years here (in some cases), hopefully it's not too much to ask. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful. What would really make me happy is if he reiterates the position that he finally took on Durban II, several months after Dewar and Marston shamelessly praised Harper for being the first government to announce a boycott. That would be really fine.

aka Mycroft
Cueball Cueball's picture

Peter3 wrote:

Jeez, Oslo.  Those were the days...

Like I said, no coherent policy. That policy reflects a moment in the history of the conflict during which common ground appeared possible and a policy could be agreed on that spoke to at least some of the demands of all sides.

I'm curious whether you think it would be possible to pass a similar, updated policy in Halifax this summer.  I very much doubt it. That's one I'd love to be wrong on, but I don't see it.

Actually, trashing is all well and good as far as I am concerned, but the essential element of the Oslos accord is support for UN resolution 242 which categorically calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. Simply whisking away these uncomfortable facts under the table of a "new" policy, is de facto siding with the Israeli position. It is very important that this point of principle be forwarded, whatever the status of the Oslo accords: otherwise you are just moving the goalposts toward the Israeli position.

Resolution 242 is the only proper basis for a coherent and legal policy on the issue of the occupation, without it there is nothing. As far as I know Jack Layton has never mentioned Resolution 242 in a public speech in his life.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Unionist wrote:

I hope he doesn't talk about Israel. It's the Canadian Jewish Congress. I hope he talks about Canada primarily, and also about Jews. I hope he gives no credence to the antisemitic lie that Jews owe their allegiance to Israel. I hope he recognizes us as Canadians. After a few hundred years here (in some cases), hopefully it's not too much to ask. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful. What would really make me happy is if he reiterates the position that he finally took on Durban II, several months after Dewar and Marston shamelessly praised Harper for being the first government to announce a boycott. That would be really fine.

Oh come now. Then Kenney will simply lambaste him as an member of the Islamist-leftist alliance, whose antisimitic views are worse than the Nazis.

Unionist

aka Mycroft wrote:

Olivia Chow participated in the United Jewish Appeal's "Walk With Israel" this past Sunday.

Surely she was carrying a protest banner? It's not clear from the report.

 

Jingles

Triangulation.

I'm guessing the NDP leadership looks to Clinton as a model.

Coyote

Unionist wrote:

I hope he doesn't talk about Israel. It's the Canadian Jewish Congress. I hope he talks about Canada primarily, and also about Jews. I hope he gives no credence to the antisemitic lie that Jews owe their allegiance to Israel. I hope he recognizes us as Canadians. After a few hundred years here (in some cases), hopefully it's not too much to ask. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful. What would really make me happy is if he reiterates the position that he finally took on Durban II, several months after Dewar and Marston shamelessly praised Harper for being the first government to announce a boycott. That would be really fine.

that would be nice, wouldn't it? I doubt it, too.

Peter3

Cueball wrote:

Resolution 242 is the only proper basis for a coherent and legal policy on the issue of the occupation

I agree.

Do you think a resolution to that effect would pass on the floor of convention in the current political climate, and how much internal nastiness would ensue, regardless of which position won the vote?

Stockholm

"I hope he doesn't talk about Israel. It's the Canadian Jewish Congress. I hope he talks about Canada primarily, and also about Jews."

You took the words right out of my mouth. The CJC is celebrating its 100th anniversary and for much of that history, Isreal didnt even exist and the CJC mainly concerned itself with fighting racism against Jews IN Canada. I think Jack should say NOTHING about the Middle East and instead take the occasion to talk about the great history of Canadian Jews as activists for progressive change and about how the fight against anti-semitism was the antecedent of later battles against racism, homphobia, islamophobia etc... don't take the bait on the Middle East because to do so is just to buy into the notion that you can't talk about Jewish issues without talking about Israel.

Unionist

Other than that CJC, were it properly constituted, should not just fight against antisemitism - the enlightened historic Jewish tradition is to join in unity with the struggles of all the oppressed and marginalized - it would be good if he said nothing about Israel, for at least two reasons:

1. If you have nothing decent to say, better to say nothing.

2. When the other party leaders present have their predictable orgasms in support of the Israeli murderers, maybe someone will think the NDP isn't all that onside because they were silent. That too would be a good thing.

However, Stockholm, you know that Jack can't leave that room without talking about Israel's right to defend itself from the people that it slaughters and disinherits. You know it as well as I do. But, in everlasting hope, I'm with you this time.

 

howardbeale howardbeale's picture

Cueball wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I suspect it will be Jason Kenney and Ignatieff distancing themselves from Jack Layton. Jack's a bulldog, and they know it.

I haven't seen the video of that speech. I have seen several where he looks kind of like an awkward big headed puppet operated by semi-skilled marionette operator. I cringe everytime he trips over those hokey one liners. Yeash.

Dude, thats priceless. Or a 70s game show host, on a Canadian game show. Or an impotent dad holding up a lineup to yell at a lowly clerk over his bill. Two dollars? To use the ATM? That's an outrage!

Fidel

howardbeale wrote:
Two dollars? To use the ATM? That's an outrage!

For me, the gouging on ATM fees isnt going to break me. But there are people in Canada for who it does matter. Their individual incomes are in the hundreds of dollars a month not over one-thousand. That's poor.

The ATM fees and the credit card ripoffs and the payday loan sharks are all part of the neoliberal shitstorm that was hatched in Pinochet's Chile. They were going to create a rightwing economy of Milton Friedman's harebrained design based on "financial services" and low wage service economy run by a bunch of private enterprising jackals. It crashed spectacularly four or five years before Pinochet finally allowed free elections for the first time in sixteen years in that country.

Most people dont understand banking and finance. Too many people dont understand the details of our abominable electoral system. The NDP cant educate everyone all the time. The party and civil society groups supporting the NDP combined dont have the resources. If Jack says something about NAFTA or the $75 billion taxpayer dollars handed to our "sound" banks in the weeks after the federal election, he's going to have dozens of rightwingers and newz idiots pounce on his comments and twist them so out of shape that no one will understand what he's really saying anyway. Keep it simple - steady as she goes on a shoestring.

Lord Palmerston

I think this is the second year in a row for Olivia.

howardbeale howardbeale's picture

oops

NDPP

Jingles wrote:

Triangulation.

I'm guessing the NDP leadership looks to Clinton as a model.

NDPP Gosh maybe that's why all the peacnik propaganda for the May 29 demo focuses on 'W' not Clinton. And didn't a recent NDP press release also speak of Taliban Jack getting ready to sell Obama's new health plan scheme in exchange for some advice from Obama's "inner circle"? The release used the phrase: "learning from the best" as I recall...give me a break! Can't find the release just now but this will do..

http://mostlywater.org/node/67322

NDPP

re: Obama's Health Plan Layton's peddling:

http://www.truthout.org/051709D

Unionist

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:
And didn't a recent NDP press release also speak of Taliban Jack getting ready to sell Obama's new health plan scheme in exchange for some advice from Obama's "inner circle"? The release used the phrase: "learning from the best" as I recall...give me a break!

 

[url=Here">http://www.ndp.ca/press/obama-communications-director-to-speak-new-democ... it is:[/url]

Quote:
“The focus of the convention will be on winning strategies for the next campaign. With Obama's inner circle, we’ll be learning from the best,” said Lavigne.

ocsi

Unionist wrote:

I hope he doesn't talk about Israel. It's the Canadian Jewish Congress. I hope he talks about Canada primarily, and also about Jews. I hope he gives no credence to the antisemitic lie that Jews owe their allegiance to Israel. I hope he recognizes us as Canadians. After a few hundred years here (in some cases), hopefully it's not too much to ask. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful. What would really make me happy is if he reiterates the position that he finally took on Durban II, several months after Dewar and Marston shamelessly praised Harper for being the first government to announce a boycott. That would be really fine.

 

Excellent points, Unionist.  If Layton took your advice he'd make just about everyone happy.

Debater

Jingles wrote:

Triangulation.

I'm guessing the NDP leadership looks to Clinton as a model.

On the Mideast?  Some people think Bill Clinton had the most objective and fairest policy in terms of trying to find a balance between Israel and the Palestinians.  I think I heard Chomsky say recently that Clinton is the only U.S. leader that cared about the Palestinians.

Michelle

I have no problem with Layton addressing the Canadian Jewish Congress.  As someone stated above, Layton should go where he's invited, even to groups he disagrees with - why not?

I'd draw the line at attending the Walk With Apartheid though.

Winnifred

Well as I look at Jewish community advocacy groups I notice that CJC is not the organization that deals with matters dealing with Israel. That seems to be under the aegis of the Canada Israel Committee. I am quite certain that CJC is strongly pro-Zionist but why would Jack have to concentrate on Israel when the CJC is involved more with domestic and international affairs.

Jack could use this opportunity for example to address CJC's advocacy on reducing poverty

 

http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16881&It... He can use this opportunity to commend CJC on its Darfur advocacy http://www.ujc.org/page.aspx?id=121732 He can also use this opportunity to support CJC in its fight against anti-Semitism http://www.fightingantisemitism.com/fast_educational.html While its true that on many issues there may be strong disagreement with positions taken by CJC (and Jack should voice these) there are plenty examples as well of issues with which many can recognize CJC's work.

Jingles

Quote:
Some people think Bill Clinton had the most objective and fairest policy in terms of trying to find a balance between Israel and the Palestinians.

Some people? Which people?

There never was and never can be an "objective" or "fair" policy from a US president as long as they are providing cluster bombs and Predator drones to the aggressor.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I have to agree the CJC's 'Darfur Advocacy' is an excelent example of their focus on domestic affairs as is their support for the UJA's "Walk for Israel".

Debater wrote:

On the Mideast?  Some people think Bill Clinton had the most objective and fairest policy in terms of trying to find a balance between Israel and the Palestinians.  I think I heard Chomsky say recently that Clinton is the only U.S. leader that cared about the Palestinians.

Who are some people, and how do they come to this conclusion?

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