wRanter.com: It’s time to mend fences in the Jewish community

When we sat down in early summer to discuss how we’d cover what was expected to be a five-week fall campaign, CJN editor Yoni Goldstein asked me to write a weekly column about election topics of Jewish interest. The idea – a departure from past practice of mostly limiting ourselves to rather pedestrian riding profiles ...

wRanter.com: Cultural and religious issues dominate as election day nears

Thank God for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I say that not because trade is an inherently Jewish issue, nor because I know for certain the recently negotiated deal will be good for Canada, especially since its details have yet to be released. Irrespective of its long-term effects, the TPP might be our only hope to ...

wRanter.com: Munk Debate glosses over Israel – is that a good thing?

Is that all there was? Given how much praise – and criticism – the Harper government’s strong support for Israel has attracted, it’s somewhat surprising that so little was said about the Jewish state in the Sept. 28 Munk Debate on foreign policy in Toronto. The night’s only exchange on Israel, between Prime Minister Stephen ...

wRanter.com: Gaffes and ‘anti-Semitism’ on the campaign trail

In the Sept. 17 Globe and Mail leaders’ debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made reference to “old-stock Canadians” in defending his government’s policy on health care for refugees and immigrants, saying it had only denied care to bogus claimants. “We do not offer them a better health-care plan than the ordinary Canadian can receive,” Harper ...

wRanter.com: A national icon takes his leave

One of the questions I posed in this space a few weeks ago was: who will be the next big-name Jewish MP? With apologies to Joe Oliver, Canada’s first Jewish federal finance minister, what I may subconsciously have been asking is who will be the next Irwin Cotler, now that the 75-year-old Mount Royal Liberal ...

wRanter.com: Refugees: a Jewish issue comes to the fore

A quintessentially Jewish issue has dominated the news and become a prominent election issue ever since the picture of three-year-old Alan Kurdi lying dead in the Mediterranean surf generated headlines worldwide earlier this month. For many, the painful image has crystallized the ongoing question of what the world ought to be doing about the human ...

wRanter.com: Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in the Tory stronghold of Calgary Nose Hill a day after conservative activists publicized noxious tweets from her past. Ala ...

wRanter.com: Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, we look at Jews running for all four major parties across the country. Jews have served in the House of ...

wRanter.com: Four ‘Jewish’ battleground ridings to watch

It’s no secret that Jewish voters have apparently shifted from being largely supportive of the Liberal party to heartily supporting the Conservatives in what seems like majority numbers, due largely to the party’s full-throated support for Israel under Prime Minister Stephen Harper (and to a much lesser degree its commitment to security for religious institutions). ...

Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan’s Discovery Elementary School Drama May Be Nearing Resolution

Don Maroc-Cowichan Conversations Contributor Act one of the Discovery Elementary school drama of misguided, overzealous parents disrupting classroom decorum and taking advantage of school district authorities’ well-meaning efforts at accommodation has run its course. Let school district policy makers, whether elected school trustees or a province imposed single trustee, take a lesson or two from ...

Alberta Diary: Remember the reason for the season: It’s time to put Krampus back into Christmas

Jiggers, look busy, it’s Krampus! And why is this mom giving him the thumbs up, I wonder? Below: Santa Claus, the God of Coca-Cola; Che Guevara; and Jesus Christ. Never mind Jesus Christ! It’s time to put Krampus back into Christmas. Who the hell is Krampus, you wonder? Well, we’ll get to that at the ...

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice – The Dark Side of ‘Shalom Aleichem’

     A frequent dodge to avoid actually thinking about the issue criticism I have to deal with is that, as an anti-theist, I unfairly target Christianity and/or Islam. Why don’t I go around completely dismantling the vile B.S of other religions? Are their supernatural beliefs not just as irrational? Yes. Are their woo filled tenets ...

wRanter.com: The PQ is embarrassing itself

Share this: It’s been an inauspicious month for Premier Pauline Marois’ minority government. First it tabled its so-called charter of Quebec values. Bill 60 – whose full, Orwellian name is the “Charter affirming the values of state secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests” – ...

wRanter.com: Preparing for the unlikely

Share this: A version of this post appeared as a signed editorial in The Canadian Jewish News on Sept. 12. As a new Jewish year begins, renewed U.S.-led peace talks continue between Israel and the Palestinians. Much has been written about the low expectations surrounding these negotiations on both sides. Certainly, Israelis and Jews have good ...

Andy Lehrer: My letter to the National Post

My response to the article “Jewish alumni ‘distressed, disappointed’ over Queen’s University plan to give Jimmy Carter honorary degree” is the lead letter in today’s National Post.

Canadian Firebrand: My letter to the National Post

My response to the article “Jewish alumni ‘distressed, disappointed’ over Queen’s University plan to give Jimmy Carter honorary degree” is the lead letter in today’s National Post.

Andy Lehrer: My letter to the National Post

My response to the article “Jewish alumni ‘distressed, disappointed’ over Queen’s University plan to give Jimmy Carter honorary degree” is the lead letter in today’s National Post.

Andy Lehrer's Firebrand blog: My letter to the National Post

My response to the article “Jewish alumni ‘distressed, disappointed’ over Queen’s University plan to give Jimmy Carter honorary degree” is the lead letter in today’s National Post.

wRanter.com: Slicing through ignorant anti-circumcision rhetoric

Share this: Every once in a while, the subject of circumcising male newborns and boys rears its ugly head – no pun intended – and the discussion rarely takes long to veer into ethnocentrism, if not outright intolerance. With the best of intentions, and without realizing it, many people who object to the practice end ...

wRanter.com: Church settlement boycott becomes interfaith train wreck

Share this: This past August, the General Council of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, adopted a motion urging its members to boycott goods produced in West Bank settlements. The proposal was part of a larger, rather one-sided report prepared by the church’s Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy. It aimed to put ...

wRanter.com: Why seek validation from the IOC? Instead, flip it the bird

Share this: I love the Olympics, but not for the reasons you might think. It can be truly inspiring to watch the best athletes in the world – and the best Canada has to offer – compete against one another at the highest levels of sport. And I’m proud when Canadians do well. I was elated ...

bastard.logic: They’re (Still) Just Not That Into You

Sorry, Evangelicals: Only one in five Jewish Americans holds favorable views of those aligned with the Christian right, a category that includes most of Israel’s evangelical supporters. […] The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and published April 3, asked Jewish respondents to rate the favorability of several religious groups. Mormons received a 47% ...

wRanter.com: Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Here’s hoping he’s successful, but as I argued in an earlier post, it seems unlikely that he will be, because the left is as divided ...

wRanter.com: Things that make me go arghhhh! Part 1

I figure that this wouldn’t be a true blog without random kvetching about nothing in particular. So in that spirit, I present semi-aimless carping about disconnected aspects of modern life, or, with apologies to Arsenio Hall, what I like to call “Things that make me go arghhhh!”: • When a store’s website inventory checker says ...

Right of Center Ice: On promoting consumer culture and demeaning Canadian citizenship

Believe it or not, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney took the opportunity to affirm the Canadian citizenship of fictional character, Santa Claus, at a citizenship ceremony of 100 new Canadians in Calgary. By swearing in a man dressed up as Santa Claus the Minister has manged to: Demean the symbolism of the Canadian ...