Doorstep Postings: Keeping track of double standards in a system struggling to grapple with antisemitism in Canada

Ontario premier Doug Ford with a backtracking statement after suggesting immigrants were to blame for shootings at Jewish schools in Toronto and Montreal.

This is a special edition of Doorstep Postings, the periodic political commentary column written by Josh Lieblein for The CJN.

In case you’re just joining us, a coalition of pretend revolutionaries have spent the past eight months trying to gaslight all of humanity into believing that Israel is on its way out.

Unfortunately for them, when you believe yourself to be morally infallible, you lose that important bit of self-reflection that keeps you from doing obviously hypocritical and inconsistent things.

Because they cannot accept that Jews will not simply acquiesce (being Jews and all), they opt for quantity over quality, trying to overwhelm with multiple cope-ridden faulty logic bombs at once instead of sticking to one that might work.

Every one of them is fodder for a column, but here instead are 10 for the price of one, mainly from the waning days of May 2024:

1. When a notoriously incompetent Premier Doug Ford implies that immigrants are importing prejudices into Ontario, the nation’s thought leaders mobilize to force him to not-apologize mere hours later. On the other hand, when someone who wasn’t born here actually crosses the line, such as when a masked protester praises Hitler at the University of Toronto encampment, we have to take it as a given that this person was ostracized and called out. Yet don’t get the masked protester’s name, or any insight into what consequences they may have faced. 

2. Ontario’s goof of a premier comments on the pre-dawn shooting of a Jewish school, and immediately the debate shifts to how immigrants (presumably non-Jewish immigrants) are the ones in danger because of what he said.  

3. Any violence against Jews must be the work of white supremacist skinheads, because statistically that’s been the case in the past. But if violence against Jews is enacted by a teenage girl, we can’t jump to conclusions about why she did it. 

4. Before we decide whether any Jewish person has been victimized, we must first consider whether they might be a Zionist, because all Zionists are racists and terrorists. 

5. Criticizing journalists for anti-Israel opinions puts a target on their back. It’s even worse if they are people of colour. But you can say that Canadian journalists can and may be charged with genocide for being insufficiently respectful of the Palestinian resistance. 

6. You can say stuff like, “Jewish people get the benefit of the doubt” without giving it a second thought or being worried about generalizations. Randoms having spicy opinions on Jews or antisemitism is fine! Be very careful what opinions you have about pro-Palestinian protesters, and don’t you dare generalize based on the views and statements of a few of them. 

7. Conservative politicians must always apologize and clarify their comments and distance themselves from anyone suspected of not liking Jews. Unions and their leaders can call themselves ‘human shields’, praise Oct. 7th (as was the case with CUPE 3906), and deny that keffiyehs could be political.

8. The same people who think it’s bad to shout down an author talking about the death toll in Gaza at Politics and the Pen—the annual Ottawa fundraiser by the Writers’ Trust of Canada—also seem to think it’s just fine to eternally ban a pro-peace, pro-Palestinian Israeli-born Canadian cartoonist who was a secretary in the IDF from an annual comics exhibition she appeared at a week earlier, or pull the work of an Israeli-born artist who satirizes Barbie and Ken after the gallery already agreed to showcase it. 

9. You can spray-paint a threat to burn Toronto down on a Liberal MP’s constituency office while supporting the erasure of Israel at a high school in Burlington, Ont., the removal of Israeli flags from a Jewish Heritage Month display in Peel Region, and the use of menorah avatars rather than Stars of David on the York Region School Board’s multi-faith holiday calendar.

10. Targeting individuals who attend the annual Walk with Israel—which amounts to a significant portion of the Jewish community—and boasting about how you will use facial recognition software to record and expose every single participant is “important and impactful.” But when you go to an encampment, you’d better be masked because universities will use the same technology to crush you.

Hey, this is a bit of a random way to end a column, but did you notice that when the Trump verdict came down everyone stopped losing their mind about Israel for just a little while? Doesn’t bode well for your revolutionary movement when the next trending topic can knock it right off the front page.

Josh Lieblein can be reached at [email protected] for your response to Doorstep Postings. Coming up: a report from the federal byelection scene in the St. Paul’s riding in midtown Toronto.