35 Comments

Excellent interview Jen. The only issue you didn’t raise, maybe because it is blatantly obvious, was the pandering, or acknowledgementll, depending on your perspective, to the influence of Muslim voters in Canada. Under PMJT the Liberal seems to have lost any moral compass in search of reelection. It would have been interesting to hear Mr. Housefather’s view on this. Regardless, I think Mr. Housefather explained himself well. Thank you for this.

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author

It's an interesting point, but he didn't seem like the right subject to bring it up with tbh. JG

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What does a moral compass have to do with election analytics?

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Mar 28·edited Mar 28

In today's politics? With the crop of lifetime politicians who's only achievement is a squeaky clean social media presence?

NOTHING.

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This was a very good read. I truly feel for Mr Housefather and all Canadian Jews in this. I recognized the undercurrent of anti-Semitism in Canada's left about a decade ago but am amazed to see just how prevalent it truly is. What I am having trouble reconciling, however, is the fact that Mr Housefather was very dedicated to the official party stance when it came to the destruction of Mark Norman, the harassment of JWR, and the lack of understanding of those being pressured into MAiD either subtly or not so subtly. I can't help but think of the words of Martin Niemöller.

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Mar 28Liked by Line Editor

"Looking the other way" is incomprehensible for many of us, but when we are blindly committed to ideology or dogma, it's apparently pretty easy to do. And it can really come back to bite us.

My wife and I watched the interview, and we both commented how clear it was that Housefather was struggling with the realization his lifelong association with the Liberal party may have been a mistake. I think he may be hoping that a simple change in leadership would allow him to stay, but he also recognizes that the type of people the party now attracts means the makeup of caucus is perhaps a generational change.

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Mar 27Liked by Line Editor

I mean it was a really good listen 😂

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Mar 27·edited Mar 27

Gawd, I detest the term "Zionist". It has successfully been turned into a slur.

Let's cut to the chase here. Extermination of Jews has become an essential part of Arab intellectual life and of political Islam. The hatred of Jews is a religious component of Islam that has existed since at least the early 80s. Through many institutions like the UN and universities offering "Middle Eastern Studies" Arabs have found many useful idiots that are now invaluable "protestors".

If Israel did not exist, no Jew on the planet would be safe. Be it Palestinians celebrating the slaughter on October 7th or demonstrators in Toronto denying October 7th even happened, the stated goal of ridding the globe of all Jewish people cannot be dismissed.

One only has to look at the billionaires living in opulence in Qatar to realize that Palestinians are but pawns to be sacrificed in pursuit of the modern day Final Solution.

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Great interview. Why would Jewish Canadians not be frightened and concerned. German hate for jews started out slowly and then snowballed straight into concentration camps. There are still holocaust survivors out there. And children of holocaust survivors. This is not a hypothetical for them.

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Mar 27Liked by Line Editor

One of the best interviews of a politician I can remember. Thank you.

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Mar 27Liked by Line Editor

J an M you keep hitting it out of the park, I'm stoked to see who else you line up for this show

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Mar 28Liked by Line Editor

This is a wonderful interview.

I could hear, pretty much throughout the interview, the pain in Mr. Housefather's voice at what he is seeing and what it is causing him to consider, whether it is to cross the floor and join "the deplorables" [thank you foolish Hillary for your stupid words - so evocative!) in the CPC, to roll over and play the "tame house Jew" within the LPC government or whatever else is running through his mind.

On the substance of the issue of support for Israel and what is happening to the Jewish community here in Canada I can only repeat what I have previously stated in these comment sections, "I am a Gentile who stands with Israel and my fellow Canadian Jewish citizens."

Thank you, G & G for this interview. I look forward to future interviews.

On a one to one interview, with no background noise, using headphones (and occasionally rewinding to listen again and again) I was able to hear this wonderful interview.

Thank you.

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Mar 27·edited Mar 28

What shifted the Israel stance of the Liberal Caucus from 2019 onwards? The Woke Cultural Revolution. The summer of George Floyd took the growing movement into it's position of dominance. We are seeing a lot of anti-semitism, but the main reason so many progressives (including Jewish ones) are now Hamas apologists is not that, but Anti-Western-Civilization-ism. Wokeness seeks to "dismantle" western civilization, it views white people as evil oppressors, and since apparently Jews are now "white", they are evil oppressors too. The Canadian Left has been banging the drum of decolonization within Canada, and it was inevitable that Israel would be targeted by this revolutionary movement. This is why Oct. 7 is being viewed as an act of "Resistance" and "Liberation" - because violence, by any means necessary, is justified when the "oppressed" are engaged in decolonization against their "oppressors". Read Sartre's introduction to Fanon's "the Wretched of the Earth", and you will see that brutal violence is not only justified, but necessary - a wonderful, joyous, transcendent act of self-actualization.

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I have trouble understanding why any Liberal who has been of voting age for twenty plus years could still be involved with a this party that is anything but Liberal. The lurch to the left has hardly been subtle. I guess it’s like they say. This isn’t your daddy’s Liberal party anymore.

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Mar 27Liked by Line Editor

Excellent interview, Jen, I appreciate your effort to carefully weigh both sides here. To play Devil's Advocate however, some of the anti-Israel protesters ostensibly justify their protest at Jewish centers because "they harbour IDF criminals involved in genocide". And I hear that "from the river to the sea" can ostensibly mean a peaceful abolition of the Israeli state in favour of a single secular democratic state. Not persuasive arguments in my eyes, but worth keeping in mind.

I found it to be an interesting potential self-contradiction that Housefather says that he does not support the Netanyahu government's intended invasion of Rafah, but that he opposes cutting off the sale of dual-use military goods to Israel. It seems that he is opposing a potential enforcement mechanism for one of his own stated policy preferences.

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That will make the first secular state in the region, which is a tall order. A Lebanon style arrangement where the 2 main Religions get either a president or prime minister position each is more realistic than an openly secular state, especially with Jewish being outnumbered (and the gap is growing). It will be a de facto Arab state with significant Jewish minority.

Syria used to have big Jewish minority, but as of 2021, there's 0 Jewish left in the country.

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Wow. Good interview. Poor man want's to stay with the Liberal Party. He was/is a very dedicated party member. But he can see how the radicals have taken it over. It will be interesting to see where he lands. The most interesting thing is the admission that the Jewish vote is moving to the Conservatives.

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As he said, why wouldn’t he want to stay with the party that governs 70 percent of the time? That was a very telling comment. I appreciate his honesty 😂

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Mar 28Liked by Line Editor

A really good interview, Jen. I am a lefty, relatively speaking, but abhor the scourge of Antisemitism, and the apparent nuance and fog that comes along with protesting in Jewish spaces from some sections of the left who would see similar protests in marginalized spaces in black and white terms. In that respect, I have a lot of time for Mr. Housefather's broader POV. He, and his community, are the ones feeling these things and it would be wrong to tell them they aren't or they should get over it. That said, I do not buy that the current Israeli government is doing all they can to prevent the deaths of innocent Palestinian lives. I firmly believe that Netanyahu is a corrupt, bigot, and don't buy the premise that if all hostages were returned tomorrow that there would be a measurable shift in Israeli policy. Therefore, with some reservations, I was supportive of the motion that Parliament passed. I am also at a point where I am baffled how, if he feels the way he feels, that Mr. Housefather can stay a PSEC. Part of his role is to speak for the government in the House and his words have him completely at odds with his own government - and not on a minor quibble, but on a fundamental issue of the day. It was a really good longform interview, but Mr. Housefather's trying to square SOME criticism of Netanyahu, without acknowledging how the Israel PM's worldview, history, and actions, have made the current situation worse made his broader argument fall flat with me.

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Housefather was too polite to say it, but the increasing reliance of the left on Muslims and Arabs is a large part of why the LPC has shifted against Israel. Of course, the usual smoothbrains will shriek about “Islamophobia” or “bigotry” because they’re useless, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Jews need to seriously consider whether they want to continue trying to build bridges with the aforementioned groups or to join the opposing coalition which has some chance of holding them to account.

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founding

Good point ... but he was as bad as the rest of them for ... several years.

Now ... suddenly ... he senses a reversal in future political opportunities. While the dullard colleagues are doubling-down on stupid, he's suddenly seeing the light.

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God I wish more MPs thought like this when it came to independent thought. If enough did, the parties wouldn't be able to turn them into clapping seals which is what most of them in effect become.

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Great and very candid interview by Jen Gerson. Bravo, and what a get (does anyone still call it a 'scoop' thses days)!

Would have loved for Jen to have asked him how much he thought foreign interference and financing from those hostile to Israel was influencing Liberal/NDP/Bloc//Green thinking and policy on the situation in Gaza and the intimidation of Jews in Canada.

Thanks for this interview. Looking forward to more - great new format.

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Thanks so much for this interview.-and for this new feature. I understand Mr. Housefather’s position so much better. I needed a better understanding of the broader historical context.

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