Ezra Levant writes on his blog site of a dinner meeting organized by the late media mogul and big wig Liberal Izzy Asper to aid a pro-Israel lobby effort. This story shows Cotler to be self-righteous in his defense of being called out by the Conservatives on his record of not properly supporting Israel. (see Levant blog here)
“This was in the wake of the Durban fiasco that the Liberals had disgracefully attended; the second Intifada was still hot; and Canadian media and politicians were too often siding with terrorists and terrorist states over democratic Israel. The pro-Israel case was losing in the court of public opinion.
Asper called together a small meeting in Toronto — a half dozen people or so — to talk over dinner about what to do. Sen. Grafstein was there; so was Cotler. To my surprise, I was invited too.
I was fascinated by Cotler’s description of how the Liberal government dealt with matters of Israel. Cotler explained that there were indeed Jews in high ranks in the PMO and cabinet, including the deputy prime minister at the time, Herb Gray, and Jean Chretien’s senior advisor, Eddie Goldenberg. But Cotler said that when an issue came up about Israel, and Chretien would take a reading of the room, the Official Jews were silent — so Chretien would naturally assume that they approved of his position, or at least didn’t object enough to speak out.
Cotler’s point was that Chretien was not actively anti-Israel, or at least he didn’t regard himself as that — he certainly wasn’t on some ideological warpath against Israel. He would look at the Jews around the table and, hearing no complaints, would adopt his course of action. So his policies were passively anti-Israel — the passivity being that of his court Jews.
Asper called these Jews “the Jews of silence”. Sort of like Uncle Tom, really — they liked being porch slaves a lot better than being field slaves, so why cause a fuss?”