Yoni Goldstein is the editor of The Canadian Jewish News. His work has appeared in the National Post, Globe and Mail, Maclean's, The Wall Street Journal, The Jerusalem Report and Haaretz.
Last month, Toronto Police released a report on hate crimes in the city during 2015, and for the tenth year in a row Jews topped the list of most targeted communities. The facts suggest that certain people are seriously misjudging the state of anti-Semitism in Canada today: It is, unfortunately, far from being an "abused" term.
It's beginning to look like Iran could be the culmination of the Arab Spring, the moment when it all comes together, where the lessons learned -- by Arabs and by the West -- from this fascinating, frustrating, bloody battle are finally put to positive, lasting use.
09/25/2013 05:48 EDT
It would indeed be a Canadian tragedy if religious people were forced to remove their religious coverings for the sake of making a living. And yet, for the religious people who were already considering the possibility of going bare-headed and -faced in an effort to give themselves a better chance at making a living, the values charter is actually a perverse sort of godsend.
09/16/2013 12:35 EDT
If we can't move the Olympics, we should boycott them, right? Well, actually, that seems to me an unfair burden to place on amateur athletes, most of whom toil in obscurity and without adequate remuneration for all but two-and-a-half weeks out of every four years. Still, Russia can't be allowed to get away scot-free -- something must be done. But if the IOC won't do it, and if amateur athletes shouldn't <em>have</em> to do it, who's left? If only there existed a group of athletes who were going to Sochi to compete but were actually highly paid professionals...
08/12/2013 07:41 EDT
I'll take Roger Waters at his word that he's not an anti-Semite -- that his status among the upper echelon of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel, artists' division, and his placement of the star of David on an inflatable pig during his The Wall Live tour are his way of taking a stand against the mess in the West Bank and Gaza, not the inherent evil of all Jews. But there's no question his anti-Israel stance dulls the sharp message of the album he's touring the world performing, Pink Floyd's seminal concept album The Wall -- a musical masterpiece that resonates with listeners today as much as it did upon release in November 1979. Indeed, Waters's Middle East musings betray The Wall's critical ethos.
08/06/2013 12:13 EDT
Prime Minister Harper's cabinet shuffle has established four new female faces in ministerial positions. But a recent study that finds women are out of touch when it comes to politics. According to study author, "It's not only that women tend to know less about public affairs, but they are more disconnected to the political process ... Women are more inclined to say they are not interested in politics than men. Women are also more inclined to say politics are complicated and difficult to understand." As a man, I say the following with much discomfort: This will not do, ladies. Politics is important, no matter your gender. You need to do better.
07/15/2013 12:59 EDT
Morsi was bad, but sometimes not so bad, and that's pretty well par for the course. Just as we are imperfect, so are our leaders, and so is democracy, the nature of which is that not everyone gets what they want all the time. Indeed, in order for the system to work, voters have to be OK with losing -- and trying again, maybe a little bit harder, to win next time. Clearly, this is a concept many Egyptians are having trouble grasping.
07/08/2013 12:12 EDT
In recent memory, I can think of only three serious, rock-'em-sock-'em demonstrations in Canada. It's not as though Canadians are lacking for things to protest about. It's just that our national preference (outside Quebec, at least) is to avoid conflict whenever possible. And, I suppose, we've probably become too comfortable, perhaps even lazy, about tackling issues that don't have direct or immediate implications for us.
06/24/2013 12:16 EDT
Voters can sour on their election picks quickly -- this is true everywhere, but much more so in the present Arab Middle East where it's seemingly always spring. Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani can tinker with the economy all he wants, but the fact is the only way to repair it is to have the sanctions lifted. And the only way to do that is to start negotiating on nukes.
06/17/2013 12:39 EDT
Toronto might not be rid of Rob Ford for some time -- that is, it somehow seems more likely now that he could be re-elected in October 2014. Judging by radio call-in shows over the last week and a bit, the mayor has his fair share of supporters out there -- still, amazingly, even after everything. Some of them are delusional for sure -- the popular argument from the pro-Ford ranks that what the mayor does on his own time, even if it's crack cocaine, shouldn't matter is completely, utterly, stupid -- but there are a lot of people who still buy into his just a regular guy fighting for regular people like me shtick.
05/27/2013 12:14 EDT
Female participation in prayer at the leadership levels is entrenched in every Jewish sect except for the Orthodox. The Wall should be for all, not just the few who think they are holier than the rest. Orthodoxy is clearly in the crosshairs. Quite right: this is the era of the Women of the Wall -- we're way beyond the shtetl.
05/13/2013 12:25 EDT
There is no discernible tactical benefit to the U.S. getting involved in Syria. In fact, there is every reason to stay away -- to let two enemies continue their war against each other to the bitter end, then re-evaluate how to engage (or not) whomever emerges. The only good reason for the Americans to get involved is humanitarian.
05/06/2013 12:37 EDT
You don't need to check the price tags to deduce that Joe Fresh is cheap crap -- the designs are dull and derivative, and the feel of the fabrics usually falls somewhere between cardboard and sandpaper. Joe Fresh clothing clearly isn't meant to last, and it's not meant to impress, either. If you're looking for reasons to stop buying clothes from them -- after nearly 400 people were killed last week in the collapse of a factory in Bangladesh that produced products for the Canadian label -- here are two good reasons to do so.
04/29/2013 12:21 EDT
It left me deeply uncomfortable that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni would seek to decimate his nephews when it could have no discernible effect other than to benefit him -- and, further, that he would use the language of children in a lousy attempt to explain a very adult tragedy.
04/22/2013 05:38 EDT
Whomever is in charge of event scheduling for the federal New Democrats ought to be fired today -- how in heavens did the NDP wind up holding its all-important policy convention on the same weekend the Liberals were to crown their new leader? Were Christmas eve and day already booked at the convention centre?
04/15/2013 04:32 EDT
So what if Harper muzzled an MP for suggesting a motion to condemn sex-selective abortion? It's not as though it's a matter of national import, and denouncing the motion, as MP Mark Warawa would have it, would have had no practical implications in and of itself. The only value of his motion would have been to reintroduce the word "abortion" into the national conversation, and that's something Liberals and NDPers, I imagine, don't want. They should stop posturing and get behind the Prime Minister -- he's the best friend liberals have right now.
03/31/2013 11:35 EDT
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled his new coalition government Friday, the biggest revelation was that the ultra-Orthodox parties had been excluded after serving in nearly every government since the late-1970s. But if Netanyahu's new government is set to end the highway robbery of the ultra-Orthodox, it is opening the door to another, potentially more damaging, problem -- that of the settlers.
03/18/2013 12:12 EDT
It should go without saying that Sarah Thomson's allegations that Rob Ford groped her must be investigated -- even though she herself has bizarrely refused to press charges thus far. Perhaps she was/is still shocked by the incident and fearful of the repercussions of a legal battle, but it is her duty as a woman -- moreover as a woman with a public profile -- to take the next step and get law enforcement involved.
03/11/2013 12:09 EDT
The Whatcott decision to uphold anti-hate speech laws is confusing. If you truly want to cover your bases, there is only one solution: Stop speaking altogether. Excessive? Maybe, but it seems to me you can't get accused of hate speech if you don't speech in the first place. And besides, there are lots of good reasons for you and I to shut up.
03/05/2013 12:12 EST
Over the weekend, the Toronto Star revealed a disturbing trend at Sutton District High: Some students there have taken to sporting the Confederate flag "on bandanas, lighters, belt buckles, backpacks and pickup truck windows." Yes, the same Confederate flag proudly flown by the South during the U.S. Civil War.
02/25/2013 12:37 EST
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