Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh, lord.

Jason Kenney -- you know the one -- has criticized the CUPE Ontario Israel motion. No, seriously.

Has he ever not been an idiot?


Catelli said...

I'm sorry, you lost me. Kenny's comments may be a touch dramatic, but I don't see any outright stupidity in that link.

And I'm going to defend the second argument against CUPE's motion as noted in your last post. They have a history of condemning Israel, and only Israel. If this was a one off thing fine, but it isn't. CUPE has a history of introducing motions with sanctions against Israel, and as far as I can find no one else.

You ask, where does this stop? I'm asking why did it begin in the first place, and why only Israel?

ADHR said...

Kenney has a history of, shall we say, dubious ethnic commentary. It's a pot, kettle sort of thing, and the man does it with no trace of irony.

You're not defending the second argument. You're changing it. ;) The argument as given didn't refer to history, which is pretty crucial; without that, the logic just doesn't work.

FWIW, I vaguely recall some American rightists claiming that no one could criticize the US on torture as the critics weren't simultaneously criticizing similar conduct of Iran/China/North Korea/some other nation considering threatening. That argument is the same logic as the original argument I was critiquing; do you buy it in this different context? If not, the logic just isn't good.

But, that said, given the history, why leap to the sinister conclusion? It strikes me as more plausible that there are more people in CUPE who get worked up about what Israel does than there are who get worked up about what (fill in the blank) does. Hence, motions about Israel. After all, there's more opportunists and publicity hounds in the world than there are anti-semites and racists.

Catelli said...

It doesn't have to be sinister, what CUPE is doing with these motions is just wrong.

You do bring up a point, if obliquely, why the fascination with Israel? Why do they get worked up and feel they have to be personally involved? That's the mental disconnect happening for me. I can't figure out why CUPE feels it has to intervene in foreign affairs, and specifically Israeli affairs.

ADHR said...

Nothing is "just wrong"; there's always a reason for it. The reason on offer is that the motion is anti-semitic, but I don't see the argument to that effect; the ones I've looked at are very poor.

Unions tend to get involved in international/foreign affairs because they are historically concerned with broader political issues that have impacts on employment prospects and conditions. It's rarer here than in, say, France and other parts of Europe, where unions are understood as political actors.