May 18, 2006


Book Offers New Image of Canadian Pol (SHELDON GORDON, May 19, 2006, The Forward)

A new biography asserts that former Canadian prime minister Pierre E. Trudeau — long viewed as a defender of civil rights and as a friend of the Jewish community — was a fascist sympathizer in his youth and shared the antisemitic attitudes prevalent in the 1930s and early '40s.

The revelations, contained in a new book, "Young Trudeau: 1919-1944: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada," have provoked surprise and consternation in some circles — the kind that American Jews might feel if former president John F. Kennedy, honored as an advocate of religious and racial tolerance in America, were shown to have shared his father's fascist sympathies and anti-Jewish sentiments before and during World War II.

They didn't even bat an eyelash.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 18, 2006 2:53 PM

Only a tad OT: the Sunday Oregonian ran a Knight- Ridder piece on the abuses of domestic spying in the U.S. since 1941. The only two presidents mentioned by name were W and Nixon. The article included several paragraphs on the FBI spying in MLK ... without mentioning either Kennedy or LBJ.

Posted by: ghostcat at May 18, 2006 8:53 PM

"A questionable character" would have been a better title.

Posted by: BC Monkey at May 18, 2006 9:42 PM

I was not aware John F. Kennedy or the Kennedy family were stand out advocates of tolerance toward American Jews or Israel in general.
Did'nt they disown a daughter who married a non catholic?

Posted by: David Keller at May 19, 2006 2:38 AM

A sophisticated Eurosocialist who was also an anti-Semite? Wow, has that ever happened before?


Posted by: Mike Morley at May 19, 2006 7:59 AM

Forget Kennedy, what is really disgusting is the Tim McCoy married a NAZI. Next they'll be telling us Dale Evans was a commie.

Posted by: h-man at May 19, 2006 8:01 AM

Trudeau wasn't so much an anti-Semite as one of those brilliant stupid men of the left who claim to start from reason and the grand Enlightenment tradition but who are actually completely malleable intellectually. Like Kennedy, and like the boomers who adored him, it was his iconoclastic style that supported his popularity. If anti-semitism was the cutting edge of racy dissent, then anti-semitism it was. When that didn't play anymore in faculty clubs, he moved on to welfare statism, etc. In 1984, his last year, he went around the world on a peace mission to get everybody to disarm, all based on the urgings of a pretty young filmmaker who thought nuclear bombs were A VERY BAD THING! Maggie ate him for breakfast and even the Soviets were embarassed, but you can still hear graying boomers with misty eyes say: "At least he tried".

I remember his musing in the late 70's with great airy bafflegab about how capitalism wasn't working anymore (now, there was an original idea!) and that we would have to plan and regulate everything. Obviously he had just stayed up late the night before reading Galbraith, but everybody swooned at his depth of insight and several years later we were in IMF bailout country. I was always sorry Paul Johnson never thought him important enough to take a run at.

Posted by: Peter B at May 19, 2006 9:36 AM

Trudeau got a pass because of his sophisticated French good looks and Kennedy-esque life style and totally inane breathless mouthing of leftwing cant. Lucky that unlike Jack, Pete couldn't do too much damange to the security of the planet.

Posted by: erp at May 19, 2006 10:16 AM

... or damage, as the case may be.

Posted by: erp at May 19, 2006 10:17 AM