Did some Toronto Jews vote for a mayoral candidate who is arguably a white supremacist, neo-Nazi enabler in the last municipal election?
It’s possible that Jews comprised some of the 25,667 Toronto voters who cast their ballot for Faith Goldy, a well-known figure on the extreme right. She came in third, behind John Tory and Jennifer Keesmaat.
Goldy is the new golden girl of the white supremacist movement. Articulate, assertive, well-heeled and presentable, Goldy graduated from Havergal College, a prestigious girls school, and the University of Toronto, where she was awarded a student leadership prize. (Given her racist leadership activities since then, there has been a call to rescind that award.)
Goldy has mastered the ability to use language that speaks to the burgeoning numbers of racist youth – language that fuels hate, Islamophobia and bigotry.
Her connections to white supremacy and other assorted racists has been well documented by The Canadian Jewish News. Exactly what motivated her deep dive into racism and bigotry is unclear. What we do know, however, is that her activities in, and leadership of, the nascent Canadian racist movement is undeniable. From appearing on white supremacist podcasts where she is heard unabashedly declaring the “14 words,” a neo-Nazi credo, to supporting the white supremacist Charlottesville manifesto, Goldy is seen as a rising star of the hard-right movement.
So how and why did she get even a modicum of Jewish support?
According to an analysis of the city of Toronto’s final election results by geographer Sean Marshall, three of the 10 neighbourhoods in which Goldy received the most support were in areas of North York with significant Jewish populations.
In Westminster-Branson, 6.25 per cent of voters cast a ballot for Goldy; in Bathurst Manor, 5.96 per cent supported her; and in Newtonbrook West, it was 5.84 per cent. All of these percentages were well above the average of 3.25 per cent that she received throughout the city as a whole.
During the campaign, Goldy established a close association with, and was supported by, ultra-right, anti-Muslim and extremist figures in the Jewish community, such as Laura Loomer and the Jewish Defence League (JDL). Despite her clear embrace of white supremacy, Goldy and the JDL share a visceral anti-Muslim antipathy. Sadly, there is a proportion of Toronto’s Jewish community who also share such views.
Her claim to be a strong supporter of Israel may also have earned her some Jewish votes. Indeed, during a Twitter exchange with NDP MP Charlie Angus, Goldy tweeted:
“I’m on record in favour of the one state solution. I ♥ Israel — their Wall, DNA tests for FSU Jews & how they pay illegals to leave. Your party supports anti-Semitic BDS policies … The rise of anti-semitism by the radical Left must be called out!”
In fact, before being unceremoniously dumped by the right-wing news commentary site the Rebel for her support of Nazi causes, Goldy traveled with the Rebel to Israel, where she participated in a YouTube video calling for a modern-day crusade to “reclaim Bethlehem.”
No one should be fooled, however. Goldy embraces the worst of Israeli anti-immigration views articulated by that country’s hard right. But more to the point, as an ethno-nationalist, Goldy would likely want to see all Canadian Jews move to the Jewish state.
Paradoxically, once Goldy lost the election, the new Godfather of the so-called alt-right movement, Richard Spencer, pointed at her relationship with Jews as reason to dissociate her with the white supremacist movement.
So did some Jews vote for Faith Goldy? We can infer from the numbers that some very well may have. Many will claim that even if that’s true, only a small percentage of Toronto Jews would have cast a ballot for her. True enough, but even if the number is small, it’s still too many.
By the way, in total, this is the largest number of votes ever garnered by a white nationalist in Canadian history. Who would have ever believed it possible?