A rather disturbing story in the National Post today, and yes I'm aware that the National Post lacks any semblance of being a real newspaper; however, they do bring up an important issue.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Because we are not allowed to have debates on the issue, it's increasing tension in this country between supporters of both, especially those like myself, who want to hear both sides. And that animosity is trickling down to the House of Commons.
The NP is suggesting that the two deputy leaders of the NDP, Libby Davies and Thomas Mulcair; have joined in the fray and are on opposite sides of the debate. This could create a problem, since they will be expected to assume a lot of Jack Layton's duties as he fights prostate cancer.
Now the Durban conference should have been criticized because it was clearly a nightmare, but just how hot is this topic within the NDP?
In 2006, at the party's convention in Quebec City, a motion that was highly critical of Israel, and which called Hezbollah a "recognized political party," was brought forward and supported by nearly 90% of delegates. Judy Wasylycia-Leis, a Winnipeg MP, was roundly booed when she expressed her concern that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Ms. Davies, on the other hand, called it "a very fine resolution." The MP for Vancouver East is a passionate advocate for the Palestinian cause and has accused Israel of war crimes in the region. She visited Gaza last year, sending back eyewitness accounts that one of her colleagues said "set the party back a great deal in the eyes of moderate Canadians."
By contrast, Mr. Mulcair is a defender of Israel's right to defend itself. Not only is his wife Jewish but her parents are Holocaust survivors. He and other pro-Israel New Democrats such as Ms. Wasylycia-Leis and Pat Martin led a caucus revolt against Mr. Layton two years ago, after the NDP criticized the Conservative government for boycotting the United Nations Conference on Racism in Geneva, dubbed by its critics "Durban 2." At the time, one MP said the party was in danger of being "hijacked" by extremists.
Thomas Mulcair and Libby Davies are two of my favourite politicians, and I would hate to see this drive a wedge between them. However, I tend to think that this is jsut another attempt to stir up trouble.
While I'm still a Liberal supporter, and will continue to promote that party and Michael Ignatieff; my Canada has room for all progressive politicians and definitely has room for Davies and Mulcair.
I've given up hope on any of the Reform-Conservatives seeking a peaceful solution, but dammit, somebody has to. Israel must be stopped, it's that simple, and the wall must come down. But until we start sanctioning them, it's not going to happen.
And before Jason Kenney starts accusing me of a hate crime, or calling me anti-Semitic, there's another important story, this one from the U.S.: American Jews seriously rethinking their relationship with Israel
They are Jewish Jas ... settle down!
'McCarthyism'. That's exactly what this feels like.
The evidence that American Jews are seriously rethinking their relationship with Israel is growing, as is weariness with what some critics have referred to as “McCarthyism” within the organized American Jewish community, which seeks to stifle any dissent.
“This year has seen a dramatic shift in American Jews’ attitudes toward Israel,” write Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss in the Nov. 2, 2009 issue of The Nation. “In January many liberal Jews were shocked by the Gaza war, in which Israel used overwhelming force against a mostly defenseless civilian population unable to flee. Then came the rise to power of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose explicitly anti-Arab platform was at odds with an American Jewish electorate that had just voted 4-to-l for a minority president.
Throw in angry Israelis writing about the ‘rot in the Diaspora,’ and it’s little wonder young American Jews feel increasingly indifferent about a country that has been at the center of Jewish identity for four decades.”
Now I'm sure that people can presents valid arguments on both sides, but that's the problem. We're not allowed to.
'Dared to criticize Israel'. What distant and far off words. I remember when Canada was a democracy and we could dare to criticize many things. Ah, the good old days.
“There are signs Washington is feeling changes. Several members of Congress visited Gaza, and some dared to criticize Israel. After Democrats Brian Baird, Keith Ellison and Rush Holt returned, they had a press conference on Capitol Hill led by Daniel Levy...who has played a key role in the emergence of J Street. The congressmen called for Israel to lift the blockade. After first-term Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) visited Gaza and called for a vigorous debate about the conflict there, old-line lobbyists came out against her. But J Street rallied to her side, raising $30,000 for her in a show of support.”
'Stifle Dissent'. Now those are two words I'm very familiar with, because they represent the new Canada. The Neoconservative Canada that does not allow anyone to object to anything our government is doing, especially when it comes to foreign policy.
The efforts to stifle dissent and impose uniformity upon American Jewish life by those in the organized Jewish community are coming under increasing criticism. Columnist Jay Michaelson stirred controversy with a column in the Sept. 25 Forward entitled “How I’m Losing My Love for Israel.”
If you oppose the war, you're Taliban. Oppose Israeli apartheid, your antisemitic. Oppose the merging of church and state, you're persecuting Christians.
I look forward to the day when we get rid of this government and can start being Canadian again.