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Mulcair and Israel 3

Lord Palmerston
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Lord Palmerston
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Joined: Jan 25 2004

A report on Mulcair's testimony at the Ottawa Conference on "Combating" Anti-Semitism:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2010/11/liveblog-ndp-deputy-leader-thomas-mulcair-at-the-ottawa-conference-on-combating-antisemitism.html

To say there is "no difference" between Layton's stand and Mulcair's is wrong.  Layton never insinuated that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. 


Stockholm
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Mulcair said the following (I Agree with what he says 100%)

"Mulcair gives a few examples of antisemitism in and around his riding of Outremont, and stresses that, when it comes to AAW, he -- Mulcair -- doesn't believe in the argument that the debate shouldn't take place: he wants to confront it head on, and segues to an anecdote about a participant in a pro-flotilla event who confessed to him -- Mulcair -- that he was shocked when another member of the group suggested protesting outside a local business owned by someone in the Jewish community. It was, Mulcair notes, an example of the "Any Jew Will Do" attitude; he recalls similar hostility against an NDP candidate who wore a head scarf. Which is why, he says, it's important to remember than intolerance can flow through -- or against -- any race, ethnic or religious group or culture. He also doesn't think much of the excuse that someone is "anti-Zionist", not antisemitic, and vows, once again, to face that debate head on, at McGill and everywhere else."

Mulcair did not say that any criticism of Israel was anti-semitic...he saud very clearlythough that we should be vigiliant about people who are anti-semitic and try to camouflage their views by saying "Its not that I hate Jews, i just hate 'Zionists'" - and i agree with Mulcair here. I might add, that one can be highly, highly critical of many actions and policies of the current Israeli government and not consider oneslef to be "anti-Zionist".


Lord Palmerston
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Right-wing Zionist Gil Troy thought very highly of Mulcair's speech too:

Quote:
I had the privilege of hearing Mulcair address the Ottawa Conference on Combating Antisemitism last fall. Amid a tsunami of speeches, Mulcair’s stood out. It was short, elegant, eloquent and effective. Although I will only quote from a CBC blog description because the conference was under Chatham House Rule, Mulcair impressed me in three ways.

First, he struck me as someone who believes in democracy and the rule of law, refusing to sacrifice core ideals to follow one trend or another. Second, he was embarrassed, as a member of the McGill community, having graduated from McGill Law School, that McGill hosts Israeli Apartheid Week. His indignation reflected an awareness that those who claim to be “only” anti-Zionist are usually antisemitic, too, as well as a deep commitment to preserving universities as safe, open, tolerant places for thinking students.

Third, he described an ugly moment in an anti-Israel demonstration when protesters wanted to attack a Jewish-owned business. This move reflected what he called the “any Jew will do” mob mentality of picking on all Jews because of a disagreement with some Israeli policy – demonstrating the underlying antisemitism perverting so much of the anti-Israel movement.

A year earlier, when a local synagogue was defaced with swastikas in his riding, Mulcair again stood tall. He declared the act of hatred “particularly disgusting in the case of a congregation that includes several Holocaust survivors.” He quoted Martin Luther King’s teaching that “he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really co-operating with it.”

And in that spirit, when his NDP colleague and fellow deputy leader Libby Davies supported the anti-Israel boycott movement, Mulcair confronted her swiftly and directly. Davies is a long-time critic of Israel who mocks Canada’s “so-called friendship with Israel.” She has no problem speaking at a rally whose chants call for another intifadah or being photographed at that rally in front of a poster making the false comparison between Israel and South African apartheid.

“No member of our caucus, whatever other title they have, is allowed to invent their own policy,” Mulcair proclaimed when Davies endorsed boycotts. “We take decisions together, parties formulate policies together, and to say that you’re personally in favour of boycott, divestment and sanctions for the only democracy in the Middle East is, as far as I’m concerned, grossly unacceptable.”

I have no idea where Mulcair stands regarding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Israel’s ultimate borders, and I don’t care. We need a broad pro-Israel coalition that fights blatant antisemitism and the antisemitism masquerading as “only” anti-Zionism.

We need a broad pro-Israel coalition uniting people from left to right who defend Israel’s right to exist and fight the demonization of Israel and Zionism. We need a broad pro-Israel coalition standing for core democratic rights and the understanding that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only stable country following rule of law, the only steady source of civil liberties for Arabs and Jews, and the Mideast’s only true friend to Canada.

http://giltroyzionism.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/mulcair-the-mensch/


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Yes, Stockholm, we should be vigilant against those Palestinians who actually hate Jews, but who disguise their hatred of Jews by pretending that what they really want is to return to their homes and olive groves, or to stop being harassed at checkpoints, or to stop having their houses bulldozed, or to stop being confined to refugee camps, or to stop Israel from blockading their territory, or to stop being bombed and killed and imprisoned. They think they're clever, but we see right through their ruse.

In fact, if Netanyahu and his gang of thugs all just converted to Buddhism, or better yet Islam, the whole crisis thing would be over in a snap.

You can really learn a fair bit about Mulcair's stand on Palestine by reading the apologias penned by his more honest defenders.

 


socialdemocrati...
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Don't play the guilt by association game. In the pantheon of arguments, it ranks only slightly better than comparing your opponent to Hitler.

Mulcair warrants skepticism and criticism. But do it on the merits of his policy or lack thereof.


Unionist
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socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Don't play the guilt by association game. In the pantheon of arguments, it ranks only slightly better than comparing your opponent to Hitler.

 

Are you talking to me or LP? Because unbeknownst to each other, we both just did that near-Hitler guilt thingie. Thanks for the subtle reminder, though!


Lord Palmerston
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socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
Mulcair warrants skepticism and criticism. But do it on the merits of his policy or lack thereof.

Right, we should only criticize that statement where he says he supports Obama's "peace" efforts (which according to some of his supporters here makes him a "critic" of Israel), not any of the actions he's taken.

Mulcair is closer to Bob Rae than he is to the rest of the NDP leadership candidates on this issue.


josh
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Joined: Aug 5 2002
Which is probably a big reason why he doesn't want to come on here and answer questions.

Stockholm
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So if Mulcair becomes leader - do all the "anti-Zionist" types move on to trying to stage a hostile takeover of the Green party?


Lord Palmerston
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Do you support the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, Stockholm?  It's pretty clear Mulcair doesn't. 

Also, what do you make of Gil Troy's piece about Mulcair?


Lachine Scot
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Stockholm wrote:

So if Mulcair becomes leader - do all the "anti-Zionist" types move on to trying to stage a hostile takeover of the Green party?

That's pretty dismissive, especially given that this message board has an anti-imperialist mandate.


Stockholm
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Lord Palmerston wrote:

Also, what do you make of Gil Troy's piece about Mulcair?

I agree with him that attitudes towards Israel/Palestine are not a right/left issue...its much more complex than that. I'm perfectly comfortable with the current NDP policy on the Middle East - we recognize everyone right to exist and we deplore violence.


Lord Palmerston
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I'm glad you're "comfortable" with the official framework the NDP accepts.  But certainly *within* that framework there's a debate.  Ashton, Cullen, Nash, Topp and Singh support the statehood bid, Mulcair clearly doesn't as he defers to Obama.  Do you agree with Mulcair there?


socialdemocrati...
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It's actually not clear what Mulcair thinks about the UN bid because he's made no statement on it, and no one's asked him directly.

And I don't think anyone has used the Obama defence on Mulcair, although it does represent one sentence out of his multiparagraph letter. I think Obama has been mentioned more as guilt by association, actually.


Michelle
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Stockholm wrote:

So if Mulcair becomes leader - do all the "anti-Zionist" types move on to trying to stage a hostile takeover of the Green party?

Probably not.  I'm not a member of the NDP, I just vote for them, so I wouldn't feel the need to join another party.  I have no desire to do a hostile takeover of any party, not even the NDP - talk about a waste of time and energy.  I might consider either staying home on election day, or going to the polls and formally refusing my ballot if they allow for that federally.  (They do provincially.)  Hard to say.

Thanks for your interest and concern, Stockholm.


Ripple
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Why the quotes around anti-Zionist?


KenS
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Stock, take a look at how you treated that long quotation of Mulcair's you repeated in post #2, and which I have seen before.

It is exactly analagous to another straw person dismissal of Mulcairs to which you took considerable exception.

Remember his anecdotes repeated by supporters here about the 'lady in Nanaimo' and maybe another person who told him explicitly that to try to win amounted in itself to giving up her principles, and uses that as if it is a common and generalized attitude in the NDP. I think you must remember.

So the one single anecdote about an 'anti-Zionist' he chooses to repeat is someone who is also obviously anti-semitic. And follows that with "He also doesn't think much of the excuse that someone is "anti-Zionist", not antisemitic."


KenS
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socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It's actually not clear what Mulcair thinks about the UN bid because he's made no statement on it, and no one's asked him directly.

No one asked him. But he knows it is an issue. Leaving it alone is not helping him.

So he could eliminate a whole set of nipping questions and nagging concerns shared by at least some people who are weighing where to put him on their ballot.

Can you think of a single pragmatic thing he has to lose by joining the consensus view and explictly saying he supports the UN resolution for Palestinian statehood. So he has something to gain, and nothing apparent to lose in this race by not waiting until and if someone ever asks him the question.

At this point I think it is pretty safe to assume that he does not and will not express support for the UN resolution. At most, he may not be ready to go there yet, has not decided.


KenS
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But you know, I can't imagine there is anything that has not been covered in this yet. Any new angle there could possibly be without new information.


M. Spector
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Ripple wrote:

Why the quotes around anti-Zionist?

Good question!

Kady O'Malley says Mulcair "doesn't think much of the excuse that someone is 'anti-Zionist', not antisemitic" (i.e. he thinks anti-Zionism is just an "excuse" to be anti-semitic).

And Stockholm agrees with Mulcair "100%". He advises vigilance against those who claim to be anti-Zionist in an effort to camouflage their anti-semitism. He also believes the "anti-Zionist types" are out to stage a hostile takeover of the NDP; this serves as an explanation for why Mulcair's craven toadying to Israel comes in for criticism.


Stockholm
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Actually, I DON'T think "anti-Zionist types" are trying to stage a hostile takeover of the NDP. I think they see the writing on the wall. The NDP has over 128,000 members and there are probably no more than 1000 or so people in Canada who are that obsessed with the issue of Israel/Palestne to the exclusion of anything else. A mere drop in the bucket...but look at the puny little Green Party - just a few thousand members in Canada. If the anti-Zionist types, plus what's left of the Socialist Caucus all joined the Green Party - they could literally stage a palace coup against Elizabeth May in two shakes of a lambs tail and have a party all to themselves.


socialdemocrati...
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I'm not even sure he's aware that people here are hung up on the UN issue. First, get over the fact that this is a discussion forum with a couple dozen people in these threads. If you can get passed that, there's so many criticisms focused on the "supporter of Israel" quote, the Libby Davies incident, the blanket allegation that he's "against NDP policy", and then criticism about the NDP policy that somehow ends up laid at his feet (that the NDP should support BDS, a one-state solution, a unilateral declaration of statehood)... It would make perfect sense that he's not aware this is all about the UN issue.

Again, it's possible he knows, it's possible he doesn't, it's possible he supports it, it's possible he doesn't, and it's possible he's dodging the whole thing. But unlike a lot of people here, I'd prefer to know for certain than to speculate.


Michelle
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Ripple wrote:

Why the quotes around anti-Zionist?

Maybe Stockholm agrees with Mulcair that anti-Zionist = anti-semitic.

It's not about caring about Israel to the exclusion of all other issues.  It's about the fact that there are such things as dealbreakers.  Implying that critics of Israel are anti-semites, implying that anti-oppression activists who organize or attend IAW on campuses are anti-semitic, and leading an attack on your caucus colleague in the media for taking a progressive stand are dealbreakers.


KenS
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Mulcair's campaign did indicate they are aware of this. I think you are generally correct SDM to be sketical that we can count on them being aware of this discussion. But they know about this one, and that it does not just happen here.

It gets passed around anecdotaly. "Do you remember..." And Mulcair is not going to fare well in those. Some of those will be people who would never vote for him anyway, and its as much as anything just affirming/confirming that. But there is a substantial chunk for whom Mulcair is in play. Mulcair has attractions on the left of the party too, and he needs some of those votes to win.

So if his campaign is only passing aware that there is a discussion out there, they are stupid. And I don't think they are stupid. I think the oddsa re far better they know this continues to actively kick around. You don't need to watch blow by blow to catch that.


Unionist
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Stockholm wrote:

The NDP has over 128,000 members and there are probably no more than 1000 or so people in Canada who are that obsessed with the issue of Israel/Palestne to the exclusion of anything else. 

What's your estimate of the number of Canadians obsessed about homophobia to the exclusion of anything else? Abuse of children? Racism? 

Your numerical approach to human rights, imperialism, and war crimes is so profoundly offensive and cynical that "Flag as Offensive" doesn't even come close to describing it. But don't worry. Around here, you're allowed to put anti-Zionist in quotes and insinuate that they're only pretending to hate Israel to cover up their hatred for Jews.

And I disagree with LP about how deep the gulf is between Mulcair and the official NDP line here. Two years ago the BQ pulled out of the CPCCA. Ask your favourite candidate whether they will do likewise.

 


KenS
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You typically argue that because the candidates are the same on X, there is no difference between them... and wave off other comparisons.

Because to you, if there are no differences on X, the rest is so much hair splitting.


Unionist
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KenS wrote:

You typically argue that because the candidates are the same on X, there is no difference between them... and wave off other comparisons.

That's wrong, Ken. I have consistently pointed out that Mulcair's position in support of the Israeli war criminals is far more extreme than that of the other candidates. Please try to follow the program, or if you prefer, I can refer you to my posts for reference. Would you like that? Honestly, I really don't mind.

Or maybe you'd like reminders of all the threads I opened less than two years ago to condemn Mulcair for his brutal assault, not only on Libby Davies, but on the very notion that the crimes of the Israeli murderers were worthy of discussion within the NDP. I never put Layton or anyone else in the NDP (except of course Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Pat Martin) in that same category.

So don't make up lies about me, please, just because it's early in the morning. I've been an activist on this front for over 40 years. I'm not the kind of black-and-white moron your post makes me out to be. Nor do I consider, like Stockholm, that we should just tut-tut and get on to the main business of whose beard and spectacles look more prime-ministerial.

ETA: I see that in a stroke of caution, you've edited your post. Keep editing it until, who knows, the truth breaks through - at that point in time, I'll be happy to delete this post. But understand that I will not let lies about me stand. In fact, maybe consider just dealing with the subject and leaving my personality out of the conversation. Sounds radical, I know, but that's not supposed to be a dirty word around here.

 


KenS
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I agree, in my opinion, the NDP's overall line about Israel always stays at least a couple degrees removed from Israel getting the kind of pressure that many of us think the country MUST get for there to be any real chance of peace and negotiations.... let alone according to minimum notions of justice.

But that party line is the result of ongoing internal compromises about the policy on Israel. It IS very divisive.

So it is relevant that are figures in the party who seek to push the envelope beyond the de facto ongoing compromise psition to make sure that Israel is subjected to LESS pressure still. And when one of those figures is running for Leader, that is especially releavant.

Now in the end, like you, as much as I care about this issue, its not likely to be a dealbreaker for me. But just like damned if I'm going to stand by and let people whitewash what Mulcair has done and said, I'm not going to stand by and let it be said that it doesnt make any difference, they are all the same.


KenS
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Cross-posted. I cant guess what edit you mean, I edit nearly everything. Unlikely it was done out of a sense of caution.

Maybe you are right that overall you have not said they are all the same. But its damn hard to tell. I'm not taking all the blame for for not getting it right.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Bottom line on the UN resolution question.

Israel VERY much wants to make sure that resolution gets as little traction as possible. Let alone win in the Assembly, never get off the ground.

Mulcair has consistently taken a public stance in line with what Israel most wants. Of course that does not include supporting aggresive settlements for example, Israel does not expect that from his friends.

Supporting the resolution is not radical. It carries no pragmatic political costs in Canada. Most of the candidates have said they support it. But Israel very much does want it, and Mulcair avoids it.

Can you think of a better way for him to undermine this narrative against him than saying he supports the resolution? And can you see any Canadian political cost in doing so for him or for the possible leader of the NDP?


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