Stand up for Libby Davies - part 2

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Unionist
Stand up for Libby Davies - part 2

Below...

Unionist

From the previous thread:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Additionally, if the NDP is the most progressive of elected or electable parties, I find it incredible that people who call themselves progressive would call for the defeat of NDP sitting members, by those of less progressive parties, even while claiming to support other NDP members.

You kind of missed the nuance that Mulcair is the only NDPer ever elected in Québec in a general election.

The NDP, and the CCF before it, had no particular clue about this nation, which is why they consistently were relegated to oblivion. Phil Edmonston's election was a one-off and had everything to do with his reputation.

Some courageous souls in recent years have fought hard to change this situation - hence, for example, the Sherbrooke Declaration, and its adoption by the 2006 convention.

If Mulcair wants to hand the NDP's new-found support back to the Bloc (and to a lesser extent, the Liberals), then this is the way to do it.

As I explained before, I do not vote for a party if it selects a candidate who is repugnant to my values. I'm not talking about someone's opinions. I'm talking about the stands and actions they take on crucial issues in life. Mulcair has crossed that line - for me. If he's the best the NDP has to offer in Outremont, they can go back to the museum for all I care.

But I will continue to support the Libby Davies and the Bill Siksays and the Joe Comartins and yes, even the Jack Laytons, who take important and progressive stands, to a greater or lesser extent.

If my selective approach concerns you - if it means the NDP can't get elected until it starts putting the bad candidates in their place and lifting up and supporting the good candidates - well, that's a problem they'll have to sort out. And I will help them, every way I can - including speaking my mind, and directing my physical, moral, and financial support accordingly.

 

Lord Palmerston

A letter to Jack Layton:

Quote:

Dear Jack,
You are doing the right (or should I say left) thing on the Afghanistan prisoner cover-up, and I just can't believe you won't stand up for Libby now. As I wrote to my former student Judy Wasylycia-Leis a few months ago, it was wrong of her to join Kenney and Cotler on their McCarthyite committee.  As you saw when this came back to bite even Cotler in the rear, there is no way one can win on this one except by refusing to be intimidated by bullies whose sole aim is to repress legitimate dissent in relation to the Israel-Palestine issue. Even Judy's voters in my old neighbourhood of North Winnipeg will understand this if they are reminded of the traditional Jewish value of 'rachmones'. It is increasingly evident that those who speak in an 'Israel right or wrong' manner are not genuinely reflecting the views of most Jewish people in North America.

Best regards,

Leo
 

Leo Panitch
Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy
Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science
York University

Stockholm

It seems like there is a weird dialogue here where people writing things that are in response to what they imagine people saying as opposed to what they actually said. (Starting with some of the hysterical mis-characterizations of what Libby said in the first place). But the fact is NO ONE in the NDP is saying "Israel right or wrong" nor is there any demand for that (except maybe from the National Post and from the Israeli embassy). Similarly, Jack IS standing up for Libby Davies - after having her clarify her comments and reiterating that NDP policy is to support a two state solution and that Israel has a "right to exist" just like Palestime has a "right to exist".

Of course this whole issue invariably degenerates with peoples words getting twisted and suddenly you criticise some aspect of Israeli policy in Gaza and then suddenly you get faced with these "When did you stop beating your wife?-type" questions about whether you think Israel should cease to exist or whether you are anti-semite etc...

Conversely, words also get twisted to the point where saying "we recognize Israel's right to exist" gets twisted into meaning "Israel right or wrong" or that Israel's right to exist and Palestine's right to exist are somehow mutually exclusive.

Unionist

Thanks so much, LP (I notice your initials and Leo's are the same Laughing! just kidding).

Leo Panitch's letter expresses the finest Jewish traditions. I hope Jack pays more attention to it than to those who hijack our people's name for their own nefarious ends.

 

Cytizen H

Not trying to start a big 'thing' here, but...

NDPP, in the last thread (@ post #76 ) you made some bold claims based on polls. Could you pretty please provide some links to those polls so that we may judge those claims based on their merits.

Unionist

Cytizen H wrote:

Not trying to start a big 'thing' here, but...

NDPP, in the last thread (@ post #76 ) you made some bold claims based on polls. Could you pretty please provide some links to those polls so that we may judge those claims based on their merits.

[url=http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strong-israeli-support-for-netan... Israeli Support for Netanyahu, Ship Boarding and Gaza Blockade[/url]

End of thread drift. There are several open threads - [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/gaza-flotilla-st... this one[/url] - where you could pursue that particular discussion. This thread is about Libby Davies.

Cytizen H

Thanks Unionist. For the lesson and all.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I phoned her office and left a message of support.  I've met Libby many times over the years and I think that real peoples voices telling her that her voice is needed will give her strength.

I've heard Libby speak on the struggle of the Palestine people and hers is a voice that needs to be heard not silenced.  I thought Jack was way too apologetic but if Libby keeps her job and influence within the caucus then the federal NDP will have passed a very difficult exam. 

josh

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strong-israeli-support-for-netan... Israeli Support for Netanyahu, Ship Boarding and Gaza Blockade[/url]

 

Word of caution.  Pechter Middle East Polls is affiliated with the AIPAC-sponsored Washington Institute of Near East Policy.

http://sites.google.com/a/pechterpolls.org/pectherpolls/principals

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Institute_for_Near_East_Policy

Green Grouch

Just wrote my letter to Libby via the website, hope it gets through. Thanks for all the inspiration here.

Independent Jewish Voices has sent out their statement; here's the link:

http://ijvcanada.org/uncategorized/jewish-group-condemns-%E2%80%9Cfeeding-frenzy%E2%80%9D-surrounding-libby-davies/

 

 

Polunatic2

Dawg's Blog

Quote:
 Stephen Harper and his fellow Liberals has called for punitive sanctionsagainst Davies. And Jack Layton has, absurdly, apologized to the Israeli ambassador.

For what? Again, Davies simply stated a fact. Yes, Jews have lived in the Middle East for millennia. Arabs too: Muslims since the seventh century. But the establishment of the state of Israel displaced large numbers of people from their ancestral lands. An inconvenient truth: but one that will have to be addressed if peace is to be achieved.

Unionist

I agree, josh, and I think dissent in Israel is stronger than is being portrayed. But Cytizen asked for a source and I gave it to him. Plus, this Pechter poll is being reported uncritically all over the place - even in the usually balanced [url=http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0609/Why-Israel-ignores-... Science Monitor[/url].

Anyway, what do you think of supporting Libby Davies?

ETA: Good solid statement by IJV - thanks, Green Grouch.

vaudree

Yeah, Harper was really putting the pressure on today.  On one side we have Jack supporting the two state sollution and on the other side we have Harper supporting the final solution.

That video made it clear that Libby was having trouble remembering her dates.  Now that we know the trap, it is up to Naomi, Judes and the rest to avoid it even if they have to write dates on their hands.

Seems as if there is an attempt to go after politicians - not just Libby and not just in Canada - which means that there is a move to discredit those who are the most prominent faces.  Libby is a prominent face, which is why she was targeted. Got this from J-Street:

"Our goal with JStreetPAC is to prevent pro-Israel, pro-peace members of Congress from being intimidated for supporting efforts to achieve Middle East peace through a two-state solution."

"Jan Schakowsky is an American success story. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Russia as children at the beginning of the 20th century. Their parents were looking to escape oppression and build a new life for their family in the land of freedom and opportunity. She's brought a passion for social justice and human rights to her public life that reflects the deeply-held values instilled in her at home.

She represents the best of her community, yet to some, none of that matters. They want to silence Jan's voice in Congress because she's also not afraid to speak out for a rational, sensible Middle East policy.

She cares deeply about Israel, votes consistently to support it - and most importantly recognizes that its future as a Jewish, democratic home depends on achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Now she's under attack for those views, and we have to step up and defend her. Together, we'll send a message that there is a new game in town when it comes to Israel and the Middle East."

RE:Note that one Conservative blogger on Twitter is now calling for someone to register the domain name "hezbolibby.com", and someone else is linking her partner to a "pro-Palestinian" website

The good news is that they don't think that rabble.ca, which Kim Elliott is associated with, is pro Palistinian enough.

 

Stockholm

This is interesting:

I think the story as a whole is on its last legs - but I note that Davies and Mulcair are described as walking together and I like the part at the end where Paul Dewar noted that Harper seemed to be grinning with delight while supposedly being "outraged" over Libby etc...

 

http://www.canada.com/news/Davies+controversy+swirls+over+Israeli+remark...

vaudree

Thanks for the article Stockholm.

RE: But she has not apologized for stating her personal support for the boycott, even though Mulcair said earlier this week that he believed she needed to clarify this point.

I think that she was fairly clear on this point in the letter on her webpage.

Stockholm, I don't think that this story is on its last legs because I've heard of a reporter being taken down and two politicians being pressured to step down in a little over a week.

The thing is that the flotilla incident has turned public opinion against Israel a bit - which explains the need for these attacks as a last ditch effort to justify Harper's position on the issue but also reduces his success on said issue.

Unionist

From Stockholm's link:

Quote:

However, NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said he felt the issue is settled following the apology.

"The issue is about policy and who speaks for our party," said Dewar. "I think it's clear (to) Ms. Davies, now that she lets the critic and the leader speak on those."

This asshole Dewar is one of the worst pro-Harper elements in caucus on the issue of Israel. [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-convention-thread-3#co... have long memories[/url]:

Unionist, on Aug. 15, 2009, wrote:

Dewar is no friend of anything progressive. He authored the statement praising Harper for announcing that Canada would be the first country to boycott Durban II. The statement went up on ndp.ca but was mercifully removed within two days after the outcry it generated. Here is an example of the attack on Dewar at the time, but there were dozens if not hundreds like it. Ultimately, after months of silence, Dewar was ordered to write to then-foreign minister Emerson (while Wayne Marston, the boycott's co-author, was ordered to write to Harper) asking him to "reassess" the very boycott that Dewar had screamed for in the first place. The man should not be allowed to represent this party in public.

ETA: You can still read most of the original January 2008 pro-boycott statement here, along with the about-face letters of May 29, 2008.

With friends like this, Libby should hire a bodyguard.

 

Stockholm

vaudree wrote:

Stockholm, I don't think that this story is on its last legs because I've heard of a reporter being taken down and two politicians being pressured to step down in a little over a week.

I didn't mean that the entire issue of the Middle East was on its last legs - but I think that as far as Libby is concerned, the news cycle is just about over. There is the predictable denouement of trying to get her to comment etc...but ultimately, there is nothing more to be said, Harper and Rae put on their faux-outrage show of demanding that she be fired - knowing full well it would never happen. Layton has is talking points down pat - Parliament is adjourning tomorrow for three months - the story is D-E-D DEAD! I've seen enough of these tempests in a teapot to know when a story has "legs" and when (as in this case) it does not.

Unionist

Here was an excellent rabble article by Jewish activist [url=http://rabble.ca/news/ndp-missing-boat-durban]Lawrence Boxall[/url] condemning Paul Dewar's support for Harper's boycott of Durban II. Shortly after, Dewar's pro-Zionist rant was removed from the NDP website, and ultimately the NDP changed its position (about 5 months later) and did the right thing.

Today, with the onslaught against Libby, it looks as if the Israel boosters are winning the caucus battle. We need to work hard to stop that from happening, or to reverse it if it has already happened. It was our voices which convinced Jack to do the right thing at that time. Let's raise them again!

Vansterdam Kid

Unrelated to the turn that this discussion has taken, but I've written a letter of support on Libby Davies website (using my real name) so I won't post it here. I'm not sure if it's been posted yet or not, but in any case should I be in the same hood as her constituency office, during office hours, I'll try to pop by and give them a word of support too.

Max Bialystock

Unionist wrote:

Cytizen H wrote:

Not trying to start a big 'thing' here, but...

NDPP, in the last thread (@ post #76 ) you made some bold claims based on polls. Could you pretty please provide some links to those polls so that we may judge those claims based on their merits.

[url=http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strong-israeli-support-for-netan... Israeli Support for Netanyahu, Ship Boarding and Gaza Blockade[/url]

It may be tharapeutic and politically correct to say "many Israelis oppose what Israel is doing in Gaza" but I think we need to be honest about the fact that the Israelis overwhelmingly support it.   I greatly respect people like Gideon Levy and Uri Avnery - but they are about as representative of Israeli public opinion as Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman are of US public opinion.

There is some evidence of Jews - especially under 40 - breaking with Israel in North America, however.  I hope this movement is in merely in its infancy.   A drive along Bathurst St. however tells us we have a long way to go.

Unionist

Oy - how embarrassing - I thought I was a FB maven. Thank you, writer! And what great and inspiring comments!

 

Unionist

Nothing is being published to her website, or her Facebook page for that matter, for the past couple days. It's as if they've been shut down. I tried posting to both without success.

ETA: Corrected, thanks to writer explaining to me how Facebook works!!!!!

JKR

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I've heard Libby speak on the struggle of the Palestine people and hers is a voice that needs to be heard not silenced.  I thought Jack was way too apologetic but if Libby keeps her job and influence within the caucus then the federal NDP will have passed a very difficult exam.

 

I'm not sure whether Libby's title as deputy leader helps her speak freely. As deputy leader she has to support the party line.  The NDP hasn't dealt with the issue of BDS so her ability to speak freely in support of it is limited.

In any case the NDP should decide what its policy is concerning a BDS of Israel and relating issues.

JKR

vaudree wrote:

RE:Note that one Conservative blogger on Twitter is now calling for someone to register the domain name "hezbolibby.com", ....

Hezbolibby?

Is that supposed to be a combination of Libby's name with with the words Hezbollah and Lezbo?

The mindset of some Conservatives is really pathetic.

JKR

Unionist wrote:

From Stockholm's link:

Quote:

However, NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said he felt the issue is settled following the apology.

"The issue is about policy and who speaks for our party," said Dewar. "I think it's clear (to) Ms. Davies, now that she lets the critic and the leader speak on those."

 

So who is the NDP critic that speaks for the party?

vaudree

Stockholm, the story only goes away as long as everyone keeps their nose clean and and words their comments on this issue very very carefully.  The other side is looking for something that they can take out of context and blow out of proportion.  If there is one slip up (or something that can be construed as a slip up) by anybody associated with the NDP, this story gains new life. 

The Harper version of the comment is: See I am right, Libby isn't fighting for the poor and homeless, she hates landlords and is out to get them.  Libby is not fighting for the rights of women, including sex trade workers, she is promoting adultery!  (insert Gaza equivolent)

I think that this is about wording things carefully so as not to give Harper anything resembling credibility.

RE: There is some evidence of Jews - especially under 40 - breaking with Israel in North America, however. I hope this movement is in merely in its infancy.

There is a lot of evidence of that. It is just not really clear whether these people vote. If they don't, then why should the politicians care.

 

Unionist

JKR wrote:

Unionist wrote:

From Stockholm's link:

Quote:

However, NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said he felt the issue is settled following the apology.

"The issue is about policy and who speaks for our party," said Dewar. "I think it's clear (to) Ms. Davies, now that she lets the critic and the leader speak on those."

 

So who is the NDP critic that speaks for the party?

Guess... why, it's Paul Dewar! What a surprise! The same ass whose support for Harper had to be removed in haste from the NDP website!

I think he's particularly well placed to lecture Libby Davies.

writer writer's picture

Unionist, on FB, you might be missing where to look.

  • Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Libby-Davies/7154945923
  • Right under the "write something" prompt, you'll find the options to see things written by: Libby Davies + others | Just Libby Davies | Just others
  • The default is "Just Libby Davies"
  • Click either of the other options, and you'll see it's been pretty active

Stockholm

Paul Dewar is the NDP critic on foreign affairs and he has actually one of the most anti-war in Afghanistan people in caucus. He has never "supported" Harper. Unionist - do you agree or disagree with Harper apologizing to First nations for what happened to them in residential schools?? I ask you because if you agree with apologizing then I ACCUSE YOU of SUPPORTING Stephen Harper (gavel thud!)

KenS

Do I smell a can of worms?

Unionist

No, Ken, you smell a typical old-fashioned baiting diversion which no one here will grace with a response.

Stockholm

"a typical old-fashioned baiting diversion" - that's a good description for trying to call Paul Dewar a Harper supporter - it sounds to me like the John Birch Society claiming that Eisenhower was a Communist!

JKR

The Conservatives are making some crazy accusations.

Quote:

Vancouver Sun

Stephen Harper compares Vancouver MP Libby Davies to terrorist groups

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper stepped up the pressure on the NDP's Libby Davies to resign her position as her party's deputy leader on Wednesday, accusing her of making "extremist" statements about Israel that were similar to the language used by terrorist organizations.

"The deputy leader of the NDP knew full well what she was saying," Harper said during the daily question period in the House of Commons. "She made statements that could have been made by Hamas, Hezbollah or anybody else with no repercussions from that party whatsoever."

 

2dawall

Uh sort of off current thread but sort of related to the topic, has there been any article detailing who did the interview with her on their cellphone anyway? I saw part of an address on the news report but the address was not complete. Does anybody have the url that was featured there?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Well, there you go. Is Jack going to finally stand up on his hind legs and attack Harper for this crude and evil attack on one of his members? Harper is a terrorist and a racist.

vaudree

I think that what we are forgetting is that the only thing Libby appologised for was getting her dates wrong.  When she "clarified her position" she did not back down on anything else.

Earth to pot, ok the kettle is black.  So what's your point?

 

Unionist

2dawall wrote:

Uh sort of off current thread but sort of related to the topic, has there been any article detailing who did the interview with her on their cellphone anyway? I saw part of an address on the news report but the address was not complete. Does anybody have the url that was featured there?

It was a student, named David Katz. He is part of the team at http://commentsfromleftfield.com.

remind remind's picture

LOL

George Victor

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Well, there you go. Is Jack going to finally stand up on his hind legs and attack Harper for this crude and evil attack on one of his members? Harper is a terrorist and a racist.

Yes, FM.  But how would that language look "out there" disseminated among the average masses?  Perhaps you could find language for him that would not lose him too many votes in the upcoming elections?

Stockholm

vaudree wrote:

Is David Katz related to Sam Katz, the present Mayor of Winnipeg?  If so, how much does he share the Mayor's views?

I doubt it - Katz is an extremely common name. Among Jews and Germans its almost like Smith or Jones.

vaudree

Is David Katz related to Sam Katz, the present Mayor of Winnipeg?  If so, how much does he share the Mayor's views?

 

Libby seems the type to be more concerned with who is doing wrong to who now.  She is not the type to get herself into debates over whether the Hatfiends or McCoys started it.  For the last while, at least, Israel has been expanding their boundaries, kicking the inhabitants out and starving them.  As of late, they have been the ones committing most of the carnage.  There may have been a time when the Palestinians gave as good as they got, but that isn't recently.

Stockholm

Its interesting that the Edmonton Journal of all papers actually has a half-hearted condescendning editorial that actually kind of sort of defends Libby while also mocking her - but coming from a Canwest publication this is the equivalent of them wanting her to be PM!!

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/editorials/Erratic+lead+didn+need...

Stockholm

I will add one thing on this issue that has nothing to do with the actual substance of the issue. I think that a lesson not just for Libby but for anyone in politics is that its probably never a good idea to agree to be interviewed in a public place by an unidentified unaccredited journalist holding a cell phone camera. If I were her and i was approached by anyone in that kind of context, I would give them my card and say call my office and we will arrange a formal interview in a quiet office. Its always dangerous to try to respond to questions in a crowded noisy public place where there is no opportunity to really choose your words carefully.

vaudree

Stockholm, while Libby knew in this case, with cell phones one doesn't always know when one is being interviewed.

Libby's reputation has been built on helping people who are already hurting.  Her issues tend to involve people where they are at and helping them get to a better place and she tends to leave the debate over how they got there in the first place for others in her party.  She strikes those she is trying to help as non judgemental because of this.

Stockholm

I realize that you have to try to be accessible to people etc...but it was pretty obvious that this was not some constituent asking for advice on applying for EI etc...it was getting into a full bore interview on a touchy subject where you really have to choose words carefully. I just think the whole incident is a cautionary tale for politcians in all parties and all issues. In this age of cell phone video cameras and being ambushed like this etc...it is something politicians have to be more cautious about than in the past.

ottawaobserver

... and it caught up more than one politician in the last US electoral cycle, if you'll recall.

vaudree

Stockholm, agree with you and Ottawa Observer that politicians have to be more careful.

What you mentioned was Libby helping someone who is already unemployed apply for an existing government program - a person who is already hurting and needs help now.  Isn't that what is really behind Libby's support of the people of Gaza - that they are already hurting and need help now?  Just like the homeless in her own riding, wasn't she concerned that the rate of homelessness among Palestinians and about the soon to be homeless?

The questions that David Katz was asking had nothing to do with her reasons for being involved with this.

Libby's greatest strength is her greatest weakness - she doesn't give a shit about what David Katz considers to be so important.

 

Polunatic2

From the same Vancouver Sun article. 

Quote:
"The issue is about policy and who speaks for our party," said Dewar. "I think it's clear (to) Ms. Davies, now that she lets the critic and the leader speak on those."

I wonder if Dewar and/or "the  leader" spoke at any of the many anti-flotilla attack rallies. I didn't see a single NDP flag at the Toronto rally & march. I wish I had an MP like Libby Davies. 

George Victor

"Politicians have to be more careful." vaudree? Let's frame that. Hope it's given some thought, hereabouts, where martyrdom seems the required stance.

AntiSpin

Libby D is a great advocate and MP...I'm a little disappointed she felt she had to make an apology (either of her own volition or due to pressure from her party). It was clear to me that she wasn't speaking on behalf of the NDP. But alas in these highly charged political times and on a ultra-charged political question, Israel, there's no room for errors.

That Hippo is calling for her head is simply parliamentary turn-about and is about as news worthy as rain in Vancouver.

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