Stand up for Libby Davies - part 5

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remind remind's picture
Stand up for Libby Davies - part 5

the never ending "situation" continued from here

remind remind's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:
I think the campaign of hostility actually went a bridge too far, and there may be an opening to turn that around a teeny bit this week. 

 

what do you mean, exactly,  OO?

 

Whose hostility and how can it be turned around?

ottawaobserver

The hostility of the groups who say Israel can do no wrong, along with their supporters in the political parties and media, against anyone who dared to be critical of Israeli foreign policy (i.e., in this case, Libby), is what I was referring to.

The pile-on that ensued in the media was quite uncritical, as though it was plainly evident she'd made a huge anti-semitic mistake; and no-one stopped to question whether that was true, who was pushing that line and what was their interest in doing so.

I think because of the pile-on, and in particular the one big mistake that the CanIsrael tweet represented, there is an opening to start asking whether the pile-on was justified, who was behind it, and why might they be trying to divert attention from the boarding of the flotilla.

That's what I meant, remind.

remind remind's picture

Okay, thanks OO.

NDPP

Libby Davies' So-Called 'Mistake'

http://mostlywater.org/libby_davies_socalled_mistake_ndp_and_israelpales...

"I'm sorry, but Layton has gone from mediocre to utterly pathetic on this issue. 'It's not NDP policy?' What isn't? To debate historical facts?"

Cueball Cueball's picture

Has anyone noticed that certain kinds of voices are missing from these discussions, as of late?

Fidel

Voices? Which voices of concern would they be? Is it just me, or is it that Layton and the NDP receive much more attention on babble for their comments on Israel than either of the two toadies for US-backed Israeli apartheid, the very compatible and very interchangeable Steve Harper and Count von Count  Ignatieff and vice versa? Apparently Canada's long time support for US-backed front line states in the war on democracy is not a real concern for certain commentators.

Michelle

Stockholm and ottawaobserver, there's no way that Davies, Layton, and Mulcair planned that total onslaught against Davies.  No way in hell.  It's a nice bedtime story that might make you feel better about the way Mulcair treated Davies, but it's preposterous.

Unionist

Besides which, their scenario (which I like but don't believe ever happened) gives the NDP leadership credit for a kind of solidarity, adherence to principle, and organizational genius which one would definitely like to see more of - but one doesn't.

ottawaobserver

Michelle wrote:

Stockholm and ottawaobserver, there's no way that Davies, Layton, and Mulcair planned that total onslaught against Davies.  No way in hell.  It's a nice bedtime story that might make you feel better about the way Mulcair treated Davies, but it's preposterous.

Didn't say that.  Said they planned the response on Wednesday.

ottawaobserver

Michelle wrote:

It's a nice bedtime story that might make you feel better

By the way, Michelle, this is quite an insulting tone of voice to use with me.  I've never done the same with you, and have tried rather scrupulously to stick to the facts on this one, and to some informed speculation based on my previous experience, which might be a little different than yours, but is offered in all sincerity.

No Yards No Yards's picture

Fidel wrote:

Voices? Which voices of concern would they be? Is it just me, or is it that Layton and the NDP receive much more attention on babble for their comments on Israel than either of the two toadies for US-backed Israeli apartheid, the very compatible and very interchangeable Steve Harper and Count von Count  Ignatieff and vice versa? Apparently Canada's long time support for US-backed front line states in the war on democracy is not a real concern for certain commentators.

 

And you find this strange?

 

Of course there's more attention on babble when so-called "progressives" pull a stunt like this. These are the people who we should actually have some bit of influence upon, the people claiming to belong on the side of progressives.

 

Do you really think anyone here complains about Harper of Ignatieff thinking that our complaints will mean squat to them? On the other hand, don't you think that a board full of progressives with a supposed connection to the NDP might be just the place for progressives to make their voice heard when NDP politicians stray from a progressive path?

 

If anything I think it's strange that there is much attention given to the Cons and Libs, and that the vast majority of attention, good or bad, belongs concentrated on providing direction to our so-called "progressive leaders".

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:

The hostility of the groups who say Israel can do no wrong, along with their supporters in the political parties and media, against anyone who dared to be critical of Israeli foreign policy (i.e., in this case, Libby), is what I was referring to.

The pile-on that ensued in the media was quite uncritical, as though it was plainly evident she'd made a huge anti-semitic mistake; and no-one stopped to question whether that was true, who was pushing that line and what was their interest in doing so.

I think because of the pile-on, and in particular the one big mistake that the CanIsrael tweet represented, there is an opening to start asking whether the pile-on was justified, who was behind it, and why might they be trying to divert attention from the boarding of the flotilla.

That's what I meant, remind.

Well, first, I don't think that's true. Second, Davies' comments were directed to the greater Palestinian/Israel question as opposed to the flotilla. Third, ironically, the "Israel can do no wrong crowd" depend upon the immediate retreat of any and all who dare make the mistake of discussing Israel honestly or critically which is exactly what Jack Layton and tge NDP did. So in the final analysis, politically, this has been a big win for the Israel can do no wrong crowd.

Now, on the other hand, the recognition of Israel as a racist, militarized and cruel nation, as well as the spinelessness of Canada's political establishment, and the complicity of Canada's media, is becoming recognized by the grassroots across the political spectrum and, more notably, fewer Jews are willing to be silent about Israel and Israel's actions and policies and thereby eroding the carefully crafted perception of a Jewish consensus in support of Israel right or wrong.

Even more ironically, by seeking to suppress an honest discussion on Israel and the occupation, those spineless politicians who claim to be interested in peace and justice and respect for both peoples in the conflict, are complicit in perpetuating it as they relieve any pressure on Israel to acknowledge its excesses and abuses.

No Yards No Yards's picture

Stockholm wrote:
I actually suspect that Jack, Tom and Libby sat around a table together figured out what was the best way to do some damage control for everyone and then they each played the roles they were given.

Tom was probably told - "OK you are to feign outrage and demand a retraction and that will pre-empt the Liberals from trying to exploit the issue against you in Outremont". Libby was probably told "Sorry, it will have to look like you've been carpeted for about 24 hours so that we can ride out this news cycle - so just say you goofed", Jack's role was to appear on a few talk shows and repeat the talking points ad nauseum and then they probably had a group hug before going out and facing the cameras.

 

Unionist wrote:

Besides which, their scenario (which I like but don't believe ever happened) gives the NDP leadership credit for a kind of solidarity, adherence to principle, and organizational genius which one would definitely like to see more of - but one doesn't.

I don't see where you see any form of principle in that strategy, assuming it existed in the first place.

All that shows to me is that they are willing to throw the Palestinian side of the issue under the bus at the first sign of push back ... looks more like complete and total cowardice to me.

Unionist

On reflection, I was stretching too far to make a point, and I snapped. No Yards is correct. Please delete the words "adherence to principle" from my post. What I actually meant by that was a very different principle, namely, working out differences in private before hurling public abuse at Deputy Leaders who are better than you are. On review, I realize that that part of my post was misleading at best, silly at worst.

Michelle

Sorry, ottawaobserver, you're right.  I'm extremely angry about this, and I can't imagine that Libby has in any way consented to any of this abuse she's been put through, much less planned it.  But that doesn't mean I should have taken that tone with you.

No Yards No Yards's picture

lol ... getting closer Unionist, but even if you ignore the underlying principle of the base issue (the Israeli/Palestinian "conflict") and just look at party politics, this would mean that they actually "planned" to hurl abuse at Davies (Mulcair could have distanced himself in many other less abusive ways than the way he chose,) and if that was the way they planned this, then they are by far too stupid to ever hold office, for if they ever did, they'd be out of office and on their butts in the street the first time some NDP MP said something that the opposition decided to push back on ... matter of fact if this situation is of any predictive value,  before the opposition were given the chance to push back, the NDP leadership would "strategically" and preemptively turn on themselves.

ottawaobserver

No Yards, I think it's an editing error to do with quote tags, but your post appears to be putting words into Stockholm's mouth, as he didn't write the second paragraph that got attributed to him in #13.

ottawaobserver

Michelle wrote:

Sorry, ottawaobserver, you're right.  I'm extremely angry about this, and I can't imagine that Libby has in any way consented to any of this abuse she's been put through, much less planned it.  But that doesn't mean I should have taken that tone with you.

Thanks, Michelle.

And as to the other aspect, I think they agreed on the best way they could think of to make it stop sooner rather than later, given the environment up here last week.

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:

No Yards, I think it's an editing error to do with quote tags, but your post appears to be putting words into Stockholm's mouth, as he didn't write the second paragraph that got attributed to him in #13.

Um, yes he did, OO - [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/stand-libby-davies-part-4#comm... over here.[/url] And you posted right after, agreeing with Stock.

 

ottawaobserver

My bad.  I think I just read the first para.  Apologies.

JKR

For the sake of learning from this for future's sake.

How should the NDP have handled this situation?

 

- The Conservative blogosphere has a video that they're using to attack the NDP.
- The National Post is using this to discredit the party.
- The Conservatives, Liberals, and the media that generally sides with them, are about to pounce on the NDP.
- Pro-Israeli groups are likely going to use their influence to attack the NDP over this.
- It looks like this could go viral on the Internet.

 

In hindsight, how should the NDP have responded?

No Yards No Yards's picture

You forgot:

- A backstabbing asshole NDP MP makes it a national issue and starts bashing his own co-deputy leader with charges that basically suggest she is an anti-Semite claiming Israel should not exist.

 

But, even ignoring that important item, maybe they could have tried responding by defending an MP's right to speak the truth.

Unionist

JKR wrote:
In hindsight, how should the NDP have responded?

Forget the hindsight. I could have told you this with foresight:

1. Tom Mulcair and Paul Dewar should have kept their disrespectful mouths shut tight.

2. Jack Layton should have started by unreservedly condemning Harper and Rae for their vicious over-the-top attacks.

3. Jack should then have praised and defended Libby for her utter loyalty to the party, her constituents, and the many progressive causes she espouses.

4. Jack should have specifically praised her activism in support of peace and international justice, as shown by her participation in the movement to condemn the attack on a humanitarian flotilla.

5. Jack should have criticized the "gotcha" video maker, but much more so, those who use it for base political ends.

6. Finally, Jack should have reiterated NDP policy on the issue of the Middle East and proclaimed that as far as he's concerned, Libby Davies shares that policy fully. She, of course, would have been by his side saying the same thing.

Now understand this: I do not share the NDP's overly "nuanced" policy, which makes little if any distinction between mass murderers and their victims. Libby, however, apparently pays lip service to it, even though her instincts and activism make her go further in real life (for which I respect her greatly). But you asked how the NDP should have responded - that's how. Then, I might still disagee with their view - but I would hardly be calling Jack a coward and declaring that Mulcair will no longer have my vote. And same goes for many many others.

If you want to go further and seek my opinion as to how Jack should then have responded to specific follow-up questions from the peanut gallery, please continue and I'll do my best - even though, unlike Jack's cowardly spin doctors, I'm not paid to come up with these communications strategies.

ETA: Oh, I forgot. Jack should not have genuflected before the Ambassador of the Israeli mass murderers. Jack is not the PM yet. Plenty of time for state-to-state relations when (and if) he is. His craven apology and "explanation" to one of the worst pariah states in the world will not be forgotten in a hurry.

No Yards No Yards's picture

At this point the standard is that any official discussion of the Middle East Israel has the right to exist but Palestinians don't even have the right to state historical facts.

I would have loved to see this issue turn into a real public debate about what was actually said, the truth behind the statements, and the over reaction to stating mere facts.

The reason that the national media ignores all reasonable talk about the Israeli/ Palestinian situation is precisely because no one has the courage to even bothers to stand up for a reasoned debate on the subject ... make one factual statement that doesn't come down clearly on the side of the Israeli narrative, the media and Israeli apologists call you an Anti-Semite and then you fold. The reason this happens is because the apologists and the media know full well that if a discussion were allowed to take place in public they apologists would lose all support, and no official party has the guts it takes to actually stand up for truth.

remind remind's picture

Wow, never thought I would see the day that unionist backtracked, let alone backtrack on 2 positions of his.

 

First one being, 'Muc'lair's complicity, and the second being that David Katz has gone from innocent to a "gotcha" minion.

 

So...never let it be said in the future that Unionist holds a hard line and is immovable. As 'some' have suggested.

 

As far as OO's perspective on this goes, I am willing to give it some credibility, as I am sure they would know the vitriolic response that would occur, much better than we do actually.

 

 

JKR

Unionist wrote:

If you want to go further and seek my opinion as to how Jack should then have responded to specific follow-up questions from the peanut gallery, please continue and I'll do my best - even though, unlike Jack's cowardly spin doctors, I'm not paid to come up with these communications strategies.

Judging from the last week, maybe the NDP should offer you a job in their communications department.

How should Jack respond to the question he was asked and is probably going to be asked over again: "Why don't you demote Libby for going against party policy?"

And the follow up question: "Does the NDP support BDS?"

And if in the future when Jack demands that the government fire a minister, Jack will likely be asked, "Like you fired Libby?" How should Jack respond to that?

 

Maybe the best strategy is to be silent and hope everyone turns the page?

 

Stockholm

I think there are examples where the undyingly pro-Israel drumbeat has made the mistake of overextending itself and it backfired. We all remember the trouble the Tories got into last fall when they started putting out those "10 percenters" that took a few Liberal policies on the Middle East out of context and then tried to imply that Irwin Cotler and Anita Neville were anti-semitic!

At some point, some of the more thoughtful pundits will start to take apart this episode and will note that the over the top hyperbolic reaction to what Libby said is so out of proportion to her actual words. Anyone who actually watched the video would see that her actual words were far more measured than what was reported on and on top of that I think and hope that some pundits will start to wonder why one false move on the Israel/Palestine issue merits grovelling apologies to the Israeli ambassador etc...something which would never happen in any other conflict.

I wonder what would happen if an MP from any party made an off hand comment that it was a mistake for Kashmir to have been given to India in 1948 and that since it is mostly Muslim, it probably shoudl have been a part of Pakistan? Would anyone be demanding resignations and calling the Indian ambassador to apologize? Or what if an MP mentioned the Armenian holocaust at the hands of the Turks in 1915-1917? Would there be shrieking editorials demanding that the MP be drawn and quartered would there be apologies to the Turkish ambassador for insulting Turkey??

So, I think the teachable lesson in all of this that OO referred to is that once things simmer down, people may look back on this and start to say "what were we thinking?", are we going to far here?

Stockholm

"And if in the future when Jack demands that the government fire a minister, Jack will likely be asked, "Like you fired Libby?" How should Jack respond to that?"

Its an absurd comparison since every case has to be judged on its own merits. Its not as if Jack has demanded the resignation of cabinet ministers over every single trivial thing. A couple of months ago, Peter McKay made a gaffe that was about million times worse than anything Libby Davies has ever said when he made comments to the effect that "i Israel was at war, Canada was at war" - thereby creating a non-existent mutual defence military treaty between Canada and Israel off the top of his head and implying that next time Israel attacks one of its neighbours - Canada shoudl send a regiment to fight alongside the Israelis! For a Defence Minister to stay such a thing is an EXTREMELY serious lapse of judgment - and yet NO ONE demanded that McKay be fired. In fact I don't think he was ever even asked to apologize.

In fact, I think that if you look at the cases where the NDP has demanded that Harper fire a cabinet minister - it has almost invariably been in cases of gross incompetence in running their department or ethical lapses (an example would be Maxime Bernier leaving national secrets in his mistresses apartment). Since cabinet ministers are actual administrators of government policy etc... they are held to a much higher standard than someone having a role in an opposition caucus.

So, in a nutshell we are comparing apples and oranges. I find it hard to imagine that if it was revealed that Jim Flaherty embezzled millions of dollars or if it came out that Jasn Kenney was caught red handed accepting bribes etc... and the NDP demanded that they be sacked - that the Tories would get anywhere by trying to compare what they did to Libby Davies getting a date wrong and quickly apologizing and setting the record straight.

BTW: In 2006 when he was running for the Liberal leadership, Ignatieff got into hot water for referring to Israel's invasion of Lebanon as a "war crime". I wonder why Bob Rae doesn't demand that Iggy resign as Liberal leader as a retroactive pennance for what he said - which quite frankly was more unambiguously insulting to Israel than anything Libby Davies has ever said!

 

vaudree

OttawaObserver: The CBC did send Nallah Ayed into Gaza to do a story on the blockade, without mentioning Libby per se, but as a follow to the story. Another reporter (who had previously covered the middle east) asked Layton at his year-ender news conference what he thought of "the reaction to the reaction" to the Libby story.

Do you have a video?

No Difference - BB and Judy W-L both have Manitoba ridings and that was a time when the late Izzy Asper had a lot of pull with Liberal voters. Judy W-L also had the burden of representing what was then a riding with a large Jewish constituency. It took a while for even those influenced by the Jewish Bund to realise that Israel was not protecting itself. Even Stephen Lewis, who is now vehemently opposed to Israel's actions remembers a time that he wanted it to work.

JKR: And if in the future when Jack demands that the government fire a minister, Jack will likely be asked, "Like you fired Libby?" How should Jack respond to that?

I know you are being sarcastic - but they asked both for an apology and a firing. Libby apologised for less that what they demanded, for a verbal typo rather than for what they accused her of. But when was the last time the Tories apologised for their misdeeds - misdeeds that they sickenly seem too proud of to even acknowledge that they are in the wrong.

Unionist, wasn't it Libby who apologised to the Israeli ambassador? No word as to whether or not he accepted her apology or even whether he believes in the two state solution.

Michelle: Stockholm and ottawaobserver, there's no way that Davies, Layton, and Mulcair planned that total onslaught against Davies. No way in hell. It's a nice bedtime story that might make you feel better about the way Mulcair treated Davies, but it's preposterous.

I don't think that Layton either planned or approved of what Mulcair did to Libby - which is why Mulcair's profile has been scaled back. Though I think that Jack did have a talk to Libby and told her that the only way to make this thing go away is to apologise right away and to have a written statement clarifying her views on her webpage. Agree that Libby shouldn't have had to apologise, but concede that it was the only way to make this thing go away and to make Libby seem like a sympathetic character in this melodrama.

Just looked on the Liberal webpage and there is nothing after the Bob Rae article indicating that the Liberals continuing to beat up on Libby makes them look bad.

The stuff you posted is basically from the wingnuts - those who some who would have been critical of Libby when they first heard about this (ie without seeing the video) would not want to associate themselves with. Some of those people are a bit - creepy.

Unionist: 4. Jack should have specifically praised her activism in support of peace and international justice, as shown by her participation in the movement to condemn the attack on a humanitarian flotilla.

Instead he showed Libby's activism in support of national justice by allowing her name to stand on a Bill in favour of human rights and which Libby can then add to her webpage - pushing the letter of apology closer to the bottom. Jack did make a statement about the Flotilla - but before this controversy - and it is still up on his website (though you have to click "Press" to see it since there have been a few new Statements.

Unionist: 6. Finally, Jack should have reiterated NDP policy on the issue of the Middle East and proclaimed that as far as he's concerned, Libby Davies shares that policy fully. She, of course, would have been by his side saying the same thing.

He did say that - next to top post in part 4 - since his comment was in response to Harper's attack on Libby.

Stockholm: A couple of months ago, Peter McKay made a gaffe that was about million times worse than anything Libby Davies has ever said when he made comments to the effect that "i Israel was at war, Canada was at war" - thereby creating a non-existent mutual defence military treaty between Canada and Israel off the top of his head and implying that next time Israel attacks one of its neighbours - Canada shoudl send a regiment to fight alongside the Israelis! For a Defence Minister to stay such a thing is an EXTREMELY serious lapse of judgment - and yet NO ONE demanded that McKay be fired. In fact I don't think he was ever even asked to apologize.

Do you remember the date that Peter McKay made that statement? Or at least the day of the week and the month? It is consistent with Tory Policy, but I would still like to know if the NDP spoke up about it - which is easy to find out since I got the Question Period transcripts bookmarked.

 

ottawaobserver

vaudree wrote:

OttawaObserver: The CBC did send Nallah Ayed into Gaza to do a story on the blockade, without mentioning Libby per se, but as a follow to the story. Another reporter (who had previously covered the middle east) asked Layton at his year-ender news conference what he thought of "the reaction to the reaction" to the Libby story.

Do you have a video?

Looks like I spelled her name wrong; it's Nahlah Ayed.  I think this is the right video.

Unionist

JKR wrote:

How should Jack respond to the question he was asked and is probably going to be asked over again: "Why don't you demote Libby for going against party policy?"

Jack: "Our party's policy is well known. Not one word Libby said violated that policy, and she clarified a date where she misspoke. And even if someone says something that doesn't match our policy to the letter, we don't punish them. We promote and demote based on the needs of our members and on merit - and on both scores, Libby is right up there. Next question?"

Quote:
And the follow up question: "Does the NDP support BDS?"

Jack: "Our party's policy does not support BDS. I can refer you again to our policy documents if you like. But any member of our party, including a Deputy Leader, is free to hold personal views on such issues."

Quote:
And if in the future when Jack demands that the government fire a minister, Jack will likely be asked, "Like you fired Libby?" How should Jack respond to that?

Jack: "That's an odd question. The minister whose dismissal I just demanded is part of a government in power, and he has just said that women's proper role is in the kitchen. I'm struggling to understand your analogy."

Quote:
Maybe the best strategy is to be silent and hope everyone turns the page?

Too late. Mulcair's crap is out there, as is Jack's apology to the Israeli ambassador. You asked what he should have said - you've got my answers.

Unionist

vaudree wrote:

Unionist, wasn't it Libby who apologised to the Israeli ambassador?

No. Layton phoned him.

Quote:
No word as to whether or not he accepted her apology or even whether he believes in the two state solution.

Who gives a shit? He should be sent home until his masters start caring about international law.

Quote:

Unionist: 4. Jack should have specifically praised her activism in support of peace and international justice, as shown by her participation in the movement to condemn the attack on a humanitarian flotilla.

Instead he showed Libby's activism in support of national justice by allowing her name to stand on a Bill in favour of human rights and which Libby can then add to her webpage - pushing the letter of apology closer to the bottom. Jack did make a statement about the Flotilla - but before this controversy - and it is still up on his website (though you have to click "Press" to see it since there have been a few new Statements.

Unionist: 6. Finally, Jack should have reiterated NDP policy on the issue of the Middle East and proclaimed that as far as he's concerned, Libby Davies shares that policy fully. She, of course, would have been by his side saying the same thing.

He did say that - next to top post in part 4 - since his comment was in response to Harper's attack on Libby.

I think you misunderstood my post. JKR asked me what Layton should have said. I gave him a complete answer, in point form. Of course that includes some of what Layton did say. Why not look at my complete answer and say whether you agree, disagree, partly agree, or have any questions? JKR hasn't said yet.

 

Stockholm

Sorry, it was Peter Kent (a junior minister of foreign affairs) who said that if Israel is at war Canada is at war and its news to me if it is official Conservative Party policy to commit Canada to send troops to fight alongside Israel in ANY future armed conflict.

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/5649-kent-says-canada-to-war-for-...

ottawaobserver

And since we're all correcting the record here, the Israeli Ambassador to Canada is a woman.  She's been interviewed on TV several times in the past few weeks.  You can go and look up her name if you want to, but you can't assume people are he's without checking just because they're in male-sounding jobs.

JKR

Unionist - Your answers were pretty well dead on. Maybe you've been a part of a lot of union negotiating?  How much support do unions give to the BQ, NDP, and other parties in Quebec?

The BDS question might become bigger. A lot of people want the NDP to support BDS, more so after this episode. So how should the NDP deal with this? I support the NDP's current policy and think BDS is too one sided. For me, the NDP's current policy hits the right note. But if a lot of people feel that the NDP should support BDS, I think the party should debate it. Maybe the NDP can come up with a policy that is more even-handed.

This topic is very emotional. People from different sides have very strong feelings about the Israeli-Palestine issue because it's an existential issue. If the NDP could be seen as the party that strikes a fair balance, that in itself would be a great victory for the party. The NDP should be about bringing people together. The Liberals and Conservatives divide people by siding only with Israel. If the NDP could be seen as the party that has a fair balance on this issue, a lot of Canadians would appreciate that and, to top it off, it would win the party votes.

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:

And since we're all correcting the record here, the Israeli Ambassador to Canada is a woman.  She's been interviewed on TV several times in the past few weeks.  You can go and look up her name if you want to, but you can't assume people are he's without checking just because they're in male-sounding jobs.

Ok, I'll correct my above post:

Who gives a shit? SHE should be sent home.

Lord Palmerston

JKR wrote:

For the sake of learning from this for future's sake.

How should the NDP have handled this situation?

 

- The Conservative blogosphere has a video that they're using to attack the NDP.
- The National Post is using this to discredit the party.
- The Conservatives, Liberals, and the media that generally sides with them, are about to pounce on the NDP.
- Pro-Israeli groups are likely going to use their influence to attack the NDP over this.
- It looks like this could go viral on the Internet.

 

In hindsight, how should the NDP have responded?

You make it seem as if the Tories are leading the way in terms of smearing Libby Davies.  In fact, they're playing catch-up with Mulcair and Rae.

Fidel

Yes, the Tory-Lib right wing coalition are busy smearing themselves. Let's not attack them needlessly, and especially not with an election on the horizon.

So now that Jack Layton has stated categorically that the NDP supports US-backed Israeli apartheid, where do we go from here?

leftypopulist

Not to be blindly optimistic, but IMO the fact that she hasn't been totally canned or demoted shows hope for a non-interventionist foreign policy populism in Canada. The grass roots are there.

As for the upper rank NDP spokespersons... they are simply trying to avoid, deflect and parry the inevitable rightwing media pummelling of the NDP. It's more pragmatic and strategic than philosophical. It's actually *preemptive*. Not ideal, but very very real.

leftypopulist

Fidel wrote:

Yes, the Tory-Lib right wing coalition are busy smearing themselves. Let's not attack them needlessly, and especially not with an election on the horizon.

So now that Jack Layton has stated categorically that the NDP supports US-backed Israeli apartheid, where do we go from here?

It's a bend but don't break PR strategy by the federal NDP. Jack is only one *possible* party leader.

In BC, 2-3 BC NDP'ers were canned/demoted outright due to weed smoking and skinny dipping. It was pathetic.

People can still do 3 things :

1) Keep demanding respect and stability for Libby and her general sentiment, foreign policy views and position in the party.

2) Keep demanding gov't sponsored humanitarian relief for Palestinians.

3) If the term "Israeli Aparthied" isn't welcome by the authoritarians, try "Israeli Supremacists" / "Israeli Genocidal Maniacs" or other terms to be put on protest signs. The former phrase will seem tame by comparison.

Michelle

If the term "Israeli Apartheid" isn't welcome by the authoritarians, it's because when you're hit you howl.  And that's all the more reason to use it.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sorry dude. You are arguing that people should knuckle under to censorship. If they can ban one phrase they can ban any other. It is now actually important to defend the usage as a matter of the defence of freedom of speech.

Cueball Cueball's picture

 

Indeed, the usage of Israeli Apartheid was a sop thrown at those who thought that comparisons of Israeli state policy to Nazism was hyperbolic overstatement and slander and therfore antisemitic. I tended to agree that it was overstatement and inaccurate and unecessarily inflamatory.

Then there was the "Zionism is racism" debate. But the result of that has been this attack on alternate, softer, and much more accurate terminology. The lesson is that they will try and squash any criticism of Israel, and whatever terms that are used to describe it. "Supermacist" simply would not wash, on the grounds that it sound too "Nazi-like".

leftypopulist

Cueball wrote:

Sorry dude. You are arguing that people should knuckle under to censorship. If they can ban one phrase they can ban any other. It is now actually important to defend the usage as a matter of the defence of freedom of speech.

No, I'm trying to explain (maybe even rationalize) the NDP's center-right foreign policy stance WRT the Libby Davies issue. I'd rather they didn't bend at all. But they DID bend without canning or demoting Libby.

I actually believe the term apartheid is too soft and measured in the context of targetted starvation of a foreign country. It's closer to genocide.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I see.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I don't.

leftypopulist

Cueball wrote:

 

"Supermacist" simply would not wash, on the grounds that it sound too "Nazi-like".

I disagree.

It's all about the huge 4-Dimensional sequence of land-grabbing, and consequential targetted starving of a foreign country's population.

It's clearly genocidal actions by a supremacist gov't.

leftypopulist

Oops, maybe it's not targetted starvation. They lifted the embargo on Potato Chips and Coke.

NDPP

leftypopulist wrote:
Not to be blindly optimistic, but IMO the fact that she hasn't been totally canned or demoted shows hope for a non-interventionist foreign policy populism in Canada. The grass roots are there. As for the upper rank NDP spokespersons... they are simply trying to avoid, deflect and parry the inevitable rightwing media pummelling of the NDP. It's more pragmatic and strategic than philosophical. It's actually *preemptive*. Not ideal, but very very real.
NDPP

Given the outrageousness of recent Israeli actions, even just since Gaza, and the widespread condemnation from a broad range of international bodies including the UN, - if the NDP really can't stomach Libby Davies' careful nuanced criticisms, then I really have to wonder on what basis people continue to entertain fantasies of them as the people's champions. Surely there comes a point when there is a realization that the thing is fatally flawed, going in the wrong direction and abandoned? As for 'pragmatic', 'strategic' or 'philosophical' I see no particular ndp success or acumen in these realms either. Lesser evilism only works up to a point.

leftypopulist

CNN just reported (or hyped) the "Breaking News" that Israel has announced it will ease the embargo, excluding military related items.

They commented that it is due to the overwhelming international pressure.

Trust yet verify ?

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