Palestine: Where is the parliamentary left?

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genstrike
Palestine: Where is the parliamentary left?

I don't know if this is specific to Winnipeg or not, but has anyone else noticed an absence of any elected politicians at the rallies for peace in Gaza?  There have been two rallies and a candlelight vigil so far in Winnipeg, and I haven't seen any politician (aside from some folks from the Communist Parties, including the leader of the provincial CPC) either come out to an event or vocally oppose the Israeli attacks (aside from that one Tory MP from Alberta who was quickly muzzled).  But on the other hand, politicians from all three parties attended a pro-Israel rally, and Harper and Ignatieff seem to be in a dick-waving contest as to who can support Israel the most.

What's the deal here?  Are there any supporters of Palestine in parliament?  Why is it easier to get politicians of all stripes (including the NDP) to show up to a rally in favour of war than to a rally for peace?

If this trend is occuring across the country, it is really showing the moral bankruptcy of the parliamentary "left"

genstrike

I should add, this isn't a new thing.  The Al-Nakba commemoration last summer drew, if I rember correctly, exactly zero elected politicians, while the pro-Israel commemoration was organized by an NDP cabinet minister and drew two NDP MPs, and 3 NDP MLAs, 2 of which were cabinet ministers.

Is this just a Winnipeg thing, or is there no one out there sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle?

Slumberjack

We no longer have the luxury of representation by a party that is committed to social democracy and justice, and based on the past several weeks, it‘s questionable if we ever did. The duplicity of the NDP, having been commandeered by blatant opportunists, has never been so glaringly displayed as it has during the latest act of depravity by international criminals. The Layton gang should have been at the forefront of those protests representing not only their supporters, but all Canadians who are horrified by the brutal excesses of the Israeli regime. Instead we were provided with a spineless official statement, and acquiescent silence ever since.  At a time when movements around the world are mobilized against this naked agression, and Canada's unions are speaking out forcefully, the question we need to ask ourselves is where are the NDP and what the fuck is wrong with them?

Fidel

Why would provincial premiers involve themselves in an international matter? Why doesnt Gary Doer just renogiate NAFTA while he's at it?

I think the reason you're not reading or hearing much on Gaza from Canada's political parties is because federal Parliament was shutdown over a month ago. Steve Harper wasnt quite ready to actually show up for work this soon just weeks after spending $300 million taxpayer dollars on an election. 

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
I think the reason you're not reading or hearing much on Gaza from Canada's political parties is because federal Parliament was shutdown over a month ago. 

Yeah, that's gotta be it.  How's the Very Berry flavour, I hear it's divine?

thorin_bane

I am also pissed at this. A statment that is neutral is the best this country can come up with, disgusting. Sven Robinson did some very good as an MP for Palestinians but he was blasted in the media for it. That might be the reason our present MPs have lost all calcium in their spine.

Unionist

Amir Khadir, elected MNA for Mercier, and Françoise David, the two co-leaders of Québec solidaire, have been at the forefront of the massive demonstrations here.

Also, as martin reported, Monique Richard, PQ MNA for Marguerite-d'Youville and president of the party, gave a rousing speech at yesterday's march.

I can't say what your problem is in the rest of Canada. As Fidel points out, maybe the good politicians have simply become pro-rogue.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Write to the NDP. Demand that they do better.

"Layton, Jack - M.P." <[email protected]>
"Paul Dewar - M.P." <[email protected]> (Foreign Affairs Critic)
"Thomas Mulclair - M.P." <[email protected]> (Deputy Leader)

D V

"In defining itself as "progressive," rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist and pro-labour stance."

That's from babblepolicy. Why is "anti-Israel" not part of that?  I've mostly shied away from consulting this forum for the past few weeks, for when I looked, it was worse than I thought.  

I'm curious, as someone aghast at how militarized Israel has become, as too many there have felt they have had to become;  I'm curious how being anti-destruction of Hamas weaponry & means to kill Israelis squares with the babblepolicy?  The Gaza government is superior to Israel's in any of the babblestance aspects?!?!

I think I grasp the roots of leftist antipathy to what must once have been a socialist darling for many of them.  I think it appalling and counterproductive that Israel has accepted too close an embrace of its supposed main international benefactor.  But I from afar keep from expressing too loudly.  And even with your overarching babblestance adhesion, you should be circumspect about your condemnations.  It will be hard for me to recover the taste for consulting babble and contributing here.

Cueball Cueball's picture

D V wrote:

I think I grasp the roots of leftist antipathy to what must once have been a socialist darling for many of them. I think it appalling and counterproductive that Israel has accepted too close an embrace of its supposed main international benefactor. But I from afar keep from expressing too loudly. And even with your overarching babblestance adhesion, you should be circumspect about your condemnations. It will be hard for me to recover the taste for consulting babble and contributing here.

I think it would be really wonderful if Israel decided to distance itself from the agenda of its primary benefactor, the USA, by refusing US aid. Self-sanctions would be great. Better yet, they could just stop murdering people in Gaza. Had they stuck to the latter policy, most people would never have noticed the little fly speck called Gaza.

As my Serbian workmate says, if we were doing this, they would call it genocide... and oh yeah, he think Israel is doing the right thing. He is mostly just impressed with the hypocrisy.

martin dufresne

It isn't just Babble unfortunately. Many internet distribution list owners that claim to be progressive and "concerned" systematically reject posts about the Gaza horror, aparently fearful of Zionist posters that immediately unleash "righteous" anger at critical posts, if not Zionist themselves.

It seems that the only posts that are sometimes tolerated - and effusively applauded - are those I could characterize as those of "good progressive Jews saying/doing the right thing." At the Montreal demo, I was embarrassed that a few concerned Jews critical of Israel were given much more time at the microphone than the voices of Palestinians themselves, reduced to shouts from the back of the crowd listening to liberal, carefully-worded statements about the need to put down weapons, for instance...

And yet the notion of the diaspora's accountability for its institutions' general support for Israel government's politic was haughtily rejected even here, with the distinction between Jews and Israel forcefully restated. A double standard - where accountability can only be discussed when it makes Jews look good?

I myself stay up nights distributing such "good Jews" posts - to break the Zionist deadlock on mainstream and allegedly progressive media -, but it anguishes me to know that I am feeding this other problem.

Difficult issue.

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

And yet the notion of the diaspora's accountability for its institutions' general support for Israel government's politic was haughtily rejected even here, with the distinction between Jews and Israel forcefully restated. A double standard - where accountability can only be discussed when it makes Jews look good?

Israel and its backers say, "Israel represents the Jewish people."

Jews stand up and say, "No it doesn't!"

Where did you see a double standard, exactly?

If you don't think anti-Israel Jews need to be given an inordinate amount of space in Canada, today, right now, then I think only B'nai B'rith will be happy.

This isn't a double standard. It's an irony of life. No, the Jewish people cannot be blamed for Israel's crimes. And yes, the Jews who vocally condemn Israel do play a vital role in combatting imperialist and Zionist propaganda.

Hoodeet

Thanks, Unionist.

M. Dufresne's implication that the prominent position of Jewish activists reflects the Zionist control of the media is contradictory.  As Unionist points out, B'Nai B'rith and every pro-Zionist organization are, ironically, happy to see critical Jews show themselves publicly as "traitors". to be denounced as self-hating Jews.

 M. Dufresne might think analogically:  Just as with Roman Catholics (or any Christian) with their own church's politics, it takes courage to take on the Jewish establishment, which is dominated by the "Eretz Israel right or wrong" believers, and it's a challenge to deconstruct the message of the hand-wringing liberals who support Israel's actions and call at the same time for more humanitarian aid to Gaza. 

See Gideon Levy's article in Haaretz,

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/10-4

Lord Palmerston

I didn't see any politicians at the rally in Toronto, unless you count Sid Ryan.

As for Jews speaking out against Israeli policies, the sit-in by eight Jewish women was very effective, I think.  

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

Why would provincial premiers involve themselves in an international matter? Why doesnt Gary Doer just renogiate NAFTA while he's at it?

Winnipeg also has three NDP MPs, and rural Manitoba has a fourth.  I would say that they are also being silent, but two of those MPs are known to strongly support Israel and like to attend celebrations of the theft of Palestinian land.  The others have been silent on the issue.

And Gary Doer does involve himself in international matters by strongly supporting militarism.  He supports the war in Afghanistan, those red fridays campaigns, put a yellow ribbon garden in front of the legislature, and partnered with Sears, Rona and Wal-Mart to put yellow ribbons in schools.

And if provincial politicians don't involve themselves in international matters, why do they go to pro-Israel rallies?

lagatta

PAJU (Palestinians and Jews United) certainly doesn't set out to silence Palestinian or other Arab voices. I agree that Palestinians, and other people such as Lebanese who have been subjected to Israeli violence of late, should certainly have far more airtime. But it is also important to hear from Jews opposed to the Gaza offensive/warcrime, and in many cases to Zionism itself, so as to break the Zionist's pretention of speaking for the "Jewish community" as a whole and draping their murders and spoliation in the cloak of the dead of the Shoah.

By the way, the head of the Québec-Israel committe, Luciano del Negro, just happens to be the husband of Liberal MP Marlene Jennings... Just saying...

He said we (the coalition for Palestine, including the major trade unions and social movements here) were "morally bankrupt". In a younger day, Del Negro was a leftist, belonged to an immigrant workers' association and worked with the CSN on promoting the organisation of immigrant workers and more staff of immigrant origins within the labour movement itself.

Quoting article in Le Devoir, 10 janvier 2009:

"Le Comité Québec-Israël n’a pas tardé à réagir, dénonçant « la faillite morale » de la coalition formée par des syndicats, des ONG et Québec solidaire « avec des éléments des Frères musulmans dont est issu le Hamas ». Par voie de communiqué, le groupe a soutenu que « la coalition se garde bien de manifester la moindre empathie pour les hommes, les femmes et les enfants israéliens contraints de se terrer plusieurs fois par jour depuis des années dans des abris antibombes ».

« Par leur mutisme sur les crimes de guerre du Hamas, tant à l’endroit des Israéliens que des Palestiniens, a ajouté le directeur général du Comité Québec-Israël, Luciano G. Del Negro, ces syndicats et Québec solidaire trahissent la tradition humaniste du mouvement syndical et de la gauche démocratique et se font, une fois de plus, comme avec le Hezbollah en 2006, les alliés objectifs d’une organisation djihadiste qui cible délibérément les civils israéliens et réduit cyniquement la population palestinienne à des boucliers humains. »

Del Negro is, of course, the real traitor here. Not the only one, alas.

Unionist

Martin:

1. Please don't veer too close to the "Jews support Israel and are collectively responsible for its crimes" cliff. Please.

2. Your analogy about pro-feminist men displacing feminist women's voices is way way off. The problem there is that men having more voice than women is a very part of the oppression of women. Are you saying that Jews having too much voice with respect to Arabs (or Muslims or whatever) is part of the Palestine problem? If so, please return to item #1.

3. Are you comfortable with the MSM portraying the powerful mass demos in Canada as being "mostly Palestinians" or "mostly Muslims", or whatever - thus trying to marginalize them - at a time when the official representatives of Canadian society are almost unanimously supporting Israel? Do you truly not see the vital importance of non-Arabs being given as much space as possible to counter this marginalization? Do you think Palestinian Canadians resent or feel sidelined by the occasional rare Jew (or other) who boldly steps forward in public to proclaim support for their cause?

In short - do you think Amir Khadir (a non-Arab) is being given too much space also?

Please entertain the possiblity that you may be wrong on this one issue. We need Jews in front of cameras and behind microphones denouncing the evils of Israel. This is so obvious that I can't actually believe it's being questioned.

martin dufresne

"M. Dufresne's implication that the prominent position of Jewish activists reflects the Zionist control of the media..."

I am not sure what Hoodeet means by "Jewish activists". Those critical of Israel's politic?Or those supportive of it? Or all. At any rate, there was no such implication in my post.

I am thinking analogically about this issue of "inordinate" representation of "moral icons" from oppressor groups in activist events. The same problem occurs with profeminist men given the red treatment carpet in order to try and break through the dominant antifeminist discourse.When that occurs and I am given a tribune, I try to offset that by acknowledging our collective responsibility for the worst goings-on and progressives' impotence, not denying it with "not I" or parcellary good news or marginal good words. It seems to me that Helen Deutsch's open letter, posted this morning in another thread, addresses this.

The ethical issue seems to turn on taking or not responsibility for what is indeed done in our interest "as men" or, in this case, "as Jews". Speaking up and confronting our respective establishments is acting responsibly, but insisting on the us/them distinction when crirticism finally comes to bear on a collective behaviour (Israel poliricians are overwhelmingly elected by Israel Jews and financed/vindicated by diasporic Jews, are they not?) - and letting liberals use us to displace the voices of the oppressed - is problematic in my view.

martin dufresne

Unionist, I think we can consider various problems simultaneously.

 

"Are you saying that Jews having too much voice with respect to Arabs (or Muslims or whatever) is part of the Palestine problem?"

I didn't but - from experience confronting listserv owners and the MSM - I think that is part of the silencing of Palestinian voices, yes. And I am not throwing Jews down any "cliff" by saying so, when many dissident Jews are in fact saying the same thing.

And yes, I am well aware - as always - that I could be in the wrong. I just don't think my comparison with pro-feminist men was that way off.

lagatta

Yes, absolutely. We need Jews speaking out against this, and being encouraged to do so - some of the people I know (or knew, sadly Lilan Robinson has died) in PAJU and what is now Independent Jewish Voices/Voix juives indépendantes received death threats and messages of extreme vulgarity for their stance.

We also need more access to media for people of Palestinian and other Arab/Middle Eastern origins.

And basically, everyone we can get who takes the time and has the courage to get involved.

Cripes, was it ever cold yesterday...

Unionist

I kind of knew you'd comment on that one sentence of mine, martin - it wasn't what I meant. How about the rest? Should Amir Khadir back off? Are too many men speaking out? When anti-Jewish attacks take place on synagogues or cemeteries or schools in Canada, wouldn't it be nice if someone other than the BB or CJC spoke out? What is the merit in every "group" being the most vocal in defending "itself", when the key to winning is solidarity?

Here's my point: Both Arabs and anti-Zionist Jews (and others) have their voices excluded from the public forum. It is wrong to think that the exclusion of one is because of the other being given too much space. As lagatta says, we need to hear much more of both.

Doug

If you're an MP and you don't have to touch the issue, there's little to be gained by doing so since whatever you say, you'll be pissing someone off.

martin dufresne

So there have to be more of us telling them, as publicly as possible, that their silence - or worse, their pro-Israel quips - are terribly pissing us off!

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

True, Doug. But then there are political leaders and would-be political leaders. And what lesson should we take from their silence or weak statements? Or, in otherwords, if they are unwilling to stand up to criticism today, for doing and/or saying the right thing, why should anyone believe they would be prepared to take such a stand tomorrow when they have political power and it really matters?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I can't comment about the Canadian situation, but in Britain, the 4000 pro-Israeli 'pro-peace' protest in London received equal media coverage as the 200 000-person demonstration (as well as several more hundred-thousand-large protests across the nation).

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
Canada's nominal left-wing party, the New Democratic Party or NDP, has remained all but silent on the Israeli blitzkrieg in Gaza. On Dec. 29 it issued a brief statement, which made a pro forma appeal for an end to all hostilities and failed to condemn the Israeli attack on Gaza. The NDP, it should be recalled, recently repudiated its demand for the immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan in the hopes of forming a coalition government with the big business Liberals.

[url=Source[/url]">http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jan2009/cana-j10.shtml][color=mediumbl...

ceti ceti's picture

I look at this way. It used to often take white actors in films about anti-colonial, anti-slavery struggles to bring the stories of non-white peoples to a mainstream North American audience. That's where the irony lies. However it is especially vital for Jewish voices to criticize Israel to break the monopoly on public opinion that Zionists want to project.

Interestingly, Chavez called on Jews around the world to protest Israel's actions. He also called on Israelis to revolt against their state, although I think his optimism in human nature is belied by how small and powerless the peace camp has become. Still, they play a vital part -- especially in rescuing the soul of a nation.

Unionist

I have always believed that the U.S. was militarily defeated by the Vietnamese people in the 60s-70s. But the U.S. voices against aggression were heard far more loudly, and powerfully, all across the world than those of any Vietnamese activists. Did that harm the anti-U.S. effort? Quite the opposite.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Part of the problem, of course, is that this entire issue is a quagmire for anyone in general and any politician in particular.

 

It is very hard to see how any reasonable person could see the IDF incursion into Gaza as anything other than a grossly disproportional response.  Unfortunately, any comment to this effect tends to be seen as supporting Hamas's actions in firing rockets at Israeli communities.  Certainly these two sets of actions are different in degree, but they are not different in kind.  Any attempt to speak of this with any nuance tends to result in one being demonized by both sides.

 

There is also the tendency, in the North American media at least, to treat any criticism of Israel or Israeli policy as pure anti-Semitism.  To some degree, this explains why the few voices who can get a hearing are Jews, since it is sufficiently counterintuitive to accuse a Jew of anti-Semitism.  This is complicated by the simple fact that SOME criticism of Israel IS pure anti-Semitism.  And legitimate criticism of the mainstream media's universal pro-Israel bias has a cursory resemblance to older "Jewish conspiracy" anti-Semitic rhetoric.

 

The irony is that it is probably easier for an Israeli politician to be critical of Israeli policy than for the average North American politician be s/he left, right or centre.  Add in the fact that an 8-second sound bite provides precious little time for nuance, and it is hardly remarkable that all but the most reactionary and uncritically pro-Israel politicians want to avoid this issue like the plague.

 

(I'm not saying that's right.  I' just looking at the facts underlying the behaviour.)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=The">http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2009/01/pilger-israel-gaza-pales... silence of the Western intellectuals[/url]

Quote:
"When the truth is replaced by silence," the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie." It may appear that the silence on Gaza is broken. The small cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green, together with boxes containing their dismembered parents, and the cries of grief and rage of everyone in that death camp by the sea can be witnessed on al-Jazeera and YouTube, even glimpsed on the BBC. But Russia's incorrigible poet was not referring to the ephemera we call news; he was asking why those who knew the why never spoke it, and so denied it. Among the Anglo-American intelligentsia, this is especially striking. It is they who hold the keys to the great storehouses of knowledge: the historiographies and archives that lead us to the why.

They know that the horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas or, absurdly, "Israel's right to exist". They know the opposite to be true: that Palestine's right to exist was cancelled 61 years ago and that the expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was planned and executed by the founders of Israel.

- John Pilger 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

That wasn't what I was intending to suggest, and I'm sorry if it came across that way.  My point was merely that a Jewish critic of Israeli policy is significantly less likely to be accused of anti-Semtism than a non-Jewish critic.  This seems to be fairly consistent from what I've seen.  (Not that there have not been Jewish critics - ironically including Holocaust survivors - who've nonetheless been so accused.)

 

I think it is important for any critic to speak frankly about the grossly disproportional response - ideally without offering justifications for the Hamas missile attacks.  It is also important, in terms of advancing the issue, that the criticisms of Israeli policy are carefully framed to avoid unintended echoes of anti-Semitic rhetoric from previous generations.  There's no logic in playing to the weak side.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Funny, I don't recall the babblers who criticize the government of Zimbabwe tying themselves into knots to avoid being accused of anti-black racism.

Nor do I recall the soul-searching over racial bigotry when it came time to criticize China over Tibet.

And babblers who denounce the government of Sudan don't have to endure lectures about how their criticisms might be mistaken for "islamophobia". 

Yet somehow when it comes to the crimes of Israel we have to make sure our criticisms are "carefully framed" so as to avoid an appearance of anti-semitism. Israel, above all other nations, is supposed to get the kid gloves treatment. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Malcolm wrote:

I think it is important for any critic to speak frankly about the grossly disproportional response - ideally without offering justifications for the Hamas missile attacks.

Only those who implicitly accept the Israeli narrative seek to frame this genocidal attack by Israel as a "response" to some sort of provocation, and then debate about whether it is "proportional" or not. As if there is a level of military "response" by Israel that would be "proportional" - and therefore acceptable - to the chickenshit "left". Read John Pilger's article I linked to above.

As for the "Hamas missile attacks" - I have no hesitation to say they are a justifiable response to the oppression, violence, and imprisonment inflicted on them by Israel for decades. Unlike you, I think it is important to make people understand that.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The difference, of course, is that there is no political and media establishment quick to label any criticism of Zimbabwean policy as anti-black racism.  Neither is there a political and media establishment quick to label any criticism of Chinese policy as racial bigotry.  Nor any political and media establishment quick to label any criticism of Sudanese policy as Islamophobia.

 

There is a significan political and media establishment quick to label any criticism of Israeli policy - no matter how mild, no matter how nuanced - as anti-Semitism.

 

I fail to see how it helps to ignore that.  It certainly doesn't help to play into their hands.

Unionist

You're right, Malcolm. Leave it to us Jews. We're on safer ground.

Bubbles

So you are perpetuating the lies.

Unionist

Let's say we agree, Malcolm, that it is important not to play into the hands of those powerful forces who work hard to connect criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

That would explain federal politicians exercising caution, and explaining things carefully, when they do their human and political duty of condemning war crimes and demanding that Israel observe international law and the norms of simple justice.

It would not explain their virtually complete silence.

So, something else is going on here, and I think it's exactly the same interests that underly support for, or waffling about, the Afghan "mission", even when most Canadians want out. It's a matter of imperial interest and in part subordination to U.S. policy, for self-serving aims. Those interests explain a lot of seemingly disparate and paradoxical policies.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
It would not explain their virtually complete silence.  So, something else is going on here, and I think it's exactly the same interests that underly support for, or waffling about, the Afghan "mission", even when most Canadians want out. It's a matter of imperial interest and in part subordination to U.S. policy, for self-serving aims. Those interests explain a lot of seemingly disparate and paradoxical policies.

As I understood it, from listening to presentations on strategic planning for the five, ten and twenty year horizons, the efforts of the Canadian Military in recent years towards "transformation" into more mobile, more lethal, and globally transportable niche capabilities, which were intended to augment American military hegemony, was given the highest priority. New technologies would be explored to take full advantage of networking all aspects of the battle space so that we could play our part in the netcentric warfare that was seen as necessary when conducting full spectrum operations as envisioned in the three block war concept. The blatantly stated purpose of the entire effort, apart from modernization and a desire to fully integrate and participate in areas of common interest with technologically advanced allies, was to provide credibility to our senior brass and politicians around international tables, and more specifically, tables to the south.  But then perhaps it isn't soley about impressing American powerbrokers as much as it is our own masculine desire to identify with the forces of 'good,' as Michael Nenonen outlines in his article below.  In the context of Gaza, even the simple act of voicing the slightest meaningful concern regarding the slaughter of innocent civilians might be considered as contradicting those forces.  If it starts there, where does it end.

Canada’s Mythological Mission in Afghanistan

"The more I listen to Canadian government’s rationales for continuing the combat mission, the more I wonder if they even care whether or not the mission succeeds. While they give some lip service to the supposedly good work that Canadian forces are doing to rebuild Afghanistan..........this rationale seems to matter less than a dogged determination to demonstrate that Canada’s military is tough enough to see the occupation through to the end, regardless of whether that end is bitter or sweet. If so, then this mission isn’t really about Afghanistan at all, nor, perhaps, is it primarily about currying favour with the American government."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Please tell Libby Davies that unless she quits the party or speaks out against its horrible position on Gaza, she will not be able to escape being associated with that position. Speaking at the rally would have given her that opportunity. 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

That's interesting about Libby Davies. My bet is that Bill Siksay feels much the same. He is the only MP from the NDP who tried to apologize for their party's support in boycotting the next round of UN anti-racism discussions (dubbed Durban II by the right wing).

I went to see what the BQ had to say. Their statement is in French, but it sounds far more hard hitting that what I heard from the Paul Dewar or Bob Rae:

Quote:

Gaza : Harper doit faire sienne la résolution de l’ONU et adopter une approche plus équilibrée

Ottawa,
vendredi 9 janvier 2009 – Le porte-parole du Bloc Québécois en matière
d’Affaires étrangères et député de
Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, Paul Crête,
demande au premier ministre du Canada, Stephen Harper, d’adopter une
approche plus équilibrée en rapport au conflit dans la bande de Gaza,
approche qui respecte toutes les dispositions de la résolution adoptée
par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies.

« Le décret d’un cessez-le-feu est urgent pour mettre fin aux
souffrances des populations civiles et il doit constituer une priorité
absolue. Le conflit a déjà fait plus de 750 morts et 3000 blessés et le
bilan s’alourdit d’heure en heure. C’est un drame épouvantable. Le
gouvernement canadien doit absolument se joindre aux pays qui
travaillent afin d’identifier les conditions permettant un
cessez-le-feu immédiat et durable menant au retrait complet des troupes
israéliennes de la bande de Gaza », a lancé Paul Crête.

« Stephen Harper doit prendre position afin que cessent toutes les
violences à l’endroit des populations civiles. Il est clair que les
tirs de roquettes sur le territoire israélien doivent cesser, mais il
faut dénoncer du même souffle la réplique de l’armée israélienne, qui
est disproportionnée et inacceptable. Le gouvernement canadien doit
également travailler pour faire en sorte que l’aide humanitaire soit
dispensée sur l’ensemble du territoire de la bande de Gaza, et ce, sans
restriction », a poursuivi le député de
Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

Le porte-parole du Bloc Québécois a enfin rappelé que le Bloc
Québécois milite depuis longtemps pour favoriser la mise en place des
conditions qui permettront une paix durable entre les peuples
palestinien et israélien. « Dans l’immédiat, il est nécessaire
d’envoyer au plus tôt une force d’interposition qui veillera à la
protection des populations civiles et à l’acheminement de l’aide
humanitaire. Le Canada doit incidemment apporter une contribution
supplémentaire en termes d’aide humanitaire afin de pallier l’ampleur
de la situation. À plus long terme, un règlement pacifique passe
toutefois par la fin de l’occupation militaire et la fin des colonies
en territoire occupé, un règlement satisfaisant pour toutes les parties
concernant autant l’annexion de Jérusalem-Est que la question des
réfugiés, ainsi qu’un règlement global qui reconnaît à Israël le droit
d’exister à l’intérieur de frontières sûres et reconnues tout en
assurant la création d’un État palestinien indépendant et viable », a
conclu Paul Crête.

http://www.blocquebecois.org/fr/manchette_detail.asp?ID=9926287

I'm wandering if the IDF has a magic cut-off number for casualties. News reports tonight suggested that their assault in Gaza is almost complete. Are they trying to ensure that the death count doesn't reach 1,000? Is there some concept of too much blood on their hands or do they recognize that more than ever, people around the globe are reacting to their aggression with the same anger and dismay they displayed for the US and their invasion of Iraq.

 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
Please tell Libby Davies that unless she quits the party or speaks out against its horrible position on Gaza, she will not be able to escape being associated with that position.  
 

Have any of the politically neutral newspapers contacted the NDP or anyone else for a statement on any subject matter at all recently?

 Have there been any news stories about how Harper just finished spending $300 million taxpayer dollars on an election, and now he's nowhere to be found on the actual job site?

Did the NDP attend a pro-Israeli army rally recently we werent aware of?

In case anyone hasnt noticed, we have no federal government in Ottawa right now. The Harpers are AWOL and not commenting on so much as the weather on parliament hill.

What are we paying those idiots to do besides nothing? If you dont like non-government, then support the large majority in coalition trying to give Harper the ol' heave-ho! 

Quote:
January 4

In a rally in Windsor, Ont., NDP MP Brian Masse called on the Canadian government to put pressure on Israel to end the violence in Gaza, criticizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s response to the crisis as the crowd applauded and responded with chants of “Shame, shame.”

But the government isnt doing anything. The Harpers arent even at work where they're supposed to be.

Canada is a ship without a rudder, a Northern Puerto Rico with a few polar bears and increasing numbers of homeless people, sky-high rates of child poverty and prolific exporters of fossil fuels and total energy to an imperial master nation south of the border 

 

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
Did the NDP attend a pro-Israeli army rally recently we werent aware of?

Actually, yes

Winnipeg Free Press wrote:

Provincial Justice minister Dave Chomiak, Kildonan-St. Paul MP Joy
Smith, Winnipeg South Centre MP Anita Neville, Tuxedo MLA Heather
Stefanson, provincial water stewardship minister Christine Melnick, and
Toews all attended the “Stand with Israel” event.

And last summer:

Canadian Jewish News wrote:

A multicultural concert celebrating
Israel’s 60th Anniversary put on by the Manitoba-Israel Shared Values
Roundtable was attended by more than 900 people of many different
faiths and backgrounds at Winnipeg’s Pantages Theatre.

The Shared Values Roundtable is a group that was initiated by
Christine Melnick, below left, Manitoba’s NDP minister of water
stewardship, and the late Harold Buchwald, a leading member of the
Jewish community.

“Our group recognizes that the people of the Manitoba and Israel
share many important values, such as belief in a democratic system of
government, respect for freedom of speech and human rights, and
commitments to public health care, public childcare and education,”
said Melnick, who has been to Israel a number of times.

“Manitobans and Israelis have a strong commitment to family and
community and believe that high literacy rates and public services are
important building blocks that form the foundation of a society that
honours freedom of opinion and values differences” she added.

The Sept. 14 concert, which was dedicated to Buchwald, featured
eight top-notch performances from a number of ethnic communities.

One of the first guests to give greetings was Darlene Dziewit,
president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour
, who said she had
experienced “a transforming visit to Israel.”

“It is important to see that in Manitoba, [unlike other provinces,
where labour federations have supported boycotting Israel], people who
identify with the left politically are also supporters of Israel,”
Melnick said.

NDP member of Parliament Judy Wasylycia-Leis, (Winnipeg-North) gave
greetings and said how exciting it was for her to be in Israel in May
for its 60th anniversary celebrations. She noted that Pat Martin,
another NDP MP (for Winnipeg Centre) was present at the event.

The first half of the Shared Values concert featured the music of
Hinode Taiko, a drumming group, as well as dances by the India School
of Dance Music and Theatre, and the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.

Manitoba Justice Minister David Chomiak, who attended the event, said he is “a big supporter of Israel.”

He added: “I was one of the Ukrainian kids who used to dance with Rusalka. I wasn’t that good. I was in the back row.”

The concert also featured an amazing hoop dance by First Nations
dancer Brian Cline, accompanied with vocals and drums by Ray Stevensen.
Cline was introduced by former Assembly of First Nations chief Ovid
Mercredi, from the Grand Rapids First nations, who has also been to
Israel several times on missions with the Jewish National Fund.

About 200 members of First Nations communities from northern
Manitoba, Northern Ontario and Saskatchewan came to Winnipeg for the
event.

“Many First Nations people have a real connection to Israel because
of the things that we [the First Nations and the Jewish People have]
suffered. Israelis have a love for the land and we also have a love for
the land,” said Linda Mavsilar, a Christian member of a First Nations
community in Saskatchewan.

“It is our intention to grow the Manitoba-Israel Shared Values
Roundtable, and attract members of different faiths and communities,”
said Sharon Blady, an NDP MLA for Kirkfield Park.

Andrew Swan, the province’s minister of competitiveness, training
and trade, also gave greetings and said that Manitoba, can learn a lot
from Israel’s experience “of being able to take in one million
immigrants from the former Soviet Union.”

And after careful calculations, I have figured the number of NDP politicians to attend pro-Palestinian events in Winnipeg to be, lets see here, carry the two, multiply by pi, take the square root, exactly zero

All we have is a wholly inadequate wishy-washy statement coming out of the federal party and a few MPs who toe the party line.

Fidel wrote:
In case anyone hasnt noticed, we have no federal government in Ottawa right now. The Harpers are AWOL and not commenting on so much as the weather on parliament hill.

But somehow that doesn't stop Harper and Ignatieff's dick-waving contest over who can support Israel the most, yet it prevents any NDPer at any level from giving a clear statement about what is going on?

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
Did the NDP attend a pro-Israeli army rally recently we werent aware of?

Actually, yes

Winnipeg Free Press wrote:

Provincial Justice minister Dave Chomiak, Kildonan-St. Paul MP Joy Smith, Winnipeg South Centre MP Anita Neville, Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson, provincial water stewardship minister Christine Melnick, and Toews all attended the “Stand with Israel” event.

You've actually quoted something from "BloggingFucktardsOnTheRight" Where's the actual source?  

Quote:
But somehow that doesn't stop Harper and Ignatieff's dick-waving contest over who can support Israel the most, yet it prevents any NDPer at any level from giving a clear statement about what is going on?

You can always go plant yourself in the middle of Gaza and report back to Reuters or AP on what's going on. Because it doesnt look like the Harpers are even interested in opening established federal government lines of communication with the Israelis. In fact, the Harpers are not doing their damn jobs period.

 And dont forget to bring a camera.

Jack Layton's statement on the situation in the Middle East is the most balanced and impartial by comparison.

Unlike the two Washington lap dogs, Layton doesnt say anything about "Israel's right to defend itself"

Cueball Cueball's picture

It's garbage.

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
You've actually quoted something from "BloggingFucktardsOnTheRight" Where's the actual source?  

I realize corporate media generally sucks, but why would the largest newspaper in Manitoba falsely claim that certain politicians showed up to an event?  How are we supposed to discuss current events if we can't even quote newspapers?  Have you ever quoted a newspaper or a tv station on this site?

Face it, they were there.  Do you have any reason to believe otherwise?  Are you their secret alibi?

Fidel wrote:

You can always go plant yourself in the middle of Gaza and report back to Reuters or AP on what's going on...

And dont forget to bring a camera.

I can't afford it.  I already spent all my money on plane tickets to Sweden and various Latin American countries the last few times you told me to leave the country.

Fidel wrote:

Jack Layton's statement on the situation in the Middle East is the most balanced and impartial by comparison.

Unlike the two Washington lap dogs, Layton doesnt say anything about "Israel's right to defend itself"

It's better than the other two, but it says nothing about the blockade, nothing about the occupation, and nothing about the Palestinian right to self-determination.  And it doesn't out and out condemn the bombings either.

Fidel

Perhaps you missed the part where Layton said:

"The CONTINUING AIRSTRIKES by Israel on civilians in the Gaza strip .... are serving to compound the existing civilian disaster and further HARM chances for a negotiated PEACE."

And,

"We call on the Government of Canada to immediately call for an END to the AERIAL BOMBING OF GAZA, the BLOCKADE of aid to civilians and the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel."

And,

"The Government of Canada should also work to ensure that MEDICAL AND FOOD AID is provided to the civilians of GAZA through U.N. agencies. . ."

So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Unionist

It's kind of pointless to argue with Fidel about this.

The only hope for the NDP to take a consistent and decent stand on the Middle East is to apply the same pressure which resulted in the NDP's call for withdrawal from Afghanistan - which came in September 2006, almost 5 years after the invasion. That pressure needs to come from the members and activists. Even then, the waffling and backsliding will continue, but what is life if not struggle?

madmax

Exactly what do you think the Canadian government can do regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The answer is not one damn thing, whether it is left or right. 

The rocket attacks will continue.

The IDF will attack any facility or unarmed peacemaker if it believes it is for the security of Israel.

There is only one country which can have an influence on Israeli actions, and I don't expect there to be a significant change, that alters the Israeli actions. Nor is there anything the US could do to stop the rocket attacks.

I have heard that these rockets are a cry for help....

But no help will be coming, and even a United Canadian position will not change this fact.

Let alone that Canada has no enforcement capability nor any credibility with Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

lagatta

madmax, I guess we might as well take that sleeping-pill overdose then? That is ridiculously defeatist. If the European Union and Canada were more forthright about defending Palestinian rights and lives, the US would be far more hard-pressed to back Israel unconditionally. Russia and China could also bring considerable influence to bear.

It is our duty to do what we can to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against these war crimes.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

We could start by following the lead of Venezuela and expelling the Israeli ambassador.

Joel_Goldenberg

M. Spector wrote:

We could start by following the lead of Venezuela and expelling the Israeli ambassador.

 

That's far from likely. I pointed out on the Gaza Part VI thread that Canada cast the sole opposing vote to a UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning Israel.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/featuredCrisis/idUSLC328353

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