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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 12, 2003

Inside Canada

The Toronto Star ran an article today [January 12], that gave a fairly good summary of the position of Canada’s parties vis-a-vis Israel. Selected paragraphs read as follows:

Jean Chrétien's Liberal government has annoyed the Israelis with its criticism of the expansion of the settlements. And until very recently, Canada distinguished between the humanitarian activities of Hezbollah and its support for terrorism...

As Canadian Alliance foreign affairs critic, Stockwell Day has taken a clear, unqualified stance in support of Israel and its policies. "There is a country which is an island of democracy in a sea of dictatorships and they are being besieged," he said recently. "I am going to tend to speak for them." ...

For years, the NDP has been a vociferous critic of the harsh treatment of Palestinians by the government of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza — a useful contribution to the political debate, and well within the Canadian consensus on the Middle East.

But the NDP leadership race has given indications that the party has moved beyond that consensus...

At the all-candidates debate in Vancouver, one after another indicated that, as part of a solution to the Middle East conflict, they favour "the right of return": that is, those Palestinians driven from their homes in 1948 should have the right to return to Israel.
To our US readers: the NDP (New Democratic Party) is a Canada’s social-democratic entity that opposed the Gulf War and is violently opposed to a war on Iraq. To say that they represent Arafat in Canada is technically incorrect...

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.