[R-G] The contest heats up: who's more unquestioningly pro-Israel, Liberals or Conservatives?
shniad at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 12:44:13 MST 2009
Nov 18 2009
Liberals say Tory flyers accuse them of anti-Semitism
Taxpayer-funded letters to ridings with large Jewish communities 'false' and
an abuse of privilege, MPs say
*Richard J. Brennan *OTTAWA BUREAU
OTTAWA – Angry Liberals accused the Conservative government of reaching a
new political low by circulating flyers accusing the Grits of being
The "scandalous" flyers, endorsed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and which
target ridings with large Jewish communities, accuse the Liberals of
participating in an anti-Semitic conference in Durban, supporting terrorist
groups Hamas and Hezbollah and specifically go after Liberal Leader Michael
Ignatieff for accusing Israel of committing war crimes.
"It is the lowest that I have seen in all of my experience on Parliament
Hill .... Nobody could have ever imagined that the Prime Minister of Canada
and a Conservative Party could stoop this low. It's the worst of the worst,"
Toronto Liberal MP Joe Volpe (Eglinton-Lawrence) told reporters Wednesday.
The one-page flyer, known on Parliament Hill as a "10 per center" for the
rule that allows them to be mailed outside an MP's riding, contrasts what it
says are the Conservative and Liberal records on global anti-Semitism,
Israel and Hamas.
Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, himself a Jew, was visibly shaken by the
flyer that went to his Mount Royal riding as well as Volpe's riding, Liberal
MP Anita Neville's Winnipeg South Centre riding, Liberal MP Bernard Patry's
Pierrefonds-Dollard riding and NDP MP Thomas Mulcair's Montreal riding of
"This is totally misleading, it's false ... and it basically seeks to
associate the Liberal Party with anti-Semitism. This is shocking ... this
has no place in Canadian politics," Cotler said.
The former Liberal attorney general noted it was a Liberal government in
2002 that banned financial support to Hamas and Hezbollah.
"Let the facts show ... that it was the Liberal Party in 2002 ... (that)
listed Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. This notion that we
somehow sought the delisting of Hezbollah or somehow (we are) indulging
terrorism is a scandalous misrepresentation," Cotler said.
The reference to Durban, the controversial UN World Conference against
Racism held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8, 2001, in Durban, South Africa, which
provided a platform for anti-Israeli sentiment, is also misleading, the
Cotler said he went to Durban 1 as an observer and noted that the
then-Israeli government specifically asked Canada to remain at the
conference "and make its voice felt and bear witness to what was happening."
He described the Tory flyer as a "scandalous misrepresentation" of the
Cotler said Ignatieff did accuse Israel of committing war crimes in one
instance during the 2006 conflict in Lebanon but later publicly apologized.
Volpe described the flyer as the most "egregious example of
misrepresentation of facts that I have seen in all the years I've served in
"For the prime minster of Canada to call the member form Mount Royal, Irwin
Cotler, an anti-Semite, is an indication of how low he will stoop to drive a
wedge in Canadian society," he said.
"This goes beyond the pale of politics, this is an abuse of privilege and
... I will call I what it is, it's a lie ... this stuff is scurrilous."
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