Thomas Mulcair's support for Israel

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Left Turn Left Turn's picture
Thomas Mulcair's support for Israel

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NorthReport

Who else is tired of this BS?

Hunky_Monkey

I am...

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

The following are two articles on Thomas Mulcair's uncritical support for Israel, from Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) and Canadians for Justice and Pece in the Middle East (CJPME). I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in both pieces. I also consider this issue important enough to warrant its own thread.

I would urge any and all NDP members concerned with Justice for the Palestinian people not to rank Mulcair on your NDP leadership ballot.

[url=http://ijvcanada.org/2011/thomas-mulcair-israel-right-or-wrong/]Thomas Mulcair--Israel Right or Wrong (IJV)[/url]

Quote:
It is Mulcair's single-minded support of Israel that has been a major factor behind the NDP's equivocation when it comes to supporting Palestinian human rights and applying international law to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Since his bye-election victory in 2007 in Outremont and his subsequent appointment as deputy NDP leader, he has used his influence in the NDP caucus to stymie Members of Parliament who wanted to support initiatives like the 2006 NDP Policy Resolution on Israel/Palestine, which spoke out against Israeli injustices.

...

Independent Jewish Voices believes that at a time when the Conservatives and Liberals are vying to see who can be more pro-Israeli and when Stephen Harper is tarnishing Canada's reputation by defending every Israeli outrage on the international stage, it is vitally important for the NDP to choose a leader who will support peace, international law and human rights in Israel/Palestine. In our view, Thomas Mulcair's kneejerk support for Israel, regardless of how it behaves, demonstrates that he is not such a leader.

Thomas Mulcair's uncritical support for Israel does not reflect the fundamental values of NDP members in Quebec or in English Canada. We are confident that they will send him that message once they become fully aware of his position.

 

[url=http://www.cjpme.org/DisplayDocument.aspx?DocumentID=2106&SaveMode=0]Thomas Mulcair unaligned with NDP policy on Middle East (CPJME)[/url]

Quote:
NDP leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair's track record indicates that he is not committed to the NDP's long-standing approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Incidents in the leadership campaign and other prior pronouncements indicate that Mulcair holds an unbalanced stance vis-à-vis Israel-Palestine. In candidates' meetings across Canada, Mulcair has answered questions on the Middle East evasively, and has refused to commit to supporting the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the near future. He has also reportedly strong-armed other caucus members into remaining silent while Israel has violated international law and Palestinians' human rights. In a meeting in Montreal in 2008, Mulcair declared his unconditional support for Israel's conduct in these terms: -I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances.
...
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) believes that NDP members should elect a leader committed to the application of international law in the Middle East. CJPME Leader Patricia Jean comments, -New Democrats must consider the candidates' track records on this key foreign policy issue when electing a new leader. As it stands now, the NDP caucus's stances on the Middle East under Mulcair would likely be indistinguishable from those of the Harper government.

Lord Palmerston

A thread about issues rather than the horserace.  Thanks for starting this Left Turn, it's an important issue.  According to CJPME, Mulcair has not come out in support of the Palestinian statehood bid, unlike most of the other leadership candidates.  This certainly gives one reason to believe he is closer to Rae, Harper and Obama on the issue of Israel/Palestine than he is to the rest of the party.  

NorthReport

Issues my ass.

It is just another in the many attempts here to try and smear Mulcair with zero, and I repeat da nada substance.

Why not have some threads about what Canadians really care about such as jobs, etc. instead of this constant silliness. It is obvious here that some posters could care less whether or not the NDP wins the next election, and they just want to bellyache about their latest pet peeve.

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Why not have some threads about what Canadians really care about such as jobs, etc. instead of this constant silliness.

Mulcair cared enough about Israel to publicly freak out against his co-deputy leader of the NDP, because she got entrapped by a video blogger. He cared enough to make his "ardent supporter" statement. He cared enough that when I wrote to him and suggested that he move to get the NDP out of the CPCCA, as the Bloc had just finished doing, he never replied to me - I got a reply from Judy Waszylycia-Leis instead. And the NDP is still there, thanks in no small part to Tom Mulcair.

When you see Harper and Kenney declaring their undying allegiance to Israel - when the war drums are beating over Iran - you actually can say that what Canadians really care about are "jobs, etc."? This is the kind of leadership we should be giving?

If he's running to be Prime Minister - or just party leader - people have a right (actually, a duty) to know where he stands, not only on foreign affairs, but what his most powerful personal and emotional driving forces are. This is far more important than candidates standing up and declaring that they will create jobs (which Harper and Flaherty do quite well also). This issue is very fundamental to Canadian interests - and it's not my words that make it so, it's Mulcair's behaviour.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Yes, when Mulcair made an error over Bin Laden we didn't see Libby asking for him to resign.

Winston

NorthReport wrote:

Who else is tired of this BS?

So tired.

YAWWWWWN!

flight from kamakura

why don't people go to a mulcair event and ask the question of where he stands?  assuming this or that isn't productive.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Past actions speak volumes in my opinion. Mulcair's position on Israel and Palestine makes it impossible for me to support him. Dewar's position on the UN Anti-Racism conference (dubbed Durban II) by the right wing media makes it impossible for me to support him.

I don't believe in personality transplants - long term transformation of views yes but short term no.

Unionist

flight from kamakura wrote:

why don't people go to a mulcair event and ask the question of where he stands?  assuming this or that isn't productive.

Because his positions are on the public record. You're seriously suggesting that people who want to know his views should go to a fashion show where he's squaring off against other candidates? Do I have to go find Vic Toews and interrogate him before I condemn his stand on criminal justice?

We have a progressive Jewish organization and a respected NGO which is the CJPME warning about Mulcair's stand on the Middle East. What are they... secret Peggy Nash or Martin Singh supporters?

The "YAWNERS" here are so interested in the outcome of some interminable race for the leadership of a party that they view everyone else's motives from the same narrow sectarian prism as their own.

 

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

As a Jew, you won't see me line up with Israel without thinking first and asking why the Palestinians are getting such a raw deal. I am not a Zionist, and neither were my parents. When the Combined Jewish Appeal called, my mother would always tell my father (blessed be both their memories), Reevan, bullets for Israel was on the phone. I would listen and laugh. Boy, they hated them.

This thing is a mess, and though I don't believe any NDP leader should be ready to go "Ready, Aye Ready", whenever Jewish Canadians or Israelis demand they do. Notwithstanding, this isn't for me reason enough not to vote for Tom, if he becomes my number one choice. I wish this thing would go away.

Stockholm

dacckon wrote:

Yes, when Mulcair made an error over Bin Laden we didn't see Libby asking for him to resign.

So? Mulcair didn't ask Libbye Davies to resign either. He simply criticized her for making a mistake...since then he has forgiven and forgotten.

NorthReport

She got entraped but he publicly freaked out. No biases there of course.

 

Please stop this silliness. Mulcair supports the NDP policy on the Middle East. 'Enough said.

 

And I really hope Mulcair does not make one comment on the Middle East before March 24th.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Mulcair supports the NDP policy on the Middle East. 'Enough said.

And I really hope Mulcair does not make one comment on the Middle East before March 24th.

If the first sentence above is true, what reason do you have to be afraid if he makes a comment?

Winston

Because regardless of what he says, the same critics will come out of the woodwork to criticize.  To some people, Thomas Mulcair will always be the epitome of Israeli imperialism no matter what his actual positions are.  In this context, there is no point in him engaging.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Winston wrote:

So tired.

YAWWWWWN!

Isn't it past your bedtime? The grown-ups are trying to have a serious conversation here

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

North Report wrote:
Please stop this silliness. Mulcair supports the NDP policy on the Middle East. 'Enough said.

Gee that's what Tom Mulcair said at one of his riding meetings...told folks to "shut up".

No, I won't shut up.   Nor will I support Mulcair.

josh

Winston wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Who else is tired of this BS?

So tired.

YAWWWWWN!

Yes, all that sweeping questions under the rug does tend to tire one out.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I agree - sweeping this matter under the rug is no solution. I think many of us are feeling pinched - we may believe that Mulcair is the best candidate to hold and grow Quebec and indeed bring the NDP to victory in the next federal election - but are really, really concerned with the matter raised in this thread.

NDPP

The problem of NDP support for Zionist oppression by Israel, is unfortunately not restricted to Mulcair, nor will it be alleviated by choosing another leader who differs only in style. The problem is NDP support for Israeli colonization, apartheid and warcrimes.

Gaian

And so the innuendo grows a party as monster.

How pathetically vulnerable ideologues are to propaganda.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Propaganda? Where?

Gaian

NDPP wrote:

The problem of NDP support for Zionist oppression by Israel, is unfortunately not restricted to Mulcair, nor will it be alleviated by choosing another leader who differs only in style. The problem is NDP support for Israeli colonization, apartheid and warcrimes.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Worth repeating. Thanks, Gaian.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Oh, okay - maybe it is over the top, but I think he's making a point, although that can be debated.

Brachina

I'll be honest, I don't care what his position on the middle east is. Here is what people don't understand, what Canada thinks about the matter, doesn't matter, its not up to us.

When the next election is over and labour and the other left wing party is governing a deal will be struck with Abbas, Palastian will exist officially recognized by Isreal and the world will finally move on. None of this will have anything to do with us. We have the clout of a rubber ducky in the middle east.

Mulcair and Topp, thier not running to be prime minister Isreal or the Prez of the Palestian.

So I personally don't care what thier positions on the middle east beyond opening our borders to whatever poor bastards want out of the place. All I know is the solutions to thier problems don't lie in Canada.

NorthReport

Well said!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You don't seem to care if the next prime minister, who gets to decide on Canada's participation or non-participation in foreign wars, has a skewed, pro-imperialist vision of geopolitics in the Middle East.

Fortunately, however, some of us do care.

Funny how foreign political conflicts have "nothing to do with us" until it comes time to beat the war drums against Libya, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Then suddenly we bear a great "humanitarian" responsibility to intervene on the side of imperialism. Only later do people start to figure out that their own ignorance and lack of interest in what really goes on in the world falsely led them to jump on the war wagon.

NorthReport

We are part of NATO. The USA will decide what's good for Canada. lol

socialdemocrati...

Brachina wrote:
We have the clout of a rubber ducky in the middle east.

^^^ Something to keep in mind.

I have reservations about anyone who says "I'm a strong supporter" of anything but "peace", on this issue. But this is literally the issue most likely to divide the caucus (note: not endorsing everything in this article), and least likely to have any practical impact on the world. It would be the epitome of injustice if Harper were to score another 4 years because we thought health care, child care, national unity, electoral reform, and the tar sands were less important than blowing up our caucus to prove a point that will have zero influence on the middle east.

Express your view passionately, but in the end, we should always come together as New Democrats.

PS: I'm pretty sure that 5 of the candidates supported the UN bid because they were at an event and were asked about it, while Saganash and Mulcair missed it. Again, I have reservations, but it's better to focus on Mulcair's actual statements than to jump to conclusions about his non-statements.

doofy

For everyone who is beating up on Thomas Mulcair over his position on Israel:

Have you forgotten that one of Peggy Nash's leadinng backers--Cheri DiNovo--said many of the same things as Mulcair w/regards to Israel and Palestine? For e.g. she condemned  IAW, which was discussed at length, here on Rabble.

Has anyone asked Peggy Nash if she is going to disassociate herself from one her supporters?

Also, to the Nash supporters out there, you might want to try this thought experiment:

If Cheri diNovo--who shares many of Peggy's qualities (close to social mov'ts, urban activism)--decided to run one day for the ONDP leadership, would you refuse to support her based solely on her views on Israel?

As far as I'm concerned, while I think this an important issue, it should not be a deal-breaker. Mulcair (or DiNovo) would still  lead the most left-wing gov't in the history of Canada or Ontario.  Mulcair would defintely bring a more balanced policy to Israel/Palestine than Harper or Rae. He might not go far enough for some people, but I would rather have half a loaf than nothing at all.

 

Lord Palmerston

Some seem to be arguing that on this issue, Mulcair should be judged on what he "really feels" about Israel's ultimate borders, and not the actions he's taken - i.e. joining with Bob Rae and the Conservatives in attacking Libby Davies, telling constituents to "shut up" about Israel/Palestine, not coming out in support of the Palestinian statehood bid (as other candidates have done, etc.)  Incidentally that's not what Israel's supporters in Canada base their criteria on:

Gil Troy wrote:
I have no idea where Mulcair stands regarding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Israel’s ultimate borders, and I don’t care. We need a broad pro-Israel coalition that fights blatant antisemitism and the antisemitism masquerading as “only” anti-Zionism.

We need a broad pro-Israel coalition uniting people from left to right who defend Israel’s right to exist and fight the demonization of Israel and Zionism. We need a broad pro-Israel coalition standing for core democratic rights and the understanding that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only stable country following rule of law, the only steady source of civil liberties for Arabs and Jews, and the Mideast’s only true friend to Canada.

 

And we need to honour steadfast friends such as Mulcair, hoping that as he coaches his young, newly elected NDP MPs, he points out some of the hypocritical trends that some fellow progressives succumb to, while reminding them of the enduring liberal rights and democratic ideals that make Canada and Israel among the few functioning democracies in the world – whatever mistakes they may make, whatever imperfections they may have.

http://giltroyzionism.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/mulcair-the-mensch/ 

socialdemocrati...

Wasn't Libby Davies out of step with the caucus, and "encouraged" to apologize by Jack Layton?

Are there any candidates currently running who think the NDP policy should be boycott-divest-sanction?

Are there any candidates who agree that Israel is an apartheid state?

Are there any candidates who identify as "anti-zionists"?

doofy

LP,

I know you are a Nash supporter, so have you thought about my questions about her and DiNovo? BTW, you link is not working.

Lord Palmerston

Try this:

https://giltroyzionism.wordpress.com/tag/thomas-mulcair/

Also, Cheri DiNovo is not running to be leader of the NDP and Prime Minister of Canada.  Nor is my opposition to Mulcair based "solely" or even primarily on his views on Israel.

Winston

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Are there any candidates who identify as "anti-zionists"?

Given that the term "zionist" implies support for the state of Israel, does "anti-zionism" imply support for the absence of the state of Israel?

If so, there had better not be any "anti-zionist" candidates, since that would be in direct conflict with Party policy, which advocates for a two-state solution (i.e. there should continue to be a state of Israel), and is thus inherently "zionist".

Lord Palmerston

Nice try, Winston.  Almost every politician says they support the "two state solution."  Even the Conservative government.  

So if Mulcair is serious about a two state solution, why hasn't he come out in support of the Palestinian statehood bid?  Or am I supposed to just go to a Mulcair event and ask him if he supports the two state solution?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

NorthReport wrote:

We are part of NATO. The USA will decide what's good for Canada. lol

And apparently that's OK with you because you [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/thomas-mulcairs-support-israel...'t care[/url] what the foreign policy views of the next leader of the opizishin are.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

doofy wrote:

He might not go far enough for some people, but I would rather have half a loaf than nothing at all.

I think something like that is inscribed on the tombstone of "social democracy" somewhere in Europe, isn't it?

socialdemocrati...

Lord Palmerston wrote:
So if Mulcair is serious about a two state solution, why hasn't he come out in support of the Palestinian statehood bid?

Maybe nobody asked him.

There's nothing on record on this issue for almost all of the candidates. Except Dewar, who gave a very tepid "I don't see nothin wrong" back when it was a front page issue in September. The only thing we have to go on is some word that at one event, there were a bunch of candidates asked about this, and they all said they supported the bid. Missing from the event were Saganash and Mulcair, as well as a transcript.

I'd honestly like to find out what he actually thinks. But some people are saying that silence = evasive = oppose, which is a bridge too far.

KenS

Mulcair doesn't support Palestinian statehood because he can get away with it.

NDP policy does not explicitly say MPs should support attempts at Palestinian statehood. For all the talking out of many sides and saying many things, Israel does not want any 'facts on the ground' of Palestinian statehood.

And at a bare minimum, Mulcair is willing to say nothing on the subject. And I have every reason to say that he is willing to abett Israeli obstructionists, while staying within the letter of NDP policy.

KenS

Do I need to count off how many Israeli politicians are on record as favouring a two state solution, but quietly go along with making sure that there is no Palestinian state? It includes the Labour leader who as Prime Minister oversaw the de facto building of a Palestinian state. But then Sharon reversed that with military facts on the ground, and Israel actively occupied more and more while talking peace and making sure the Palestinian proto-state stays immobilized.

So thats the context for "merely" not supporting Palestinian statehood.... which NDP policy does not require of an MP. You only have to mouth the same words as our government: I/we support the two state solution. [But we also provide cover for Israel making sure there is no formaly equal partner so they can continue indefinitely imposing their will.]

 

KenS

"Are there any candidates currently running who think the NDP policy should be boycott-divest-sanction?"

Not that I know of. And it isnt official NDP policy. But it is also the case that it is against NDP policy. Yet Mulcair without being real public about it consistently does what he can to portray it that way.

I think that what happened with Libby was an over the top extension of what he has consistently done. He's the self appointed attack dog to make sure the support of Palestinians does not get 'out of hand'.

When Libby strayed from the talking points he went publicly ballistic. I was about the only one here to defend Mulcair at the time. Though my main point was to point out that Libby knew without being told that she had to retract and apologize. What she really meant did not matter. People didnt want to hear that. But despite giving quailied defense of Mulcair, damned if I'm going to let the kind of revisionism take hold that Mulcair was just "correcting her."

That's utter bullshit.

KenS

While that explosion by Mulcair was out of character with previous performance. His freelancing had been tolerated. And I think he just let it get away from him.

What I said at the time: Mulcair's behaviour was unacceptable. There is no way Jack is going to say that, nor IMO should he. And I'll bet Libby totally agrees. Essentially, for reasons of politick, he wont be criticised. That would undo Libby's apology. And no way Libby wants that.

As far as my opinion of Mulcair's transgression goes: its bad, but everyone gets a pass on at least one of those. I still believe that. And he has done nothing like that since, nor do I expect he ever would, even if he was not seeking to be Leader.

That said, the bar for someone who wants to be Leader is different. But honestly, I doubt that would be decisive for me.

doofy

LP,

I know Cheri DiNovo isn't running for PM, but Peggy Nash is. Are you going to ask Peggy Nash to disassociate herself from DiNovo's condemnation of IAW?

And about "half loaves", the French socialists could have selected either one of two more "stridently left-wing" candidates for the presidency: Martine Aubry and Arnaud Montebourg.  Instead, they went with Francois Hollande, who, like Mulcair, sounds more "pragrmatic". Hollande will proably beat Sarkozy handily in May, something the other two might not have been able to do. Personally, I am ok. with taking half a loaf on some issues, as long as there are still measurable gains compared with what we had before, and as a long as we get "a full loaf" somewhere else. For the purposes of comparison, think of what a Mulcair gov't would do: no foreign adventures for the Canadian military, a financial transcation tax, cap and trade, increase in the GIS, e.t.c.. It far exceeds what we were able to get from 2008 coalitions accords. However, I fear that if we go w/ Topp or Nash (not to even meniton Dewar) a coalition w/ the NDP as junior partner is "as close to power as we will ever get".

KenS

In favour of giving Mulcair a [sincere] pass on the Libby affair.

This is and always will be a divisive issue in Caucus. You cannot exppect to change that. And as the point has been made, we dont want Caucus blowing up over this. Part of that is that you have to accept that there will be eruptions that get out into public. Live with it.

Against giving Mulcair the pass:

Its not really a one off for Mulcair. He had stirred the pot before, without being called on it. OK, he wasnt called on it, thats done with. But then he goes and does the really public explosion. Thats pretty bad. But do want to force a divide in Caucus over it. Because that is what it would mean if Mulcair was to pay a price of any kind.

Brachina

doofy wrote:

LP,

I know Cheri DiNovo isn't running for PM, but Peggy Nash is. Are you going to ask Peggy Nash to disassociate herself from DiNovo's condemnation of IAW?

And about "half loaves", the French socialists could have selected either one of two more "stridently left-wing" candidates for the presidency: Martine Aubry and Arnaud Montebourg.  Instead, they went with Francois Hollande, who, like Mulcair, sounds more "pragrmatic". Hollande will proably beat Sarkozy handily in May, something the other two might not have been able to do. Personally, I am ok. with taking half a loaf on some issues, as long as there are still measurable gains compared with what we had before, and as a long as we get "a full loaf" somewhere else. For the purposes of comparison, think of what a Mulcair gov't would do: no foreign adventures for the Canadian military, a financial transcation tax, cap and trade, increase in the GIS, e.t.c.. It far exceeds what we were able to get from 2008 coalitions accords. However, I fear that if er go w/ Topp or Nash (not to even meniton Dewar) a coalition w/ the NDP as junior partner is "as close to power as we will ever get".

He'd also bring in Pharmacare, Childcare, fight war rape, focus on fair trade instead of free trade, plus people like Libby Davies, Megan Leslie, Romeo Saganash as a cabinate ministers.

KenS

There is a reason Libby has never said a word of criticism. She is not being coerced in any way. And it isnt really even nebulous overarching political coercion.

 

Pardon the multiple posts. But thats all per post I can get on this very weak connection.

Lord Palmerston

doofy wrote:
LP,

I know Cheri DiNovo isn't running for PM, but Peggy Nash is. Are you going to ask Peggy Nash to disassociate herself from DiNovo's condemnation of IAW?

What's your point?  That it's 'hypocrticial' to criticize Mulcair for being too pro-Israel while not denouncing Nash for...having one prominent supporter who opposed IAW?  Nash has a record of her own that I'm far more interested in, I have my doubts she'll be turning to DiNovo for advice related to the Middle East.  

The relevant comparison is Mulcair's actions/record vs. Nash's actions/record, not Mulcair's action/record vs. that of one of Nash's supporters.

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