Thomas Mulcair's support for Israel 2

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genstrike

You know what I find particularly strange?

The NDP and certain NDP politicians make a point of their support for the Israeli state .  Things like NDP MLAs speaking at rallies supporting the Gaza Massacre, NDP MPs sitting on the CPCCA, all these little economic partnerships between Manitoba and Israel whose stated purpose is to promote the notion that Canada and Israel have shared values* and therefore the Israeli state should be supported in all their practices, having MLAs denounce IAW, Mulcair denouncing Libby Davies, etc.

Obviously, if the NDP and certain NDP politicians are taking the time and effort to make grandiose and not-so-grandiose displays of their support for Israel, they clearly think it is an important issue.

Okay, fair enough, it's an important issue.  I agree.

Yet, when it comes to a place like babble or other spaces of discussion where people are more critical of pro-apartheid policies, the line changes. All of the sudden, this important issue becomes irrelevant.  "Why do you have to talk about Palestine," they say, "when there are bigger issues out there, issues that more people care about."  Well, if this whole thing is an issue that no one cares about, why does the NDP have to pander to the other side?

If I'm to be told that Palestine is an irrelevant issue and nobody cares about it, therefore we shouldn't even talk about it, I'd expect the same from the NDP and from my government - instead of them taking a vocal pro-Israel stance.

It's like walking around with a sign and shouting into a megaphone "Increase military funding!" then when someone says "well, actually I think disarmament is a better policy," shouting at them "Military funding is such a small issue, why are you talking about military funding when there's people out of work at home yada yada?"

You can't have your cake and eat it too.  If, say, an NDP politician wants to promote Israeli apartheid, it's not our responsibility to hush hush about it.  By taking the time and effort to make a public statement, politicians are throwing it out there to be picked apart around watercoolers and on places like babble.

 

Alternatively, when opponents of taking a strong line on Palestinian solidarity claim that Canada is irrelevent and a minor player of no consequence, why is it that the Canadian government takes such a harsh line, and provides so much support to the Israeli state that Yves Engler was able to fill a book about it?  If what Canada does in the Middle East is of no consequence, then why have various Canadian governments spent so much time, effort and money to support Israeli apartheid?

 

*I suppose technically apartheid is a shared value between Canada and Israel

Policywonk

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Yeah, while we're getting some interesting ideas here, I agree that we should be comparing the candidates to each other, and not to our preferred policies. None of the candidates are proposing tougher pressure on Israel, let alone a uniltateral move towards statehood without Israel at the bargaining table.

As far as I can tell, the only major difference is that 5 candidates support the UN bid, and Mulcair was conveniently absent. Considering his campaign director caught the thread on babble, and there's a small chance he thus caught the CPJME paper, there's an increasing chance that absence was more than convenient for Mulcair.

So how come nobody has asked him the question directly and reported on the answer?

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

Policywonk wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Yeah, while we're getting some interesting ideas here, I agree that we should be comparing the candidates to each other, and not to our preferred policies. None of the candidates are proposing tougher pressure on Israel, let alone a uniltateral move towards statehood without Israel at the bargaining table.

As far as I can tell, the only major difference is that 5 candidates support the UN bid, and Mulcair was conveniently absent. Considering his campaign director caught the thread on babble, and there's a small chance he thus caught the CPJME paper, there's an increasing chance that absence was more than convenient for Mulcair.

So how come nobody has asked him the question directly and reported on the answer?

Clearly, going off on diatribes is far more fulfilling.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The NDP supported statehood for Kosovo almost exactly four years ago, without any negotiations - just a unilateral declaration of independence. Layton even said the NDP would recognize Quebec independence following a referendum. The NDP supported the Harper government's recognition of the Transitional National Council as the sole legitimate government of Libya, even while the civil war was still going on.

But somehow when it comes to Palestine one can't be too hasty - even though 112 countries have formally recognized Palestine's statehood. Suddenly there have to be guarantees given and borders recognized and bargaining away of historical rights - and above all the permission of the Israeli government - before there can be any question of recognizing a Palestinian state.

And this, apparently, is what passes as an "even-handed" approach to the Palestinian question.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Pierre Beaudet wrote:

Comme la droite états-unienne et canadienne, Mulcair associe toute critique de la conduite de l'État israélien à une forme d'antisémitisme (voir à ce sujet l'analyse du réseau « Canadiens pour la justice et la paix au Moyen Orient » de janvier 2012). Cette épouvantable démagogie est totalement mensongère, considérant le fait de l'opposition d'une grande partie de la population israélienne et de communautés juives partout dans le monde à la politique actuelle de l'État.

Mais Mulcair n'écoute pas ces voix bien sûr. On l'a vu ces dernières années à Ottawa mener bataille au sein du caucus du NPD pour isoler la députée Libby Davis, qui avait osé appuyer des campagnes de pression contre ce qu'il appelle la « seule démocratie au Moyen-Orient ». Dans la même lignée, Mulcair a réussi à bâillonner le NPD lors de l'attaque israélienne contre Gaza (janvier 2009) durant laquelle plus de 1500 civils ont été tués. Lorsque les soldats israéliens ont attaqué en mai 2010 un bateau rempli d'aide humanitaire qui voulait forcer le blocus de Gaza (9 civils tués), Mulcair s'est retrouvé sur la même longueur d'onde que Harper pour condamner les « terroristes anti-israéliens ».

- [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/pierre-beaudet/2012/02/le-npd-et-ses-imp...

Slumberjack

genstrike wrote:
You know what I find particularly strange?

I find it all too normal and intimate.  Supporters of the Afrika Korp's most recent foray in Libya are being asked to display their anti-imperialist credentials in the context of Israel and Palestine.  To describe a situation as being peculiar would imply there's something out of the ordinary to consider, when what we're actually witnessing is something disgustingly familiar.  Being 'practical' as someone put it in this thread is the same thing as validating 'facts on the ground' that worsen with each passing day.  The various statements on the matter speak for themselves with silence.  It's like watching choppy black and white movies before they figured out how to introduce sound.  Lots of arm waving and lips flapping, but nobody's really saying anything.

KenS

Policywonk wrote:

So how come nobody has asked him the question directly and reported on the answer?

Interested Observer wrote:

Clearly, going off on diatribes is far more fulfilling.

That's silly.

Do you have the capability to put a hard question to Mulcair within 24 hours?

I'm sure it will happen eventually, but not likely quickly.

Most of those who go to meet and greets are favourably disposed to the candidate. Even if you live in the same city, which a lot of us don't, getting to them is not trivial. It's almost rare that people go for the express purpose of asking a challenging questions. People go out of sincere interest in the particular candiate.

KenS

It was always going to be a long time in between a high volume discussion here, and the question landing in front of Mulcair.

And the person who does it better keep the question very simple and direct.

Such as, "Do you think the NDP should support the UN resolution on recognizing Palestine?"

Which is a question a number of other candidates have already answered of their own initiative.

 

There are a number of Mulcair supporters who have participated in or observed this running discussion. And some of them have recently been at or will recently be at events where Mulcair is answering questions. What do suppose the odds are that one of them has or will ask him the simple question, and report here? Be very easy to do. And it seems to be important enough to come here and defend Mulcair.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

You know, no matter how you approach this, this is a no-win for everybody. I say time and demographiscs will take care of this, long after we are all dust.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I knew this thread would become a particular challenge for me and my relations with the NDP. Which is, the NDP is a compromise for me, something which I've struggled against during my support for Saganash, and is now glaringly obvious to me for most, if not all, of the remaining candidates for leader. 

The truth I can no longer evade is that the federal NDP will not take any progressive, active, counter-Conservative measures in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood. Not under Mulcair, and, it seems, not under any of the other candidates. 

I'm still going to vote on March 24th, there's one or two I will vote for, but my heart isn't in it.

In all the  months of the leadership frenzy I've deliberately tried to obfuscate my policy and political issues with the NDP, and have been successful, up until now.

Thanks a lot, babblers.

Tongue out

Slumberjack

Maysie wrote:
The truth I can no longer evade is that the federal NDP will not take any progressive, active, counter-Conservative measures in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood. Not under Mulcair, and, it seems, not under any of the other candidates. 

I'm still going to vote on March 24th, there's one or two I will vote for, but my heart isn't in it.

Because you need to add your voice, even for the split instant required by the process, to theirs?...to this?  Saying thanks but no thanks is a voice too.

KenS

Maysie wrote:

The truth I can no longer evade is that the federal NDP will not take any progressive, active, counter-Conservative measures in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood. Not under Mulcair, and, it seems, not under any of the other candidates. 

Did you see it go by that several of the candidates have said the support the UN resolution? I dont remember which or how many.

Caissa

Maysie, for many of us the NDP is a compromise. This race is not eliciting and hope or excitement in me.

Unionist

Policywonk wrote:

So how come nobody has asked him the question directly and reported on the answer?

Policywonk - please read the opening post in this thread. It was sent, to rabble, by the Mulcair campaign, in direct response to the discussion here. It says:

Quote:
The NDP has a longstanding policy of support for a negotiated two-state 
solution which includes the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live 
in peace in viable, independent states with negotiated, agreed-upon 
borders.

In the language of crooked politicians everywhere, that is the code word for opposition to the PA's bid for recognition by the U.N. - recognition which is opposed by Israel, the U.S., and Canada - recognition which would be unilateral and non-negotiated.

The CJPME has put out a press release accusing Mulcair of opposing Palestine's bid. Either he is such a little aristocrat that he can ignore everything, or he could clear up the "misunderstanding" in two words. There is no misunderstanding to clear up.

This is not rocket science.

Unionist

dp

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Caissa, me too. I still haven't decided on anyone, and I may not even vote.

I say it again, I wish Sagenesh had stayed in. He'd have grown into the job.

Hoodeet

Maysie wrote:

I knew this thread would become a particular challenge for me and my relations with the NDP. Which is, the NDP is a compromise for me, something which I've struggled against during my support for Saganash, and is now glaringly obvious to me for most, if not all, of the remaining candidates for leader. 

The truth I can no longer evade is that the federal NDP will not take any progressive, active, counter-Conservative measures in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood. Not under Mulcair, and, it seems, not under any of the other candidates. 

I'm still going to vote on March 24th, there's one or two I will vote for, but my heart isn't in it.

In all the  months of the leadership frenzy I've deliberately tried to obfuscate my policy and political issues with the NDP, and have been successful, up until now.

Thanks a lot, babblers.

Tongue out

Hoodeet (JW)   Thank you, Maysie.   You expressed my thoughts exactly.  

 

Hoodeet

Slumberjack wrote:

Maysie wrote:
The truth I can no longer evade is that the federal NDP will not take any progressive, active, counter-Conservative measures in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood. Not under Mulcair, and, it seems, not under any of the other candidates. 

I'm still going to vote on March 24th, there's one or two I will vote for, but my heart isn't in it.

Because you need to add your voice, even for the split instant required by the process, to theirs?...to this?  Saying thanks but no thanks is a voice too.

Hoodeet (JW)

It's not a matter of "adding our voice to theirs", Slumberjack, if I understand you correctly and you mean that we're simply accepting their cowardly pro-Israel stance (whether it's tacit or not).  It's a matter of recognizing the forces at work here and considering the priority, which is ensuring the electability of the NDP.  Remember what happened to Cynthia McKinney in her last run for Congress after she came out in support of Palestinian rights. 

Having said that, I do admit that in voting for Mulcair (if I do) I would be placing electability over the very pressing moral issue of Palestine, because Mulcair is the most obvious "friend of Israel" in the line-up.  (Which is why I am heavily inclined toward Nash, but I don't know enough about her staying power through all the added disrespectful crap that the other two parties would pile on just because she's not an alpha-ish male like them.)

If Mulcair & his associates could simply refrain from silencing his  fellow-NDP MPs from criticizing Israel and supporting Palestine, many of us would be happier.

 

 

Unionist

Hoodeet wrote:

 

If Mulcair & his associates could simply refrain from silencing his  fellow-NDP MPs from criticizing Israel and supporting Palestine, many of us would be happier.

Agreed.

I've supported Mulcair very directly in three consecutive elections, notwithstanding everything I know about his stand on Israel and Palestine. There were bigger issues at stake. You can make a choice like that with your eyes open, or shut. What really disturbs me is those who don't want the truth to be told about him. Their attitude is far more dangerous for progressive politics than his.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Unionist, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for what you've shared of your voting history with Mulcair, which I read in one of the leadership threads way back, but this thread has reminded me. Your thoughtful, informed, realistic and hard-assed politics is what I enjoy most about your posts.

I'm with oldgoat in that I'm voting for his dogs, and my cats, before I'd vote for Mulcair for leader. 

 

 

Slumberjack

Ahh..realism...*snap*...damn it!

mtm

Catchfire wrote:

Continued from here.

babblers might be interested in knowing that Thomas Mulcair's campaign has been reading rabble.ca's NDP Leadership roundups, which have been based on babble's discussion. The latest one is here.

It includes a paragraph on babble's ongoing discussion about Mulcair, Israel and foreign policy:

Quote:
Thomas Mulcair's avowed support for Israel continues to dominate the discussion as he emerges as a likely frontrunner as the membership deadline passes. Many pointed out that Mulcair does not appear to support Palestinian statehood and babbler Left Turn pointed to claims from Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME) that he is out of line with NDP policy.

Mulcair's campaign director responded with an email which includes Mulcair's official position on the Middle East. I've quoted it here in its entirety. Apologies if it has already been posted somewhere! 

Quote:
As Leader of the New Democratic Party, my approach to the Middle East 
would be rooted in our party's long standing values and policies. As I 
outlined in my recent policy announcement regarding foreign affairs, I am 
committed to an approach to foreign policy that integrates trade, aid, 
military, human rights, and climate change policies. Canada should offer 
preferential trade and assistance to countries based on their commitment to 
human rights, labour standards and environmental protection. As Prime 
Minister I would also work to implement the recommendations of the National 
Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility to ensure Canadian 
corporations, especially in the mining and extracting industries, conform 
to international standards. 

Canada's role in the Middle East should be, first and foremost, that of an 
honest broker representing our common values—supporting all those 
committed to the pursuit of peace, justice, democracy and economic 
development that benefits the average citizen, not only the elite. 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a human tragedy that has continued for 
far too long. I reject the one-sided approach taken by the current 
government. Support for Israel and the Palestinians is not a zero-sum game. 
Support for Israel’s existence must not come at the expense of 
Palestinian national aspirations, and vice-versa. Both peoples have an 
absolutely equal right to self-determination. 

Towards a two-state solution: 

The NDP has a longstanding policy of support for a negotiated two-state 
solution which includes the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live 
in peace in viable, independent states with negotiated, agreed-upon 
borders. A State for Palestinians existing alongside a State for 
Israelis—two states for two peoples—is the best guarantor for peace, 
security, prosperity, democracy, and social justice for both Israelis and 
Palestinians. An NDP government must work with both Israelis and 
Palestinians to forge that comprehensive peace accord and mark a final end 
to this conflict. 

As we work toward the goal of a negotiated peace, I would follow the path 
laid out by our party caucus: Canada should support efforts by the Obama 
administration and other governments to negotiate language at the United 
Nations that would recognize the right of both states to exist while 
reaffirming the need for a negotiated settlement to the conflict rather 
than simply walking away from the table as has been the case with the 
current government. If we are to be an honest broker—if we reject the 
current government's one sided approach—we must hold both sides in this 
conflict to the same standard. 

Borders: 

Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been one of the chronic 
impediments to peace and constitute a violation of the 4th Geneva 
Convention. The consensus on how best to resolve this issue, as articulated 
by U.S. President Barack Obama, is through mutually agreed upon land swaps 
between Israel and the Palestinians in charting the definitive border 
between the two states. Based on UN Security Council Resolution 242, Israel 
must withdraw from territories occupied in 1967 in exchange for an end of 
conflict and acknowledgement of its right to exist in peace and security 
within recognized borders, free from threats or acts of force. An NDP 
government must push both sides to abide by Resolution 242 and reach a 
comprehensive peace agreement without delay. 

Refugees: 

Canada, as the gavel holder of the Refugee Working Group tasked with 
finding a solution for Palestinian refugees, is well placed to take a 
leadership role on the world stage in resolving this fundamental aspect of 
the Israel-Palestinian conflict. With our history of peaceful dispute 
resolution, Canada can have a major impact in helping the parties to 
overcome this critical impasse, successfully ameliorating the situation of 
the Palestinian refugees. Canada’s government must step up to the plate 
and play a more active role in solving this pressing problem. 

The debate here at home: 

The debate about issues in the Middle East is intense and yet highly 
sensitive to many of those involved. As leaders, we should encourage an 
open and constructive debate. Canada can regain its reputation as a bridge 
builder. The NDP position on this issue, which is and always has been my 
position, seeks to achieve a lasting peace. That should be the only goal. 

Thomas Mulcair

 

I missed this.  It really clarifies the issue.  

Gaian

"The NDP position on this issue, which is and always has been my
position, seeks to achieve a lasting peace. That should be the only goal."

The people who believe in an NDP victory and replacement of the dictatorship of Steve are NOT buying the minutae of an argument without end and seeminly with only another purpose.

As we have learned, that simply leaves Steve in the Cat Bird's seat of a nation more concerned with jobs, making a living, having a life after work, and quite ignorant of the history of Palestine. My father marched about in puttees there in the last years of the First War, helping to get the Turks to back off (talk about Rome!) The Ashkenazi (hope I got that ight) would have solved it politically some years back, except their political leader was shot.And all those folks living in Arab states around the Meditteranean were forced to emigrate to Israel, wearing huge chips on their shoulders and no intention of living amicably beside their oppressors. (Read Saul Bellow's trip to Israel in 1973).

No, if we can somehow get the message out to Canadians at large, (the Great Misled thanks to right wing ownership of the press) and Israelis can overcome the propaganda of fear (and one can understand fear, in Israel, and the ease with which it is used to manipulate opinion) an NDP government could help to end this tragedy of errors.

But obviously, it will not begin with babble, where little consideration is given (none in fact, by some) for the internal events in both Israel and Palestine.

But, of course, neither is the condition of the average CAnadian voter considered by the Puritans. That would only come with recognition of the "unpure" state of reasoning AND ethics out there in the land of (melting) snow and ice.And one would be naive, indeed, to expect that level of reasoning to ever appear hereabouts.

Unionist

Thomas Mulcair wrote:
"The NDP position on this issue, which is and always has been my
position, seeks to achieve a lasting peace. That should be the only goal."

Get it? "Peace". That's what it's all about. Like in South Africa under apartheid. "Peace". Or Afghanistan - "peace". What transparent sophistry. Either Mulcair's campaign writes in a clumsy amateurish way, or he (like Netanyahu, like Obama, like Harper, like Verwoerd) just wants the natives to shut the fuck up and accept their fate in peace - and someday there will be "two states". "Peace". With or without justice and freedom.

Some babblers quote stuff like this as if it shows that Mulcair is even-handed. Others say, who cares, all we want are jobs. It would be kind of nice to find a space where people who support a just future for both Canada and the Middle East could actually discuss where the NDP leadership candidates stand, without having to start from zero and explain that Palestinians deserve support.

Gaian

Some say, no use ranting about it from a postion of opposition where the chances of being able to bring about peace is that of our having snowball fights in February, down the road.

But wait, environment is another issue, perhpas important to a lot of parents and grandparents. Does not count in this determinedly single-minded attempt to destroy an evil candidate.:)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Hoodeet wrote:

It's not a matter of "adding our voice to theirs", Slumberjack, if I understand you correctly and you mean that we're simply accepting their cowardly pro-Israel stance (whether it's tacit or not).  It's a matter of recognizing the forces at work here and considering the priority, which is ensuring the electability of the NDP.  Remember what happened to Cynthia McKinney in her last run for Congress after she came out in support of Palestinian rights. [emphasis added]

This exemplifies one of the main problems with modern social-democracy: Getting elected used to be seen as a means to an end; now it's become an end in itself. The goal is no longer the implementation of a program of reforms by obtaining a democratic mandate; the goal now is to gain power, using the program as bait for votes. As a result, party strategy revolves not around presenting leadership and an alternative vision to voters, but around pandering to public opinion (Gaian's "Great Misled", who are only misled because there is nobody willing to lead them in the right direction) and working within the narrow parameters of political thought and discourse prescribed by the capitalist media.

Over time, this operates to ratchet social-democratic politics to the right. Why? The logic is unassailable: If the "priority" is to ensure the "electability" of the NDP, then surely empirical evidence would indicate that the most likely way to do that is to mimic the Conservative Party, which has been the most "electable" party for the last five years.

Cynthia McKinney chose not to go down that road, and consequently she has a lot more respect than she would have if she had knuckled under to the Democratic Party.

Where is the NDP's Cynthia McKinney?

Gaian

Where is an all-knowing electorate?

Back to the barricades.

NDPP

M. Spector wrote:

Cynthia McKinney chose not to go down that road, and consequently she has a lot more respect than she would have if she had knuckled under to the Democratic Party.

Where is the NDP's Cynthia McKinney?

NDPP

Cynthia McKinney stood with Libya against NATO's war. The NDP stood for NATO's war against Libya. I guess that's what happens when you knuckle under...

socialdemocrati...

I don't think people raise Mulcair's quote to show his approach is ideal so much as it's the same basic approach as all the other NDP candidates. Again, no candidate has stated that Palestinean independence is going to come without a negotiation. A few have said that the UN bid is an important step, and I take those candidates on good faith to mean that they support the UN bid. But as Unionist pointed out, some of their answers are less direct than others, with Mulcair's non-answer being the least direct of all. Mind you, he's never been asked a direct question to my knowledge, either.

Unionist

The CJPME named other candidates who they say support Palestine's bid for statehood at the U.N. I've transcribed the relevant portion of the Concordia University debate of Jan. 30, 2012, so that you can judge for yourselves. My opinion: Ashton and Cullen are clear enough. Nash isn't. Topp simply avoided answering the question entirely. A "yes" or "no" would have been helpful from all:

Quote:
Jan. 30, 2012 - Concordia University

Question (from representative of CJPME): "Would you vote in favour of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations?"

Ashton:

Absolutely. We believe - in the NDP, we have had a longstanding tradition of standing up for a 2-state solution. And understanding that when we talk about human rights, we don't just talk about human rights that are easy to talk about. That we stand up for the human rights of people that are being attacked. Today - I actually came in from Ottawa this evening, where today we announced our foreign policy. The title was "Peace, Diplomacy, and Global Solidarity". And we need to turn the clock back of Stephen Harper's Conservatives, of the language of extremism, the language of Islamicization, and talk about peace and justice in Palestine and Israel and across the world.

Nash:

Yes, if we believe in a 2-state solution, then both those states have a right to be recognized by the United Nations. And we need to play a role as Canada, to have a more balanced approach, where we're not the cheerleaders for one side, which we have been to this day, but to be pushing for peace negotiations, meaningful negotiations, and maybe trying to influence our partner south of the border, that they can play a much more constructive role than they have been doing.

Topp:

You know it's funny, this is the first question I got when I kicked off my campaign for leader. So I answered it, then I wrote an article in the Globe and Mail about it, and I've repeated it constantly since then, and I'll repeat it tonight, and I'll repeat it over the next three years, and in the next election. If we're to have peace in the Middle East, then both of those nations, Israel and Palestine, must be and should be and will be recognized.

Singh: [I've always been in favour of the 2-state solution - now let's talk about drugs - just kidding]

Cullen:

The question was, recognize the vote of Palestine in the U.N. - of course. Because how could we recognize a 2-state solution without recognizing one of the states? How can we say, as New Democrats, as Canadians, that we will follow the current Canadian regime into this unbalanced and unfair foreign policy, where they're playing domestic politics internationally, and ruining Canada's reputation, and ruining our ability to have a voice in the Middle East, because we are not seen as credible. If for no other reason, Canada must return to credibility, return to balance, and recognize what is true there and throughout the world: a 2-state solution is the only path out of this place.

socialdemocrati...

Thanks for transcribing, Unionist. I think Cullen gave the best answer, IMO. (The best of the candidates, that is.)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Quite a while ago - prior to the 2011 election - someone wrote to me and said "vote for the candidate of your choice and let the chips fall where they may". I'm not sure that makes sense now as the NDP will likely be very, very close to being elected government in the next election (2015?). Here, I've had conversations with my beighbours and friends in homes, at the clinic, at the airport, at the hospital, and on the road, asking if they knew who any of the NDP candidates are - and the only name they could come up with is Mulcair. I doubt very much any of these folks have an NDP membership - I'm the only one. But it tells me that Mulcair, even in this isolated rural community, has name recognition, and, for better or worse, porbably has this same recognition all over Quebec and probably to a lesser degree outside Quebec. So it just doesn't make any sense for me to go against the tide here - despite my misgivings about the man's negatives. I can only hope that if Mulcair wins the leadership race, if Canada elects him Prime Minister, that he will indeed be a progressive person in office - and I have no doubt whatsoever he will be a much better person as our PM than Harper - or, indeed, than any of the Liberal or Conservative  PM's we've been stuck with over the past few decades. Maybe he'll show some progresive backbone on the Israel/Palestine issue once in office - who knows? People can change.

Hoodeet

I know I sounded like an opportunistic pragmatist in my last post about "electability".  What I wanted to emphasize was NOT that the NDP should seek power at the cost of becoming a neoliberal wannabe party or of trying to please everyone. In fact, in an earlier post I expressed the opinion that the NDP platform has to remain strong and  become clearer, if it is to attract red tories, left-of-centre liberals and some greens. 

On the other hand, given that before, during and after the next election campaign,  the whole party and the leadership in particular will come under extraordinary pressure from Bay St. and Warshington (and NATO), it is not unwise to prioritize its battles -- taxation, tar sands, energy, military hardware, etc.   .  Canada is no Venezuela nor will those forces allow it to become like Venezuela or any social-democratic country. 

Of course I will find it very very hard to vote  for a leader whose stated position on the Middle East is the most suspect of all the candidates'.  But I don't for a minute believe (a) that the NDP stands a chance of winning a parliamentary  majority if the Zionists go into overdrive to prevent it, or (b) that whoever is elected will not cave in under US-Israeli pressures, once in office, and change his or her tune.  

Of course I admire Cynthia McKinney,always have.   But we saw how quickly she was marginalized and her congressional career destroyed by the Zionist interests.  We're about to elect a national party  leader AND a parliamentary majority, not just an individual MP. 

So yes, on principle, I would not vote for Mulcair or any candidate who keeps repeating the same useless "negotiated two-state solution" mantra, but at the same time I don't know which candidate is immune from being "McKinneyed" should he or she speak up strongly for the Palestinian people.   And I   suspect that Harper's Xtian Zionists as well as the LPC would make life hell for every single NDP candidate, all over Canada, by  gleefully tarring her or him with the same brush as the party's new "anti-semitic" leader.  How much time and energy should any candidate have to devote to rebutting that slander instead of going on the attack about all the other issues?

 And ultimately I trust (or hope) the grassroots of the Party will remain engaged after the election, to keep the leadership on a progressive path, regarding the Middle East AND  the NDP's socialist principles and program.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Gaian wrote:
Where is an all-knowing electorate? Back to the barricades.

So the binary is "Great Misled" v. "all-knowing"? Nothing in between?

How about a highly-educated, literate, healthy, politically engaged and resolutely anti-imperialist electorate? Like, oh I don't know, Cuba? The same electorate that was considered in 1958 to be the Great Misled?

Fidel

NDPP wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

Cynthia McKinney chose not to go down that road, and consequently she has a lot more respect than she would have if she had knuckled under to the Democratic Party.

Where is the NDP's Cynthia McKinney?

NDPP

Cynthia McKinney stood with Libya against NATO's war. The NDP stood for NATO's war against Libya. I guess that's what happens when you knuckle under...

 

I don't have it now, but Jack Layton replied to me by email last summer explaining that the NDP would not be supporting a long war in Libya. 

And in truth the NDP did support a no-fly zone over Libya, apparently to prevent Gadaffi's air force from bombing Libyans. The NDP's position could also have been interpreted as concern for the safety of civilians. There was never any proof that Libya's air force were attacking civilians, however. Russian officials said their satellite reconnaissance photos depicted no evidence for it happening.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
I don't have it now, but Jack Layton replied to me by email last summer explaining that the NDP would not be supporting a long war in Libya. 

Hitler's generals didn't actually support long wars either.  They wanted them short and swift, or not at all.

Gaian

M. Spector wrote:

Gaian wrote:
Where is an all-knowing electorate? Back to the barricades.

So the binary is "Great Misled" v. "all-knowing"? Nothing in between?

How about a highly-educated, literate, healthy, politically engaged and resolutely anti-imperialist electorate? Like, oh I don't know, Cuba? The same electorate that was considered in 1958 to be the Great Misled?

Of course, the Cuban peasant of 1958 was a bit of a tabula rasa, not misled. She/he couldn't read worth a damn or have access to much.
And I could live there in a heartbeat, since the 1959 "cleanup." Looking forward to a winter visit there when I'm not undergoing surgery and my debts are zeroed. Next winter might just do it.The surgeons there are first-rate. And I have sworn to never cross into the U.S. again.

Gaian

NDPP

Fidel wrote:

NDPP wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

Cynthia McKinney chose not to go down that road, and consequently she has a lot more respect than she would have if she had knuckled under to the Democratic Party.

Where is the NDP's Cynthia McKinney?

NDPP

Cynthia McKinney stood with Libya against NATO's war. The NDP stood for NATO's war against Libya. I guess that's what happens when you knuckle under...

 

I don't have it now, but Jack Layton replied to me by email last summer explaining that the NDP would not be supporting a long war in Libya. 

And in truth the NDP did support a no-fly zone over Libya, apparently to prevent Gadaffi's air force from bombing Libyans. The NDP's position could also have been interpreted as concern for the safety of civilians. There was never any proof that Libya's air force were attacking civilians, however. Russian officials said their satellite reconnaissance photos depicted no evidence for it happening.

NDPP

Fidelio, you're like the used car salesman of an NDP car lot that has to try to sell that lemon we both know is a lemon and why. Sorry no sale today.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'd buy a car off a NDP lot anytime. Not so from the Libs and Cons. Definitely from the Greens, if it's a hybrid with an iron-clad warranty.Smile

Lord Palmerston

Quote:
After confirming his position on the cooperation issue, Mulcair’s attention was turned to another divisive topic. Audience member Sid Shniad, representing a group called Independent Jewish Voices, brought up Mulcair’s perceived pro-Israel stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Schniad asked the MP how his position on Israel differed from that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, suggesting that Mulcair was more aligned with the Conservatives’ position than with the NDP’s.

“My position is Jack Layton’s position, which is the NDP’s position,” Mulcair replied, explaining the party’s view that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace in viable, independent states.

“You’ll notice that in the NDP’s position, the only word that appears twice is ‘peace’. That’s one of our main priorities,” said Mulcair.

He appeared to be treading carefully with his response last night, but Mulcair’s stance on Israel has long been a point of criticism among Palestinian supporters and human rights activists. He has been open with his views about anti-Semitism in his home riding of Outremont, and previously suggested that “anti-Zionist” sentiments are usually accompanied by intolerance. In 2010, Mulcair also made headlines when he attacked Vancouver East MP Libby Davies over negative statements she’d made in an interview about Israel.

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2012/02/21/ndp-frontrunner-mul...

BTW: I don't recall Jack Layton ever suggesting that anti-Zionism was anti-Semitic, as Mulcair did.  

 

Lachine Scot

Lord Palmerston wrote:

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2012/02/21/ndp-frontrunner-mul...

BTW: I don't recall Jack Layton ever suggesting that anti-Zionism was anti-Semitic, as Mulcair did.  

His non-answer here makes me cringe once again at the notion of holding my nose and voting for Muclair as leader on the Quebec issue. His answer didn't convince me that his views are too different from the Conservative Party line.

Michelle

As a matter of fact, Mulcair didn't even answer the question put to him, if that article quotes him accurately.  Schnaid asked him to share with the audience how his view differs from Stephen Harper's.  He didn't offer any way that his view on the issue was different than Harper's - he just sidestepped the question, invoked Jack's name, and made a vague statement about supporting the two state solution that even Stephen Harper probably could have made without his nose growing.  An interesting strategy, I guess, but not very convincing.

Reminds me of oldgoat's amusing comment that he made when we were watching the first debate at a pub: "If invoking Jack Layton's name was a drinking game, Mulcair would have had all of us under the table an hour ago."

NDPP

So, when comparing various no difference party candidates like Mulcair on this issue, it may be helpful to have the Jack Layton 'gold standard' to compare with. Here he is in April last year, with Count Iggy answering a question from Canadian Jewish News:

"What would a Liberal or NDP government's stance be with regard to a potential unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinian Authority.."

Ignatieff, Layton Talk with the CJN

http://cjnews.com/node/87698

Gaian

"if that article quotes him accurately."

But it seems the innuendo is not stopped by the possibility that second or third-hand evidence isn't worth a fiddler's fart. Not for a mind made up, like much of the muck-raking indulged in here, dressed up as speculation.

And I don't believe that any of this would have been accepted/tolerated by Jack, who was interested in growing the party and bringing it to power to achieve something for the people of this country. I want to see an end to the despoilation of our atmosphere, an end to the threat of climate change that's facing my granddaughter. Time's running out, while you throw facetious barbs at a guy who's bust his gut organizing for years. With party people like you, it's no wonder that social democracy and "the left" generally just wind up a fractured rump in Parliament.

If this thread's discussion represents Mainstreet sentiment,where everything depends on a kind of he said/she said concern for Mulcair on Israel, there isn't a hope in hell of reaching a goal. And why don't you folks read some of the history of that area to understand that it's not a simple morality play?There's no prize for appearing to be the most concerned about the fate of humanity there.

My read of the concerns of Canadians in a poll printed in the Globe today says bugger all about your all-consuming concern, but Steve will make sure that all of the country covered by his machine will know it.

Hunky_Monkey

Michelle wrote:

Reminds me of oldgoat's amusing comment that he made when we were watching the first debate at a pub: "If invoking Jack Layton's name was a drinking game, Mulcair would have had all of us under the table an hour ago."

You haven't noticed that all the leadership candidates invoke Jack's name often? Or ones that try and say they follow in his footsteps such as Topp?

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

So, when comparing various no difference party candidates like Mulcair on this issue, it may be helpful to have the Jack Layton 'gold standard' to compare with. Here he is in April last year, with Count Iggy answering a question from Canadian Jewish News:

Thanks for that find, NDPP. It's a good dose of reality. Layton, like all the others, preached that a Palestinian state can only come about by agreement with Israel - or excuse me, through "negotiations". As if the internationally recognized borders are somehow in doubt. As if Palestine can't exist unless Israel says it can (of course, the reverse doesn't hold true). Some of the current crop of candidates seem to be taking a more open-minded view. Mulcair is not one of them.

Michelle

I find the endless horse race threads too boring to follow all that closely, to tell you the truth, Hunky.  I was commenting on a specific question asked of Mulcair on an issue that interests me, and the way he deflected the question by invoking Jack's name for no particular reason other than distraction.  And then I said that it reminded me of oldgoat's funny comment about him during the first debate.

You're right, Mulcair isn't alone in NDP circles when it comes to gratuitous references to Jack (although we certainly noticed him doing it way more than others were during that first debate).  It's becoming a bit of an eye-roller for me when anyone does it.  But this thread is about a topic I'm actually interested in, and about a candidate who holds views on that topic that I find questionable at best.  I reserve the right to read and comment in threads that interest me, without feeling obligated to wade through 10,000 posts in the horse race threads that bore me to tears.

socialdemocrati...

I still maintain that the difference between the NDP and the Cons/Libs is bigger than the differences between NDP candidates and each other. But that's to say nothing of the difference between the NDP candidates and what babblers' preferred/ideal policy would be.

 

mtm

I re-read Topp's TorStar editorial board interview and it struck me.  If Thomas Mulcair had, like Topp, claimed he is "a friend of Israel", would we not hear the end of it on this board?

 

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