Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, May 09, 2008

"Iggy's double-speak on Israel"

Hot off the presses of the National Post, by Rochelle Wilner. (FULL DISCLOSURE, she's our candidate for York Centre in the next election)
Rochelle Wilner: Michael Ignatieff's double-speak on Israel
Posted: May 09, 2008, 10:45 AM by Marni Soupcoff
Israel, Rochelle Wilner

On Sunday, April 13, Michael Ignatieff gave a speech at Toronto's Holy Blossom Temple. It was supposed to clear the air with the Jewish community in regard to his negative comments about Israel during last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war. And one media headline from last month duly claimed "Ignatieff Apologizes for Israeli War Crime Comment."

Being keenly interested in the matter, I secured a transcript of the speech and searched for the words, "I was wrong" or "I am sorry." I did not find them.

Instead, the deputy Liberal leader made himself out to be the victim. He emphasized how badly he felt that "a single remark" had resulted in "many of [his] Jewish friends ….branding [him] an enemy of Israel."

Ignatieff's admission that his comment was the "most painful error of my political life" simply means that he is sorry that what he said caused him political problems. He does not say his words were factually wrong. Rather, he questions whether he would have been better off if he had said that Israel "may have failed to comply with the Geneva Conventions and the laws of war" without the accusation of committing "war crimes."

Yet many experts on international law and war crimes have expressed the opinion that Israel is guilty of none of these breaches. In this view, Israel cannot be held responsible for civilian casualties if the enemy uses those civilians as human shields while launching military strikes against Israeli territories.

Ignatieff says that Canada can "never remain neutral between Israel and those enemies — Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran — who deny Israel's right to exist, deny the Holocaust and seek her destruction." It's breathtaking that he makes this worthy statement after having accused Israel of war crimes and/or breaching international conventions. Demanding that Israel and only Israel not be allowed to defend herself from terrorist aggression is tantamount to giving victory to those same enemies of not only the Jewish state, but also democracy and civilization as we know it.

What is even more astounding about this "never neutral' comment is the fact that Ignatieff's Liberal party has repeatedly criticized the Harper government for reversing Canada's record as a so-called "neutral broker" in the Middle East. That is to say, Ignatieff and his fellow Liberals have attacked the Harper government for exhibiting the courage and moral fortitude to take a principled stand in support of Israel — the only democracy in the Middle East — something that the Liberals were never able to do.

Equally breathtaking, given the previous Liberal government's record of voting against Israel at the UN, was Ignatieff's claim that his party "will never support one-sided condemnations of Israel." Has no one told him that this is exactly what Liberal governments have done?

Liberals have never fully quit their jobs as apologists for the Tamil Tigers, despite advice from CSIS to do so. Nor have they condemned Liberal Members of Parliament marching in Montreal, arm-in-arm, with supporters of Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 — the same summer that Michael Ignatieff accused Israel of being guilty of war crimes.

So what was this speech all about? I would suggest that Liberals are now concerned about a strong swing in Jewish support for the Conservatives. So Ignatieff comes to Toronto's Jewish community to make nice — but not to actually apologize for being wrong about what he said.

As for me, I'll stick with the consistent, ethical, moral position of Stephen Harper, who says what he means and means what he says. No Ivy League dissembling necessary!

-Rochelle Wilner is a past president of B'nai Brith Canada, a long-standing human rights activist, and the Conservative Party of Canada's federal candidate in York Centre.

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  • At Fri May 09, 12:37:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Right wing opinion pieces in the National Post only appeal to right wing bloggers.

  • At Fri May 09, 12:50:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    I tend to think that the opinions of the former President of B'nai Brith Canada might be of interest to the Jewish community.

  • At Sat May 10, 12:41:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Trudeau said "bedrooms of the nation" NOT "bedrooms of the state" - keep that in mind.

    When it comes to a cabinet position and the security of the nation - by all means it should be checked out.

  • At Mon May 12, 11:22:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well for starters ANON on Sat., you're commenting on the wrong post, but anyway.

    The way I figure it it, bedrooms of the state are AMONG the bedrooms of the nation. I may keep tabs on policy views of my elected officials, but who they're banging is none of my business.

    How would you like it if YOUR boss tried to make an issue of YOUR significant other?

    Mike Wisniewski


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