Prime Minister Stephen Harper called on NDP MP Libby Davies to resign as her party’s deputy leader after she suggested Israel has been occupying territory since the country came into existence.
If any of my Jewish readers are still speaking to me, can someone please explain to me why saying that Israel has occupied territory belonging to Palestine is grounds for getting shitcanned? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with her assessment. The reason Israel has to exist is because there was a worldwide effort to deny Jewish people a homeland, and to essentially eliminate Jews. Historically, the establishment of Israel was an attempt to combat global anti-Semitism; however, like so many things done in the wake of World War II, a decision was made by European powers that completely ignored the needs of the indigenous peoples of the regions that were carved up into territories, and generations of conflict were the direct result.
Since then, Israel as a political entity has made several missteps – not because they’re Jewish, but because they’re human. Right now there is massive suffering and death happening in Gaza as a result of those missteps (as well as ongoing Jewish/Arab conflict). Ms. Davies made the observation that Israel has done some morally reprehensible things, and in many cases has behaved like an occupying force. She supports a two-state solution, rather than allowing the status quo to continue.
Apparently, according to Stephen Harper, that makes her an extremist:
“The deputy leader of the NDP knew full well what she was saying,” Harper said during the daily question period in the House of Commons. “She made statements that could have been made by Hamas, Hezbollah or anybody else with no repercussions from that party whatsoever.”
I’m not a fan of Stephen Harper. He has been the worst prime minister in terms of the environment, the democratic process, and the Canadian style of open governance that I can see. Far worse, for example, than Paul Martin was (for the 20 minutes he was PM before a completely unrelated scandal forced him out of politics). This despicable smear of an MP who said something impolitic as a terrorist is below reprehensible. Of course, Mr. Harper seems to do his best work in the sub-reprehensible region so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. What does come as a surprise is that anyone would continue to support this man who cracks down on free speech and responsible government by pandering to the basest and meanest instincts in people.
If what I have said here is insensitive or incorrect, I’d really like to hear why. If there’s a good reason why Davies should be considered an anti-Semite or should be forced to resign, please let me know. All I can see so far is a slimy weasel trying to score points off the political misstep of an opponent, and casting a chill on the climate of free speech we enjoy here in Canada.
EDIT: Below is a video of the actual comments that MP Davies made. I confess my ignorance as to the history of the conflict, or of specific actions that Israel has taken over time. I do know, however, from doing a bit of reading about the story, that a two-state solution (which is what MP Davies seems to be suggesting) has been brought forward many times before. My anti-Semitism radar is pretty poor though, so if there’s stuff in here that is clearly offensive, please help me by pointing it out.