Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Libby Davies, Will You Please Go Now? Just Go, Go, Go, I Don't Care How

Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East and Deputy Leader of Canada's officially socialist New Democratic Party, was caught on tape stating that Israel's occupation is the longest in the world, dating back to 1948. So she was saying that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East. Here is the YouTube video:

So now Canada has its very own Helen Thomas. Davies looks a bit like a deer caught in the headlights in this video, perhaps because she usually inhabits the echo chamber of the Left and has no idea how to defend her extremism when quizzed by someone skeptical of her liberal orthodoxy.

A firestorm ensured, which is at least something. The Ottawa Citizen ran an editorial criticizing her entitled "Haters' Test" and Prime Minister Harper has called on Jack Layton, the NDP leader, to fire Davies. Davies posted this defensive, ostensible "apology" on her website entitled "Libby's response to inflammatory editorial":

I am writing in response to your June 11 editorial which refers to a video of me recorded last Saturday, and posted online (Hater's, Ottawa Citizen, June 11, 2010).

My reference to the year 1948 as the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory was a serious and completely inadvertent error; I apologize for this and regret any confusion it has caused.

I have always supported a two-state solution to the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have never questioned Israel's right to exist and the Palestinian’s right to a viable state.

New Democrats have long called for a peaceful, negotiated end to the conflict where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side with secure borders. This is a policy I fully support.

I reject the allegation that I hate Israel, and I reject the assertion that I said that Israel is illegitimate or an abomination. Neither are true.

She says that she is not anti-Israel. But the problem is that she also has this post on the same website entitled "Libby Davies speaks out on attack on humanitarian aid ships" in which she says:

I wish to express my sympathy and outrage for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the horrendous attack today by Israeli Defence Forces against the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

This deadly assault on peace activists, who only wanted the people of Gaza to receive the basic necessities of life, is shocking and unconscionable and demands an immediate investigation and response by the International Community. The illegal siege on Gaza, now in its 3rd year, must be ended.

The Government of Canada must speak out and make it clear that Canada condemns all such actions against innocent people who are peace activists. The hundreds of participants in the Freedom Flotilla who have now been detained by Israel must be released.

As someone who has visited Gaza twice, mostly recently in August 2009, I have witnessed first-hand the devastation of the siege on Gaza and its 1.6 million inhabitants.

Like Rachael Corrie and other internationals who have given their life for peace and justice for Palestinians, we honour their life’s work and will continue to work for peace and justice in the Middle East.

She expects Israel to let Iranian ships dock in Gaza and unload anything they want, knowing full well that what they want to unload is deadly rockets to fire at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities - rockets that would maim and kill thousands of civilians. How do we know this? Because Hamas is committed to destroying the State of Israel and has attacked before. If the Gaza blockade is lifted, the result will be war and the people of Gaza will suffer far more than they are suffering now. The blockade is not preventing aid from reaching Gaza - only weapons. The blockade actually is in the best interests of the people of Gaza and if Libby Davies were really concerned for peace or for the ordinary people of Gaza and Israel then she would not be supporting Iran and Hamas against Israel on this issue.

So when a committed, long-term Hamas supporter inadvertently allows the mask to slip and says on tape that she is really against the existence of the Jewish state itself and then quickly reverses field and claims that the opposite is true, we are left with the dilemma of deciding which time she was lying. Logically, she was either saying the opposite of what she meant on tape or she was lying in her "apology." But her track record and her actions make it more likely that her apology is not the full truth.

She should be fired not because she made a slip of the tongue, but because her whole attitude toward Israel is consistent with that slip. Supporting Hamas itself should be good enough reason for her to be fired. Such a person does not deserve to be in the House of Commons. I hope the people of Vancouver East will send her into retirement with Helen Thomas at the earliest opportunity.

No comments: