On March 24, Canada’s New Democratic Party will do more than elect a new leader; it will face a test of character.
As it stands, the NDP is the only major national party not led by an avowed zionist. Stephen Harper leads a cabal of governing “Likudniks,” who value subservience to Israel above all else, and the interim leader of the “Labour-Zionist” Liberals Bob Rae, is on the board of the Jewish National Fund, an organization so criminal that it has been condemned in Israel as racist.
The NDP, therefore, is the only apparently Canadian governing choice that voters have, but even this modest fig leaf will be blown away if the blatant Israel-firster Thomas Mulcair becomes party leader. On May 1, 2008, he told Canadian Jewish News: “I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances.” [my emphasis]
Does Mulcair mean to say that he “ardently supports” Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians, which includes torturing children, bulldozing homes, and keeping Palestinians near starvation levels as a matter of national policy? Do these constitute morally defensible “situations and circumstances?” Based on his abject endorsement of Israel, the answer is clearly, “yes.” The fact that all of the preceding are contrary to Canadian and international law, to say nothing of basic humanity, doesn’t faze Mulcair one bit. What a mensch!
How this walking advertisement for sedition found a home in a left-of-centre, social-democratic party is bizarre. The NDP, after all, still cleaves to the quaint notions that the federal government should defend the Constitution, uphold the rule of law, oppose military aggression, stand up for victims of human rights abuses, and generally serve the public good. Such high-minded ethical standards clearly distinguish it from both “Likud” and “Labour,” which are financially and politically indentured to the Israel Lobby.
So, why would the NDP even allow someone like Mulcair in the front door? This question takes on added significance when we recall that Mulcair had first considered joining Harper’s Likudniks, and was even said to have been tempted by a cabinet appointment. That would at least have made sense. When questioned last July about the earlier offer, though, the NDP’s newly minted interim leader Nycole Turmel seemed curiously unconcerned: “[Mulcair] was contacted by a number of people, a number of political parties and he chose to come work with us. He chose the NDP and I’m proud of that. He’s a great candidate.”
When looked at a bit more closely, however, Turmel’s praise for this crypto-Likudnik comes across more as a perfunctory platitude than a genuine endorsement; in this case the riding, not the MP, is the prize.
Mulcair represents Outremont, a small, wealthy riding on the Island of Montreal, which he won in a 2007 by-election, thus making him the NDP’s (ta-da!) first MP from Quebec to go on to win in a general election. Outremont has a substantial Jewish population, more than 20%; in the larger Labour riding of Mount Royal just to the south, represented by Israel-firster extraordinaire Irwin Cotler, it is 36%. If the NDP expects to make inroads into Quebec it is logical for it to compete for the Jewish vote, but how far is the NDP prepared to go to mortgage its principles for electoral advantage?
As party leader, Mulcair would be expected to protect his caucus colleagues from harassment and abuse from other parties, but in 2010 he sided with Labour and Likud to call for the resignation of fellow MP Libby Davies as NDP House Leader. Davies’s “crime” was to state that Israel’s occupation of Palestine began in 1948, not 1967. Her statement is a fact supported by historical documents that include admissions from leading political and military Israelis like David Ben Gurion and Gen. Moshe Dayan.