Citizen Action Monitor

NDP leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair’s pro-Israeli hard line out of step with Party policy

“I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances.” —Thomas Mulcair

No 416 Posted by fw, February 21, 2012

“NDP leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair’s track record indicates that he is not committed to the NDP’s long-standing approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Incidents in the leadership campaign and other prior pronouncements indicate that Mulcair holds an unbalanced stance vis-à-vis Israel-Palestine.  Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

Below is my bulleted re-formatting of portions of CJPME’s February 15, 2012 media release — Thomas Mulcair unaligned with NDP policy on Middle East —

Dear Friends of CJPME,

Even though CJPME typically sends its press statements only to the media, in this case, we felt it was important that our full constituency see our press release on Thomas Mulcair from Wednesday.

For Immediate Release

Montreal, February 15, 2012 — NDP leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair’s track record indicates that he is not committed to the NDP’s long-standing approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Incidents in the leadership campaign and other prior pronouncements indicate that Mulcair holds an unbalanced stance vis-à-vis Israel-Palestine.

  • In candidates’ meetings across Canada, Mulcair has answered questions on the Middle East evasively
  • He has refused to commit to supporting the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the near future
  • He has also reportedly strong-armed other caucus members into remaining silent while Israel has violated international law and Palestinians’ human rights
  •  In a meeting in Montreal in 2008, Mulcair declared his unconditional support for Israel’s conduct in these terms: “I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances.”
  • Mulcair discouraged the caucus from publicly criticizing Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2008-09, which killed about 1400 Gazans, the majority of them civilians, including 344 children, and injured thousands more
  • Even after that lethal assault, Mulcair is still reluctant to speak up against Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land, the Wall and Israel’s blockade of Gaza

NDP policies — defined democratically by the grassroots members at the 2006 convention after thorough discussion — commit the party to opposing Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and to upholding international law by opposing Israeli colonies (a.k.a. “settlements”), the Wall and all attacks on civilians.

CJPME’s Position — Yet, as CJPME deputy leader, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East believes that NDP members should elect a leader committed to the application of international law in the Middle East. CJPME Leader Patricia Jean comments, “New Democrats must consider the candidates’ track records on this key foreign policy issue when electing a new leader. As it stands now, the NDP caucus’s stances on the Middle East under Mulcair would likely be indistinguishable from those of the Harper government.”

NDP candidates who publicly support Party’s Middle East policy — The NDP leadership campaign was launched in December, and culminates on March 24.  Candidates have appeared at innumerable meetings across Canada on all variety of topics.  All of the other leadership candidates who have spoken on the Middle East have unequivocally supported traditional NDP policy on the Middle East.  For example, Niki Ashton, Brian Topp, Paul Dewar, Peggy Nash and Martin Singh have all publicly proclaimed support for Palestinian membership in the UN this year. 

For more information, please contact: Patricia Jean, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Telephone: 438-380-5410

***********

MY COMMENT — Given that Mulcair is so out of step with NDP policy, I’m perplexed to understand why he is so far ahead in recent polls. Might it be that the party is, of late, stacked with new pro-Israeli members?

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