Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Death of Ahmed Yassin

Foreign Affairs

Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): [ Day.S@parl.gc.ca ] Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister gave one position in terms of Israel’s position on the death of the terrorist leader of Hamas. Then his foreign affairs minister stood up and gave a contradictory position. Clearly these are his own words. He said that this was contrary to international legal obligations on behalf of the State of Israel.

Is the Prime Minister deliberately playing a cynical game of good cop, bad cop with the foreign affairs minister for political reasons, or is he simply incapable of responding clearly to a serious issue?

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and myself said exactly the same thing, and that is that Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself.

At the same time, in terms of this particular act, we do not believe that this is the road to peace. Under those circumstances, clearly the act should be judged exactly as the Minister of Foreign Affairs did yesterday.

Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): So it is the Minister of Foreign Affairs who sets the policy in contradiction to the Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker.

On all of these issues the Liberals are all over the global map. In 1994 the Liberals turned a deaf ear to the people of Rwanda and did not send in troops. In 1999, without Security Council approval, we approved of the bombing in Kosovo. Then with Security Council approval, we sent brave troops into Afghanistan. Then without Security Council approval, we put military secretly in Iraq.

The government is incapable of responding to these serious issues. When will the Prime Minister get a grip on serious security issues related to putting Canadians in harm’s way?

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, at the time of the invasion of Iraq the government was not in favour of that invasion and the opposition was.