Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel demand Harper apologize for anti-Israel smear

For Immediate Release

November 19, 2009

Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel demand Harper apologize for anti-Israel smear

OTTAWA – The Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel (LPFI) is demanding that Prime Minister Stephen Harper immediately publicly condemn his political brochure sent to divide the Jewish community by falsely portraying Liberal Party of Canada as anti-Semitic and non-supportive of Israel.

“Mr. Harper must immediately disavow this disgraceful piece of Conservative propaganda, instruct that it be revoked, and apologize to Canadians for using the politics of division in such a shameful way,” said LPFI Co-Chair Anita Neville.

The Conservatives sent a taxpayer-funded brochure – known as a 10-percenter – to ridings with large Jewish populations that deliberately spread false information in an attempt to smear the Liberal Party as anti-Jewish and supportive of terrorism.

“These pamphlets are not just erroneous – they seek to inflame division within the Jewish community and amongst Canadians in general for pure partisan gain,” said Ms. Neville. “This is unforgiveable, and it must stop.”

LPFI Co-Chair Senator David Smith re-iterated the Liberal Party of Canada’s proud tradition of support for Israel and their actions to condemn terrorism.

“We have long worked side-by-side with the Canadian-Jewish community in common cause, and we will continue to do so into the future,” said Senator Smith. “As Michael Ignatieff recently said, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, and it is beyond reckless for political leaders to try to win votes by claiming a monopoly on supporting Israel.”

Liberal MP Irwin Cotler pointed out it was a Liberal government that, in 2002, designated Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations.

“We are the ones who made any financing of Hamas and Hezbollah illegal,” he said. “The Canadian delegation condemned anti-Semitism at the first World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa – known as Durban I.

Canada continued its presence at that conference at the express request of the Israeli and other governments to bear witness and to repudiate the reprehensible proceedings there.

“To slander the Liberal Party of Canada in this way, through falsehoods, misrepresentation and misleading statements, brings the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada into disrepute, which should be working towards consensus in support of Israel, not division at the expense of Israel, the Jewish community and Canadians. The Prime Minister must terminate this reprehensible practice and apologize for the injury caused.”

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Contact:

Office of Anita Neville: 613-992-9475