Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party never supported that the funds would be sent to the Hamas-led government. What we were asking was whether the funds would reach the people in Palestine. This point of view was the point of view of the government of Israel at that time.
Mr. Speaker, I understand very well that you do not see it as your role to get involved in the debate between Canadian political parties regarding the Middle East and Israel. That is not what you are being asked to do.
This specific case is a case of propaganda and misrepresentation of the facts, which aims to tarnish a party’s reputation and, what is worse, to tarnish the reputation of a colleague who has dedicated his life to Israel-Canada relations.
The member for Mount Royal mentioned a particularly flagrant case. It cannot be ignored. The conference in question was not advertised as an anti-Semitic conference, and he did not go there to attend an anti-Semitic conference. He arrived there and realized there was an anti-Semitic slant to the conference, which he courageously tried to speak out against, and in fact he, and the government at the time, were commended by the Israeli government. The Israeli government itself even had a delegation at the conference.
The Conservative government is clearly using taxpayers’ money to try to convince Canadians, and it will very likely succeed if we do not do something, that the Liberal government at the time knowingly participated in an overtly anti-Semitic conference. That is a serious misrepresentation of the facts, and we cannot let that stand. If we do, it means that political parties can use taxpayers’ money to say whatever they want, and to stoop as low as you can imagine, and that there is no limit to the lies they can tell the unwitting public.
We cannot allow that, Mr. Speaker, and you do not have to enter into the debate on the Middle East. Look at the facts, and you will see that this is an outright lie paid for by taxpayers as a result of a parliamentary procedure.