Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Why Layton Has To Fire Libby Davies

The NDP’s deputy leader has said some hateful things about Israel. She shouldn’t be allowed to do so from the front bench.

Someone just posted me on Facebook saying Libby Davies is entitled to free speech, and, besides, the Israelis are treating the Palestinians worse than the Nazis treated the Jews.

Libby Davies can be seen on YouTube saying she thinks that chanting "long live the intifada" “sounds good” and saying (not once but twice) that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land since 1948, that “it’s the longest occupation in history,” and that it’s time for boycotts and disinvestment.

Libby Davies can spout whatever hateful nonsense she wants but the issue is no longer about her. She’s the NDP deputy leader and house leader and sits on the front bench for the New Democrats.

She’s now “corrected the record” and said that her talk about 1948 was “inadvertent.” C’mon Libby, fess up. This is hateful stuff, and is no accident. All her rhetoric is the Hamas line, and the leaders of the Palestinian Authority would reject it entirely.

She is aligning herself with those forces in Palestine and the Middle East who regard Israel’s very presence as illegitimate.

She must know that, and her recent protests are just disingenuous. Calling for a renewed intifada is calling for more violence, more suicide bombing, more death, more destruction. Is Layton really going to countenance this stuff as compatible with the values of the NDP? It’s astonishing.

It’s possible to be pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace, and pro-security. But this pathetic apologia for violence is quite different. No “Gee, I’m sorry” or “She corrected the record” will work, and Layton should realize this quickly. If MPs want to freelance and give voice to conspiracy theories of all kinds, let them do it from the farthest reaches of the backbenches. Free speech? Sure, but don’t expect titles and extra pay for this kind of nonsense.

As for my Facebook friend, to compare Israel to Nazi Germany is a terrible misread of both history and current reality. Hitler regarded the Jews as subhuman, and from the time of the Nuremberg Laws put in place policies that culminated in the genocide of six million. It’s a sick cliche to compare this to the conflict that has been so tough to solve between Arab and Israeli. That will require imagination, generosity, and leadership. And an accurate sense of history and current political realities.