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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

“Slimy” Jack Layton, Looney Libby Davies and the apology that wasn’t an apology

In an interview on CTV’s Power Play with Tom Clark, Jack Layton, bobs, weaves, and weasels out of some straight answers about Libby Davies.

UPDATE: June 21/ new link to interview here:  http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20100615/libby-davies-ndp-israel-100615/

Layton repeats a number of times that Davies apologized for her comments in the video this blog reported on last Sunday and the national media picked up yesterday.

The foremost question that came to my mind after watching Layton is:


She may well have apologized to Layton personally for being an embarrassment to her own party, but where is the apology for the statements she made??

I’ve looked and looked and the closest thing I’ve been able to find to a public apology from her is a reprint of the letter she sent to The Ottawa Citizen about the editorial they wrote condemning her. It’s on Libby Davies’ website and is titled:

Libby's response to inflamatory editorial

Hardly an auspicious beginning for a “sincere” apology.

A link to it is here: http://www.libbydavies.ca/news/update/2010/06/11/libbys-response-inflamatory-editorial

In the text of the “apology”, Davies indeed wrote:

“My reference to the year 1948 as the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory was a serious and completely inadvertent error; I apologize for this and regret any confusion it has caused. I have always supported a two-state solution to the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have never questioned Israel's right to exist and the Palestinian’s right to a viable state.”

Okay, that’s a start.

But in the video, in addition to her one-sided condemnations of Israel, she talks about how she supports a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against the middle-east’s only real democracy.

Where is her apology for that!?

Forget about the apology for a moment, where has she publicly repudiated and retracted her support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. If anyone can find it out there, let me know, because I haven’t seen it.

Davies' apology strikes me as not only forced and insincere, but it is FAR FROM COMPLETE.

We’ve had clarification from Layton and the NDP co-Deputy Leader who IS a responsible, intelligent parliamentarian, Thomas Mulcair, who said, as quoted by the National Post:

“No member of our caucus, whatever other title they have, is allowed to invent their own policy. We take decisions together, parties formulate policies together, and to say that you’re personally in favour of boycott, divestment and sanctions for the only democracy in the Middle East is, as far as I’m concerned, grossly unacceptable.”

I can appreciate the difficult position Layton is in. He has to balance competing elements in his own party while trying not to alienate either. On one side are the sane, basically reasonable people interested in the rights of labour and the working class, represented by Mulcair, and on the other side is the Davies faction, many of whom are hardcore Marxists. Many of these people actually buy in to Naomi Klein’s crackpot conspiracy theories, want the state to nationalize industry, want to abolish most of our immigration policies, and actually do support a campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel and want the NDP to publicly come out in favour of it.

While Layton must know that Davies is a serious embarrassment and he would seem like a fool if he didn’t repudiate her positions on Israel, he also understands that the hardcore Marxists are very active in the NDP and Layton doesn’t want to alienate them by punishing Davies.

That may be fine for Layton and the NDP, but it’s not good enough for Canada.
Davies has to be made to come clean.

Does she reject or accept Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel?

She is entitled to any opinion she likes, but Layton and Davies and the NDP must not get a free pass on this. They have a responsibility to Canadian voters to let her constituents and the public know what her ACTUAL position is on this important foreign policy matter.

As Tom Clark pointed out in the interview, if the show were on the other foot and a Tory cabinet minister had made inflammatory comments on par with those of Davies, the NDP wouldn't say "oh, it's all right, he or she apologized" the NDP, as Clark correctly observed, "would be calling for their head" and hammering away at it incessantly.

But now the shoe is on the other foot, Layton wants us all to forget about it.

But the outstanding problem is, we still don't know what Davies' real position on a boycott and sanctions against Israel is and she's not telling!

Until Davies gives an honest answer to this, from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, Layton does not deserve to have this matter put aside for him since it reflects on his leadership and judgement, or lack thereof.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The hypocrisy of Wacko Jacko has no limits.