The perception of being basically honest was one of the few assets possessed by the leader of Canada's Official Opposition. Though intelligent, his propensity to arrogance and divisive, angry outbursts,made the best thing Thomas Mulcair had going for him was that most Canadians just don't know him very well.
Last Friday, his deceptive claim that the NDP is not anti-Israel because the party isn't officially calling for its destruction has sent the pretense of Mulciar's integrity flying out the window.
Not only does the NDP contain some of the most hateful, vociferously anti-Israel politicians in Canada, but he has appointed them to senior positions in his party.
His Deputy Leader Libby Davies was known for being a fixture at anti-Israel demonstrations. Davies effectively denied Israel's legitimacy in 2010, then "apologized" in a manner suggesting she was either completely insincere, or was pathetically uniformed about a subject she has obsessively pursued during her political career. Then the next summer in France, NDP Deputy Leader Davies appeared at a Sea Hitler support rally featuring a French politician who had been prosecuted for anti-Semitism.
Davies is intimately involved with the fanatically anti-Israel website rabble.ca which is published by her same-sex spouse Kim Elliott. That union-funded, neo-Marxist alternative media site is the "media sponsor" of Israeli Apartheid Week, an anti-Israel hate fest condemned by both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party.
Unlike many in his caucus,Mulcair himself is not an enemy of the Jewish state and does not want it eliminated. But his motives are fairly obvious. Much of the NDP adhere to simplistic, facile notions of oppression theory and view Israel as a capitalist, imperialist outpost in the middle east. Indeed almost all of the other NDP leadership candidates and the energetic activist wing that admires Davies takes that view.
Were Mulcair to repudiate them, it would cause a rift in his party that he wants to avoid, particularly so early into his leadership.
Yet by denying the obvious, and his recent gaffes the pitted western Canada against the interests of the anti-oil sands environmental lobby, he has shown that he can neither be trusted to be truthful nor can he make the New Democrats a credible party fit to govern the nation.