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Monday 5 January 2009

Liberal MPs gagged on Gaza

I've just heard word from a reliable source that Liberal MPs have been instructed not to speak at Gaza solidarity rallies with the threat that if they do their nominations forms will not be signed for the next election. I wonder if Liberals have been given the same instruction in relation to pro-Israel rallies?

Click here for an update.
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James Curran said...

How reliable??

Andy Lehrer said...


Chrystal Ocean said...

Am I surprised? No. Disappointed? Well, that would have taken an expectation that things would be different under Ignatieff. So, no.

Anonymous said...

please post this Open Letter; it is very powerful, clear-cited and courageous.

An Open Letter From Anti-Zionist Jewish Youth in Canada

**If you would like to sign on to this letter, send an email to with your name and city**

January 5th, 2009

Like much of the world, we have spent the last week watching in shock and
disgust as Israel continues its assault on the Gaza Strip. With the body
count rising and a new tragedy in full bloom, we feel that it is important
to speak out as Jewish youth in Canada and to denounce what Israel is
doing in our name. The Jewish diaspora is diverse and divided on its
positions on the state of Israel's policies. At this juncture in history,
as Israel has committed its worst massacre in Gaza since it began its
illegal occupation in 1967, we feel that it is crucial that Jews speak out
and denounce Israel's actions that amount to no more than war crimes
committed by an apartheid state.

As Jewish youth, we are diverse, but we are unified in our solidarity with
our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza.

Some of us are students. We are outraged by the bombing of the Islamic
University in Gaza city, as well as other civilian infrastructure such as
hospitals and mosques.

Some of us are Arab-Jews and people of colour. We stand against Israel's
racism, which has been enshrined in Israeli law, and privileges its Jewish
citizens over its non-Jewish ones.This apartheid state views Palestinians
as an expendable people, no more than collateral damage.

Some of us are queer. We reject Israel’s branding of itself as the only
safe place for queer people in the Middle-East while it targets gay and
lesbian Palestinians and renders life unsafe for millions of others.

Some of us are Israelis living in Canada. We are calling for a
solidarity that stretches beyond borders and nationalities. Israel's
violent actions will only serve to further isolate the state and its
citizens from the rest of the world. By calling itself a Jewish state and
committing war crimes in the name of Jews everywhere, Israel makes the
world even less safe for Jews, leading to an increase in animus towards
Jewish people around the world.

Even though there have been approximately 100 Palestinian deaths for every
Israeli killed by rocket fire, we recognize that Israeli Apartheid also
leads to Israeli casualties. The blame for these deaths lies with Israel –
if there were no occupation and no apartheid policies, there would be no
rocket fire. If Israel, the world's fourth largest military power, is
concerned about its citizens, it would abandon its apartheid policies and
seek out justice for the Palestinian people.

In 2005, Palestinian civil society put out a clear call for
international support through a non-violent campaign of Boycott,
Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) similar to that carried out against the
apartheid regime of South Africa. Now, with the people of Gaza being
crushed by Israeli bombs, manufactured in the USA and launched with
Canada's blessing, it is more important than ever for Jewish communities
throughout the world to take up this BDS campaign in order to end
Israel's apartheid system, which makes life unsafe for millions of Jews
and Palestinians alike.

Let us not be silent bystanders while humanity suffers. Let us raise our
voices, as Jewish youth, and demand a single, democratic state, with equal
rights for everyone in Israel/Palestine.

Ours is a generation that is committed to ending Middle-East violence by
opposing all forms of discrimination, calling for a just peace within the
entire region, and condemning Zionism to the dustbin of history.

Free Gaza, Free Palestine,

Jenny Peto, Toronto
Aaron Lakoff, Montreal
Max Silverman, Montreal
Rachel Gurofsky, Peterborough
Simon Gurofsky, Ottawa
Zohar Melinek, Montreal
Claire Hurtig, Montreal
Ben Saifer, Ottawa
Brook Thorndycraft, Toronto
Joel Balsam, Montreal
David Mandelzys, Toronto
Reena Katz, Toronto
Mia Amir, Vancouver
Matthew Shuster, Kingston
Avi Grenadier, Kingston
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Waterloo
Melissa Harendorf, Montreal
Jeff Hiemstra, Toronto
Sacha Moiseiwitsch, Vancouver
Jake Javanshir, Toronto
Noam Lapid, Montreal
Stephen Kamnitzer, Toronto
Naava Smolash, Vancouver
Tamara Herman, Victoria
Ryan Katz-Rosene, Ottawa
Sarah Fuchs, Montreal
Daniel Thau-Eleff, Winnipeg
Deborah Rachlis, Ottawa
Marie L. Belliveau, St. Catharines
Sarah Kardash, Sackville
David Taub Bancroft, Vancouver
Kinneret Sheetreet, Montreal
Rachel Marcuse, Vancouver
Lisa Barrett, Bowen Island
Maisie Jacobson, Montreal
Max Tennant,Vancouver
Noah Fine, Vancouver
David Hill, Vancouver
Corey Balsam, Ottawa
Lee Skinner, Vancouver
Britt Lehmann-Bender, Toronto
Alexis Mitchell, Toronto

LeDaro said...

It is sad. Can we still call ourselves Liberals.

Blues Clair said...

Isn't there a joke out there asking; What's the difference between a Liberal Hawk and a Neo-Con? There must be...

The Mound of Sound said...

If this is true, it's more than sad. We already have one authoritarian control freak plaguing Parliament, the last thing we need is some sort of mirror image "leading" the Liberal Party.

Skinny Dipper said...

Like James suggested in the first comment, how reliable? Where did you get your information? It may be true that Liberal MPs have been told not to go to pro-Gaza rallies. Where is your source?

Andy Lehrer said...

It's what demo organizers have been told.

Beijing York said...

I guess Ignatieff is taking his strategy of fighting the Conservatives from the right to a new level. Mimicking Harper in muzzling Liberal MPs would be a new low.

Anonymous said...