Jewish Group Condemns Feeding Frenzy Surrounding Libby Davies
June 16, 2010
Independent Jewish Voices Canada condemns what it calls a feeding frenzy around NDP Member of Parliament Libby Davies.
Whats next?asked IJV-C spokesperson Larry Haiven. Will Canadian politicians have to take a loyalty oath to the State of Israel in order to hold office? The feeding frenzy is outrageous. Libby Davies is one the bravest and most honest politicians in Canada. She has done more for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians than any other Canadian politician.
Members of the Conservative, Liberal and even her own New Democratic Party have rushed to denounce Davies as anti-Israel for remarks she made on video to an internet journalist and some have called for her to be expelled from her caucus. Ms. Davies has apologized for and clarified some of her remarks but the hysteria continues. In fact the story is no longer what Libby Davis said but the mania surrounding it, said Haiven, It is a distraction from more pressing issues like the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla.
The central remark causing the uproar was that Israel had been occupying Palestinian territory since 1948. This is factually correct. In the 1948 Israeli War of Independence (known to the Palestinians as the 'Nakba') more than 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave what later became the State of Israel. They have never been allowed to return. Much of the land that these people left had been designated by the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 as Palestinian territory, Haiven explained.
But pointing out this fact is not tantamount to denying Israels right to exist. Says Haiven, Historians (including Israeli scholars like Benny Morris), governments and individuals all over the world acknowledge that Israel seized Palestinian territory in 1948 (and again in 1967) and expelled the Palestinian residents. Nevertheless, the prevailing consensus is that Israel has the right to exist within the territory it was occupying at the end of its War of Independence (the so-called Green Line.) Even the PLO has conceded this point.
We condemn all those who would pillory Ms. Davies, said Haiven, But we are particularly disappointed with NDP leader Jack Layton and NDP MP Thomas Mulcair. The NDP should stop this nonsense and address the underlying issues that are at the root of the continuing crisis in Israel and Palestine.For more information contact
Independent Jewish Voices - Canada
Phone: (902) 240-2782
Website: ijvcanada.orgClick here to view our Sources Listing: