LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government Attacks Liberal Opposition: Tries to Associate Michael Ignatieff with Anti-Semitism – Kevin Parkinson – November 21, 2009

Politics sunk into an unprecedented abyss last week in this country when the Prime Minister of Canada approved advertising that accused the official opposition, the Liberal Party of Canada, of being  associated with anti-Semitism.

The government flyers state: that the Liberals participated in a conference in Durban on racism in 2001;  allegedly supported terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah ; and that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff accused Israel of committing war crimes against the Lebanese in 2006.  Furthermore, Stephen Harper says all of the above actions are associated with anti-Semitism. The flyers target ridings with large Jewish communities.

The Liberal party has strenuously refuted this information as incorrect, and has denied these allegations of anti-Semitism. The party is stunned and incensed.

It would take more space than is available here to analyze each of the Conservative accusations, but the question is: Why is the government using taxpayer dollars to perpetuate what has become an aggressive and unrelenting attack on the opposition parties? Some of these ads have included personal attacks against Mr. Ignatieff.

Governments are expected to lead by example, be role models for the younger generations and set the highest ethical standards for all of us. Governments are in parliament to serve the will of the people, and to carry out what they have promised to the taxpayers. Governments are supposed to govern, not continually attack the opposition parties.

But when a government lacks leadership and innovation in these tough economic times, it loses focus, and then turns outward and goes on the attack. The Conservative government hopes to gain votes by inflaming the population against the opposition while using taxpayer money to fund these attacks!

In this case the Conservative government is trying to inflame the Canadian Jewish community by implying that any criticism of Israel by the Liberals or others, constitutes anti-Semitism- which is absolutely false. By accusing Israel of committing war crimes against the Lebanese,  Ignatieff  was being brutally honest and outspoken, but certainly this  could not be considered racism.

The Canadian Jewish community, itself, should be outraged at Harper’s transparent attempt to manipulate their feelings to capture their votes.

The federal Conservative government is a rudderless ship that is lost at sea and is becoming increasingly desperate. Stephen Harper must make an about face, and issue a public apology to the Liberal party for his serious error in judgement.  For Harper to play the anti-Semitic card as has been done, sets a new low in the ethics and the tone of Canadian politics.

The crux of this issue is illustrated by a quotation from Thomas Fuller(1661): “ He that flings dirt at another dirtieth himself the most.”

Canadians deserve more from their Prime Minister.

Kevin Parkinson
‘Reality Check’ Blog

Letters to the Editor are solely the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Newspaper, editor, or sponsors.

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