Jack Layton shows his ignorance....
You can download an interview conducted with NDP Leader Jack Layton held with represenatives of the Canadian Jewish Community. Here are his answers are current politics in the Palestinian Authority.
Marc GoldIt's clear that Jack just doesn't know what's happening in the middle east - this is the leader of a national party and he is professing ignorance. This should be a national story.
Thank you, Ed. This is a question returning us to the Middle East and it is with regards to the upcoming election in the Palestinian Authority. As you know, the elections for the Palestinian legislative council are scheduled to take place in late January of this year, assuming that they are not deferred as some have speculated. Do you believe that Canada should engage in dialogue with Hamas candidates who are participating in the elections and may in fact become part of the Palestinian government, yet as members of Hamas remain committed by virtue of their charter to the destruction of Israel?
I didn’t know that that was under way. I would like to do a little further research on that particular question and get back to you, because I’m not clear on precisely what you are proposing might be taking place and I would like to know more. We certainly are all of us thinking very much right now today and at this very moment about the circumstances of security in the Middle East, in Israel. Let me take this opportunity to express at a very personal level our feelings and Sharon. We are focusing very much on his family and those close to him. We are hoping that there is somehow good news soon.
On the broader question, this is a time for all parties to pull back, for political advantage, absolutely not to be taken and anything that we can do to be helpful in that regard in a small way, certainly anything that Canada can do to help ensure that the political temperature which is difficult at the best of times is not elevated in any way in this period anywhere in the Middle East. It is certainly going to be a top priority. I think all of us are very very concerned.
Thank you, Mr. Layton and we are – the entire community appreciates your latter comments, but just as a follow-up, the elections for the Palestinian legislative council which are scheduled will have running in those elections members of Hamas and Hamas, as you know, neither renounces arm struggle nor accepts the legitimacy of Israel. It calls for its physical destruction. Do you believe that a group like Hamas becomes a legitimate player in a political process simply because it fields candidates in an election?
Well, we are opposed absolutely and unalterably to terrorism, to suicide bombing. We have taken actions in the House in support of that and to us, a democratic process is anathema to terrorism and violence and these would be the principles that we think should govern relationships. In terms of the specifics of what level of engagement Canada might have with particular candidates or parties in these elections, I’m going to have to say I will have to get back to you because I’m not aware of the level of connection or involvement that you are talking about here.