Lloyd Axeworthy has some explaining to do...
This is from Linda Williamson's column in the Toronto Sun.
Finally, a funny thing happened to one of those "neutral" Liberal advocates, Lloyd Axworthy, a few weeks ago. The former Liberal foreign affairs minister was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press as complaining that the powerful Asper family -- owners of the National Post and the CanWest Global media chain -- were exerting too much influence on goverment policy through their media outlets. (The Aspers happen to be Jewish and the papers take a pro-Israel stance.)
"The Aspers are playing a far more important role in shaping Canadian foreign policy," was the quote.
The paper profusely apologized the next day when it turned out its reporter had misheard Axworthy, who actually said "diasporas" -- not "the Aspers"!
But the mixup let Axworthy off the hook for a comment that should be examined. Which "diasporas" does he think are becoming "important" (and apparently too much so) in shaping policy? The term "diaspora" can mean any widely dispersed ethnic group, but it originated with and is primarily used to refer to Jews. Even if he meant ethnic groups in general, let's face it, he's criticizing a pro-Israel policy.
It's hard to escape the conclusion that he was suggesting the Jewish community had too much influence over Harper -- just not in those words. If that's not true, great -- but I'd say he has as much explaining to do as the reporter who misheard him.