Don Davies, Ed Holder and peace in the Middle East

by Aaron Wherry

Conservative Ed Holder’s been an MP for barely three months and already he’s got protesters occupying his constituency office. That has to be some sort of record.

Nonetheless, the prize for “Most Uncomfortable Interaction With Public Debate By A Rookie MP” surely belongs to the NDP’s Don Davies, as detailed in this delightful little tale from a rally in Vancouver.

The Courier describes the scene as follows.

Moments later, the NDP arrived. Don Davies, MP for Vancouver Kingsway, stepped up to the microphone and onto the political minefield of Middle East politics, where nerves are frayed and semantics matter.

Davies, whose suit and tie ensemble seemed oddly inappropriate, spoke for 30 seconds before his speech blew up in his face. After condemning the escalating violence in Gaza and calling for an Israeli ceasefire, he said “and Palestinians must also stop violence against Israel.”

A brief silence was followed by a smattering of boos. A bearded man, with an umbrella in one hand and a Palestinian flag in the other, shouted “Shame on you! Shame, shame!”

Davies abruptly surrendered the microphone and a female voice thundered from the loudspeaker. “Israel is waging war on the Palestinians! Our resistance will not be criminalized!”

The crowd cheered and chanted. Davies limped back to the mic. “My friends, do not take anything I’ve said to justify Israeli actions that we’ve seen.”

But the damage was done. The crowd, already suspicious of federal politicians, dismissed Davies with silence. Pale and wet, he descended the gallery steps, nervously scanned the crowd, and disappeared into the sea of umbrellas.




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Don Davies, Ed Holder and peace in the Middle East

  1. Good day, Mr. Davies. Will you be having the frying pan or the fire today ?

  2. Poor, Mr. Davies, thinking it was ok to denounce bombings that harm innocent civilians. Far more politically correct, sir, to support the harm to innocent civilians if they are Israeli. Try it at the next Middle East (cough!) peace (cough!) rally.

    • a highly emotional and sensitive issue addressed in a highly emotive environment doesn’t generate level-headed clear thinking….. shocking really.

  3. A rookie New Democrat doesn’t pander to the pro-Palestinian lobby. Consider me impressed!

  4. Praying for world peace,eh? Maniac! Charlatan!

  5. Surely the more inane group are the People for Peace for in London. Why do all these ‘peace’ groups never seem to care about rocket fire from Palestinians. Whenever I see ‘peace’ in a group’s title, I know they are an anti-semite org. Stopping Hamas from firing rockets into Israel all the time would go a long way to establishing peace. And these clowns must have a lot of time on their hands because occupying a newbie MPs office in order to force him to change party policy seems rather futile.

    And I know this is about MPs but Fairfax Culpepper in Vancouver cracks me up. Apparently, according to Fairfax, the protests are all about palestinian workers and helping them get better dental plans or somesuch. The people of the world, through UN and EU aid, are not doing enough to support workers rights to enhanced benefits!

  6. “Whenever I see ‘peace’ in a group’s title, I know they are an anti-semite org.”

    wow.

    • Google “Israeli Peace Groups” – you get 14000+ hits, and they’re all anti-semites, I guess.

      Real piece of work, jwl.

  7. ( I have heard the pleas for my return)

    (comment to follow this dramatic announcement)

  8. A useful analytical tool in determining cause and effect is the simple time series comparison.

    What happens in response to what, and when that response happens is very useful in understanding human behaviour, and the implications of that behaviour.

    “Peace” for many on the left and far left, is a relative term, and one that is often reserved for those whom they deem fit (or more fit) to live peacable lives, to the exclusion of others. A more cynical way of looking at it (and I believe a more truthful way) is that selected “peace” really translates to taking sides at a minimum, or worse, wanting one side to “win” in an active conflict.

    And so back to our time series comparison we can see the obvious emerge.

    Worldwide calls for “peace” and “non-violence” do not follow from a daily bombardment of rockets into civilian areas (intentionally so, to terrorize the civilian population – Hamas is after all a terror organization), where the target is Israel.

    It is only AFTER Israel’s response do we hear calls for peace and ceasefire.

    Peace for peace’s sake is a two way street. “Peace” for one side, is in actually support for war, support for the “correct” side.

    • “Peace” for many on the left and far left, is a relative term

      On what evidence do you base that assertion?

    • I liked it better when some people missed you.

      • He amuses me when he reveals that he himself knows he’s full of it. But then he regresses and it becomes dreary again.

        I’m so tired of these accusations of moral bankruptcy coming from people who are, to varying degrees of import, transparently morally bankrupt themselves. It’s so…oh, I don’t know….sociopathic?

    • Kody – If i follow yr fractured syntax and elastic reasoning [ maybe it's the other way , who cares?] you are in effect saying : if israel stops responding to Hamas’s attacks, but Hamas carries on its indefensible attacks, then ” today’s tolerant proggressive left” will all cheer and collectively sigh and say: ” ah! peace at last, thank god it’s allover now, let’s go home.” This kody is seriously INSANE! But then so’s the whole middle east, so why not pile on?

      • ” if israel stops responding to Hamas’s attacks, but Hamas carries on its indefensible attacks, today’s tolerant proggressive left” will all cheer and collectively sigh and say: ” ah! peace at last, thank god it’s allover now, let’s go home.”

        Why is that insane? That’s whats been happening for the past few years.

        Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel the past few years and msm/left barely mention it. Israel fights back and now there mass protests, articles …. etc. Why the sudden interest?

        • Why the sudden interest?

          I don’t know…because you don’t have better things to talk about?

          The actual regeneration of activity in this issue is with the Right once again using this issue as a cudgel with which to beat domestic political adversaries over the head with and accuse them, yet again, of moral bankruptcy. They did it the last time in 2006 during the Israel-Lebanon war; after that went really badly, they just went silent.

        • “Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel the past few years and msm/left barely mention it.”

          I did a quick and addmittedly unscientific browse for articles in the Canadian MSM, which cited Hamas rocket attacks PRIOR to the latest Israeli actions. Not opinion pieces, but factual reports of rocket attacks on Israel.

          The National Post seemed to have the fewest. The CBC, the most.

          Damned left wing Post.

          I suspect what you really mean jwl is “The papers I read barely mention it”, or perhaps “I only remember what I want to remember”.

          • I think that it is unquestionable that the coverage now is exponentially larger than before, now that Israel is actually fighting back. Your claim otherwise is a blatant denial of obvious reality.

            When Hamas was landing rockets on Israel, it was occasiionally mentioned in the back pages. Back then, there were no UN resolutions, there were no protests on the streets in countries everywhere, and there was no mention of it on these blogs. It was a sidebar.

  9. Personal attacks?

    From today’s “tolerant progressive left?”

    How surprising.

    Interesting that my entire point is about the evidence – the calls for peace are timed so as to only call for peace for the enemies of Israel -

    is met with an evidence and content free, insult laden cry of “lack of evidence!!”

    I wonder when folks here will figure out that resort to thuggish, totalitarianesque, content free shout downs,

    serves only to strengthen the points I am making.

    Oh yes, I’m aware that on a very gutteral level they make the attacker “feel good”, and perhaps that’s what its all about, but surely that good feeling must be fleeting and unsatisfying, knowing that all one has to counter the point being made, is the base smear, which surely goes to prove the recipient of the attack correct.

    • is met with an evidence and content free, insult laden cry of “lack of evidence!!”

      No such thing happened. I asked you very civilly if you had any evidence to back up the assertion you made which, not to put too fine a point on it, was a vicious, vile, vitriol-laden accusation of moral bankruptcy.

      In fact, it was assault….assault!

  10. *winces* poor guy. This is what bothers me : you can’t make a point for peace and suggest that both sides bare responsibility without being called a terrorist, anti-semetic, or a murderer.

    • Or tolerant.

      • “Both sides?”

        Interesting. I don’t seem to recall mass worldwide headline grabbing outrage by “peace” activists, when Israelis were being rocketed by the thousands over the past year.

        I believe the point I was making is that “both sides” are not being blamed.

        To suggest that is not to accuse others of murder, or terrorism.

        That being said, the attempts to even draw moral equivalances between Israelis regime with Hamas (let alone suggest Israel is the malevolent party) is worthy of moral condemnation.

        Hamas has in its founding charter, the destruction of Israel.
        It regularly (as a matter of policy, not “one off’s”) engages in warcrimes by: not wearing uniforms, intermingling barracks and forces with civilians, launching weapons from schools and hospitals, mosques, utlizing amulances as getaway vehicles etc,

        all of which are not only intended as a defensive mechanism but as an overt attempt to incite civilian casualties amongsth their own people for propaganda purposes.

        On the offensive side Hamas intentionally targets Israeli citizens and considers all Israelis, targets.

        Hamas actively teaches the most brutal form of racism and anti-Semitism to their children/students (and airs cartoons which depict anti-Semitic characters which kill Israelis) and generally promote a culture of hatred for Jews such that it is not uncommon for kids as young as five or six to be paraded around with suicide belts and AK 47s citing “death to jews”.

        Make no mistake about it. But for the culture of death and terrorism promoted by Hamas and its supporters in Iran and Syria, there would have been lasting peace in the region decades ago.

        Regrettably, instead of building schools and roads, and infrastructure for commerce to better their people’s lives, they instead willingly became an ideological proxy tool of Iran and Syria, and allowed their countrymen to be coopted in an ideological war in which children are now more valuable being paraded around dead in front of cameras, than they are as potential productive members of society.

        To compare Hamas to Isreal is worthy of moral condemnation, yes.

        • I don’t seem to recall mass worldwide headline grabbing outrage by “peace” activists, when Israelis were being rocketed by the thousands over the past year.

          Well, why didn’t you organise any?

  11. Kody – If i follow yr fractured syntax and elastic reasoning [ maybe it's the other way , who cares?] you are in effect saying : if israel stops responding to Hamas’s attacks, but Hamas carries on its indefensible attacks, then ” today’s tolerant proggressive left” will all cheer and collectively sigh and say: ” ah! peace at last, thank god it’s allover now, let’s go home.” This kody is seriously INSANE! But then so’s the whole middle east, so why not pile on?

  12. Don Davies is an honourable man; I’ve known him since the late 80′s in university, and he is one of the few people(as in less than five) I’ve met that I would work/campaign for, even if doing so would mean crossing party lines.

    I was glad to see he didn’t pander to the crowd, and I hope he doesn’t pander to “official” party policy, either. What he said may not have been politically “smart”, but I think it was correct; it takes two to tangle, and two to talk. Explicit acknowledgement of the legitimacy of each “sides” leadership is the necessary first step. No war, or “conflict” has ever ended without some form of negotiation.

  13. As I type this,

    Israel has commenced its unilateral ceasefire, in the hopes that Hamas will also stop. Israel soldiers exposed, unfiring, a good faith effort to stop the war in the hopes that Hamas will take the olive branch for the sake of its people.

    Hamas: they’ve fired two more rockets into Israel already.

    Question: how can one ever make peace with a regime who’s objectives apparantly include perpetual war?

    • “Israel said it would cease fire from 2 a.m. on Sunday.”
      - Reuters

    • I wonder if the Israelis agreed to cease fire now because of inauguration in a few days. To make The One’s day all that more special.

      Does anyone really believe the Egyptians are going to do anything to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza? How long before they are fighting again since Hamas leadership is saying they are going to ignore ceasefire and continue firing rockets.

      I was hoping the Israelis would continue their war against Hamas until every last terrorist was dead. These cease fires only prolong the war, it would be much better if the Israelis pulverized Hamas.

      • Yes, it is obvious now that the only way to end this conflict is for there to be a winner. And there is only one side that can win this war (for at least as long as Iran does not have the bomb).

        • The problem is, genocide is really bad for PR.

          • The other problem being that support for Hamas in the West Bank has mushroomed and Fatah is slowly limping out the back door.

          • Genocide is not a requirement. Wars are not won with genocide, they are won by obliterating the opponent in battle. So the Israelis must obliterate the source of any attacks (rockets, leaders of Hama, etc) and continue to do so until the opponent surrenders or the attacks have ceased completely.

      • Jwl
        you asked earier why i thought kody’s generalizations were bogus maybe even insane. Well that’s it; it’s all generalizations and smears, as he likes frequently to say. Yes there is a lony fringe who don’t have the courage of their convictions to actually go and fight for hamas or out of some bizarre concept of fairness, bullying, whatever. Then there’s the rump of people in the middle who just want this madness to end. But you say why don’t they protest both sides? For the same reason we didn’t protest both sides equally during the cold war. If i show by my actions that i don’t want a particular thing to happen i can only expect to be effective say against my own country or any other democracy. In the cold war it was unlikely i could change the opinion of a totalitarian country. Besides we’re supposed to be the good guys, we’re supposed to have higher standards.
        The same is true of Israel. I expect them to have higher standards then hamas, who aren’t going to listen to me anyway. Of course many in Israel look at this the same way. I’ll finish by quoting Golda Meir, very moving i think you’ll agree: ” We can forgive you for killing our chidren. What we can’t forgive you for is for making us kill yours”. A sentiment that’s unlikely to be found amongst hamas. From Israel or any democracy i expect more.

        • “I expect them to have higher standards then hamas”

          What a trivialization!

          Israel is fighting for its survival. It has been invaded by its neighbours numerous times, in 1948, 1967, and most recently in 2006. In 1948 they were attacked by six countries, if I remember correctly. Many of the people in Israel are Holocaust survivors and children of Holocaust survivors, an event in which their entire ethnic group was targeted for genocide for no particular reason. Israel wants nothing more than to be left alone. They left Gaza unilaterally in order to try to achieve that goal, and now they have rockets raining on their heads.

          I don’t protest against a group just because they will listen to me, I protest against a group because I think they are wrong.

          Your comments strike me as being moral relativism at its worst. You prefer to choose a side because it is the easier path, not because it is right or wrong.

          “the rump of people in the middle who just want this madness to end”

          Hamas does not want this to end. Israel does. They have wanted peace for 60 years. Hamas wants to kill all the Jews. So who do you side with? How do you make the madness end? It will not end if Israel does nothing – that will make it last another hundred years.

          • SF
            Did you read any thing i wrote? Where is the moral relativism? i make a reasoned arguement for why people don’t protest Hamas, ie they don’t care what i think, but Israel does because Israel IS a moral country and you go off the deep end. Find any post where i have attacked, or even criticised Israel. Who gored yr ox? I might understand if you were Jewish, Israeli, a child of a holocaust survivor. So don’t lecture me buddy, if you feel so strongly about it head off over there and fight. Otherwise spare me yr sanctimony.

          • sf
            moral relativism in this case, to me at least, would be my saying: a pox on both their houses.They’re just as bad as each other. This is not my position and i don’t believe i said that. israel is clearly defending herslf. And whatever moral restrainsts she puts on herself are for her sake; not the Palestinians, who have made some very bad choices in their history. That said i don;t have to approve of everything Israel does or says. why should i? israelis are their own biggest critics.
            It’s becoming increasing clear that if you take this kind of moral stance in this country you risk having someone coming down on you like a ton of bricks. political correctness closes off the mind for everyone, not just those on the left of any particular issue.

          • sf,

            well said.

            It’s astonishing how people simply brush aside overt declarations of Israel’s destruction, the culture in which “Jew Hating Rabbits” are on TV shows for children, teaching them that the Jews will be annhialated, the series of attempts by Israels neighbors to carry out that destruction since its inception,

            all in the context of Israel being formed following a near successful attempt to destroy the Jewish people in which millions of Jews were systematically killed,

            as mere “dissagreements”.

        • Jews in Israel do have higher standards. About 20% of Israel population is Arab/Druze and under the law they are considered full citizens. How many Jews do you think there are living in Gaza with equal rights? Israelis bend over backwards to help many Arabs because they know it’s in their best interest to be friendly with Arabs if at all possible.

          I always find these arguments about expecting some people to behave better than others to be a kind of racism or xenophobia. It’s like people are arguing that Arabs can’t help but being homicidal maniacs so lets just focus our outrage on the Jews instead. And the Meir quote shows they Jews do have higher standards – they are worried about what’s happening to their society. Do you think the Palestinians give a toss what happens to Jewish children. I don’t, they seem to like and revel in death.

          Hamas has fired something like 6,000 rockets into Israel over the past few years and the Israelis are just now doing something about it. They are obviously acting to a higher standard than the Arabs are. All these protests I see in North America and Europe are obviously anti-semitic, it’s staring people in the face.

          What would you want to happen if this was occurring in Canada. The natives have good arguments to fell aggrieved about European settlers taking their land. If a bunch of natives on a reserve were firing rockets into a few nearby cities, what would you expect our governments to do? Would there be all this hand-wringing non-sense about higher standards or would you expect the Prov/Feds to act?

          • jwl
            “The Meir quote shows jews do have higher standards…” My pt exactly. I see that reasoning on this subject with the likes of you, Kody or sf is a waste of my time. On this post anyway you alldemonstrate the comprehension skills of three yr olds. Why is it that the right wears this issue like a hairshirt that they alone have the right to wear? I can already hear yr response: because the left wont. And i say don’t lump me in with those losers. who are you to throw around insults like rascist or xenophobe. Since you brought up the anology about First Nations Canadians i’ll extend it shall i? It always amuses me to see earnest folks so self-indentify with native issues they lose perspective an begin to think it’s OUR problem, as in WE natives. [ And on this pt i do have a little insight, having lived on a reserve.] Get the anology yet? let me guess you don’t particularly like it do you? Perhaps i’m overgeneralizing or tarring everyone with the same brush. Think about it. Quit yr lecturing and stow yr sanctimony unless you can find real failures of logic on my side.
            I said earlier that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to take any kind of moral stance that isn;t simply just shouting down the other guy or simply trying to drown them out with yr own phoney sanctimony. You’ve just demonstrated my pt precisely.

  14. Judging by the reaction to Davies, the supporters were protesting the right to lob rockets into Israel without fear of retaliation? Great protest.

  15. Hamas has now declared a one week ceasefire.

  16. From the BBC right now:

    “A volley of rockets has been fired into southern Israel from Gaza, hours after a unilateral Israeli ceasefire began.”

    • Kody you citing the beeb is like…really cool. Did you check yr source for left wing bias?

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