Don Davies, Ed Holder and peace in the Middle East

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.