Friday, May 20, 2011

Ali Mallah on his Canadian Arab Federation and union activist perspective on Canada's Israel

On May 19, 2011, CHUO 89.1 FM Ottawa The Train's Denis Rancourt interviewed Ali Mallah by phone to Toronto. Mr. Mallah is VP of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) and is a longtime unionist (CUPE, Ontario).

We talked about the Israel Lobby in Canada, the corporate fascism in which the state attempts to limit discussions about its moral malfeasance, the lack of firm principled positions of the NDP, war crimes in Gaza, Congo and Sudan, NATO interference in Libya, the grotesque "duty to protect" neo-liberal doctrine, the farce of mainstream media on Israel, the ideological mindset of Harper's party, and more...

Background links:
National Post goes after Ali Mallah and CAF

Related Canadian Jewish News article:
CIC offers Israel trip to NDP’s Layton

Staff Reporter
Thursday, June 24, 2010

It might be an offer he can’t refuse. Late last week, NDP Leader Jack Layton held discussions with Canada- Israel Committee CEO Shimon Fogel on the possibility of visiting Israel on a CIC-facilitated trip for the NDP’s caucus and various party members. It would be Layton’s first visit to Israel. The talk between the two men came after comments by deputy NDP leader Libby Davies at a June 5 anti-Israel rally in Vancouver, in which she said Israel’s occupation of Palestine began in 1948.

Davies’ remarks led to ongoing calls on Layton during question period in the House of Commons to either kick her out of the NDP caucus or replace her as deputy leader. The situation has also created some discord within the party, with the NDP MP for Outremont, Thomas Mulcair, criticizing his colleague for “grossly unacceptable” remarks. Fogel told The CJN late last week that he was “very encouraged” by Layton’s response to the trip proposal, which would allow the party leader to assemble a delegation of his choosing.

An invitation was also extended to Davies through Layton, Fogel added “It would be a dedicated NDP trip that would provide them with exposure to, and engagement of, the multiple stakeholders in the questions of the day,” Fogel said. There’s no set date for the trip, and the invitation is open-ended. Fogel said he’s now waiting to hear back from Layton, who indicated that he needed to give “logistical considerations” to the trip.

More importantly, Layton told Fogel that as long as he could “remain faithful” to his medical regimen while in Israel – Layton was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February – chances are good the trip will happen. “We’re pretty optimistic we will be able to help facilitate for [Layton] and his party a trip that will give them a more fulsome appreciation of the challenges facing Israel and the complexity of the issues that draw everybody’s attention there,” Fogel said. “My sense is we’ll find a window in the current calendar year for him to go and benefit from that direct [Israel] experience.”

With Parliament now shut down for the summer months, freeing up parliamentarians’ time, Fogel guessed the trip could happen sooner rather than later. In an e-mail response to queries about the trip proposal, Karl Bélanger, the NDP’s senior press secretary, wrote that Layton “appreciates” the invitation, but the NDP won’t comment on the subject until an actual trip is planned. He added: “Many New Democrats have been to the Middle East over the years, some of them at the initiative of the Canada-Israel Committee.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

All non-anonymous comments are welcome.