Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Liberals Respond to Gaza War

Here is what Michael Ignatieff had to say about the war in Gaza.

"I am greatly concerned by the deepening violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip and the fear and suffering on all sides that this mounting instability has caused.

The Liberal Party of Canada unequivocally condemns the rocket attacks launched by Hamas against Israeli civilians and calls for an immediate end to these attacks. We affirm Israel's right to defend itself against such attacks, and also its right to exist in peace and security.

We regret the loss of life sustained on all sides of the conflict. We call on all parties to end these hostilities, mindful that a durable ceasefire will be necessary to prevent continued civilian casualties and lasting damage to essential civilian infrastructure.

The international community has a responsibility to ensure that the cost of conflict is not borne by the innocent and Canada must stand ready to assist and ensure that basic humanitarian assistance reaches those who need it.

Our thoughts are with those in Israel and the Gaza Strip whose lives are imperiled by the cycle of violence in the region. In the midst of this crisis, we continue to stand for a peaceful resolution. We firmly believe that the basis of this peace will be the mutual recognition by both Israelis and Palestinians of two states, living side by side in peace and security, with a full resolution of the issue of refugees and settlements, as well as secure and internationally recognized borders and boundaries."

Michael Ignatieff had the biggest challenge in responding to the war in Gaza. During the Lebanon War in 2006, Israel killed a Canadian Peace Keeper. Ignatieff rushed out to condemn Israel for being guilty of war crimes. It did not take long for the evidence to mount that while the death was tragic Israel had acted appropriated. The victim had even left documentation that Israel was responding to Hizzbullah using the UN compound to launch attacks on Israel.

Ignatieff spent time before the last election appologizing for his mistake and trying make ammends within the Jewish community. This was the first true litmus test to his sincerity. The statement is simple. Israel has an obligation to protect it's people. The innocent should not suffer from the conflict.

Ignatieff's comments in 2006 have left me skeptical of his ability to be a credible leader of a federal party. His statements on the current situation are refreshing and demonstrate he may have what it takes to lead Canada either on the opposition benches or as Prime Minister.

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