Here is a copy of a letter I have sent today to the Liberal Friends of Israel. The group is small in size, but I have supported it since its very conception.
Dear Michael, Meredith, Jason and Ken,
There is no need for me to say that I, as a Liberal, and as a citizen of the world, am concerned over the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip. I am, as I'm sure all of you are.
As you all know, I have been an avid supporter of Liberal Friends of Israel, emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. I have rallied to the cause as often as time and money allowed. As a person that has always considered myself "pro-Israel", I have very rarely called into question the actions of Israel. Least of all have I never called into question Israel's right to defend itself.
Over the past weeks I have expressed, at great length, my opinions that I do not support the current military mission that Israel has undertaken in Gaza. Since the expression of said thoughts, I've been called an anti-Semite, a Jew hater, a bigot, a neo-nazi, a liar and a terrorist supporter.
As a life long Liberal, I have always been of the impression that we, as Liberals, belong to a party that encouraged debate and did not try to censor, stifle or end said debate. Yet, over the past week alone, I have heard rumours of our own MPs being told not to speak about Gaza, I have witnessed firsthand our new War Room adviser stifle debate on his blog as often as possible (even referring to me as a "former liberal activist'), I have witnessed the Chair of Communications for Liberal Friends for Israel stifle debate on his Liblog aggregator and his one-sided participation in comment sections across the internet.
I have been ridiculed to no end over these past days.
I will repeat to you all my assertions that I have stated openly on my own Weblog:
1. I support the independent State of Israel and its right to exist.
2. I support Israel's right to defend itself from any and all enemies of the State of Israel
3. I do not support the use of rockets and/or any other use of force by militant and terrorist groups against the State of Israel
4. I do not recognize the duly elected Hamas government and do not support the ideology of said Hamas
5. I do not recognize or support Hezbollah or condone its use of rockets and/or the use of any other force from Lebanon directed at the State of Israel
6. I do not support the current military mission by the State of Israel that is taking place in the Gaza Strip.
7. I do not support the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip
While I agree with the statement of the Leader of the Liberal Party about the situation in the Gaza, I feel our party should have mentioned the extreme concern over the loss of civilian death, in particular the children of Palestine. I feel we as Liberals should call for an immediate ceasefire which is needed to allow for the delivery of much needed civilian and medical supplies. I also feel a need for a call for the ban on foreign journalists entering Gaza to be lifted immediately as per the Supreme Court of Israel's own decision.
With the amount of rhetoric, and, given the stifling of the debate by this group's Chair of Communication, I feel I must resign from Liberal Friends of Israel. I will forthwith continue my support of Israel through the active group known as J Street.
I thank you all for your continued work towards just causes in the Middle East.
James C. Curran
Liberal Friend of Israel