Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Resignation from Liberal Friends of Israel

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.

(emails witheld)
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.

Yours Sincerely,

James C. Curran
Liberal Friend of Israel


Chrystal Ocean said...

James, would you say that the majority of Liberals agree with this part of point 4? - I do not recognize the duly elected Hamas government.

(Serious question, not a snark.)

James Curran said...

No. I wouldn't. Some would disagree they were duly elected.

Doyen said...

You've made the first step, why not go all the way...?

ch said...

James, I don't feel as you do, but I understand since I have felt that way in past decades. Then I learned a lot more and came to the conclusion that the mideast really is a problem with no solution and essentially anything Israel does is not going to work. It's not that I don't recognize Israel could do better, but my negativity towards Israel's actions is only a small fraction of my negativity towards the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah, neither of whom value the lives of the people they claim to represent.

On the other hand, the suffering of the Gazans is beyond words. Somehow they have to get representatives who really care about them and value their lives more than they hate Israel.

Obviously, something dramatic needs to change in the Mideast. At this point I want leaders to work to having a ceasefire that will actually work for at least many months and resolve to use that time to agressively work for change. However, it is extremely difficult to be optimistic about the Mideast.

lyrical said...

Here is the most viewed article on the Guardian UK's site today. It's written by a Canadian.

penlan said...

Hi James,

A couple of questions.

How long has the group "Liberal Friends of Israel" been in existence?
Whose idea was it to form the group & who actually started it?

Guess that's 3 questions. ;)

James Curran said...

Well. I believe the group was formed in 2006 by Meredith Caplan and Michael Levitt after Iggy's "War Crimes" remarks on Qana. Not sure if Cherniak was involved at the outset.

S.K. said...

James, Hamas seized power. They were absolutely not duely elected. That is the UN position by the way. And perhaps you should listen to Fatah, THE elected Palestinian government who supports what Israel is doing in principle if not every action.

The silence was also defening from duely elected Arab governments, not Iran or Syria, when Israel attempted to battle Hezbollah. They in fact also agreed with what Israel was doing and knew about it before hand.

Hamas, aka Islamic Jihad, are an extremist terrorist group, not an elected government. Their goal is to kill all Jews, just as Hezbollah's goal is the same. Not just destroy the state of Israel.

I'm sorry James, they don't want to kill your new baby daughter, but if I had one, they would want to kill mine. It is their stated goal and purpose. Governance is not.

Israel wants to live in peace. Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah want to kill all Jews. They don't care how many of their own people die in the process. They use them as sheilds and use schools to store weapons. They dress as civillians. They think Palestininas who die in this cause are martyrs and will be rewarded in heaven. They don't care. They target innocent children and civillians. israel kills innocent civillians being used as shields, by Islamic Jihad by accident.

I honestly don't believe you have the right to your opinions from your arm chair. Why don't you try siding with Fatah, who do understand the situation quite well and are concerned about the palestinina people and governance.

I wonder how many African lives could have been saved if every time a fanatical military dictatorship took power that didn't care about their own people, someone, anyone, especially a neighboring country being attacked tried to stop them.

Just something to think about. Military dictatorships who seize power, based on fanatical religious beliefs don't tend to take care of their people terribly well.

Liberals need to stop siding with fanatical Muslim terrorists who want to kill Jews and hate the West, because of photo ops they create with children as victims and listen to legitimate Muslim governments of those regions, if they care to take an informed and legitimate position.

James Curran said...

Shoshanna! Why do you always insist on bringing my children into a debate? WHY!?

Yes, Hamas was elected to a majority in 2006

Do any of us recognize them as a government? NO. Do any of us support their actions against Israel? NO. Do any of us subscibe to their belief that all Jews must die? NO.

And as for your Arab contention

This is about kids dying. I don't like it. 300 so far. I suspect the real number is much higher.

S.K. said...

Because Hamas and Hezbollah don't want to kill your children James. It's a valid point and one you need to consider before spouting from your arm chair. They do however want to kill Jason Cherniak, myself and any other Jews, including children. If they wanted to kill your children you might have a different opinion. Do you really think Hamas, aka Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah cares about children, even palestinian children? They use them as props and use their schools and apartment buildings as weapons store houses and cover for their rocket and gun fire. Then when they are killed, they use them as photo props. Children are most important in this debate james. It is the standard tactic used by these people filled with extreme hate for Jews and the west to garner sympathy from Liberals like yourself.

Actually they probably would kill your children if they got the chance because they are western infindels. They certainly don't think your daughters should grow up to be anything other than mutilated sexual slaves and domestic servants for men.

Why would you defend these radical, and I mean Radical, Hate filled, evil people who want kill all Jews, destroy Isreal, topple the West, bring Islamic jihad to the Planet and enslave women.

I just don't get it James. You should think about your children when you formulate your sympathetic opinions about these terrorists, especially your daughters.

And yes when children are used as shields for terrorist regimes to launch rockets they tend to die. This is not a surprise and is contrived to gain your sympathy, when it should gain your revulsion for the tactic.

James Curran said...

Well kill them all then shoshanna. Kill them all. If ALL Palestinians are of the same opinion, just nuke Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon and get it over with. Fuck it. Kill 'em all! It'll only take a day to level 160 sq. Miles. Go for it! Write those Istraeli MPs and tell 'em that's the only way any Jew will be safe.

And, for the last time, leave my children out of this.

The Doctor said...

Hamas doesn't need to love Israel's children, they just need to love their own.

James Curran said...

Bob Rae has finally given you a statement Doc.

jaded101 said...

wow, by the way they are not truth-telling, I realize I never knew there were so many anti-arab racists.

The Doctor said...

Interesting statement James.

Rae calls for a durable ceasefire.

Exactly what is needed.

A ceasefire where Hamas no longer fires rockets and no longer has access to arms and munitions.