Today, Conservative Party of Canada members Michael Barrett and Luc Berthold released the following statement on the Liberal Party of Canada’s decision to invite former U.S. official, Ben Rhodes, to speak at the 2021 Liberal National Convention:
“It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Liberals are using their national convention to promote an individual who has made extreme partisan interventions in Israeli politics. Israel is an allied democracy, and we should respect its political choices – as Canadians would expect our allies to respect our democratic choices.
“According to media reports, Ben Rhodes has compared the democratically elected government of Israel to authoritarian regimes like Russia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, and frequently describes Israel’s government as ‘racist.’ Rhodes has also described Israel’s leaders as ‘corrupt and cruel.‘
“Rhodes is a vocal advocate of United Nations resolutions that condemn Israel. He has also been critical of a peace deal between Israel and the UAE, a criticism shared by the Iranian authoritarian regime. Rhodes has openly lamented that the Obama administration was not tougher on Israel, suggesting that wealthy Jewish donors were the reason the administration was so lenient.
“Under Erin O’Toole’s leadership, Conservatives will recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and move Canada’s embassy. We will also suspend funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has repeatedly promoted an antisemitic curriculum in its schools. Finally, we will list the Iranian regime as a terrorist entity under Canadian law, in accordance with the will of Canada’s Parliament.
“Canada’s Conservatives will always stand with the people of Israel, and the democratically-elected Israeli government that we are proud to call our friend and ally.”