Canada should be an honest broker, he suggested. “It’s part of our role.
“I remember in the past, the minister of foreign affairs of Canada receiving a phone call from his counterpart in Israel asking him to be in touch with a group in Lebanon that was legitimate but not willing to believe what the government of Israel was telling them. And he said to the minister of foreign affairs, it was Mr. Manley. ‘I think if it is coming from you, because you have strong links with them, it may help us. It may help us.’ And I’m not sure today Canada is in a situation to do that anymore. And I think we should. In order to help all our partners, including Israel.”
Dion signalled that Canada’s foreign policy on the Middle East would change — if not in action, at least in tone.
“The main difference is that we will stop to make it a partisan issue,” he said. “Mr. Harper wanted to embarrass the party of the opposition, but in doing so he damaged the strength of the relationship between Canada and Israel. Israel is a friend. It is an ally. But for us to be an effective ally, we need also to strengthen our relationship with [other] legitimate partners in the region. We need to, for example, strengthen our relationship with Lebanon.”
“Israel understands that, for Canada to be helpful, we need to strengthen our links with countries that are around Israel and should be part of the solution and not becoming completely dysfunctionalized. Unfortunately, [like] Syria became.”
Dion said he is convinced the Liberals will be able to have a foreign policy that reaches out to the “immense majority” of Canadians and one that reflects what Canada is as a country."Immense majority"--that's an example of the iffy syntax I was talking about.
Looking on the bright side, something that's awfully hard to do in light of Dion's "outreach-to-legitimate partners" baloney, no one will ever accuse the Liberals of making Israel a "wedge issue" among Jews.