By The Canadian Press on January 31, 2024.
OTTAWA – A Liberal member of Parliament says it would be in the best interests of the Middle East and the world if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves office.
Winnipeg MP Ben Carr says he has major concerns about the Israeli government and he hopes Netanyahu will be, in his words, “gone sooner rather than later.”
Carr, who is Jewish, says he does not support politicians on the far right of the spectrum in Israel who display maps of Gaza with Israeli flags.
He made the comments following a conference last weekend in Jerusalem where far-right lawmakers called for renewing Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s national security minister declared it was time to encourage the emigration of Palestinians from the besieged territory – something the Canadian government has firmly opposed.
Governments change, says Carr, and Israel is still an ally that has an important security role to play in the region.
“It’s very, very important that we remember that governments come and governments go and our relationships with states are deeper than the relationship that we may have with the current government in power,” he said Wednesday.
“My hope is that Netanyahu will be gone sooner rather than later, because I think that’s in the best interests of everybody in the region, and I think that’s in the best interests of everybody around the world.”
Carr also made the point that the Liberal party is a “microcosm of society,” and there are various views about the Israel-Hamas conflict within his caucus.
The conflict began with a Hamas attack on Israel Oct. 7 that killed about 1,200 people. Militants took some 250 others hostage, and the Israeli government says it believes at least 100 of them are still being held in the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas-controlled territory has been under constant bombardment since the attack, with health authorities there saying the death toll has surpassed 26,000.
Throughout the conflict, a handful of Liberal MPs, including Carr, have been vocal about their opinions on Canadian government policy – and not always aligned with it.
“It makes sense that these conversations are happening and I don’t think that it’s a source of negativity or division,” Carr said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2024.