The Middle East has the ability to make politicians of all stripes act really, really stupid. Don Martin's column in today's Edmonton Journal explores the consequences of Harper's immensely stupid "all Liberal Leadership candidates are anti-Israel" crack. He argues (and I agree) that:
1) It got Iggy's earlier gaffe off the front pages, violating that age-old law of politics: when your opponent is self-destructing, just stand aside and let it happen.
2) It allowed Bob Rae to flaunt his Jewish creds and wax indignant:
"I can't imagine a comment that does less to unite the country and does more to create animosity and division where there doesn't need to be any," Rae fumed.
3) It has the potential to unite Liberals. If all Liberal leadership candidates are anti-Israel, what does that say about the party rank and file, or folks that traditionally vote Liberal even though they may not be party Members? Are they all anti-Israel, and if so, does this make them by implication (as some on the Right would have people believe) anti-Semitic?
So, Harper has arguably insinuated that a third of the nation is Anti-Semitic. In six months he'll be asking them for their vote. Smooth move, cheesehead.
4) Harper's statement is false. PMO officials could not produce one iota of proof to back up his statement.
So Iggy might want to shake Harper's hand again. Hell, after this, he might want to give him a big fat kiss. Now if only B'nai Brith would get off Iggy's case...