Morgan Wheeldon, NDP candidate for Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia, has been pressured into resigning over comments he made on Facebook. The comments, now deleted, included "One could argue that Israel’s intention was always to ethnically cleanse the region—there are direct quotations proving this to be the case. Guess we just sweep that under the rug. A minority of Palestinians are bombing buses in response to what appears to be a calculated effort to commit a war crime."
In defence of Mr. Wheeldon, one can in fact sensibly argue that "Israel’s intention was always to ethnically cleanse the region." The millions of Palestinians exiled to refugee camps and the continued expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land might be called something else, but ethnic cleansing would seem appropriate. A recent article in Haaretz, Israel's oldest daily newspaper, stated that "Previous peace initiatives ... failed because the overriding strategic goal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and of most previous Israeli heads of state, has been and continues to be Israel’s permanent control of all of Palestine."
As for war crimes, accusations against Israel are not new. A United Nations Commission of Inquiry on last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip found that both Israel and Palestinian militants were responsible for violations of international law that could amount to war crimes. Mr. Wheeldon, it seems, is being punished for stating an opinion that right or wrong is clearly within the realm of fair comment.
What makes his persecution even worse is that the NDP purports to be the party of the downtrodden—the oppressed, the exploited, the less fortunate. Considering that the Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed, collectively punished, terrorized, occupied and have more of their land stolen every day, they easily meet the criteria for downtrodden.
Criticizing Israel is perhaps the most serious offence against political correctness in the minds of our political and media elite. While Mr. Wheeldon stands with the dispossessed, The NDP stand with the elite.