So it is good for the heart to read in today's Globe and Mail that Ms. Reisman and her husband, Gerry Schwartz, are stepping away from their long time support of the Liberal Party and backing Prime Minister Harper's resolute stance in defence of Israel:
Liberal power couple Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz have publicly broken with the Liberal Party line on the Middle East crisis and are turning to Prime Minister Stephen Harper because of his support of Israel.These are not the first indications that liberal Jews and others throughout North America are beginning to question the politically-correct blame game of the anti-Israel, anti-western left in light of recent developments in the Middle East. While this turn of prominent Jews may serve as a boon to Judeophobic conspiracy theories, it is no doubt the right thing to do in focussing rational minds on the real enemy that threatens the very core of western civilization. My hat is off to Heather Reisman. I think I will even have a look to see if she has any books I want to buy.
Mr. Schwartz, a confidante of former prime minister Paul Martin and one of Canada's most influential businessmen as the head of Onex Corp., is one of the eight signatories of an advertisement placed in a newspaper in Cornwall, Ont., where the Conservatives are holding caucus meetings.
The ad welcomes the caucus to Cornwall and expresses appreciation to Mr. Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and Conservative MPs for "standing by" Israel. It also lauds other G8 leaders and Australian Prime Minister John Howard for their stands on the war.
Mr. Schwartz's wife, Ms. Reisman, says she is leaving the party to support the Conservatives under Stephen Harper.
Mr. Harper has expressed firm support for Israel during the Middle East war. It's not clear whether Mr. Schwartz is also leaving the Liberals for the Conservatives.
In an e-mail to friends, Ms. Reisman applauded film producer Robert Lantos's statement at a weekend rally that he would "hereby take off [his] life-long federal Liberal hat."
"I [am] right there alongside Robert. . . . after a lifetime of being a Liberal, I have made the switch," Ms. Reisman wrote. "Feels strange, but totally and unequivocally right."
Much of the ire of the prominent Liberals who are lauding Mr. Harper is directed at interim Liberal leader Bill Graham, who criticized Mr. Harper's strong support of Israel, saying it will harm Canada's credibility as an arbitrator in world crises.
In a piece for The Globe and Mail clarifying the party's position this week, Mr. Graham said Mr. Harper's government is risking Canada's ability to act as a peacekeeper and honest broker, and may be jeopardizing domestic harmony.
Several of the Liberal leadership candidates, including front-runner Michael Ignatieff, have also been critical of Mr. Harper's position, and have called for Canada to press efforts for a ceasefire.
Senator Jerry Grafstein said that Mr. Graham's stand has distorted the traditional Liberal position of supporting countries when they are attacked by a "clear-cut aggressor," because, in this instance, Hezbollah is the aggressor whose aims are to extinguish the democratic state of Israel.
This time, Liberals are calling for neutrality even though Hezbollah is the aggressor, he said, and a ceasefire without a robust military peacekeeping force will only allow Hezbollah to rearm in Lebanon.
"I'm confused by that, and a lot of Liberals are confused by that," Mr. Grafstein said.
Two Liberal leadership candidates, Joe Volpe and Scott Brison, have backed Israel, Mr. Grafstein said. "The rest of the candidates are all over the place."
Organizers for several Liberal leadership candidates have said Canadian Muslims have signed up in relatively large numbers -- and many are dismayed when a candidate takes a strong pro-Israel stand in the current war.
Mr. Volpe's former campaign manager, Scarborough MP Jim Karygiannis, left the campaign over a disagreement with Mr. Volpe's strong pro-Israel stand.