Senior Liberals huddle over row with Jews

Rating: NNNNNWhile Prime Minister Jean Chretien was prepping for an election kickoff in Toronto Monday, newly minted foreign affairs minister.


Rating: NNNNN


While Prime Minister Jean Chretien was prepping for an election kickoff in Toronto Monday, newly minted foreign affairs minister John Manley was on a damage-control mission with leaders in the Jewish community.

Manley met privately with representatives of both B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress over Canada’s recent support of a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli gun violence against rock-throwing Palestinians in the Middle East.

Grit MPs Art Eggleton, Elinor Caplan and Jim Peterson, all of whom represent predominantly Jewish areas, sat in on the private gathering.

And while none of the three is seen as being in trouble politically, the Jewish community, historically loyal Liberals, is feeling betrayed.

Many, say sources at the meeting, may just decide not to vote.

There’s also a concern that the UN vote, together with the Canadian Alliance’s support for the funding of Jewish schools, may put a big enough dent in Liberal support to make races out of what would ordinarily be cakewalks for Eggleton et al. Sources at the meeting say the prime minister may have been out of the loop when the decision was made by foreign affairs to support the UN resolution.

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