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Legault criticizes QS for “defending Hamas”

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “I don’t know what this repetition of certain deputies and even the head of Québec solidaire is about saying: “we absolutely must close the Quebec delegation”. Why ? Why are we mixing files ? Why are we defending Hamas ?” launched François Legault on Friday.

Prime Minister François Legault on Friday criticized Québec solidaire (QS) for “defending” Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist and nationalist movement which is on the Canadian list of terrorist entities.

The head of the Coalition Avenir Québec faced questions from Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who asked him, once again, to renounce the opening of a Quebec Office in Tel Aviv.

“We all want lasting peace here between Israel, Palestine and Hamas. Even countries that recognize Palestine keep their embassies open. So I don’t know what this repetition of certain MPs and even the head of Québec solidaire is about saying: “we absolutely must close the Quebec delegation”. Why ? Why are we mixing up files ? Why are we defending Hamas ?? said Mr. Legault during question period.

The Prime Minister had previously claimed to have “not heard much” Québec solidaire talk about Hamas. Off the microphone, solidarity MP Ruba Ghazal then dropped the word “disgusting”, a remark which brought Mr. Legault’s speech to a halt.

“Pardon ? Pardon ? asked, irritated, the CAQ deputy Éric Caire. “The member for Mercier [Mme Ghazal] has just made filthy remarks about the Prime Minister. That does not make any sense. That she withdraw them, that she apologizes,” added Simon Jolin-Barrette, in his capacity as parliamentary leader of the government.

“The Prime Minister allegations that we might be sympathetic to Hamas, then that provokes reactions. Let him take responsibility,” replied his supportive counterpart Alexandre Leduc. MP Ghazal nevertheless withdrew her comments.

“Take sides”, according to the PM

< p>François Legault also withdrew his comment on the defense of Hamas, at the request of the President of the National Assembly.

“We are all, all, all touched by the images we see in Gaza, in Rafah. […] Québec solidaire asks us to close our delegation in Israel. I think that we cannot take sides in this conflict, we must hope for lasting peace,” then said the head of government.

For Gabriel Nadeau -Dubois, the decision to open a representation of Quebec in Israel while a conflict rages in Gaza amounts to a renunciation of Quebec's “distinct, humanist and pacifist values”. “The CAQ opens an office in a state that bombs schools, hospitals and humanitarian workers, including a Quebecer, a state that makes a mockery of international law. Will the Prime Minister have his first result this summer ? And will the first be to open a Quebec office in a state accused of genocide ?? requested.

Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois have been putting pressure on the Quebec government for several months to renounce the opening of a diplomatic representation in Israel. The two parties notably tried, without success, to summon Minister Martine Biron and the director of this office, Alik Hakobyan, to a parliamentary committee. They wanted to shed light on the activities carried out by this foreign representation in Israel.

The warnings of the opposition parties were also echoed in civil society. Demonstrators from the pro-Palestinian camp at the University of Quebec in Montreal are demanding in particular the closure of the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116