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Canada Regina Green candidate says past comments on Israel 'totally taken out of context'

21:06  19 september  2019
21:06  19 september  2019 Source:   leaderpost.com

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Days after apologizing for comments condemned by a Jewish group, a Regina Green Party candidate has said she regrets the language used while suggesting Israel is a “colonialist” country.

Dale Dewar, who is running for the Greens in Regina—Qu’Appelle, faced criticism last week for past social media posts in which she called Zionism a “made-up cult” and Israel “practically a serial rapist.”

She also suggested more mental health workers are needed because Israelis “need help getting over their PTSD.” Dewar also expressed support for the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against the State of Israel. 

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a close up of a sign: A supporter holds a sign for the Green Party of Canada in Toronto, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The federal Green party has accepted an election candidate's resignation over a social-media post in which he mused about sending pig meat to devotees of Muhammad. © Cole Burston A supporter holds a sign for the Green Party of Canada in Toronto, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The federal Green party has accepted an election candidate's resignation over a social-media post in which he mused about sending pig meat to devotees of Muhammad.

The comments were first brought to public light by the Canadian Jewish News. Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the party to oust her.

It called her comments “vile” and “antisemitic” and argued “they belittled the horrors of the Holocaust.”

Dewar said in a statement last week that she was “deeply sorry for the use of inflammatory language” in the posts, calling them “unacceptable.” At a Green Party event on Saturday, Dewar further clarified what she meant in the posts.

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She said she believes she was “totally taken out of context” and criticized the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for failing to draw attention to other comments that were critical of the Palestinian leadership.

“I’m not seeing a willingness on either the part of the Palestinian and Israelis to actually broker peace,” she said.

Asked if she believes one side is more to blame than the other, she asked “who is the colonialist in this situation?”

Dale Dewar in a social media photo. © Facebook/Dale Dewar Dale Dewar in a social media photo.

She denied that she thinks the Holocaust has been overblown, but suggested there are other genocides that get far less attention, such as the one that she said has affected North American Indigenous people.

Her comment about PTSD was not meant to be dismissive, Dewar added. She suggested it was made in light of her medical expertise.

“I’m a doctor,” she pointed out. “I diagnose PTSD in my clinic.”

Dewar said she regrets the choice of language she made in her past comments, but could not point specifically to anything she would have said differently beyond changing “made-up” to “manufactured” in her comments about Zionism.

She then showed some hesitancy to speak further on the issue, pointing to conversations she’s had with party leadership.

“I shouldn’t have said any of that,” she said. “I will get kicked out.”

awhite-crummey@postmedia.com

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