The president of the Canadian Islamic Congress says he personally does not believe that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets of suicide bombers, despite saying so on television last week.But that has not satisfied critics who were infuriated by Mohamed Elmasry's comments last week.
In a release issued Sunday by the CIC, Elmasry said he was trying to express the view of many Palestinians, not his personal opinion."Dr. Elmasry did not, does not, and will not condone the widely-held Palestinian view that any form of armed resistance against civilians ... constitutes a legitimate military operation against the Israeli occupation, and not a terrorist activity,'' the release states. "I sincerely regret that my comments were misunderstood and, as a result, caused offence,'' Elmasry is quoted as saying in the release.
While appearing as part of a panel discussion on the Michael Coren Live TV show, an Ontario current affairs program, Elmasry said any Israeli over the age of 18 could be attacked because they are all members of the Israeli army."Anyone and everyone in Israel -- irrespective of gender -- over the age of 18 is a valid target?, Coren asked. "Yes, I would say,'' Elmasry responded.
Coren said Sunday he has a problem with Elmasry's latest statement, adding that at no point was it apparent that Elmasry was expressing anyone's opinion but his own.
"I find it extraordinary because I asked him about three times to clarify his position because I was so shocked by it, as was everyone on the panel, including the other Muslim guest,'' Coren said."I'm afraid I just do not buy this argument that it's misinterpreted,'' Coren added. "I actually think the man should resign, he's caused a lot of harm.''
There is a lot of truth in the old saying "if you live long enough you do get to see everything." Now we have a Canadian set in motion a play straight from the Arafat training manual.