August 20, 2014 12:19 pm

NDP MP quits over Mulcair’s stance on Israel

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair addresses the Canadian Medical Association's annual meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday morning, Aug. 20, 2014. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A New Democrat MP has quit the party over what she deems leader Tom Mulcair’s excessively pro-Israel stance on the current conflict in Gaza.

Sana Hassainia, who represents the Montreal-area riding of Vercheres-Les Patriotes, has told Montreal’s La Presse she can’t accept Mulcair’s position and will now sit as an independent.

NDP sources say Hassainia has never before voiced concern over Mulcair’s position on Israel and is simply looking for an excuse to cover the fact that she rarely shows up for work.

Hassainia had been preparing to announce that she would not seek re-election.

In a draft of that announcement, prepared earlier this month and obtained by The Canadian Press, Hassainia says she wants to spend more time with her young family but will remain an active and proud member of the NDP.

Mulcair has walked a fine line on the conflict in Gaza, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas missile attacks while simultaneously pushing the federal government to help Palestinian children injured by Israeli missiles.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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