Elmore: "I didn't know that...it carries an anti-Semitic meaning."

Earlier, provincial New Democrat Vancouver-Kensignton candidate Mable Elmore appeared to dodge our question about a five-year-old comment she made concerning "vocal Zionists" in her union. But, eventually, Ms. Elmore did give us a call back, saying she had "forgotten" to do so.

Asked to explain that comment, in which she claimed those Zionists had made it difficult for her to organize union opposition to the conflict in Iraq, Ms. Elmore said, "At the time, that comment was explained to me that it's a very loaded term - very emotional. And I didn't know that, in terms of a North American context, that it carries an anti-Semitic meaning. So I didn't know that. I know that now. I understand that. And - then as now - I didn't intend to offend anyone by the use of that. And I apologize if anyone has taken offense to that. That wasn't my intention."

So what was her intention? "We were discussing the situation in the Middle East. It's a very emotional issue on all sides. And we were just discussing the heated difficulties about trying to reach a resolution in the area. So it was a discussion in that context."

And why did she think Zionism wasn't an offensive term? "It has a different context in North America than in Europe - and it's quite commonly used in Israel and the Middle East. So, yeah, I didn't know that," said Ms. Elmore.

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