We know now:
Wajid Khan, the Prime Minister's special adviser on the Middle East, has expressed support for an Arab initiative that would see Israel return to its pre-1967 borders.
The Arab Peace Initiative would go further than any position publicly stated by the Prime Minister. Indeed, Stephen Harper, as opposition leader, told the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy during last year's election campaign that it was impractical to demand Israel hand back all land it took after the 1967 war.
The comments from Mr. Khan are in an interview the then-Liberal MP gave to the Ramallah-based daily newspaper, Al-Hayat al-Jadida (The New Life), last fall.
They offer another glimpse into the tone and content of the Mississauga-Streetsville MP's meetings during an 18-day tour of the Middle East last fall.
The report from Mr. Khan's trip has been kept under wraps by the Prime Minister's Office, feeding speculation it may contain recommendations that differ from present Canadian policy in the region, and fuelling calls for its release after Mr. Khan's defection to the Conservative Party earlier this month.
In the interview, which was translated into Arabic, Mr. Khan said his report to the Prime Minister would be used as a basis for future "political and economic" dealings, and said that Canada would welcome the formation of a Palestinian unity government.
Did Stephen Harper expect a former Pakistan air force officer from a riding full of Muslim voters to make recommendations favourable to Israel? Almost certainly not.
Did he expect Khan to say one thing to him in English and another to his fellow Muslims in Urdu or Arabic? If not, he's got a lot to learn about taqiyya .
Khan has put Harper on the horns of a dilemma. If he releases the report, it looks like the government is doing a complete reversal of its Middle East policy as the price of getting Khan to cross the floor. Much more costly than a mere cabinet appointment.
If he doesn't, he only confirms that the report is so completely contradictory to current policy that releasing it would look like another flip-flop.
Perhaps Wajid Khan is becoming our own Belinda Stronach: worse for us inside the tent than outside.
Source: Globe and Mail