Exclusive: Palestinian envoy heading home after tweet
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6:10PM EDT
The Palestinian envoy to Canada told CTV News she will be heading home within days after a controversial post on Twitter that the federal government considered offensive to Jews.
Linda Sobeh Ali, the charge d'affaires of the Palestinian delegation in Ottawa, tweeted a link to a video of a Palestinian girl shouting a poem in Arabic earlier this month.
The video is accompanied by subtitles that call on millions "to a war that raze the injustice and oppression and destroy the Jews."
In an exclusive interview with CTV's Mercedes Stephenson on Tuesday, a tearful and emotional Ali explained that the Palestinian government had called her home after the incident.
"She was very emotional, very regretful, in tears at points. She said she felt terrible about this tweet and that she actually hadn't seen the video," Stephenson told CTV News Channel.
"She told me she tweeted it from her BlackBerry which actually doesn't have the ability to play video, so she hadn't seen it when she tweeted it, it was a retweet."
In fact, Stephenson said, when Ali was called into Foreign Affairs over the incident she had to go home first in order to watch the video and get up to speed.
After reading the subtitles, she said she would have never retweeted the link had she known what it contained.
There have been some reports that the subtitle doesn't accurately reflect the words that are spoken in the video, which may refer to killing the soul of Zionism, as opposed to killing Jews. However, she told Stephenson she wouldn't have retweeted it regardless of the intent.
She also said it was her own government that was calling her back as a diplomatic move to avoid offending Ottawa.
Earlier, The Globe and Mail reported the government had decided to "limit communication" with Linda Sobeh Ali until a replacement arrives.