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The celebration of diversity and sexual identity is a great achievement for Canada. As the member of parliament for Toronto Centre I am proud to represent a constituency that is at the heart of the LGBTQ community. I deeply regret the decision of some to use the events this week to attack the state of Israel, and in particular to accuse Israel of being "an apartheid regime". Israel's record on human rights, respect for the rule of law, and in particular its support of gay and lesbian rights stands as a notable exception to the practice elsewhere in the Middle East, where many countries still consider homosexuality to be a crime, in some cases punishable by death, where democratic elections are still non-existent, and respect for independent courts and the rule of law unknown. Some have encouraged a boycott of Pride. I am a strong supporter of both the state of Israel, and the rights of Palestinians to a democratic state of their own, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. I will not allow a small group to hijack the importance of Pride for the whole community. We should not let this group define Pride for everyone else. This is a week of celebration of our rights and freedoms, of who and what we are as Canadians. I shall be walking with pride, determined to defend human rights and democracy around the world.