A closer look at the Canada-Israel relationship reveals that Canada has exercised moral clarity by standing up to double standards, dictators, and outright hypocrisy. Canada, under Stephen Harper's administration has confronted terror, upheld international law, and promoted peace between Israelis, Palestinians and the region as a whole.
Taken overall, the Harper government's response to the Iranian deal is symptomatic of its wider foreign policy, which has abandoned any sense of realism. Instead of welcoming the accord as a major breakthrough and a potential chance to help stabilize the Middle East, Canada appears intent on mirroring Netanyahu's futile zero-sum, intensely hostile approach to Iran.
Incorrect is the claim that Stephen Harper defends the freedom and dignity of all people. Israel's occupation of the West Bank is an institutionalized system of oppression that every day denies the freedom and dignity of millions of Palestinians. When Canada votes against Palestinian aspirations at the UN, we come across as vindictive.
Whether we like it or not, we live in the shadow of Neville Chamberlain's Munich deal with Hitler. It must affect our perspective on any agreement of this nature. What we learned from Munich, though, was that deals do not finalize the results. What Hitler absolutely taught us was that what one says and even promises is not necessarily what one means.
Amidst this hope there remains cause for concern given the Iranian regime's longstanding "3-D" negotiating strategy: denial, deception and delay. While the change in Iranian leadership may be seen as a sign of progress, it should be recalled that newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani had himself boasted about this strategy in earlier negotiations.
The charmless Ahmadinejad disrupted the mutually beneficial dynamic with his inability to strike the right balance between genocidal banter and diplomatic pillow talk. His unremitting anti-Semitism -- ringing with historical authenticity -- laid bare the pathological Jew-hatred of the Khomeinist creed, and amplified the threat of a unilateral Israeli response.
The Bush Administration's efforts to strike a workable deal with the Islamic Republic were part of the pattern of American-Iranian diplomacy since the Revolution of 1979: lots of talking, but no bargain, grand or middling. It's almost an instant replay of the Clinton years. In 2000, Albright gave a speech that essentially apologized for past American behaviour towards Iran.
The political leadership must also consider the consequences of its actions in light of the fact that the cries of justice for these and other crimes will not be silenced without some form of accountability. How can the Iranian people have confidence in a government that places a symbol of injustice in charge of justice? A new generation of Iranian leaders must re-define the meaning of power. A man who beats his wife and children and then silences them when they complain is not a powerful man. He is a coward that cannot even admit his cowardice to himself. In the same manner, a leadership that imprisons, tortures, and executes its citizens, is not a powerful Government.
There's optimism now in Iran, but he history of the Islamic Republic is one of shattered dreams and broken promises. The fate of Mohammad Khatami and the reform movement should serve as a warning for what may be in store for the country's new president, Hasan Rouhani. Certainly, the new cabinet does not bode well for Rouhani's will or ability to "deliver" on reform, which will be hampered by the appointees in key areas such as political and economic liberties, human rights, and the nuclear issue. Worse, Rouhani may become another Khatami: the smiling and humane mask covering the grim face of an inhumane regime.
If a Canadian incites hatred against an identifiable group in public and advocates murder or genocide, does that constitute a hate crime? If the incitement is against, for example, the gay, black or aboriginal community should criminal charges be laid? What if the incitement is against the Jewish community, is there a difference?
This week marked an important turning point in Ontario's awareness of determined and well-funded efforts to undermine the values and conceptual underpinnings of Canadian society by groups hoping to import a toxic and foreign ideology to our nation. Nowhere was this effort more evident than the staging of the "Al Quds Day" rally, held for the past two years on the grounds of Queen's Park. Supporters of a genocidal theocracy which aims to fundamentally reshape western democracies by exporting the values of Shariah law should not and do not have to receive the blessing of the state to exercise this right. The fundamental values cherished by all Canadians must not be discarded so cavalierly, with the acquiescence of our government and the permission of our laws.
Last week, the 19th anniversary of the 1994 AMIA bombing went almost unnoticed outside of Argentina. Perhaps the AMIA bombing fails to motivate the world to call for justice because it is mistakenly viewed as an act of terror against the Jewish community. In fact, many of the victims were not Jewish.
John Baird, Canada's foreign minister, may be barking up the wrong tree. He has identified and targeted Iran as the threat to Canadians. However, it is the Saudi Arabia-based charities that pose the greatest threat. As long as the Saudi charities continue to fund militancy and chaos across the globe, Canadians must stand on guard.
We've all been there. A question arises and you know the answer and yet, even though it might be on the tip of your tongue, you just can't seem to grasp it. Unveiling how memories are formed, retained and recollected has been one of research's greatest challenges. Germs however, may have already solved the riddle.