Canada Israel

Having Coffee with Kofi Annan

Hina P. Ansari | Posted 12.25.2012 | Canada
Hina P. Ansari

I was one of the lucky few who was invited to attend a rare opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who was in Toronto for an exclusive speaking engagement as part of an ongoing speakers series. Annan answered our questions which covered various hot button topics including the ways towards a successful society, Iran, Romney and China. Here is what he said.

My Country is Under Attack. Do You Care?

Arsen Ostrovsky | Posted 12.24.2012 | Canada
Arsen Ostrovsky

I'm angry. You see, as most Americans were waking up this morning, and those in Europe and elsewhere around the world were going about their daily routines, here in Israel -- over one million people were running for cover from a hail of rockets being rained down by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. Can you imagine if even one rocket was fired on Washington, London, Paris or Moscow? No nation on earth can, or should, tolerate such attacks on its people. I'm angry that there is someone out there who does not know me and has never met me, yet still wants to kill me -- for no other reason than being Israeli. No, I am not angry. I am outraged.

Israel's Task: Win the Waiting Game

Conrad Black | Posted 12.16.2012 | Canada Politics
Conrad Black

For not entirely comprehensible reasons, the Arabs saw the founding of Israel in their midst as the crowning and intolerable humiliation after more than a millennium of Arab retreat, at the hands of Europeans, Turks, and Persians, and Israel was the last straw. It was an unpromising ambiance for negotiation. The Arabs could have peace tomorrow if they were prepared to accept the right to exist of Israel as Jewish state. Israel and its espousers must stay the course and wait for it. It will come; slowly, but it will come.

Netanyahu Is "Canada's New Foreign Minister"? Baloney

Mike Fegelman | Posted 11.14.2012 | Canada Politics
Mike Fegelman

Tony Burman, current Ryerson University journalism professor claimed "the Harper government's outsourcing of Canada's Middle East policy to Jerusalem is now complete" in the Toronto Star. Without even a modicum of evidence to support his allegation, Burman used only conjecture and specious argumentation to smear Israel, instead of grounding his opinions in facts.

Harper's Stance on Iran? A Political Checkmate

Ryan Painter | Posted 11.13.2012 | Canada Politics
Ryan Painter

Many commentators were surprised and puzzled when the Canadian government closed its embassy in Iran last week. But the actions are sudden only to us observers on the outside. These kinds of political machinations happen often, especially in a government that knows it holds a tenuous grip on targeted voters in Canada. What better way to crank up the domestic sentiment than to thumb your nose at an entire country that a large portion of your constituency is hostile towards, while other western leaders are left scratching their collective heads?

The Group Trapped in the Middle of Israel and Iran's Conflict

Josh D. Scheinert | Posted 11.06.2012 | Canada Politics
Josh D. Scheinert

Speculation over a possible Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear sites is precisely that, no matter how informed. One group, however, is conspicuously absent from most of the discussions of an attack on Iranian nuclear sites: the 25,000 Persian Jews living in Iran. The least we can do is acknowledge that they matter just as much today and that whatever tomorrow brings, their safety and well-being needs to be a priority.

There's Nothing Cruel About Neutering Your Pets

Karin Kloosterman | Posted 10.22.2012 | Canada Living
Karin Kloosterman

While going through a bout of religious enthusiasm myself, I took on the practice and decided to let my dog have puppies. I think I learned more about mammal reproduction in one morning of midwifing eight puppies than I did studying zoology for four years at the University of Toronto. But living with the puppies was a nightmare.

To Serve and Protect Hate-Mongers?

Peter Worthington | Posted 10.22.2012 | Canada Politics
Peter Worthington

Why on earth would police put handcuffs on a man walking a large dog at a Queen's Park rally of something called Al-Quds Day? Neither Cupcake, nor Einstoss, were intent on provoking trouble at the Muslim rally which over the years it's increasingly become a "hate Israel" outpouring. Aside from the fact that Einstoss was merely walking his dog, for cops to side with protestors over those they see as counter-protestors, is a violation of everything the police should stand for. Peace at any price is bad value in a democracy.

Sanctions Are Good for Iranian Politicians, Not People

Mahsa Alimardani | Posted 10.15.2012 | Canada Politics
Mahsa Alimardani

The sanctions noose around Iran fully tightened at the beginning of July as the European Union joined the United States to impose a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil and place severe restrictions on the country's central bank. As the likelihood of war increases it is important to ensure that the nuclear issue does not overshadow human rights concerns.

"Punked" Egyptians Reveal Their Hatred of Jews

Mike Fegelman | Posted 10.15.2012 | Canada Politics
Mike Fegelman

On July 20, an Egyptian T.V. show prank where famous Egyptian actors believed they were being interviewed by a German T.V. station, turned into mayhem when they were told they were being interviewed on an Israeli network. This should serve as an ominous warning about the prevailing hateful sentiments Egyptian Arabs hold for Jews.

Romney Got The Palestinians Right, at Least

Yoni Goldstein | Posted 10.02.2012 | Canada
Yoni Goldstein

Call it what you want -- bald-faced pandering to rich Jewish donors and pro-Israel voters (a lot of whom, by the way, aren't actually Jews), or even racist, which is how the Palestinian government's Saeb Erakat termed it -- but the Republican candidate's comment during a speech in Jerusalem about the primacy of Israeli culture as compared to Palestinian culture was a fair point.

The Unsettling New Settlement News

Josh D. Scheinert | Posted 09.30.2012 | Canada
Josh D. Scheinert

The settlements may have just gone too far. It's time for North America's Jewish communities to finally realize what a toll the settlements are taking on Israel's moral, legal and practical realities and the extent to which they threaten a just peace and two-state solution between Israel/Palestine.

Israel and Haiti: More Than Their Politics

Martine St Victor | Posted 09.15.2012 | Canada Travel
Martine St Victor

When I tell people how much I love to vacation in Haiti, many look at me like I'm a crackhead. It's not unlike the reaction I got when my producing partner and I decided to produce a whole TV series on Israel. For too long, people have tried to oversimplify the complexities of both Haitian and Israeli politics. I'm not equipped to fully assess these complexities but I know this for sure: people are not their governments.

Watching the Watchdog: Inside a War Correspondent's Head

Tim Knight | Posted 09.16.2012 | Canada
Tim Knight

In this edition of One On One, Mansbridge does a competent job debriefing the distinguished CBC foreign correspondent Susan Ormiston, back in London after her latest foreign assignment. So why do journalists like Susan Ormiston volunteer to go to all these places where people kill each other, and too often kill journalists who might as well have targets painted on their flak jackets?

"Palestine" Should Use Water to Procure Peace, Not Perpetuate Conflict

Mike Fegelman | Posted 09.10.2012 | Canada Politics
Mike Fegelman

Water is an invaluable commodity in the Middle East. Due to the region's scarcity of this vital natural resource, water can be used to perpetuate conflict, fuel wars, and even procure peace. Contrary to claims made by Dr. Shaddad Attili, the Minister of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), in his Huffington Post Canada commentary, Israel exports volumes of water to the West Bank greatly in excess of what the Oslo Accords had mandated.

Palestine Needs Fresh Water Now

Dr. Shaddad Attili | Posted 09.08.2012 | Canada Politics
Dr. Shaddad Attili

The humanitarian challenges Palestinians face grow ever more severe; In terms of water, the situation is particularly difficult. Through a range of historical interventions, Israel controls the bulk of the fresh water resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The situation in Gaza is even more extreme, with a further 1.6 million Palestinians having access only to the very limited underground aquifer within Gaza, with only 5 per cent of the water safe to drink.

Hey UNESCO, Keep Politics Out of Religion

Mike Fegelman | Posted 09.05.2012 | Canada Politics
Mike Fegelman

Politics is to religion, like oil is to water, they just don't mix. Recently, UNESCO politicized religion by labelling Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity as an endangered world heritage site, despite the fact that the UN's own experts investigating the state of the Church's premises concluded that the building is not in any urgent danger and that PA hype is just hot political air.

A Bastion for Human Rights? The UN Nominates Syria...Seriously

Arsen Ostrovsky | Posted 09.04.2012 | Canada Politics
Arsen Ostrovsky

In what can only be described as an act straight from the "theatre of the absurd," comes news that Syria is running for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. That Syria is able to even nominate for the UNHRC in the first place, let alone be in a strong position to win a seat, is reflective of the endemic problem with the body -- the fact that observance of human rights is no barrier to becoming a member.

In Remembrance of Yitzchak Shamir, and an Elevator Ride with Him

Avrum Rosensweig | Posted 09.03.2012 | Canada
Avrum Rosensweig

In 1994, while in the employ of the United Jewish Appeal and Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, I was given the task of overseeing former Israeli prime minister Yitzchak Shamir's trip to Toronto. But of course, as fate would have it, Saudi Arabian sheiks were staying in the same hotel as he was. What was I to do?

Why Are Israeli Police Stopping Jewish Women from Praying?

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 08.21.2012 | Canada
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

On June 21, a Jewish woman was detained for hours by Israeli police for praying at the Western Wall. Why? Because she was wearing a tallit -- a prayer shawl. Some say that women who are wearing the tallit are flaunting their piety, but is this really the case? Shouldn't we, as a Jewish people, give women the benefit of the doubt when they honour Hashem?

Mess With Israel and You're Messing With Canada

Avi Benlolo | Posted 08.21.2012 | Canada Politics
Avi Benlolo

Wednesday's revelation of Peter MacKay's support for the state of Israel demonstrates the strength of this principle of friendship among nations. His statement that a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada was a powerful declaration to a friend -- and to the world -- that Canada can be counted on.

Chief Rabbi or Corrupt Pol?

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 08.08.2012 | Canada Living
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

In September 2012, a successor to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the current Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, will be appointed. The new rabbi will begin his tenure in September 2013. If the post will not undergo a major transformation and become purely one of spiritual and educational leadership, then it is far better to leave the post empty than to continue the institution of a chief rabbi.

We Are All Part of the Jewish Establishment

Mira Sucharov | Posted 08.01.2012 | Canada
Mira Sucharov

If you aren't sure whether you are part of the "Jewish establishment," I submit to you: Do you belong to a synagogue? Do you send your kids to Jewish camp? Jewish school? Do you work out at the JCC? Do you donate to the Jewish Federation?

Solidarity, not Sanctions, Should be the West's Response to the Iranian People

Mahsa Alimardani | Posted 07.28.2012 | Canada
Mahsa Alimardani

A model of non-violence and civil disobedience in line with the Green Movement that began in 2009 is the best course for the future of Iran. International isolation and pressure on the Iranian state will lead the government toward further repressive measures. Military intervention will only make things worse.

The Olympics Can't Spare a Minute for Munich Massacre

Arsen Ostrovsky | Posted 07.24.2012 | Canada
Arsen Ostrovsky

Just one minute! That's all Israel is asking for. Just one minute of silence at the London Olympics to commemorate the 11 members of the Israeli team murdered by terrorists at the '72 Munich Olympics. But this simple request has been rejected by the International Olympics Committee (IOC).