Twenty years ago, an Israeli extremist assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. The assassin intended to quash the Oslo Accords Rabin signed with the hope of leading Israelis and Palestinians to peace. Rabin's historic bid was a watershed moment that continues to have an indelible impact on Israelis -- and shed much-needed light on the obstacles to peace today.
CTV News in Edmonton recently highlighted the case of John Calvin, a gay Palestinian who converted from Islam to Christianity and was recently denied refugee asylum in Edmonton by the Canadian government. We urge our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to take action immediately to withdraw the deportation order and allow Calvin asylum in Canada.
Zahar and Baghdadi, Hamas and ISIS share the same final goal: democracy must give way to theocracy, plural religions to a single Islamist belief, freedom to submission and social equality to the dictates of Sharia rule. Standing against Hamas and ISIS terrorism transcends politics and party lines. The rights and freedoms that comprise the very heart of our way of life are under direct attack in the Middle East from these and other groups seeking to build a radical, theocratic mega-state across the region, and, if they can achieve it, even beyond.
The tragedy of friendly fire is perhaps the starkest proof that militaries can make deadly errors that are neither intentional nor illegal. In the same vein, civilian casualties are painful, but they do not automatically represent a breach of the international law so long as the distinction, proportionality, and intentionality are observed (and other rules of course).
The notion that truth is the first casualty of war has found expression in the ongoing fog of the current Israel-Hamas conflict -- where truth is obscured or masked by oft-repeated clichés such as "cycle of violence," false moral equivalences, or unconscionable allegations of Israeli "genocide." If we want to prevent further tragedies in this conflict -- let alone frame the basis for its resolution -- then we have to go behind the daily headlines that cloud if not corrupt understanding, probe the real root causes of conflict, and finally travel the road not yet taken to its just resolution.
I find it problematic hearing a Hamas representative using a concern for non-combatant citizens to criticize Israel. By definition, in being a member of a terrorist organization and, thus, in promoting the firing of rockets indiscriminately into civilian population centres, such an individual has already declared that he/she does not believe in a value of not attacking non-combatant civilians, including women and children.
I will stand with those who support the right of peoples in the Middle East -- Israelis and Palestinians alike -- to live in peace and security, free from any threats or acts of force, a cornerstone of UN principle and Canadian foreign policy; and I will oppose all those, like Hamas and its patron Iran, who seek the destruction of any people or state in violation of the UN Charter.
suffering conjures deep emotional sentiments that can quickly turn to feelings of anger and of retribution. And yet all too often this anger is channeled incorrectly. It's a mistake to think that pro-Palestinian is the antithesis of pro-Israeli. Would the Israelis not wish for a stable, prosperous, and free Gaza territory? Of course they would, because it would bring about a concomitant level of security for both Israel and the people of Gaza. Let's not confuse pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian with anti-Hamas.
Historical precedent shows Israel's need to enforce a maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip to ensure that rockets, thousands of which are being fired at Israeli cities presently, do not end up in the hands of terrorists bent on maiming and murdering civilians. And yet, Lotayeff is of the mindset that Hamas should control the territorial waters for commercial purposes and peaceful sailing.
Hamas and Israel are at war and the land beneath their citizens' feet is crying. As it does, an incredible marvel -- while not entirely new-- is happening, and that is tweeting behind the lines. The idea that Palestinians and I, a Jewish community worker in Toronto in 2014, are bantering back and forth while bombs and missiles fall in Israel and Gaza is astounding.
Around 9 p.m. Israel time on Tuesday, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne and a group of Canadian parliamentarians were forced to take cover in one of many bomb shelters across Israel when a siren warned of missiles fired from Gaza headed for Jerusalem, the nation's capital. While all emerged safely, the experience -- and the knowledge that several missiles landed in the city's vicinity -- will not be soon forgotten. Being Canadian is among the greatest gifts in an often-dangerous world.
This week, Canadians observed the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. For Sikh Canadians and Jewish Canadians alike, the Day of Remembrance has particular resonance. That our two communities have shared experience in facing terrorism was pointedly on display during the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Since the Second Intifada in 2,000, 1,227 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks and 8,549 have been injured. Additionally, the Shin Bet claims to have been able to prevent 190 terror attacks in 2013, 40 which were carried out by terrorists freed under the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, including 16 suicide attacks, as opposed to 112 in 2012.