Canadians might find it disquieting to have members of parliament cry, "Shame!" when the government announces $20 million in aid for education and health. Yet this is exactly what happened when the Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the restoration of Canadian humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees.
There is no fundamental difference between the conflict in Ukraine and that between Israel and Hamas. Each group in question sees itself as having its back to the wall. Each has had the bitter experience of trusting allies who let it down. This does not justify shooting down a plane filled with innocent people, but the fear of destruction that drives people to such exigencies is a terrible thing.
The Jewish community in Canada didn't even concentrate on Israeli politics until the Six Day War in 1967. Resulting, however, from the fear that Israeli Jews were facing a second Holocaust, as well from a new confidence that was born out of decisive victory in the war, Israel was officially adopted by the Canadian Jewish mainstream.
In the radical chic post-modern world which La Presse journalist Agnes Gruda and those like her inhabit, one cannot be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. According to this mindset, pro-Palestinian support requires the negation of any identification with the Israeli narrative. "An honest broker", therefore, is defined as one who is at odds with the Israeli position.
Israel has sailed through the international economic downturn and continues to rack up impressive economic growth rates and excel in all areas of scientific innovation. Large reserves of oil and natural gas have been discovered just off-shore. And the Arab Spring has created immense disarray in the ranks of Israel's traditional enemies.
A recently uncovered government document confirms that Ottawa has delivered millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority in a bid to advance Israel's interests. The internal memorandum also sheds light on Canada's efforts to build a security apparatus to protect the Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building.
General Romeo Dallaire was in London, Ontario a couple of weeks ago speaking to a varied audience about Canada's dwindling international presence. Perhaps nowhere was that decline so clearly obvious as in Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's speech to the UN General Assembly and its vote on Palestinian recognition.
Whenever Hamas attacks Israel, who responds with the bombing of Gaza, opinions are wide spread. Often they are tainted by racism, xenophobia, and all out insanity. That is a huge problem when you look at America's relationship with Israel, and how many in Washington, and the media, side with the 62-year-old country.
Analysts and pundits will be all over themselves trying to find a "winner" in this conflict between Gaza and Israel. While the world's cameras and attention were turned to Gaza and Israel (and rightfully so), the Syrian regime sustained its killing of Syrians at the usual pace of over 100 civilians per day. Not only did Assad gain from having the media shift focus to one of the longest enduring conflicts of the region, the Syrian dictator also benefited from returning the anti-colonialist narratives to deciphering the Middle East.
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.
If relative silence on morally indefensible Israeli policies like the settlements is indeed because liberal Zionism is becoming less popular, I hereby urge my fellow Diaspora Jews to come clean: If you believe in Israel, what kind of Israel do you believe in? And if you have stopped believing in Israel, what would it take to get your Israel back?
This week begins an annual part of the global campaign to delegitimize and vilify the Jewish state as anti-Israel activists and student groups on campuses around the world, including United States and Canada, mark the eighth annual Israel Apartheid Week [IAW]. One leader, Ahmed Moor, wrote that ending Israel's occupation will require a "Final Showdown."
If you obsess about Israel's supposedly murderous nature, yet feel neutral about Guatemala, Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil -- each of which (though arguably not guilty of genocide) is responsible for the outright massacre of at least 100,000 innocent civilians -- then you are a bigot. You may not be an anti-Semite. But you have a problem with Jews.
The Islamists may be gaining ground but all indications are that the Arab masses are finally becoming more skeptical about the endless recourse to the red herring of Israel by their leaders to distract them from the despotism and misrule that has been imposed upon them by theocracies and secular states alike throughout the post-colonial era.)