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There is a story of two brothers who grew up to find a similar barrier between them. As young boys in their parents' home with a shaded courtyard where they played football and did their homework, there had been no India and no Pakistan. Now, all of a sudden, they found themselves as citizens of two different fledgling states.
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U.S. President Donald Trump visited the Middle East and met with leaders of many countries in a few short days. During this brief visit he seems to have solidified his position to an extent that makes it possible to push a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Is it good news? I am not so sure.
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While many Canadians might not realize it, there is a hunger strike going on today that is just as significant as that of Bobby Sands and the other Irish Republicans in 1981. Led by Marwan Barghouti, hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails are five weeks into a hunger strike.
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Unless something galvanizes Trudeau, Trump and other Western leaders to action, we may soon observe another sad anniversary of Israel's ongoing military occupation. If so, Israelis, and especially Palestinian civilians, will continue to pay a heavy price for our indifference.
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Is the NDP establishment scared to have party members discuss Canada's international posture? At the party's first leadership debate last weekend there wasn't a single foreign policy question despite a host of contentious recent party positions on international affairs.
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Let's face it: Canada's use of sanctions seems to be highly tainted by politics. Canada is no neutral administration, treating all misbehaving states equally. Instead, Canada is like a fickle schoolyard bully, harassing the kid who's smaller or different, and leaving his "friends" in peace.
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The jury is in. According to a new survey, the vast majority of Canadians do not consider criticism of the government of Israel to be necessarily "anti-Semitic." This finding contradicts those who have been warning of a "new anti-Semitism" in Canada, where criticism of Israel is a veiled form of this despicable historic ideology.
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A representative democracy is based on the principle that elected officials will advance the positions of their electors. When it comes to Israel and the Middle East, both Harper and Trudeau seem to have grievously violated this principle.
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We in the West need to recognize the ways in which we have appropriated the politics, conflicts, and even misery of others for our own politics -- even in our op-eds and columns. We should consider our words carefully, and put our money where our mouths are.
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There are good reasons for Palestinians and many others to be frustrated with international mechanisms for social justice. But what the world witnessed at the UNSC on Friday may be a case of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s observation that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
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They "... are humiliated, terrorized, abused, insulted, evicted, demolished, confiscated, dispossessed, expropriated, beaten, wounded or killed by Goliath, and imprisoned, often in solitary confinemen...
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Under Justin Trudeau, "Canada is back" to isolating itself from world opinion on Palestinian rights. On Monday, Canada joined the U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau in opposing a UN Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee resolution in support of Palestinian self-determination.
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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.
This is a bit like commenting on a married couple who have severe marital problems, complete with shouting matches and physical abuse. While all their friends may agree that the marriage is in trouble and that the couple should get counselling, no true friend would allow the husband to repeatedly beat his wife as they wait for counselling. But Canadian political leaders seem perfectly willing to allow the "beating" to continue as they await the ever elusive negotiated solution ("counselling") between Israel and Palestine.