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.
This is not a religious conflict, as many Jews and Muslims stand by each other in the Diaspora. Jews have stand against Islamophobia just as Muslims condemn anti-Semitism. Inspiring stories exist where Muslims and Jews have shielded each other from oppression. We have to eschew jingoistic propaganda, rhetorical questions and the blame games to listen to the voices that call for radical empathy. We need to hear the families of the murdered youth Naftali Fraenkel and Abu Khdeir who reached out to each other.
As Muslims celebrate Eid, it's important to look at the past month during which the world has witnessed thousands suffer in Gaza, Iraq and Syria. We has Prime Minister Stephen Harper to speak out about these issues, but are disappointed. We must do more in the name of humanity, Prime Minister Harper.
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.
I grew up with the understanding that to be a Jew meant being on the side of justice. As a child, I watched my parents donate money to have trees planted in Israel in the name of their parents, who had survived the pogroms of Eastern Europe. From them I also learned the value of Tikkun Olam: "healing the world" in Hebrew -- that to help those who are suffering was an integral part of Judaism.
Palestinian solidarity activists are using Zionism isn't Judaism on social media to say that Jews aren't the problem, the Zionist state of Israel is the problem, but will this tactic work? Despite good intentions, the answer is no. One problem with Zionism isn't Judaism is that its primary assertion is inaccurate.
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.
Shortly after Israel began its bombing campaign of Gaza last week, a fellow Jew emailed me a photo of a guy holding a large sign that read: "I am a Jew. Stop Killing Babies in Gaza." That photo has been burning a hole in my inbox ever since. I feel helpless in the face of all the carnage raining down on Gaza. I, too, want Israel to stop killing babies in Gaza. I want Israel to end its indiscriminate killing of all Palestinian civilians, full stop.
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.
Two general arguments thus exist against any act of terrorism. One is substantive, an argument that the situation which the terrorist defines as necessitating eradication is, in fact, not the case. The terrorist's perception and determination of the facts, in themselves, are challenged. Accordingly, there is no argument for terrorism as there is no need for terrorism.
The Metropolitan Opera recently announced it would cancel a planned worldwide cinema broadcast of John Adams' haunting opera, The Death of Klinghoffer. Indeed the whole opera has been criticized -- including by Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, the daughters of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer -- as humanizing and even justifying acts of terrorism.
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.
Is there something wrong with Zionism? Has it been declared verboten? Is he suggesting that Zionism is racism? These organizations talk about bringing peace to the conflicts in the Middle East. No, wait, I must amend that. They are only interested in the conflict regarding Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state amidst multiple Muslim states particularly with regards to the Palestinians.
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.