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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.
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It may be that Mohammad El Halabi has committed misdeeds -- time will tell -- but why should that derail all of World Vision's operations in Gaza? Before the end of August, World Vision had been forced to lay off all 120 staff in Gaza after the organization's bank accounts in Jerusalem had been frozen by Israel. The organization was simply no longer able to transfer money to Gaza.
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Last week, the world was informed of yet another expansion of Israeli "settlements" by the Netanyahu government. Israel has now advanced plans for 1,700 new units since July 1. And the response from Canada and its federal political parties: silence.
In overwhelmingly condemning BDS in the House of Commons recently, Canadian parliamentarians have greatly advanced the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The BDS movement singles out Israel for exclusive censure encouraging boycotts of Israeli goods, which produces an outcome that also harms Palestinians, as their economy is closely intertwined with Israel's.
We ask you to resist the false alarm that your Zionist friends sound when they cry "anti-Semitism!" as the proverbial boy might cry "wolf!" For those who do so are robbing a horrendous historic episode of its gravity, confusing legitimate dissent with genocide. Criticism is not Kristallnacht; challenges to the occupation are not the gas chambers. The distinction is crucial.
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The Palestinians and Jews of the community posed as a "human library" on Palestine. Each had a desk and a sign specifying if they were Palestinian Canadian, Palestinian Israeli, Jewish Israeli or Canadian Jew. Each had a story to tell on how the conflict affected them personally.
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Tyler Levitan's recent Huffington Post Canada op-ed entitled "Israel's Actions In Palestine Are The Definition Of Apartheid" is a perfect example of how when baseless accusations are left unanswered, they risk becoming accepted as conventional wisdom.
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Should York University accept funding that is contingent upon agreeing to remove a controversial piece of art? Without the ability to explore and express ideas that are troubling and even transgressive, universities would become mills that deliver pre-approved doses of information in community sanctioned packets.
Since the jihadist terrorist assault on Paris, the most glaring double standard has come into view. It seems that while the victims in France have our sympathy and concern, the Jews murdered by Arabs in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel do not.
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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.
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By blaming Palestinians for the Nazi Holocaust, Benjamin Netanyahu wildly distorted Jewish suffering for Israel's ends. A lack of widespread comment by Canada's main Jewish organizations speaks to their own use of Nazi crimes to serve Israel and power more generally.
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In the past two weeks, Israel has borne the brunt of hundreds of terror attacks. Terror doesn't occur in a vacuum and terrorists are born from nurture, not nature. Fanning the flames and provoking this recent terror war is a sustained campaign of incitement to violence, indoctrination of hate and justification of terror.
My first conflict zone gave me reoccurring nightmares that I can't seem to forget. In 2002, I planned my documentary thesis for my Master's in Journalism -- I wanted to show the sacrifice of war correspondents who put their lives in peril in the name of communicating news during conflict. It was the height of the second intifada -- The same week I smelled bomb for the first time.
No country should be beyond legitimate criticism and all should be measured against the same yardstick, but when you single out one country over all others, namely Israel, and hold it to a unique standard and put it on the receiving end of exclusive censure, it's anti-Semitism, plain and simple.