Middle East

Adrian Wyld/CP

Dear Justin Trudeau: Don't Buy Into Israeli Exceptionalism

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.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Hero That Embodies The Universal Lessons Of The Holocaust

In July 1944, some 430,000 Hungarian Jews had been deported to Auschwitz in the space of 10 weeks -- the fastest, cruelest and most efficient mass murder of the Nazi genocide. Yet Wallenberg rescued some 100,000 Jews in six months in Hungary in 1944, demonstrating that one person with the courage to care, and the commitment to act, can confront evil and transform history.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

5 Reasons Why Canada Shouldn't Fear Accepting Syrian Refugees

I acknowledge that good, well-meaning people who genuinely care about Syrian refugees can have perfectly valid concerns about the security risk of bringing in tens of thousands of people from a war zone. It is as large an undertaking as it sounds. So, in light of Canadian political leaders playing on Canadians' concerns to spread fear and disinformation, I decided to research how Canada screens, accepts and settles Syrian refugees. It is my hope we can dispel fear and confusion with facts, reason and compassion.
Vepar5 via Getty Images

Why Turkey's Recent Election Is So Important

Turkey held an election this past June and the AKP (remember, they've been in power since 2002) did not win a majority. Coalition talks were a bust, so a new election had to happen. It looked like Turkish voters were making a statement against Erdogan and his party in this election. But this time the AKP's I'm the strong man who can protect you message successfully swayed Turkish voters.
Kutay Tanir via Getty Images

It's Time To Reboot Canada's Diplomatic Machine

Canada's strength is not in its fleet of aircraft carriers, but in its moral capital. When our foreign policy reflects our core values, pluralism, diversity, tolerance and empathy then we can expect amplification of our influence around the world. Hearts and minds of population, tired of perpetual violence, is not won through military muscle, but by the ability to defuse conflict and tireless effort to establish and maintain peace.
Steve Russell via Getty Images

I Am Quitting the Conservatives Because of Stephen Harper's Politics

By the time you read this column, my membership in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario will likely be revoked (if not, I will resign). I will no longer be the director of a riding association in the Toronto Centre Conservative Association. This is not because I am no longer useful to the once-proud party of Bill Davis, John Robarts and, yes, Christine Elliott, but because I am coming out against comrade Stephen Harper -- our party's federal counterpart. The Stephen Harper era has made us too partisan, extremely fearful of our neighbours, cheerleaders in world affairs, less tolerant to new immigrants and refugees and mere observers in the affairs of our country -- instead of active actors.
CP

Harper Has Made Canada Irrelevant in Global Governance

Stephen Harper's decisions on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and the United States have officially shut the last nails on the coffin of Canadian relevance in global governance. The Conservative government's hard power strategy officially commits Canada to the role of a fireman in an incandescent region, at the taxpayer's expense, with zero influence on the regional levers at the core of the Middle East's most pressing fires today. It is time for the opposition parties to fine-tune their foreign policy chops in the coming official campaign period in order for Canada to chart its way back to the world's bargaining table.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Without Better Public Services, the Middle East and North Africa Will Continue to Suffer

With recurring outbreak of conflict or violence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, focusing on implementing essential services may seem like a secondary concern. Conversely, the low-quality services may be the root of the problem. Poor state performance is exacerbating tensions in society, deepening mistrust and discouraging citizens from engaging with the state. Public institutions that deliver essential social services are not responsive to citizens' needs, leaving citizens to abandon the system and seek alternative means.