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.
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.
To suggest that Israel is guilty of engaging in apartheid, akin to the racist and discriminatory treatment of black residents of South Africa, is a modern day form of blood libel. (for centuries anti-Semites alleged that Jews kidnapped Christian children, killed them and used their blood for Jewish rituals)
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.
The overwhelming majority of people in the West are not anti-Semitic and the majority believe Israel has a right to exist, but a distressingly large number has been sold a bigoted and false misconception of the correlation of moral force in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is not without fault, and the Palestinians deserve sympathy and support toward statehood, but they will be retarded and not helped by continuing Israelophobic misinformation on a scale that caused the otherwise inexplicable boycott of an annual Jerusalem conference by scientist Stephen Hawking.
True to form of Israel's detractors, the Toronto Star published a commentary this month which engaged in historical revisionism and outright lies by claiming that Israel has no legal claim to Jerusalem and areas of the West Bank, called until a few decades ago "Judea and Samaria", and now referred to by writer Carol Trainor as "occupied territories."
In my opinion, the Israeli cost-of-living tent protests are not necessarily about the broadest reaches of social justice. They are confined to how Israelis want their own society to be ordered. And whatever the borders of the Jewish state, Israel must not sacrifice democracy on the altar of ethnicity.