Whenever Hamas attacks Israel, who responds with the bombing of Gaza, opinions are wide spread. Often they are tainted by racism, xenophobia, and all out insanity. That is a huge problem when you look at America's relationship with Israel, and how many in Washington, and the media, side with the 62-year-old country.
Writing in The Jerusalm Post, Israeli Sharon Udasin quoted Nofar Gal, who lives near the border with Gaza: "The situation in the South has been very difficult not only for us humans but also for our pets." Predictably, her writing about an Israeli's pet dog triggered outrage in sensitive non-Israelis. The professionally sensitive -- liberal reporters -- were especially incensed.
Israel's assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed Al-Jaabari on Wednesday sparked another tragic round of bloodletting in the Middle East. Civilians on both sides suffered. But this time, the conflict took a surreal, technological turn as both sides took to social media in an online war of words and images.
This week has seen an upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians. In 24 hours, 79 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Arsen Ostrovsky asks, "My country is under attack, do you care?" The responses to his piece have been disturbing. Israel's occupation of Palestine is wrong. But a denunciation of illegal-Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians need not be prefaced by a resuscitation of each ill that Israel has inflicted on Palestinians. Victimhood must be inclusive.
In the face of international condemnation of Iran's destructive pursuit of nuclear weapons and its repeated calls for Israel's destruction, filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau reports that Iran's atomic ambitions are for "defensive" purposes only, serving as an effective "deterrent" against Israeli "aggression" and belligerence. That is at least the way Trudeau framed the second instalment of his three-part documentary that aired on CBC's The National on October 14.
I was one of the lucky few who was invited to attend a rare opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who was in Toronto for an exclusive speaking engagement as part of an ongoing speakers series. Annan answered our questions which covered various hot button topics including the ways towards a successful society, Iran, Romney and China. Here is what he said.
I'm angry. You see, as most Americans were waking up this morning, and those in Europe and elsewhere around the world were going about their daily routines, here in Israel -- over one million people were running for cover from a hail of rockets being rained down by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. Can you imagine if even one rocket was fired on Washington, London, Paris or Moscow? No nation on earth can, or should, tolerate such attacks on its people. I'm angry that there is someone out there who does not know me and has never met me, yet still wants to kill me -- for no other reason than being Israeli. No, I am not angry. I am outraged.
For not entirely comprehensible reasons, the Arabs saw the founding of Israel in their midst as the crowning and intolerable humiliation after more than a millennium of Arab retreat, at the hands of Europeans, Turks, and Persians, and Israel was the last straw. It was an unpromising ambiance for negotiation. The Arabs could have peace tomorrow if they were prepared to accept the right to exist of Israel as Jewish state. Israel and its espousers must stay the course and wait for it. It will come; slowly, but it will come.
Tony Burman, current Ryerson University journalism professor claimed "the Harper government's outsourcing of Canada's Middle East policy to Jerusalem is now complete" in the Toronto Star. Without even a modicum of evidence to support his allegation, Burman used only conjecture and specious argumentation to smear Israel, instead of grounding his opinions in facts.
Many commentators were surprised and puzzled when the Canadian government closed its embassy in Iran last week. But the actions are sudden only to us observers on the outside. These kinds of political machinations happen often, especially in a government that knows it holds a tenuous grip on targeted voters in Canada. What better way to crank up the domestic sentiment than to thumb your nose at an entire country that a large portion of your constituency is hostile towards, while other western leaders are left scratching their collective heads?
Speculation over a possible Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear sites is precisely that, no matter how informed. One group, however, is conspicuously absent from most of the discussions of an attack on Iranian nuclear sites: the 25,000 Persian Jews living in Iran. The least we can do is acknowledge that they matter just as much today and that whatever tomorrow brings, their safety and well-being needs to be a priority.
While going through a bout of religious enthusiasm myself, I took on the practice and decided to let my dog have puppies. I think I learned more about mammal reproduction in one morning of midwifing eight puppies than I did studying zoology for four years at the University of Toronto. But living with the puppies was a nightmare.