Should the government of Canada denounce the intentional and accidental slaughter of babies and other civilians caught in the crossfire between two military forces? It's a question as redundant as "does Red Lobster serve Lobster?" Yes. Of course the government, or any other organization run by rational and peace-loving people, should condemn such violence. The killing of civilians has always and will always be a reprehensible act. And yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird remain silent on the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza. It's baffling, since a quick peek at Baird's Twitter timeline.
While Hamas has rejected cease-fires proposed by Egypt and the UN, including a humanitarian cease-fire, it has continued its relentless rocket assaults and tunnel invasions, the proximate triggers for this immediate conflict. If we want to prevent further tragedies, it is important to go beyond the "fog of war" -- to go behind the daily headlines that cloud understanding and the clichés (the "cycle of violence") that corrupt it -- and ask some fundamental questions about root causes and the basis for its resolution.
Let's get right to the point. As the third major eruption of violence between Hamas and Israel since 2008 drags on, I have so far identified three unconventional questions intended for dwelling upon by those who, like me, consider themselves to be friends of Israel in Canada.
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.
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo to push an Israel-Hamas truce, the State Department earmarked $47
The violence in Gaza City has left parts of the city in ruins and residents terrified. In an interview with Channel 4 News
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said the situation in Gaza has become "unbearable," and called on the international community
The Israeli army says the killing of eight Palestinians from the same family in the Gaza Strip was made in error, Haaretz
If anyone can put a positive spin on this week's events in Israel and Gaza, I'd like to hear it. From where I sit there's absolutely no good news -- not for Israel and not for the future state of Palestine. Each side claimed victory after a ceasefire went into effect Thursday, but the reality is both sides came out losers. The sirens still sound, the bomb shelters are still inhabited and people in the south of the country are still living in near-constant terror. Iron Dome may stop missiles from landing, but it cannot prevent them from being launched.
I have noticed one trend over the years: We in the west preach about justice until we lose air in our lungs, but when it comes to the Middle East, we fail to uphold the same principles we preach to the rest of the world. We stand behind Israel irrespective of whether it is right or wrong.