Month: July 2014

Canadian MP’s visit Israel on “fact finding mission”, but don’t go to Gaza

Hypocrisy or Cowardice?

John McCallum and a map of Israel Canadian politicians in Israel

Former Liberal Cabinet minister John McCallum is in Israel along with 5 other Canadian parliamentarians on a “fact finding mission”. Their activities include visiting an Israeli hospital to sympathize with injured IDF soldiers and attending a Canada-Israel solidarity event. They won’t talk to any Palestinians.


Israeli newspaper outlines Palestinian demands

Does Baird even know what they are?

Benjamin Netanyahu John Baird

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has been actively supporting the “unconditional” ceasefire proposed by Netanyahu and backed by Egypt. While it appears “humanitarian”, an unconditional ceasefire would mean going back to the status quo before the recent hostilities and continuing Israel’s punishing blockade of Gaza. But has Baird even considered what the Palestinians are asking for? It’s actually quite reasonable. (more…)

Is the “all party consensus” on Israel starting to show signs of weakness?

Garneau and Baird

A few months ago, Justin Trudeau assured Jewish voters in a private video that he had “Israel’s back” and assured them that that there is an “all party consensus” on Parliament Hill on this question.

It has certainly looked that way. At a time when our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister show “over the top” support for Israel, it is remarkable that none of the other parties has made any significant effort to distance themselves from his views. Even more remarkable, given that a recent poll shows that Canadians are in fact split on Israel/Palestine.

However there are some recent (feeble) signs that all 3 of the opposition parties are under some pressure to revise their positions toward a more balanced position.

What is Hamas thinking?

Gazan intellectuals speak out. Many Canadians will be surprised by what they say

A caravan of Israeli tanks

Hamas rejected the July 15th Egyptian ceasefire proposal out of hand. Many Canadians couldn’t understand why Hamas preferred to continue to fight given the huge civilian loss of life and injury. But that proposal only aimed to restore the “status quo”. Israel’s blockade of Gaza would remain.  A remarkable letter from civil society leaders in Gaza explain why support for the Hamas position is quite broad.

Trudeau defends Israel, but ignores the rights of the Palestinian refugees

Disappointing Liberal statement on Israel/Palestine

Justin Trudeau speaking

“Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Hamas is a terrorist organization and must cease its rocket attacks immediately”, argued Justin Trudeau in a July 15th statement, echoing both Prime Minister Harper and John Baird. But he ignored the main issue. Why do the Palestinians continue to shoot those ineffective rockets into Israel? Are they crazy? Are they fanatically anti-Semitic? Or is there something that is driving them to do it? See my remarks below.