Israel lobby head announces CIJA strategy on Jerusalem

shimon fogel

Shimon Fogel, CEO of CIJA, Canada’s largest pro-Israel lobby group, was disappointed he couldn’t get the Canadian government to support Trump’s move on Jerusalem. But in a conference call with over 1000 supporters, he outlined a plan “B” aimed at getting Canada to recognize the “special and unique relationship of Jews to Jerusalem”. He also has a plan for dealing with “extreme left elements” in the NDP. Read more…

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) will press the Canadian government to recognize the “special and unique” relationship of Jews to the City of Jerusalem.

CIJA head Shimon Fogel made the announcement in an “executive briefing for the Canadian Jewish community” chaired by CIJA Chairman David Cape. Called “Navigating U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” the briefing was organized to discuss strategy for CIJA in the wake of the Trump announcement. The briefing also included presentations by former Israeli Ambassador to the USA Michael Oren and Dr. Eran Lerman, an Israeli foreign policy analyst.

cija navigating

The hour long briefing featured 3 presentations. CIJA CEO Fogel’s remarks begin around the 40 min mark of the audio file

Listen to the “executive briefing” available on CIJA website here

In his presentation, Fogel shared his disappointment that Canada had not announced approval of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, which is part of official CIJA policy. However, he revealed that he had spoken the previous day to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and was pleased that, unlike Canada’s European allies, she had not criticized Trump’s move.

Fogel said that while he does not expect Canada to alter its position on “formal” recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he had proposed to Minister Freeland official Canadian recognition of the ‘special and unique relationship of Jews to the City of Jerusalem’. Fogel indicated that he intended to promote this idea with the “political sector”, including, presumably other political parties.

Key elements of CIJA strategy

  • work with key members of NDP caucus to contain “extreme left” elements hostile to Israel and USA
  • push back on UNSC 2334 (which denounced all settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, as “illegal”)
  • Present Trump move as a way to “jump start” a dormant and unproductive peace process
  • Press for Canadian government to recognize “special and unique relationship of Jews to Jerusalem”

In defending his idea, Fogel argued that the Jewish people’s link to Jerusalem has “no parallel with any other other people, any other faith, any other community”.

Indeed, it would be hard to disagree with Fogel’s assessment. The relationship of Jews to Jerusalem, as recounted in various biblical stories, is unique in world history.

But equally, the Christian story of the birth of Jesus in the town of Bethlehem and his crucifixion in Jerusalem, and the Muslim story of Mohamed leaving from Jerusalem to fly off to heaven, are also unique in their own ways.

Many would argue that the beauty and majesty of the Holy City of Jerusalem lie in the fact that it so deeply central to some of humanity’s oldest narratives.

______________________________________________________

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. We invite comments from readers. Both Zionists and non-Zionist opinion is welcome as long as it is expressed in a respectful way. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do?  Contact us at membership.ctip@gmail.com.

80 comments

  1. So, can anyone enlighten me on the difference between what Fogel claims is the “special and unique relationship of Jews to the City of Jerusalem” and the special and unique relationship of Muslims and of Christians to the City of Jerusalem?

    1. The Jews have a 3000 year attachment to the city. The absolute holiest sites of Judaism are in the city. The return to Jerusalem is in the daily prayers of Jews for centuries.

      None of this holds true for Muslims and Christians.

      1. Mr. Sigman,

        No one denies that Judaism is the oldest of the three main Abrahamic religions or that it shares many stories, traditions, and precepts with the religions that came later.

        As an older person, I have been breathing and enjoying the air far longer than the younger people around me. That does not give me either ownership of that air or the right to control the access to that air of the others. We share it.

        It is also worth noting the content of the prayers that you mention. They are testimony to the fact that many Jews were far from the City for much of that time – leaving it to be occupied by others. Further, those prayers lament the destruction of the city and fighting about it. Those who think when they pray should be eager to share, rather than control, Jerusalem.

        Jewish tradition calls for access to Jerusalem; it does not call for exclusive ownership or control.

      2. “So, can anyone enlighten me on the difference between what Fogel claims is the “special and unique relationship of Jews to the City of Jerusalem” and the special and unique relationship of Muslims and of Christians to the City of Jerusalem?”

        That is the question that was answered. Your comment is meaningless regarding an answer.

      3. Are u sayinh that if I convert to Judaism, I should have more entitlement to Jerusalem?

        Meanwhile my Christian or Muslim Palestinian neighbour who traces his roots to jerusalem 10 to 15 generation back and has DNA testing that proves Israelite ancestry, has less right to it then me, a North American Jewish convert?

      4. that is what so-called “Jews” believe…however the evidence suggests
        rather conclusively that without a Talmud…{{{500AD}}} and a Messiah
        for the Children of Israel …
        who are NOT “Proselytes” to Talmudic Judaism…
        but nonetheless are in fact actual descendants of the the Lost sheep
        of the House of Israel that never heard of the “Jewish” religion or the
        PROSELYTES from the land of Gog & Magog…who MUST HATE Jesus
        to be a full on member of the stool sculpture deity cult…

        https://buelahman.wordpress.com/

        SEE HOSEA 1:11…..where exactly does a “JEW” fit in…
        a “yiddish” speaking Khazar…from Brooklyn..or Monsey

        no one on earth HAS to stay in the cult compound

        knowing the Truth is the exit strategy…in real time

    2. For Christianity I think the Book of Hebrews covers this issue quite well for example Heb 9:11-13: 11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. or 9:24 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.

      Christianity has 0 rituals tied to a unique place. There are relics but those relics are symbols they have no place specific properties. Conversely for Judaism the temple mount is totally unique in that hundreds of Jewish commands and rites can and should only be performed there.

      Islam is a bit different in that the God is even more abstracted. There are specific place commands but they revolve around Mecca not Jerusalem.

      1. Mr. Host,
        You wrote, “Christianity has 0 rituals tied to a unique place.” That surprised me because when I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , my group was made to leave the church because of a scheduled ritual. People who do not know about this church should visit the church’s web site

        https://churchoftheholysepulchre.net

        I am not a Christian so perhaps I did not understand but the many Christians who were there when I was there seemed to think that it was a unique place. We were told that several churches share this holy site and compete for time for their rituals. To minimize conflict a schedule is followed strictly. That does not sound as if the importance and uniqueness of the place so different from the Jewish holy places such as the Wailing Wall. My Muslim friends also seem to consider the Al Aqsa Mosque a unique place of great importance. They were obviously very upset when non-Muslims decided to control entrance to the place.

        I consider this discussion of religious history and creeds to be irrelevant; what matters is today’s people. There are people all over the world, people of many faiths, who consider Jerusalem to be a unique place and would like to visit. I don’t see any justification for people from one of those groups to claim that they have more rights than others. Jerusalem has been a shared city for a long time and there is no justification for changing that.

        I expect to hear Zionist Israelis say, “We let the others have their holy places” but I have to ask why one group should decide that it is so special that it can give permission to the others. It is important to all and, like the groups that peacefully share the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, they must treat each other with respect.

      2. Your comments are without context. The Jews allowing Muslims and Christians access while they have sovereignty is in sharp contrast to the Jordanian Palestinians who refused to allow any Jews access to their holy sites from 1949 until June 1967 when the Jordanian Palestinians lost sovereignty. Secondly, Muslims complained when Israelis limited access at time of Islamicly inspired violence, especially when Arabs smuggled rifles used to murder Jews.

      3. Mr. Sigman,

        You wrote, “The Jews allowing Muslims and Christians access while they have sovereignty is in sharp contrast to the Jordanian Palestinians who refused to allow any Jews access to their holy sites from 1949 until June 1967 when the Jordanian Palestinians lost sovereignty.”

        Two wrongs do not make a right. The fact that Jordan did something wrong, does not make today’s situation right.

        You also wrote, “Muslims complained when Israelis limited access at time of Islamicly inspired violence, especially when Arabs smuggled rifles used to murder Jews.”

        Actually the police officers shot at the Al Aqsa mosque were not Jews; they were Israeli Druze.

        More important the complaints came because it was Israelis who were limiting access to a Mosque that is supposed to be under the control of Muslim authorities. Had the Israelis quietly offered the security equipment to the Mosque, they probably would have achieved their goals without insulting and outraging the worshippers by blatantly exerting control over them. The people who are responsible for the safety of that Mosque do not want renegades committing violent acts or giving the Israelis an excuse to take over. Here is another situation where a little respect for others would have gone a long way.

      4. Mr Sigman, You wrote, “The Waqf has the funds to erect security cameras. They refused to do so. Israel, as the sovereign entity, is responsible for safety”

        I did not see Israel offer to let Mosque officials use the equipment. Did you?

        The Waqf is not well supported any more. Further, although you assert that Israel is the sovereign country, it is precisely that sovereignty that many people deny. It is because they claim sovereignty that they insisted on operating the machines themselves.

      5. @David

        “Christianity has 0 rituals tied to a unique place.” That surprised me because when I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , my group was made to leave the church because of a scheduled ritual.

        There are places where rituals take happen. There are not rituals that can only take happen at particular places.

        I am not a Christian so perhaps I did not understand but the many Christians who were there when I was there seemed to think that it was a unique place.

        Lots of places are unique. The Cave of the Patriarchs is a unique place for Judaism. There are 0 rituals that can only take happen at The Cave of the Patriarchs.

        That does not sound as if the importance and uniqueness of the place so different from the Jewish holy places such as the Wailing Wall.

        Completely different. I like the ice remover I have in my car, my car doesn’t break without that ice remover. I have no particular opinion on the connecting rod, the car breaks without a connecting rod.

        I don’t see any justification for people from one of those groups to claim that they have more rights than others.

        This isn’t about people this is about states. Places on earth that are inhabited fall under the jurisdiction of a government. Some government is going to own Jerusalem as long as it is inhabited. The state of Israel lays claim to Jerusalem being in its territory. Given that there is no dispute that the IDF is today the sole military capable of exercising a monopoly on final force around and within Jerusalem, the people of Jerusalem recognize Israel as their government and Israel has made permanent official claim this should not be controversial.

        The Cathedral at Toledo still has columns from the Mosque that replaced the original Arian church at Toledo. Toledo was reconquered by Alfonso VI of León and Castile. Yet no one argues Toledo is not part of Spain.

        There are people all over the world, people of many faiths, who consider Jerusalem to be a unique place and would like to visit.

        There is no argument about people’s right to visit Jerusalem. Jerusalem was closed under Jordanian rule it is quite open today. And no one is arguing about other religious groups treating each other with respect.

        The Canadian government is perfectly capable of being the governing authority over Catholics, Protestants, Scientologists, New Agers, Jews and Muslims and treating all of them with respect. This debate is not about treating religious groups with respect. It is about those who still reject the concept that Jews are a nation of equal worth entitled to self determination.

      6. Mr. Host,

        You wrote, “This isn’t about people this is about states. ” States only reason for existence is to help the people that live within it. When they stop acting in the best interest of their residents, they should disappear and often do. For many years, Israel has acted as if it were an end in itself and its actions have made life worse for most of its inhabitants.

        The people that I saw performing rituals at the Church of the Sepulchre obviously considered it very important that they perform that ritual in that place. Whether or not there is a text that says that they must do that is irrelevant. They consider it important, as important to them as the Jewish rituals in Israel are important to Jews.

        Your car is a mechanical object with no rights. The people who want to worship in Jerusalem are human and all of them have human rights. You cannot discard them the way you might discard a car accessory.

        You wrote that “the people of Jerusalem recognize Israel as their government and Israel has made permanent official claim this should not be controversial.” You forgot to begin that claim with “some”. Many people do not accept Israel as their government and have made that clear. In fact, some see the Israeli government and police as a force that threatens them every day even if they have never been in a protest or committed any illegal act.

        Yes, the Canadian government is (mostly) capable of treating all religious and ethnic groups with respect. I wish the Israeli government did the same but it does not. Canada does not declare itself to be an ethnically biased state or pass laws that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or religion (except for historical laws about our native people). Israel declares itself to be a Jewish state and has laws and practices that clearly discriminate on the basis of religion or ethnicity. Canada is now working hard to eliminate the poor treatment of its “first nations”. I wish that Israel would do the same.

      1. Yes, Zionism is most assuredly racism. It is also theft and fascism.
        Bottom line: Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever. Therein lies the root of the conflict.

      2. David,

        You wrote, “Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever. Therein lies the root of the conflict.”

        When I lived in Ireland, I saw many roofless churches, known as Cromwell churches, relics of the British attempt to conquer Ireland and wipe out Catholicism there. The result was the Irish rebellions. However, when the Republic of Ireland defeated the British in 26 counties and became independent, they did not declare themselves to be a Catholic state even though a large majority was Roman Catholic. Their constitution guaranteed religious freedom and separation of church from state. Today, there are only minor problems between the two sects.

        The Catholics in the Republic did not need a Catholic state and are better off with a neutral state. All have the same rights and are subject to the same laws. There is a lesson for Israel/Palestine.

      3. @Jack Frank Sigman

        “Thank you for your antisemitic comment. You prove my point. No wonder Israel rightfully disregards international opinion.”

        There is nothing whatsoever “anti-Semitic” in my statement.
        It is also entirely accurate:

        To wit:

        Mistreatment of Palestinians by Jewish settlers caused the Jewish philosopher, Ahad Ha’am (nee, Asher Ginsberg), great distress. In 1891 he wrote: “They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, unscrupulously deprive them of their rights, insult them without cause, and even boast of such deeds; and none opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination.” (Ha’am, Ahad, by Am Sheideweg, Berlin 1923, vol.1, p.107; quoted by Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, p. 24)

        Ha’am concluded that this aggressive behaviour on the part of Jews stemmed from anger “…towards those who remind them that there is still another people in the land of Israel that have been living there and does not intend to leave.” (Hans Kohn, Zionism Reconsidered, Michael Selzer, ed. London: 1970, p. 195; quoted by Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians…, p. 7)

        Theodor Herzl’s diaries not only confirm that his objective was the establishment of a “Jewish state” in Palestine, but that it would be an expansionist state. In the year of his death he described its borders as being “…in the north the mountains facing Cappadocia [Turkey], in the south, the Suez Canal [Egypt] in the east, the Euphrates [Iraq].” (Theodor Herzl, The Complete Diaries, 11 p. 711)

        In true nineteenth century colonialist fashion, Herzl contended that his “Jewish state” would protect Europe and its superior culture from the uncivilized East. “We should there [in Palestine] form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” (Theodor Herzl, Judenstaat (The Jewish State), 1896, p. 26)

        Even more revealing as to how Herzl intended to deal with Palestinians is the “Charter for Zionist Colonization of Palestine and Syria” which he drafted sometime between the summer of 1901 and early 1902. Much to his disappointment, however, he was denied the opportunity to present it to the Ottoman Sultanate. Article Vl of the charter called for Istanbul to grant the Zionists, in the form of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC), “complete autonomy, guaranteed by the Ottoman Empire” while Article III gave them in effect, the right to deport the native population to other areas of the empire. Article 111 “[pertained] to the Palestinian and other Arab owners and inhabitants of the three categories of land to be purchased/owned by the JOLC – the large and small private landholdings, the Sultan’s state domain, and the land for which there is no title.”

        Israel Zangwill, the influential Anglo-Jewish essayist and Zionist first believed that the Palestinians would simply “fold their tents and slip away.” It was Zangwill who first voiced the lie that Palestine was a “land without a people, waiting for a people without a land.” (Zangwill, Israel, “The Return to Palestine”, New Liberal Review 11, Dec. 1901 p 627, quoted by David Hirst, p. 19)

        In 1905, Zangwill contradicted himself during a talk in Manchester when he observed that Palestine was “already twice as thickly populated as the United States…. [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….” (Zangwill, Speeches, p. 210, quoted by Nur Masalah , Expulsion of the Palestinians…., 1992, p. 10)

        In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians “should be gradually transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.” (Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 12 1919, quoted by Masalha, Expulsion…, p.14)

        In 1920, Zangwill proposed in The Voice of Jerusalem, that there should be an “‘Arab exodus’…based on ‘race redistribution’ or a ‘trek like that of the Boers from Cape Colony,’ which he advocated as ‘literally the only way out of the difficulty of creating a Jewish State in Palestine.’” He continued: “We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction….To fold their tents and silently steal away is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now.” (Zangwill, The Voice of Jerusalem, p. 103, quoted by Masalha, EOTP pp. 13- 14)

        Other Zionist leaders saw the future Jewish state in Palestine not only free of Arabs, but the first step towards the creation of a much larger country. In 1918, Ben-Gurion described the future borders of the Jewish state as: “to the north, the Litani River; to the northeast, the Wadi’Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into the Sinai at least up to Wadi al-`Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” (Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, pp. 34-34; cited by Masalah, Expulsion…, p. 87)

        In 1930 (when Jews privately owned only about four per cent of Palestine), Arthur Ruppin, a pivotal figure in political Zionism wrote that displacement of Arab farmers was inevitable because “land is the most necessary thing for our establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of the purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land so far, both owners of the land and tenants.” (Rashid Khalidi, in Blaming the Victims)

        In short, as the documented historical record attests, Zionism is undeniably racist and thievery of Palestinian lands.. It is also Fascistic:

        http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Israel-is-becoming-a-fascist-state-US-cant-save-the-day-497775

        Jerusalem Post June 24, 2017

        “‘Israel is becoming a fascist state, U.S. can’t save the day'”

        “Opposition leader Isaac Herzog doesn’t think the American efforts to revive the peace talks will bear fruit and warns that Israel is slowly slipping into fascism.”
        by Joy Bernard

        EXCERPT:
        “Opposition leader and Zionist Union chairman Issac Herzog warned on Saturday that Israel was headed toward fascism and that its fate as a democracy was at stake.

        “‘We are going through a process of fascistization of the Israeli politics,’ Herzog warned while speaking at a cultural event in central Israel. ‘Whoever is wary of the country’s fate and would like to prevent the fascistization has to support the transition into one big and moderate political bloc in order to change this trend,’ he said.”

        “‘We have to change the regime in order to save the Israeli democracy from the fascistization that is threatening it,’ Herzog continued.”

        Of course, fascism within the Yishuv was nothing new. It has deep roots. In 1925, Vladimir Jabotinsky, a Zionist zealot from Poland, founded the fascistic Betar or Brown Shirts along with the Revisionist Party (origin of today’s Likud) which advocated “revision” of the mandate to include forcible Jewish colonization of then Transjordan in addition to Palestine.

      4. @Jack Frank Sigman

        “The Jews allowing Muslims and Christians access while they have sovereignty is in sharp contrast to the Jordanian Palestinians who refused to allow any Jews access to their holy sites from 1949 until June 1967…”

        How convenient of you to ignore the fact that during the 1948 war, Jewish forces and the IDF dispossessed and expelled 60,000 Palestinians (30,000 prior to 15 May) from West Jerusalem. and destroyed their homes and stole their properties. .

        During the war Israel seized 78% of Palestine (22% more than the Partition Plan recommended, including large portions of the proposed Palestinian state, e.g., Jaffa and Acre), expelled 400,000 more Palestinians for a total of about 800,000 (according to Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) and went on to destroy over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries. It was only the beginning of the Zionist’s conquest of Palestine and the expulsion of its indigenous Arab inhabitants.

        BTW, The repeated assertion by Israel’s leaders and other Zionists that Palestinians fled their homes and properties in 1948 because they were told to do so by Arab leaders to make way for incoming Arab armies has long-since been debunked. To quote John H. Davis, who served as Commission-General of UNRWA at the time: “An exhaustive examination of the minutes, resolutions, and press releases of the Arab League, of the files of leading Arabic newspapers, of day-to-day monitoring of broadcasts from Arab capitals and secret Arab radio stations, failed to reveal a single reference, direct or indirect, to an order given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave. All the evidence is to the contrary; that the Arab authorities continuously exhorted the Palestinian Arabs not to leave the country…. Panic and bewilderment played decisive parts in the flight. But the extent to which the refugees were savagely driven out by the Israelis as part of a deliberate master-plan has been insufficiently recognized.” (John H. Davis, The Evasive Peace, London: Murray, 1968)
        .
        I’m sure any informed person can understand full well why Jordan refused to allow Israeli Jews access to their holy sites from 1949 until June 1967.

      5. Jordan refused all Jews on the face of the Earth access to their holy sites. The Palestinian Jordanians made their portion of Jerusalem Judenrein and stole their homes and possessions.

        The vast majority of Israeli leaders no longer use the assumption that the vast majority of Arabs left on the orders of their leaders. Most acknowledge that the Arab elites fled in the first days of the Arabs starting the Palestinian Civil War and that 100s of thousands fled in fear of what the Jews might do, despite what remained of their leadership ordering that they stay. But they were cowards and ran.

        Yes, the Israeli leadership refused to allow a 5th column to return. Yes, they destroyed many villages. War sucks. If you can’t handle the results of a war, you shouldn’t start one.

        Gives the canards a rest and try to act like some one with a real education.

  2. This is frightening. A foreign state is telling our political parties to side with Trump and not advocate for applying international law and respecting UN SC resolutions.

    1. Hey John,
      Thanks for your comments. I hope it is clear that CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a CANADIAN organization. Its funds come (as far as I know) entirely from its Canadian members. This is a debate among Canadians of different opinion. There is no foreign interference.

      1. Israel interferes in every government on the planet including Canada. To pretend this is a debate among Canadians with no Israeli influence is a stretch of the truth which Zionists are famous for.

      1. Jim Meeks,
        Thanks for your comment.

        “The Israel lobby” is a term often used to describe a number of loosely connected organizations in Canada (CIJA, Bnai Brith, Canadian friends of Simon Wiesenthal, various campus Hillel groups, the newspaper Canadian Jewish News,etc.) which are composed (mostly) of Jewish Canadians who are strongly attached to Israel and Zionism. (There are also a few Christian Zionist organizations – one of which is called the “Christian Embassy”.)

        Of course the State of Israel also tries to influence Canadian policy (as do every other state which has an embassy here). But I was trying to clarify that while I disagree with CIJA and Mr. Fogel on his recommendations for Canadian policy, I did not intend to imply that there was anything illegal or nefarious about his statements or his links to various politicians.

      1. Hey Jack Sigman, What ‘UN anti-semitic pronouncement’ are you referring to? If you can show me one, and it is anti-semitic, I will be happy to criticize it.

      2. Good explanation Peter of the “Israel Lobby” as a rough collection of Canadian organizations named in your list, both Jewish and non Jewish, supporting Israel. There is probabbly a smaller equivalent of Canadian organizations of whatever background supporting Palestinian rights human, political etc. including a state of Palestine.

        Disinction under the Lobbying act is that a Canadian organization or individual must register as a lobbyist when there is direct compensation from the entity that is the subject and beneficiary of the specified lobbying effort. I once looked at CIJA’s lobbying status and it seemed that while Mr Fogel was registered as a lobbyist to promote the objectives of CiJA like education and health and including Canada Israel relations, Israel interests were not included per se in the list, presumably because Israel does not compensate Cija or Mr Fogel.

        It would be interesting to do a search of the Lobying archive to see if any other Canadian organizations or individuals are registerd to lobby for Israel or Palestine. As such they would be required to report all meetings and contacts with Canadian public office holders as defined under the Lobbying Act. Presumably as you have pointed out,
        CTIP may advocate on Israel Palestine issues, Including with public office holders, but CTIP is not registered as a lobbyist because it is receives no financial compensation from Israel or Palestine.

        There is a similar lobbying regulation system in the USA albeit under the authority of Congress. Many American lobbyists are registered to work for foreign governments and embassies including Israel and possily even Palestine. Entities may in some cases have to register as a foreign agent like Russia Today RT TV. Charges against General Mike Flynn may include lobbying for Turkey Israel for high levels of compensation and not abiding by lobbying rules
        It has been discussed whether APAC the main American lobby for Israel should be required to register as a foreign agent. Of course who can forget the book by Prodessor John Merscheimer on the Israel lobby in the USA which received so much criticism including charges of antisemitism from prominent members of the USA Israel Lobby.

        GEORGE JACOBY

  3. Peter,

    Someone should remind Mr. Fogel that every snowflake is “special and unique” but that does not give any one snowflake the right to rise to the top of the snow and suppress the other snowflakes.

    On CBC’s “The Current”, Mr. Fogel said that the history of post 1948 Israel was a struggle for the recognition and validation of the Jewish people’s connection to the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. That connection has never been disputed. As, one of my Muslim Palestinian friends told me, “We always knew that there were Jews here; we considered them Palestinians just like the Christians and us.” Many Palestinian Christians and Muslims are descendants of Jews.

    The real dispute, the one has led to so much misery and death, has been about whether other people also have a connection to the land. This too cannot be disputed. The Hebrew Bible is full of stories that make it clear that there were non Jews in the area, all with their own property and traditions, when the Jews were there. It is the Zionist insistence that a Jewish homeland be a Jewish state, a state with two (or more) classes of citizens, that is the cause of the hostility.

    Israel’s argument about Jerusalem is particularly vexing. it isn’t even clear that Jerusalem is in Israel. In the UN partition plan, which Israel claimed to accept, Jerusalem was to be an international city. Israel seized both parts of the city by force (at two different times) and then walled it off from its suburbs.

    The Israeli government has said that Jerusalem is its “eternal” capital and has been its capital for 3000 years. In fact, Jerusalem was not even ancient Israel’s first capital. The original Jerusalem was built by others and later captured by the King David who then moved his capital away from King Saul’s capital. Jerusalem was ruled for a few hundred years by Israel. After that, except for a few short periods, other parties, usually foreign empires, controlled Israel. Jews were a minority in the city for most of that time and did take control again until the middle of the 20th century. That doesn’t sound “eternal” to me.

    I understand the Jewish association with Jerusalem. As a child I heard the words “Next Year in Jerusalem” at the end of every Passover service. However, when I asked my parents about it, I was told that Jerusalem was a Jewish city long ago and there were many myths about it. Many Israelis believed those myths. The historical fact is that Jerusalem was always a shared city; it should remain a shared city.

    If Mr. Fogel is working to “contain” politicians that he considers hostile to Israel an the USA, supporters of freedom for Palestinians need to support politicians who speak out about those country’s unjust treatment of the Palestinian people.

    The secret of peace in Palestine is learning to share. Peace will only come to Palestine when all residents have equal rights, regardless of their ethnicity and religion.

  4. Representatives of Christian Churches and Muslim Associations could also meet with the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, just as CIJA’s CEO Mr Fogel did rather swiftly after Trump’s announcement, and press for recognizing their special and unique relationship to Jerusalem.

    1. That’s an excellent idea, John! Canadians of all Abrahamic faiths have a sacred relationship to Jerusalem, we consider it a Holy City, with many sacred sites, and it should remain a shared city!!!

  5. This looks to be a weak CIJA strategy to somehow validate Israel’s and the Jewish people’s claim that Jerusalem is their sole and unique capital. But in supporting the Trump move, Cija has at least not called opposition demonstrations to it antisemitic.

    Nothing in this strategy undermines international law in UN resolutions including recently passed UNSCR 2334 that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and any Israeli actions to change the state of this territory are illegal and invalid. The “infamous” UNESCO resolution merely confirms this fact while recognizing the ties of all three monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam as having respective ties to Jerusalem.

    To be successful the Cija strategy would have to change not only the so-called anti Israel and anti Americans in the NDP but also official Canadian, American and EU policies which have all recently restated that the final status of Jerusalem can only be determined under international law and international negotiations through the peace process irregardless of the recognition of Jerusalem by Trump, the formal recent recognition of West Jerusalem by Russia and other variations. The EU foreign policy chief called for two states both of which would have their capitals in Jerusalem
    .
    Much better that CIJA would try to advance progress towards a “two state solution” by considering and supporting a shared approach to Jerusalem: by calling for a formal recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, East Jerusalem as the capital of the recognized state of Palestine and an international regime to manage and guarantee the holy sites. While obviously this is not the eternal undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital demanded by Israel’s current government (but not all the Jewish people) , such an approach to Jerusalem is the best for peace, stability, security, democracy and human rights for citizens and minorities of both Israel and Palestine while making Jerusalem truly an international city of peace.

    George Jacoby

    1. @George

      A shared approach to Jerusalem: by calling for a formal recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, East Jerusalem as the capital of the recognized state of Palestine and an international regime to manage and guarantee the holy sites.

      That’s not really a shared approach. That’s dividing the city. As for an international regime to guarantee, how exactly is an international regime going to guarantee anything with the IDF sitting meters away from them? How exactly is an international regime going to defend against Hamas, Hezbollah and other Iranian agents as well as groups like Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda offshoots?

      The army in the region that is capable of guaranteeing a stable, secure Jerusalem giving all faiths access to the holy sites governed by a democracy and ensuring human rights is the IDF. There is no other force that is both capable and willing to do such a thing. Especially given that the IDF currently considers the territory annexed to their state.

      1. Mr. Host,

        You wrote, “The army in the region that is capable of guaranteeing a stable, secure Jerusalem giving all faiths access to the holy sites governed by a democracy and ensuring human rights is the IDF.”

        Unfortunately, they do not do those things. In fact, they often do the opposite.

        You also wrote, “There is no other force that is both capable and willing to do such a thing. ”

        The IDF is as strong as it is because it receives billions of dollars in support from other governments. Its scientists and engineers have access to research, often classified research, in the US and elsewhere. If that support was withdrawn, and given to an international force, the situation you describe would soon change. Further, the international force could be backed up by an international alliance that would bring in more forces if they were attacked.

        You then wrote, “Especially given that the IDF currently considers the territory annexed to their state.” Actually, the IDF acts as if it owned territory far outside its state. It regularly acts in Lebanon and Syria and even as far away as Iran. I don’t know any state more deserving of the epithet “rogue state”.

        I agree that dividing the city is not way to share. It would also deny rights to individuals who want to live with someone of a different group. An international force could defend a unified international city.

  6. Hey George Jacoby, thanks for your contributions around what constitutes a lobby.

    I would like to make two small clarifications.

    First, while the “Israel Lobby” could well be counterbalanced in theory to a “Palestine lobby” in practice there isn’t one. A quick look at the websites of CIJA, Bnai Brith, Jewish National Fund, Canadian Jewish News, etc etc. would lead one to a reasonable conclusion that collectively they employ more than a hundred people – perhaps two hundred, across the country and are backed by a very substantial budget which allows them to among other things offer free trips to MP’s and many “influential” people to Israel to see their perspective.

    On the other “side” as far as I know, there are several tiny organizations made up of volunteers. The only ones I am aware of that have ANY staff are “Independent Jewish Voices” which has one full time coordinator, and CJPME which has two or three staff members, as far as I know. They are hard pressed to take themselves to visit Israel/Palestine, let alone offer free trips to MP’s.

    So there is really no equivalence, at the present time. Using a metric of either “staff” or “budget”, I think it is in the range of 100-1 on the Israel lobby side, perhaps even more. That could change of course, but there is no evidence that is about to happen any time soon.

    On a second point, I would like to remind you that CTIP is most definitely NOT a lobbying organization. We are strictly an educational organization, based on human rights and international law. We promote serious discussion on the Israel/Palestine issue, and in fact, our pages are open to Zionists as well as non-Zionists. We do not lobby politicians a the federal or provincial level, but we encourage others to do so.
    Best wishes.

  7. Hi Peter, No doubt that you are correct to identify a significant funding gap between Israel advocacy groups and Palestinian advocacy groups in Canada.

    In fact the little amounts of funding that the Palestinian advocacy groups do get is mostly coming from the golf states, not from local Canadian Palestinian or Canadian Muslims.

    The obvious question is: why?

    How come, successful Palestinians in Canada would not donate money and would not, for the most part, publicly advocate for Palestine?

    1. Hey Ahik,
      Happy Hannake and thanks for the question. It is one I have wondered about myself.

      The most logical answer is that most Canadian Jews are now in their 2nd, or 3rd or even 4th generation as Canadians. They are thoroughly integrated, speak English like I do, and many of them are very successful as lawyers, doctors, etc. While their parents or grandparents had an immigrant mentality (and were often poor) they got their kids to study and become successful. Good for them.

      Most Canadian Palestinians on the other hand are still in their first generation. Many of them still have their suitcases at the door, mentally at least. Hoping they will be able to return to Palestine.
      For almost all of them English is their second language, and they feel very much like outsiders.

      But like their Jewish counterparts, they are getting their kids to study hard and get ahead. I expect that the next generation of Palestinian Canadians will be much better educated, will feel comfortable in their Canadian “skin” and will feel comfortable playing a role in Canadian politics.

      All this is surmise, of course.

      PS. I am curious about your assertion that some Palestinian advocacy organizations in Canada get funding from the Gulf States. Is that current? If so, I am not aware of this. I sat for several years on the board of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations and it used to get some funding from Saudi Arabia but that was dropped at least 5 years ago. I am not aware of any current funding from any foreign sources.

      1. Peter,
        I’m afraid I was misunderstood, I wasn’t arguing that Palestinian Canadians are less prosperous than Jewish Canadians.

        My point was that sucsseful Palestinian Canadians often distance themselves from pro Palestinian politics, or even change their name to mask their Palestinian origin

      2. Ahik,

        You wrote, “Palestinian Canadians often distance themselves from pro Palestinian politics, or even change their name to mask their Palestinian origin”.

        I know Jewish families who changed their name to hide their Jewish origin. It wasn’t because they were afraid of being Jewish it was to avoid the prejudiced treatment that they expected to encounter if they kept their Jewish name. A few have since changed their name back. Today it is Muslims who have to fear prejudice. I assume that if they change their name they do it for the same reason that Jews did.

        Interestingly many of my Jewish friends in Israel changed their name when they got to Israel. Were they trying to mask something? Some seemed to want to pretend that they were Middle Eastern rather than European. In one case, 3 members of an immigrant family changed their name to a Hebrew name. Unable to agree on a name, they now have 3 different names.

      3. Parnas,

        Jews traditionally Hebraize there names when they make Aliyah. Suggesting something to hide is borderline antisemitic nonsense which is expected of you. Thank you for being so predictable. Immigrants to Iceland are required to take Icelandic names. Except for two famous Jews.

      4. Mr. Sigman,

        Some take Hebrew names and some do not. Some, like Ben Gurion, take names that are close to their birth name; some do not. One of the good things about Israel is that an immigrant is not required to take a Hebrew name.

        You forget the context of this discussion. I mentioned the taking of Hebrew names in response to Ahik who wrote, “Palestinian Canadians often distance themselves from pro Palestinian politics, or even change their name to mask their Palestinian origin”. I thought the suggestion that they were trying to hide their origin was ridiculous and wanted to show the parallel. If you think my remark was antisemitic, then I would expect you to agree that Ahik’s remark was Islamophobic.

        It is nice that we can agree on something.

    2. Two Palestinian Arabs ambush car with pregnant mother and 4 preteen daughters. The girls are shot in the brain, the mother shot in the womb, then shot in the brain. Palestinian Arab decapitates Jewish baby in crib. Palestinian Arab stabs thirteen year old Jewish girl to death while she is sleeping in bed.

      Do you need more reasons that Canadians contribute so little money to Palestinian cause?

      1. Mr. Sigman,
        Sadly, your list of horrible incidents is incomplete. The Israeli press is full of such stories. Some of the less extreme Press and the pro Palestine Press report similar stories in which it is Palestinians who are victims. One of the most shocking facts is that an Israeli soldier who cold-bloodedly shot and killed a disarmed and helpless Palestinian who was lying on the ground is considered a hero by many Israelis. It would be nice if Israel’s supporters reacted to such stories by reducing their support for Israel. Unfortunately, humans of any ethnic group do not react that way. They consider killings by their ethnic group to be justified while killings by members of other groups are considered barbaric.

        These are all reasons for seeking a just peace in Palestine/Israel. They are also reasons for reducing support to the militants on both sides.

        The good news is that the number of people who act so violently is a small fraction of of the population. The rest who must take charge and make peace..

      2. Jack Frank Sigman.

        You really must get educated regarding the monstrous crimes foreign Jews and the entity known as “Israel” have committed against Palestinians, the indigenous inhabitants of the lands between the River and the Sea.

        BTW, as recent exhaustive DNA analyses attest, Palestinians and their ancestors have been living there continuously for about 15,000 years: Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 “The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish.”
        “Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.” (It is estimated that the Hebrews invaded circa 1800 BCE.)

        To wit:

        Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

        A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv’s use of torture against Palestinian children.

        The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children, who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists. Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli’s use of torture stating that ‘I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of Palestinian children,’ Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has described the human rights abuses documented in the film as ‘intolerable.’ But rights groups have slammed this statement, saying that the Israelis are doing nothing to change Tel Aviv’s policy to torture Palestinian children.

        Last year a report by the United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund or UNICEF concluded that Palestinian children are often targeted in night arrests and raids of their homes, threatened with death and subjected to physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault. The film Stone Cold Justice has sparked an international outcry about Israel’s treatment of children in Israeli jails. However, rights groups have criticized Tel Aviv for not doing anything to create a policy that protects Palestinian children against arbitrary arrest and torture.

        Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDPeeD_RPk
        Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children
        This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. It provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem.

        Re: The Gaza Strip:
        Video: http://obliteratedfamilies.com/en/story/shuheibar/

        As the respected human rights organization Human Rights Watch declared in 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”

        The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

        “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015, correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

        “‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda….’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

        Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
        “Occupation is Slavery”
        EXCERPT:
        “In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

        Regarding Palestinian Arab citizens of “Israel,” i.e. west of the green line:
        “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
        EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

        Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

        In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

        “Construction, Not Destruction”
        “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.” (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

        One example of apartheid within Israel:
        “Jewish town won’t let Arab build home on his own land ”
        Excerpt: “Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ‘Don’t waste your time,’ he reportedly told Suad. ‘We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.’” (Haaretz, 14 December 2009)

        Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence and a devout Jew: “The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the ‘Jewish state’, and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid].” (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

        Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: “[Israel’s] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

        Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

        The effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

    3. Ahik,

      is it possible to reference the source that says Palestinian advocacy groups receive donations from the Golf states?

      As far as I know, there are no Palestinian advocacy groups.

  8. @David

    An international force could defend a unified international city.

    Israel has just to pick a few figures:
    550k moderately to well trained soldiers in its reserves, and another 168k active
    It has 650 high quality military aircraft, 2600 tanks, and another 10k lightly armored vehicles.

    How could any UN force defend against that? Iran has a 400 ship navy including 33 subs and 10 mine ships to attack the logistic support from this “international force”. It has 200 transport aircraft to move forces from its million man army rapidly along with 1300 lightly armored vehicles to provide ground cover fire.

    No an international force of the type the UN normally deploys, something like 3000 guys with automatic rifles and jeeps could not defend a unified international city against those players. It couldn’t even slow them down.

    Further, the international force could be backed up by an international alliance that would bring in more forces if they were attacked.

    Really from whom? Among the EU and the USA which has the power to take on Israel, what country is willing to lose say 100k soldiers to defeat the IDF? (Assuming convention war and that USA forces have advantages, could be much worse). For Russia it might be closer to 500k-1m and I’m not even sure they have the logistics. Pretty much no one else can move forces effectively enough to even get a large force to Jerusalem opposite a hostile IDF.

    No if the international force is attacked they surrender so they don’t die. Which BTW is why the UN would never even consider putting an international force in Jerusalem until Israel relinquishes claim.

    You wrote, “The army in the region that is capable of guaranteeing a stable, secure Jerusalem giving all faiths access to the holy sites governed by a democracy and ensuring human rights is the IDF.” Unfortunately, they do not do those things. In fact, they often do the opposite.

    They most certainly do that. The holy sites are opened to all. Israel is a democracy. Israeli-Arabs have due process of law and human rights protections. The people of Jerusalem travel rather freely. And Israel administers tourist visas to people of all faiths.

    The IDF is as strong as it is because it receives billions of dollars in support from other governments.

    The IDF gets about 1/5 of its budget from the USA. While a nice bonus and certainly helpful that is not decisive. The IDF is as strong as it because the people of Israel have a military culture and have consistently prioritized the military above civilian quality of life.
    If that support was withdrawn, and given to an international force, the situation you describe would soon change.

    Operations against Iraq, a much weaker country than Israel cost around $100b a year not $4b.

    You then wrote, “Especially given that the IDF currently considers the territory annexed to their state.” Actually, the IDF acts as if it owned territory far outside its state. It regularly acts in Lebanon and Syria

    It doesn’t act as a governing power in those states. It acts as a hostile neighbor. Entirely different.

    I don’t know any state more deserving of the epithet “rogue state”.

    North Korea comes immediately to mind.

    1. Mr. Host,

      Why do you assume that Israel and an international force would battle? Are you assuming that Israel would be an aggressor?

      Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. Including 2016 (the latest figures I could find), the United States has provided $127.4 billion to Israel (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. In addition to the direct aid to the IDF there is a huge amount of aid to other Israeli efforts; that aid allows Israel to spend more on its very oversized military. These figures do not include the aid from private donors and aid received from other countries. In addition to the financial aid, there is access to the latest military technology from the US and other countries. For example, Raytheon and Israel work on missile defence together giving Israel access to technology paid for by US taxpayers for many decades. Israel was one of the first foreign countries to receive the F-35.

      None of this would be needed if there were a truly just peace in Palestine.

      Your lack of respect for the brave UN peacekeepers is notable.

      You say that Israel “doesn’t act as a governing power in those states”. It dictates to those states. It tells them what defences and defence partners they may have and enforces its dictates. It also intervenes in internal disputes in those states. You are quite right when you say that it is a hostile neighbour.

      Because Israel uses its forces freely, without warning or principle, and in violation of international law, it deserves to be called a rogue state. In contrast, your nominee for that title has not attacked any of its neighbours since the armistice. It is obviously determined to defend itself but it has not been an aggressor.

      1. @David

        Why do you assume that Israel and an international force would battle?

        I don’t assume they would battle. I assume that the UN would never send a force into Jerusalem as long as Israel maintains claim to the city. You and George were talking about force and I’m trying to point out that in the real world there is no option of force at reasonable cost. If you are willing to say that an international force could not defend the city then we can start having a reasonable conversation about stuff the UN could do.

        Are you assuming that Israel would be an aggressor?

        Yes of course! (If the UN were to attempt it, which they wouldn’t). Israel is not going to permit a foreign hostile army to go into their territory and seize part of it for another nation or state. We saw that in 1973 when they took heavy losses to defend their territory. This including stuff that the UN doesn’t recognize as Israeli like the Golan and Sinai. So no it will not matter that the government of that hostile army doesn’t recognize the IDF’s claim.

        One of the main reasons to have an army is to prevent other states from stealing your territory.

        Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II.

        This is an Anti-Israel talking point which is pure nonsense. The defense of South Korea requires the maintenance of a fleet and a standing army with bases in Japan and the middle Pacific. The cost of utilities at Okinawa runs 1/2 the cost of aide to Israel. The cost of the USA forces in Germany every 2 years beats the entire history of aide to Israel.

        Israel is the single largest recipient of one particular type of aide which is from a cost perspective one of the less expensive types the USA offers.

        None of this would be needed if there were a truly just peace in Palestine.

        From the standpoint of the USA it isn’t needed it is an inexpensive way to align Israel with the USA. Israel natural interests and USA natural interests in the region were often contrary. Israel values weapons aide so in exchange for a few billion in weapons the USA got Israel to not undermine and often support USA policy. It never had anything to do with the Palestinians.

        I don’t think there is any path to a just peace with the Palestinians right now. But even if there were I don’t know how that solves say Israel’s problem with Iran / Syria.

        You say that Israel “doesn’t act as a governing power in those states”. It dictates to those states. It tells them what defences and defence partners they may have and enforces its dictates. It also intervenes in internal disputes in those states. You are quite right when you say that it is a hostile neighbour.

        I’m not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing. A hostile power and a governing power are opposite claims.

        Because Israel uses its forces freely, without warning or principle

        Israel has clear principles and gives lots of warnings. This again is simply false.

        In contrast, your nominee for that title has not attacked any of its neighbours since the armistice.

        Huh? August 20, 2015 North Korea launched artillery into South Korea. November 23, 2010 Greater Yeonpyeong island … More importantly North Korea’s neighbors unlike Israel’s mostly don’t attack it.

      2. Mr. Host,

        You wrote, ” I assume that the UN would never send a force into Jerusalem as long as Israel maintains claim to the city. ”

        The UN has often sent token forces into disputed territories as part of a truce or peace agreement. This often happens even though the parties have not relinquished their claims because the parties prefer “freezing” a conflict to continuing bloodshed.

        You wrote, “One of the main reasons to have an army is to prevent other states from stealing your territory.”

        Another reason is to steal territory. You mention two such cases, Golan and Sinai. Sinai was returned.

        In response to my data on aid to Israel, you wrote, “This is an Anti-Israel talking point which is pure nonsense. … ” I regret that I failed to mention that my data came from a report by the US Congressional Research Service. We all know that the US has a powerful military industrial complex that spends millions of your tax dollars to “project power” all over the world. Discussing this complex, which I know from being part of it, is not relevant to this blog.

        You wrote, “From the standpoint of the USA.. It never had anything to do with the Palestinians..”. Perhaps you forgot the title of this blog. It is a Canadian blog trying to understand the problems of Palestine and Israel. Your analysis of the interests of the USA is worth noting but it is not relevant to this blog. The same is true of the problems of Iran and Syria caused by Israeli policy.

        You wrote, “A hostile power and a governing power are opposite claims.”, It is quite common for an occupying power to be both governing and hostile.

        I don’t think that the Korean incidents you dug up are relevant here but given the facts that that North Korea is officially still at war with its neighbour and is repeatedly subject to punishing sanctions, your suggestion that its neighbours don’t attack it is hard to understand.

  9. Thanks for the discussion. Facts still support my contention that Israel with its capital in West Jerusalem, Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem and the internationalization of the holy sites is the best and indeed only way now to “share” Jerusalem in the context of achieving a solution to the 70 year old Israel Palestine conflict. It is the only solution supported in international law by the UN and an international consensus of all countries.

    The challenge of international diplomacy now is to initiate this course of action getting beyond the negative fallout from the Trump announcement and taking advantage of the convergence of views on Jerusalem. Since Israel is the only country that claims Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided” capita, which is not recognized and indeed rejected by international law UNSCR resolutions and all other members of the international community, appropriate action must be taken to have Israel accept this “two state solution” in discussions with Palestine within a short period of time. The time is right therefore for an initiative led by Canada and the EU for international agreement on this course of action, adjustment national policies accordingly and its confirmation by the UNSCR and the UNGA.

    The guarantee of this solution is best achieved by the good wil of the two direct players Israel and Palestine to implement it with assistance of the UNSCR and its five permanent members, regional organizations like the EU, Arab League and OIC and other international players. The Israeli and Palestine lobbies may not be equal financial power but if they could come together on this plan, it would much assist implementation. If armed forces and police were required to guarantee the borders of the new arrangement on Jerusalem and Israel Palestine, they should come from the UN peacekeeping community assisted by Israeli and Palestinian forces.. The question of the power and hostility of the IDF does not arise in this international solution.

    George Jacoby

    1. George,

      If such a division of historical Palestine and Jerusalem were to happen, what would you say to the many people who would never be able to visit their ancestral homes or return to the land of their birth? What would you say to the divided families who would be forced to live in different countries? What would you say to the people who have never seen the sea?

      1. Thanks Dr. Lamas for the question.

        I would say that eventually Palestinians from anywhere should be able to go to Israel to visit ancestral lands, meet their relatives and otherwise act as tourists while having an immediate right to go to Palestine. Jews from anywhere in the world would continue to be able to do Aliya. Otherwise, Immigration would fall within the sovereign scope of Israel and Palestine respectively, both of which have seacoasts and indpendent borders for outside entry and hopefully free secure internal borders The jerusalem holy sites should be maintained and open to all legitimate visitors under UN international administration with cooperation of Israel and Palestine and international religious groups.

        The Palestinian right of return can be settled in the context of the final agreement likely through some sort of a symbolic return and some formula for compensation, return to Palestine, UNRWA sponsored resettleent,as was discussed during the Obama Kerry peace intiative. Similarly, Jjews who left Arab countries and now reside in Israel or elsewhere should be able to visit Palesine and eventually Arab countries of their birth whenever possible once the formula of the Arab peace initiative is implemented. .Examples abound of this kind of resolution such as former French citizens of French Algeria returning as tourists to see their houses and businesses and many Canadians of whatever origin being now able to return to their countries of birth after sufficient change: eg.Mr.Bata returning to the Czech republic even to take back his business interests or even of examples in the ME like Iran and Egypt as eco propety policies change.

        Hopefully this satisfies your question and would allow a settlement of oustanding migration and refugee issues between two states Israel and Palestine with their capital in West and East Jerusalem respectively as well as full human and religious access to the Jerusalem holy sites.

        George Jacoby

      2. Mr. Sigman,

        You said that Palestinians, “are able to immigrate to places where they can be together and see the sea.”

        Have you ever read any of the positions taken by Nazis BEFORE the Wannsee conference? Your remarks reminded me of that period. The Nazis first idea was to “purify” Germany by getting Jews to go elsewhere. They complained when other countries would not take us Jews. You know that Jews were denied entry into many countries. Only at the Wannsee meeting, did the Nazi leadership admit that their plan to get Jews to immigrate would not work and proclaim what they called the final solution. Even after that, they pretended that Jews were emigrating. When my maternal grandmother was sent to a camp, letters to her home came back stamped “emigrated to the east”.

        I don’t think that you would agree with the Nazi policy for Jews and was surprised that you would suggest a similar policy for Palestinians. In fact, like the Jews, Palestinians are often denied entry to other countries or forced to live in refugee camps when they gain admittance. We Jews could not freely emigrate and the Palestinians have the same problem. My maternal uncle was imprisoned by England when he arrived there and then sent to a prison in Australia. Palestinians are often treated in a similar way if they emigrate.

        Moreover, some Jews did not want to leave their country and many Palestinians feel the same way.

        You should be able to understand how they feel.

    2. Russia has stated that West Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem should be the capital of the Palestinian state.

  10. George,

    You describe some nice changes but Israeli officials have openly stated that they will never permit any of it. In particular, they have made it clear that they would never allow a Palestinian state to be armed or to control its borders. They have not agreed to give up territory to allow a free connection between the West Bank and Gaza. They restrict the entry of teachers into Palestinian territories and they continue to take territory from Palestinians – often without any compensation. Immense pressure on Israel would be required to achieve the improvements you describe. Even if that miracle occurred, families would be split and important property would continue to be unavailable to its rightful owners.

    1. I am responding to concerns and questions that Israel would never accept a Jerusalem solution of two capitals for two states and internationalization of the holy sites and that the UNSCR and the international community would never be able to enforce such a solution. It is assumed that Palestine and its supporters through the Arab League Peace Recognition offer and the OIC support such a deal.

      With the appropriate pressure and process Israel would indeed have to acept such a deal. While the Netanyahu government has taken a hard line rejectionist stance on such a solution as evidenced by the fate of the Obama Kerry initiative, they have talked about making huge sacrifices including two states in the past and could do so again. One excuse is that Palestine is not a partner for peace, but this is patently false in the context of this proposal which establishs Palestine as an equal state with its capital in Jerusalem according to a specific set of international legal guide/timelines.

      Above all it would take maximum solidarity from the international community to achieve this result. All UN members would have to make clear that they support this solution. There would be no universal recogniton of Israel with its capital in West Jerusalem or any embassies moving there (even US is not moving its embassy for years) or any full regularization of relations until there is such a solution in place. The EU virtually told this to Natanyahu. At least a portion of Israelis should be attracted to the end of conflict and claims and regularization with the international community and an age of permanent security.. Many of the main lobbies for Israel around could put extreme pressure on Israel confident that this could attenuate or even end their eternal lobbying for Israel’s interests in the context of eternal unresolved negotiations and the extreme differences in the international Jewish community.and inside Israeli politics on solutions.

      The UNSCR is most certainly in charge of its own business and in endorsing such a solution could authorize a peacekeeping force under the Charter to enforce and securitize such a two state solution and the internationalization of the holy sites. It is not a question of taking Israeli land but rather territories occupied in 1967 that are not considered to be legally part of Israel but rather territory for the state of Palestine and the internationalized holy sites. This was the original vision for Jerusalem and Israel Palestine. Mr. Pearson won a Nobel peace prize for a UN peacekeeping force that allowed for an orderly withdrawal from Egyptian territory at Sue of British, French and Israeli forces.There is no conceivable reason that there would be conflict between Israeli forces and the UN force. The idea of Iran infiltrating such a force is ludicrous since there would be no choice but for Iran to join the international consensus for such a solution along with OIC. Israel could not stand alone in opposition.

      The main challenge now is to take advantage of Trump letting the Jerusalem geni out of the lamp and mobilize the diplomatic resources to make this wish for a solution to Jerusalem happen peacefully.

      George Jacoby

  11. @David

    The UN has often sent token forces into disputed territories as part of a truce or peace agreement. This often happens even though the parties have not relinquished their claims because the parties prefer “freezing” a conflict to continuing bloodshed.

    The context here was not in agreement with Israel not as part of an agreement. That still creates the problem of parties like Iran who could get through even a non-token UN force like a hot knife through butter. Moreover the UN in this case is not remotely neutral. It has unequivocally sided against Israel through the years.

    You wrote, “One of the main reasons to have an army is to prevent other states from stealing your territory.” Another reason is to steal territory. You mention two such cases, Golan and Sinai. Sinai was returned.

    Agree with your other reason. And also the Sinai was returned. But Sinai was returned after Egypt had 4 wars of attrition, a successful attack in 1973 and made a huge offer in being the first Arab regime to officially make peace.

    In response to my data on aid to Israel, you wrote, “This is an Anti-Israel talking point which is pure nonsense. … ” I regret that I failed to mention that my data came from a report by the US Congressional Research Service. We all know that the US has a powerful military industrial complex that spends millions of your tax dollars to “project power” all over the world. Discussing this complex, which I know from being part of it, is not relevant to this blog.

    I understand the talking point is often repeated. I mentioned some examples which over an order of magnitude more expensive. The point is simply either misleading or incorrect depending on exact phrasing.

    You wrote, “From the standpoint of the USA.. It never had anything to do with the Palestinians..”. Perhaps you forgot the title of this blog. It is a Canadian blog trying to understand the problems of Palestine and Israel. Your analysis of the interests of the USA is worth noting but it is not relevant to this blog. The same is true of the problems of Iran and Syria caused by Israeli policy.

    You cannot assert a policy is about something and then argue that any argument against your point is irrelevant.

    You wrote, “A hostile power and a governing power are opposite claims.”, It is quite common for an occupying power to be both governing and hostile.

    An occupying power is not a governing power by definition.

    I don’t think that the Korean incidents you dug up are relevant here but given the facts that that North Korea is officially still at war with its neighbour and is repeatedly subject to punishing sanctions, your suggestion that its neighbours don’t attack it is hard to understand.

    Syria and Lebanon are officially at war with Israel.

    1. Mr. Host,

      You wrote, “parties like Iran who could get through even a non-token UN force like a hot knife through butter.”

      That would be suicidal. I see no sign that Iran is suicidal. Do you?

      You wrote, “the UN in this case is not remotely neutral. It has unequivocally sided against Israel through the years.” The UN recognized Israel very quickly after its declaration as a state. Today, the vast majority of UN members recognize Israel. The UN is a complex organization. The Security Council has done nothing against Israel except for one token vote at the end of the Obama administration. Other bodies in the UN have taken stands in favour of the rights of Palestinians but that should not be considered the same as being against Israel.

      I was very surprised that you consider the facts I gave about aid to Israel to be an anti-Israel talking point that was “misleading or incorrect”. The data was taken almost verbatim from a US Congressional report; those reports are given bi-partisan vetting. If there is any bias, it would be pro-Israel. If anything, the report underestimates the amount of support because much aid does not show in “the books”. For example, 40 years ago, when I led a project at the US Naval Research Laboratory, we had a visitor from an Israeli manufacturer of weapons. They took our ideas back to Israel where they were able to exploit them in several ways. That visitor was not paid by my project and I am sure that that support would not show in an accountant’s books. The lab did highly classified work and Israelis were the only foreigners that I ever saw there.

      Your views about US interests and its reason for supporting Israel deserve discussion but a US blog would be the appropriate place. Your point was about US interests and not an argument about anything anyone posted on this blog.

      You write, “An occupying power is not a governing power by definition.”. You have a source for definitions of those terms? I note that there is often a difference of opinion about such things. For example, some people in the Baltic states and Georgia will tell you that they were occupied by the USSR and have now broken free. Many Russians would say that those republics were governed by the USSR; their citizens were citizens of the USSR who could vote and hold office. Major leaders of the USSR (Stalin and Shevardnaze) were from Georgia. Using your unstated definitions, was the USSR a governing power or an occupying power?

      Yes, Syria and Lebanon are officially at war with Israel. Israel frequently makes incursions into both countries. The governments of those states do not attack Israel. They too, are not suicidal.

  12. Hello Ahik,
    You earlier made the assertion that funding for pro-Palestinian advocacy groups in Canada comes from the Gulf States.

    I responded that I was not aware of this, and asked you to provide some evidence. Which “advocacy group or groups are you referring to? What information do you have about funding from Gulf States.

    If you don’t have evidence…..

    1. Parnas – “One of the most shocking facts is that an Israeli soldier who cold-bloodedly shot and killed a disarmed and helpless Palestinian who was lying on the ground is considered a hero by many Israelis.”

      Are you talking about the Israeli soldier who murdered a terrorist? Was that terrorist a baby? A pregnant mother? A teenage girl asleep in her bed? Or was he just a terrorist who tried to murder a Jew in cold blood?

      Of course, the majority of Palestinians support terrorism. That is why the majority of Canadians find the Palestinians to be heinous.

      1. Mr. Sigman,

        You missed my point.

        You wrote, “Are you talking about the Israeli soldier who murdered a terrorist? Was that terrorist a baby? A pregnant mother? A teenage girl asleep in her bed? Or was he just a terrorist who tried to murder a Jew in cold blood?”

        Yes, I am talking about a desperate Palestinian youth who tried to attack heavily armed soldiers using a small knife and was immediately shot and disarmed and left immobile on the ground – a threat to nobody. The fact that the soldier (a medic!) shot him in cold blood and violated both Israeli law and internal laws is not in doubt. That soldier was convicted by an Israeli judge. He was given a remarkably light sentence but was clearly guilty. My remark was not about the soldier (or the sentence) but about the many Israelis who objected to any sentence and called him a hero. There was no bravery in what he did. Some Israelis consider him a hero just for levelling his rifle and shooting a helpless Palestinian.

  13. Parnas, that you promote borderline antisemitic ideas was chalked up to your general ignorance. Your deliberate comparison with your concept of Nazi ideology confirms the thought that you are just a polite pseudo-intellectual antisemite..

  14. While President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his stated intention to move the US embassy there and all the mainly critical reaction and adverse political fallout, including two resolutions in the UNSCR and the UNGA, has been both negative and needless, eventually after all the commotion has passed, this situation could be turned into a catalyst for a comprehensive, lawful coordinated and hopefully successful approach to Jerusalem and the Israel Palestine conflict.

    This would entail the simultaneous recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the recognition of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and the internationalization of the holy sites all under a UNSCR resolution that would put forward guidelines, timelines and all relevant international support to achieve, securitize and enforce such a two state international solution.

    Canada has excellent relations and could work with the parties to the conflict Israel and Palestine and the main arbiters such as the P 5 and the rest of the Security Council, the USA, EU countries, OIC, Arab League etc in suggesting and implementing such a solution. Being consistent with Canada’s recently restated policy on Jerusalem and having carefuly abstained on the UNGA resolution, Canada can confidently put forward this solution that can best satisfy the rights and aspirations of the parties and all other states and interests in a manner consistent with international law and consensus. Could a UNGA non permanent seat or another Nobel peace prize for peacemaking in the Middle East be awaiting Canada after such a successful initiative to find a solution on Israel Palestine and Jerusalem.

    George Jacoby

Comments are closed.