Citizen Action Monitor

What twisted moral calculus allows our party leaders to express “friendship and support” for Israel?

Is it simply a matter of wilfully turning a blind eye to Netanyahu’s killing machine, that rages on, to be condoned by our PM’s silence?

No 1497 Posted by fw, November 2, 2015

According to a Canadian Press report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his congratulations to prime minister designate Justin Trudeau in a telephone call, “affirming the friendship of the two countries.” Rafael Barak, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, told The Canadian Press on Thursday that Trudeau has “a record of unwavering support for Israel…. Mr. Trudeau has been very consistent from the very beginning of his campaign, in expressing his support for Israel.” Netanyahu invited Trudeau to visit Israel. “We hope that we will see him soon,” Barak said. “It was a very warm call.”

Kate Purchase, Trudeau’s spokeswoman, characterized the conversation as a “very positive call,” saying Trudeau “explained there would be a shift in tone but Canada would continue to be a friend of Israel’s.”

During the election campaign, Trudeau noted, on “the issue of Israel, where we most disagree as Liberals with Mr. Harper, is that he has made support for Israel a domestic political football, when all three [parties] support Israel and any Canadian government will.”

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In order for Trudeau, and the other party leaders, to perpetuate Canada’s long-standing support of Israel must they not have to remain wilfully and morally blind to Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights? What other explanation can there be?

Consider, for example, the twisted moral calculus of Trudeau’s predecessor, and resolute friend of Israel, Stephen Harper. On December 18, 2013, Harper’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued the following statement:

Today, the Canada-led resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Canada welcomes this clear demonstration of support for the people of Iran and their desire for meaningful human rights reforms…. Real change in Iran requires that concrete actions—not merely token gestures—be made to protect human rights. As a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world, Canada will continue to hold Iran accountable and encourage it to uphold its obligations and to respect the fundamental rights of its people.”

Canada,a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world”? Surely you were joking Mr Baird. Surely this is a cruel joke? What hypocrisy!

Harper’s moral compass, conveniently, never points at Israel.

Why is it that our leaders so seldom see the suffering of innocent Palestinians? And if and when they do see it, they mouth platitudes about “two-state solutions” that even Netanyahu has firmly rejected.

What allows Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair to ignore this cruel image of the lifeless body of Bayan Ayman Abd al-Hadi al-Esseili, 17, gunned down near an illegal Israeli settlement?

Gunned down

Could it be because our pro-Israeli corporate, micro-managed news media ignore stories and images that portray Palestinian suffering?

And what of the haunting graphic images displayed in a photo essay of comparative Holocausts, Germany’s against the Jews and Israel’s against the Palestinians? What story do they tell for those who bother to look?

As George Monbiot put it, albeit in a different context:

Governments ignore issues when the media ignores them. And the media ignores them because … well there’s a question with a thousand answers, many of which involve power. But one reason is the complete failure of perspective in a deskilled industry dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots, where everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to take a lead. The media makes a collective non-decision to treat this [Palestinian] catastrophe as a non-issue, and we all carry on as if it’s not happening.

So Netanyahu’s killing machine rages on. For those who take the time to search for the truth from the voluminous online news sources, here is a small sample of headlines they might have come across:

Canadian govt complicit in Israeli war crimes by Hadani Ditmars, RT, August 1, 2014 — “Canadian foreign policy is not in line with broad public opinion,” he says, “And the government might not dispute that, as they play to their base and know specifically who they are targeting.” That base, he notes, includes a large number of evangelical Christians who, as Canadian author Marci McDonald noted in her book The Armageddon Factor, are traditionally pro-Israel.

Bloody Friday in Palestine by Stephen Lendman, MWC News, October 24, 2015 — The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said Israeli forces wounded over 290 Palestinians yesterday alone, many seriously – 48 from live fire, 44 using rubber-coated steel bullets.

The US-Israel nexus, fairness and the rule of law by Richard Forer, Redress Information & Analysis, October 31, 2015 —…it is time – it is long past time– for the lies and disinformation to cease and for the people of the world to insist that Israel end the occupation and the United States end its enabling of that occupation.

Netanyahu: “We Will Forever Live By The Sword”, Indefinitely Control All Palestinian Territory by IMEMC News, October 28, 2015 — The remarks were reported in Haaretz newspaper…in an article by journalist Barak Ravid….Netanyahu had turned to the politicians present and said: “You think there is a magic wand here, but I disagree. I’m asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes.”

Israeli forces have killed 65 Palestinians this month, including 14 children by Kate, Mondoweiss, October 29, 2015 — An eyewitness told Ma‘an that he saw an Israeli soldier shoot at the Palestinian, hitting him in the shoulder. “Then the Israeli soldier approached him and shot him in the head and dropped a knife near his body,” –

Netanyahu: Hate-Mongering Racist, Mass Murderer, Serial Liar by Stephen Lendman, blog, May 24, 2015 — A May 22 Haaretz editorial blasted him, headlined “World not  willing to buy Netanyahu’s deceit anymore,” saying: He’s “steering Israel onto a destructive collision course with its most important allies.”

Why the world doesn’t see Palestine’s suffering by Daoud Kuttab, Al-Monitor/Palestine Pulse, December 31, 2014 — One of the most exasperating problems facing Palestinian efforts to end the Israeli occupation has been conveying to the world the daily suffering that they endure under it. The difficulty of the effort continues, as the Palestinians struggle to find an effective strategy internally or through the world’s leading forum, the UN Security Council, to lift the occupation.

I conclude with this comment posted on July 24, 2014 by a reader to an article titled: Canada’s Middle East policy

Let’s face it folks, the Canadian people have been sold out in numerous ways. Now, this government, in our name condones Israeli genocide of innocent Palestinian women and children. We also condone the use of banned weaponry such as white phosphorus, that burns people to the bone on contact. We have gone down the tube a long way since being regarded as respected peacekeepers. My father and uncle fought against fascism in World War Two, their lives permanently scarred serving their country only to find fascism alive and flourishing in Harpers’ Government. At least they are not here to see the wreckage, Canada has become. We [Canada] back Israel’s war crimes, we invade nations that did nothing to us [Afghanistan], we reward corruption with senate appointments. We wave our flag high while our actions are so low. “Evil flourishes when good men do nothing”.

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