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THE MYTH OF CANADA AS FAIR REFEREE ON MIDDLE EAST ISSUES

FAIR REFEREE ON MIDDLE EAST ISSUES?

by Morgan Duchesney


THE MYTH OF CANADA AS FAIR REFEREE ON MIDDLE EAST ISSUES

March 2013

For lack of a better word I consider anyone who uncritically supports Israel’s policy of illegal expansion to be a Zionist.  Since Zionism benefits Jewish Israelis to the detriment of others; it is fair to use the term pejoratively. Israel is full of Jewish people who loathe their government’s brutal policies and oppose Zionism. Ironically, Canada is governed by non-Jews like John Baird and Stephen Harper who are more Zionistic than most Israelis. While one can oppose Zionism without being anti-Semitic; the utterance of that ancient slur is almost inevitable. There is even a Canadian movement afoot to equate reasoned criticism of Israeli state policy with racism. 

Canada’s Zionist community claims that the Middle East peace process was sabotaged by the UN’s granting non-member observer status to the Palestinian Authority because the PA is “still the PLO.” They write that, “…it was only throwing oil on an already slippery slope.” Further, they praised Stephen Harper for “chiding” Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu for “…reviving settlement plans in East Jerusalem.” Unfortunately, symbolic chiding is about all Harper is willing to. It costs him nothing and creates the public impression that he is a bold and principled friend; unafraid to speak truth to power. In reality, Netanyahu will continue to expand illegal settlements no matter what happens because no one with the power to stop him will do so.

Following the Palestinian Authority’s successful bid to obtain UN observer status; Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird stated that the Conservative government may punish the Palestinians for their ongoing attempt to seek full UN statehood. He disingenuously mentioned the long history of UN resolutions designed to resolve the endless conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians and praised Obama for opposing the UN bid. Predictably, Baird failed to mention that the United States has vetoed each and every one of those resolutions. Both Canada and the U.S. conveniently dismiss the particular UN resolution forbidding construction on conquered land since that would curtail Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem. Baird must be aware that extremist elements in the Israeli government fully intend to seize every acre of useful land and have zero interest in facilitating a Palestinian state beyond a few isolated “Bantustans.”

Naturally, the Israelis wish to avoid answering to the International Criminal Court and insist that the Palestinians deal directly with them. Also absent from Baird’s rhetoric is any mention of the massive power imbalance between the Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority wisely sought to rectify this imbalance through increasing their international status. Increased UN status will ultimately improve their bargaining position; something the Israelis prefer to pre-empt.

Complicating the situation is Israeli PM Netanyahu’s insistence that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’, “…fully aware that no Palestinian could ever accept such a condition – unless they were prepared to submit to permanent subjugation.” Under such circumstances, is it any wonder that the Palestinians have side-stepped Netanyahu and appealed directly to the United Nations? Did not the original Israelis enjoy the benefit of UN support for their nationhood?

Who is John Baird representing and why is Canada’s Middle East policy written in Tel Aviv? Gone are the days when Canada could at least pretend to be a neutral broker on the Israeli/Palestinian divide. It is unacceptable that the Canadian government threaten a foreign entity seeking nothing more than autonomy and eventual statehood. Baird is wrong to claim that Palestinian statehood will emerge from negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authorities without international oversight. The power differential is just too great.

In referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization (actually guerrilla fighters like the Jewish Irgun before them), Zionist commentators fail to note that former Israeli leader Menachim Begin was a proud and unrepentant guerilla (terrorist?) responsible for the deaths of numerous Arabs and Britons in the violent period prior to the UN partition of Palestine in 1947. After Jewish extremists killed 250 Arab civilian residents of Deir Yassin in April 1948, “Begin even pointed out with apparent pride that British newspapers and politicians had branded him ‘Terrorist Number One.’” Like all terrorists, “…the Jewish extremists claimed they were justified in killing people because their cause was just…” Men have been uttering this lie since they first picked up weapons and waged war.

There is every possibility that the Palestinians would have lived in peace beside a new Israeli state had they not been subjected to a post-Partition campaign of intentional violence perpetrated by the more extreme factions of European Zionism; who wanted nothing less than to seize the entire territory of Palestine based on questionable Old Testament claims of  “holy” predestination. As well, the Arabs of Palestine were betrayed by unfulfilled British promises of Palestinian autonomy and independence in exchange for their help against Turkey in World War One.

The European Zionist settlers did little to assist the Allied cause in the World War, consumed as they were with acquiring Arab land. The Zionist advantage was superior organization, determination, finance and the will to use violence. The unorganized Palestinians of that era only realized the severity of the threat when their marginalization was a forgone conclusion. However, does a group’s relative naivety justify the infliction upon them of brutal imperialism? In this brutality we may find the origins of Palestinian resistance groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They have only done what any people would do in similar circumstances.

John Baird recently claimed that Canada is longer a “world referee” and that we “take the side of freedom.” Rather than address the core issue of illegal Israeli settlements; he focuses instead on radical Islam while ignoring the considerable crimes of Jewish extremist settlers. Baird and his Zionist supporters may require a history lesson because Canada, like the U.S.; has traditionally supported the Israeli side of the Palestine issue; starting with Canada’s UN vote for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Israeli sectors with Pearson-initiated safe guards.

The Arab side opposed partition; fearing the violence of Jewish extremists like Begin’s Urgun gang, “…who had shown their willingness to use terrorism…to seize the whole of Palestine by force.” Canada, the U.S. and Britain were motivated by a number of factors including collective guilt over their abject failure to save Europe’s Jews from the Nazis. Prior to World War Two, leading Zionist Ben Gurion stated that, “…they (the Arabs), have just as much right to this land as we do but we are going to take it from them.” He and his supporters believed that Palestine was, “A land without a people for a people without a land.” I imagine the Palestinians would have disagreed with these Zionists if anyone in power had bothered to ask them.

The Israeli state’s sole interest in the so-called peace process; is its value as a diversionary tactic to disguise their ultimate goal of annexing every inch of ground and every drop of water in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. While their ancestors used direct terror to evict the Palestinians in 1947; today’s Zionist extremists are more subtle, preferring a stealthy incremental approach.  Eventually, they plan to look back and claim that their noble efforts to make peace but were thwarted by Arab intransigence.

The only practical path to a two state solution involves the presence of powerful UN peacekeeping forces between the Israelis and Palestinians after the illegal Israeli settlements are removed from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  Unfortunately, such a policy requires strong U.S. support at the UN and U.S. troops patrolling the Israeli/Palestinian borders. This is an unlikely outcome given Israel’s back-channel threat to use nuclear weapons if its expansionist plans are seriously threatened. That implication sounds suspiciously like terrorism.

Author Bio: Morgan Duchesney is an Ottawa writer and Karate instructor. His political philosophy has appeared in the Media Co-op, Humanist Perspectives, Adbusters, Canadian Charger, Muslim Link, the Ottawa Citizen and the Peace and Environment News.

 

 


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morjd@sympatico.ca (Morgan Duchesney)
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