Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





Canada complicit with Israeli war crimes
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 23:50
by Jim Miles

anada lives in the unfortunate position of being under the thrall of U.S. media for most its information and cultural relevance. At the same time, its own media, apart from the national broadcast company CBC, is highly centralized under the influence of two media empires (Canwest Global and CTV GlobeMedia) who support the same kind of biased coverage that is provided by the U.S. In sum, Canadians who wish to receive a balanced view of events in the Middle East, Gaza in particular, have to rely on alternate or external media. Canwest Global (Israel Aspers’ media empire) provides nightly updates with little context and “balanced” reporting of showing deaths in Israel from the Qassam rockets as being equally as devastating as the IDF attacks in Gaza.

The current Canadian Conservative government under Stephen Harper is very much a shadow of U.S. conservatism: right wing Christian moralism; a hawkish if small military projection to give the world what it needs (whether it asks for it or not); and an unquestioning support of ‘neoliberal’ free trade practices. As such it echoes/mimics/supports the all too familiar U.S. perspective that Israel is the victim and Hamas the perpetrator of events in Gaza.

This leads to a Canadian government position no different than the U.S. government position – Israel is the victim of Hamas terrorist aggression.

In early January, 2009, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Kent said, "The government of Canada has been very clear since the beginning of this crisis that it believes that the Hamas rocketing was responsible for the initial development of this crisis and for the continuing deepening humanitarian tragedy." When asked about the bombing of UN schools that resulted in the deaths of more than forty civilians Kent replied, "Great responsibility rests with Hamas overall for triggering this incident and by their continued terrorist belligerence….” [1] He added another platitude excusing war crimes, "It is a tragedy and Canada is concerned about the loss of civilian life." [2]

I would have to challenge Mr. Kent on his lack of knowledge that Israel knew the UN schools contained a civilian refugee population, that Israel had been informed they were refugee centres, and that Israel had dropped leaflets telling the local population to leave their homes or suffer bombing attacks. Attempts by Israel to show photos of insurgents with rockets on the school grounds were quickly proven false.

Combined with his personal lack of knowledge is his personal lack of humanitarian concern and understanding of the overall context of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the ongoing crimes against humanity involved with that.

Kent repeats other lines used by the U.S., Israel and other western governments to defend Israel. The oft-repeated servile response to Israeli actions is the line, "Canada continues to fully support Israel's right to defend itself." [1] It is, to sum up the U.S./Canadian view, all Hamas’ fault: "The burden of responsibility is on Hamas to stop its terrorist rocketing of Israel." There is no recognition of the democratic election of Hamas denied, of the intention to strengthen Fatah militarily against Hamas, there is no recognition of the broader context of Israel as an occupying force that should be subject to the UN Charter of rights, international war law, and international human rights conventions. Israel only recognizes these conventions in the extremely narrow perspective of being attacked by some unreliable and ineffective homemade rockets. The broader context does not exist for its Western audiences.

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

Kent adds another rhetorical statement that fully demonstrates his ignorance, bias, and his buy-in to the U.S./Israeli viewpoint, "Hamas's [sic] record is to use civilians -- the population and civilian infrastructure -- as shields and it would seem quite possible that this is yet another tragic instance." It is difficult to argue with this kind of ignorance as it is born out of a deep cultural prejudice, a deeper ignorance of the full context of the war, and an acceptance of a falsely stated position conceived under conditions of urban warfare where not just the fighting forces but the whole population is against the occupation of their homeland.

This attitude came to the fore today when the Canadian representative to the UN Human Right’s Council voted against the resolution condemning Israeli actions because it “failed to recognize that Israel had acted to stop rocket attacks on its territory from the Hamas-controlled Gaza,” an ignorant sound bite when the motion clearly “called for an end to "launching of the crude rockets against Israeli civilians that resulted in the loss of 4 civilian lives." Perhaps what Kent objected to was the continuation that also “noted that Israeli attacks had brought some 900 Palestinian deaths and injured around 4,000.” [3]

Canada is complicit in the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza and the Palestinian territories. I truly cannot understand the government ignorance of the history of the area, the lack of intelligent thought and humanitarian reaction to the mass murder of so many civilians. How can so many people be ignorant of the overall picture in the Middle East and the U.S. position to control the Middle East for resources and containment of China and Russia? How can they be so subservient to the Zionist rhetoric and propaganda against the Palestinians, and at the same time so ignorant of the history of ethnic cleansing and occupation of Palestinian territories? Can they not read? How can they simplify their responses to rhetorical lies of Israel as the victim, denying all the history and context of Israeli aggression in Palestine (recalling also at one time the Irgun and Haganah forces were considered terrorist groups by the British)?

My best answer is that it is a wilful ignorance, one guided by positions that look for explanations suited to the preconceived beliefs of the holder, rather than an intelligent and inquiring intellect that can adapt and change perspectives to new knowledge. More importantly in this case, I would have to say it defies common sense, given that the knowledge is available if one really wanted to know the full history and context of the story. Unfortunately that knowledge of history and the common sense attributes of knowing that the true aggressor has vastly superior weapons systems and has complete control of the territory in all facets are wilfully ignored, as it does not fit the preconceived right wing agenda of the Canadian government.

To reiterate, through wilful ignorance or simply lacking intelligence, Canada is then complicit in the war crimes committed against Palestine.

[1] “Canada blames Hamas for civilian casualties in Gaza”
[2] “Hamas responsible for deadly Gaza attack – Canada”
[3] “UN Human Rights Council condemns Israel over Gaza op”

More from this author:
Harper’s foreign policy of American convenience. (9950 Hits)
by Jim Miles Stephen Harper has been making much of himself lately, promoting his version of how to achieve global peace and prosperity,...
Canada - Time to exit NATO (6139 Hits)
by Jim Miles NATO has recently had one of its regular meetings of the “Military Committee” in Victoria, B.C., Canada, with...
It’s not about the Carbon (4797 Hits)
by Jim Miles While there are still many people debating whether or not global warming is occurring, or if it is caused by human factors or...
Uncertain outcomes –the Israeli-Palestine question (4683 Hits)
by Jim Miles After 9/11, 2001, when I first started examining the various landscapes – physical, political, cultural, military – of events...
Same old, same old Israel wins again (4770 Hits)
by Jim Miles As I sit and read the announcements from todays first discussions from Annapolis, all I can see is another dismal failure for peace...
Related Articles:
Why Bush wants immunity from prosecution for war crimes (244515 Hits)
Although not as widely remarked as the elimination of habeas rights and the consecration of torture, the recently passed Senate torture legislation...
Catapulting the Propaganda with the Washington Post (16029 Hits)
by Chris Floyd  The ever persipacious Angry Arab, As'ad AbuKhalil, plucks out the hidden (or not-so-hidden) propaganda in a passing...
Rough Justice; prowling Baghdad with a sidearm and a defective bulletproof-vest (12248 Hits)
by Mike Whitney On Monday, an editorial is scheduled to appear in the “Army Times” which will call for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as...
Paper Trail:Turning the Corner With a Timely Verdict (12725 Hits)
by Chris Floyd   Well, Karl Rove got the banner headline he wanted for all the final Sunday papers before the ele ction: Saddam Hussein Is...
Canada at War: You Must Remember This (9195 Hits)
More than 5,000 Victorians attended American ex-president, Bill Clinton's book fair yesterday, if the Times-Colonist newspaper is to be...

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123