07.28.2014 09:27 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: A column in which I again stand with Israel. Hate mail landing in 5…4…3…

For political parties, winning elections is – naturally – the big prize. Almost as good: stealing away an entire demographic group from an opponent.

Case in point, Canadian Jewish voters. The Liberal Party of Canada used to have ‘em. Now they don’t. The Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper, prop., stole ‘em.

It is an extraordinary achievement. But when you consider how dissimilar Canadian Jewish voters are to their equivalents south of the border, maybe not.

In the U.S., about three out of four Jews have traditionally voted Democrat. An overwhelming majority of American Jews – 73% – have described themselves as moderate or liberal. Only 19% of American Jews voted for the guy who claimed to lead the war on terror, George W. Bush.

That’s less than half what Ronald Reagan got in 1980, the high-water mark for GOP share of the Jewish vote. The Jewish vote trend line, among all but Orthodox Jews, is down for conservatives in the U.S.

In Canada, it’s the reverse. From almost the moment he assumed control of the united Reform and Progressive Conservative parties, Harper has devoted himself to moving every Jewish voter from the red column to the blue column. A decade later, there can be no argument that he has succeeded.

The Ipsos polling firm has estimated that, in the 2011 federal election, as many as 52% of eligible Canadian Jews voted for Harper. The vast majority of them used to be hardcore Grits. They love Harper, it seems, and they love his unabashed love for Israel.

Canadian Jews are different than American Jews in critical ways. Many more Canadian Jews consider themselves to be Zionists, and many more have visited Israel than their American counterparts.

Whatever the reason, one thing cannot be disputed: Stephen Harper owns the Canadian Jewish vote.

All of this has been very frustrating for Canadian Liberals, and particularly Canadian Liberals who are also Zionists (like me, for instance). I recall attending one Jewish community dinner with Herb Gray, the first Jewish federal cabinet minister. Stephen Harper was speaking, and when he finished, the hundreds in attendance rose en masse and started chanting Harper’s name.

“This is like a Conservative Party rally,” Gray said of the supposedly non-partisan event. “No kidding,” I said. Gray and I felt lonely, to say the least.

As of last week, all of that may be changing – perhaps, maybe. Last week, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau issued a little-noticed statement that – perhaps, maybe – marks a significant change in the Liberal Party’s decade-long breakup with Jewish voters.

“Israel has the right to defend itself and its people,” the Liberal Party website declared. “Hamas is a terrorist organization and must cease its rocket attacks immediately.”

Liberal MP Marc Garneau went even further, with the support and encouragement of his leader. “Israel has no choice but to defend itself,” he said in an interview. “We would do the same thing here in our country.”

From the right, there was dismissal. In the National Post, David Asper called the statement “honest broker mush.” From the left, there was dismissal. In the Toronto Star, Haroon Siddiqui whinged that “Trudeau has fallen in line with Stephen Harper’s support of Israel.”

For Trudeau, this is as good as it gets.

When you’re a Liberal, and both the hard right and hard left are attacking you, you’re happy. And (for those of us who are Liberal and liberal Zionists), it is a long overdue development.

There are no votes, really, in foreign affairs. The Jewish vote is centred in only a few ridings in Toronto and Montreal. The reason for supporting Israel is only this: principle.

Justin Trudeau has done the principled thing. Stephen Harper, Canadian Jews, take note.
 
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81 Comments

  1. que sera sera says:

    When the terrorist organization known as the IRA bombed downtown London, the UK refrained from “defending itself” by retaliatory bombing civilians in “IRA strongholds” in Northern Ireland. Why?

    The UK has the legal right to defend itself. But the UK upholds international law by accepting that legal right does not extend to bombing civilian populations while chasing terrorists.

    The WWII atrocities committed against European Jews by European Christians are now being paid for in blood by Palestinian civilians in the Middle East.

    Speaking of principles, thinking people everywhere are asking themselves why Palestinians are being forced to atone for the horrific sins of European Christians during WWII.

    • Steve T says:

      Hard to avoid bombing civilians, when the cowardly terrorists hide amongst them.

      This practice, which seems to be quite popular in the Middle East, was even too cowardly for the Nazis to undertake. Yet it seems certain groups nowadays are quite willing to put their fellow citizens at risk.

      • que sera sera says:

        “Hard to avoid bombing civilians, when the cowardly terrorists hide amongst them.”

        Not difficult at all – as the UK successfully proved for decades chasing IRA terrorists while simultaneously upholding international laws that prohibit the bombing of civilians.

    • Joe says:

      Guess you didn’t study history or you would have known that the atrocities in Europe were started by European Progressives not European Christians. The same philosophy as was common and popular amongst North American Progressives. Its a dirty little secret that many progressives “project” onto people and beliefs they scorn.

      • que sera sera says:

        Speaking of history, the record shows it was not just European Christians who turned their backs on persecuted European Jews. Principled people everywhere are asking why Palestinians must pay in blood to atone for the unexpurgated sins of Christians against European Jews:

        “Nobody wanted us,” Dr. Messinger, now 78 and a retired physician in Buffalo, N.Y., said in an interview with the National Post. “We were Jews, we were expendable … It was terrible — terrible, terrible — of Canada and the United States, of all countries, to not let us in.”

        http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/17/none-is-too-many-memorial-for-jews-turned-away-from-canada/

        • sezme says:

          What’s going on in Gaza now is an incredible tragedy. I cannot for the life of me follow the logic that it’s okay to bomb civilians as long as they are “being used as human shields”. I’m disgusted that the Israeli government has stooped this low.

      • Kaspar Juul says:

        Revising history and science Joe? Trying to get tenure at the University of Cranbrook?

      • pc says:

        The oath of the SS:

        “What is your oath ?” – “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders, that you set for me, absolute allegiance, till death. So help me god !”

        “So you believe in a god ?” – “Yes, I believe in a supreme being.”

        “What do you think about a man who does not believe in a god ?” – “I think he is overbearing, megalomaniac and foolish; he is not adequate for our society.”

        What was written on SS belt buckles: God is With Us.

        Nope. No Christianity there…

      • scot says:

        Joe, are you one of those nuts who think Hitler was a socialist just because his party had the word in their name? Truth is he was a fascist, you know, a hard right conservative.

        • Joe says:

          scot you’re not stupid enough to believe Progressive = Socialist are you? Progressivism is a humanist philosophy based loosely on Hegel’s and Nietzsche’s thoughts on humanity and mankind’s ability/obligation to control his own outcome. You will find a lot in common with Nazis and the North American progressives of the same era. Some of those themes are still common in modern day progressivism. However like all human philosophies progressivism is a spectrum and can not be distilled down to something as simplistic as Progressive = Sociallist.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Okay Joe please provide some citations to back up your theory. It might have basis to it but this isn’t Tim Horton’s or the University of Cranbrook and hot air isn’t taken as proof as it is there

          • Joe says:

            This isn’t the forum for philosophical dissertations. Do your own research. It’ll do you good.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Yup. Joe can’t back his stuff up. Getting a degree at the University of Cranbrook must be easy!

          • Joe says:

            I guess it goes to show how uneducated Kaspar Juul actually is that he thinks citations matter a whit. Why not look for information yourself like I did. I actually studied Hegel and Nietzsche then did a study of thought progression as expressed by prominent self identified progressives from North America and when I compared them to the thoughts expressed by the Nazis, there was a common thread involving the thoughts of Hegel and Nietzsche. I’m not someone who looks for some learned twit to explain things to me. I actually do the foot work myself. May I suggest you do likewise.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Oh Joe

            As a result your theories carry no weight. You splash out unquantifiable statements which you steadfastly refuse to prove. You aren’t the first person to read Nietzsche or Hegel but your insistence on maintaining that home research that cannot be cited or proven somehow is more valid than published theories is just insane.

            Junk science, junk history what other courses are you teaching at the University of Cranbrook?

          • Joe says:

            Well Kaspar Juul I do feel sorry for you because of the lousy education you received. You see when I went to college I was taught HOW to think not WHAT to think. I was taught to do my own research not rely on someone else’s agenda driven dissertations. By what you keep showing in your posts you were given the opposite. Someone spoon fed you the nonsense you now hold as true and without someone guiding your feeble mind you would never know where to look for information let alone how to process it into a coherent idea. Kinda sad really. How much money did you waste on your ‘education’ and have you ever thought about getting a refund?

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Oh please Joe.

            What you have shown is the following:

            An inability to prove your argument which you attempt to distract through ad Hominem attacks. You refuse to provide any sources as to how you cane to make such an asinine statement. You can’t prove it.

            Unlike what you claim, this does not prove that you are “thinking independently” in the least. Instead, you have failed to prove yourself, and to be honest rehashing Jonathan Goldberg’s theories hardly constitutes independent or critical thinking, rather it indicates you’re a loyal lapdog happily reciting tired talking points based on flawed and easily disproven theories.

            I found a video clip of a Friday night out with you.

            http://youtu.be/F-ZNXgmVMvI

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            You should see a dermatologist about that thin skin of yours too

          • doconnor says:

            Joe, you are right that university does teach you to do your own research and think for yourself. That’s the fun part. There is also the tedious, but necessary, step of citing sources.

            It’s a practice that should be more wide spread. Professional journalists and commentators should do it, but they don’t. The bar should be lower for people who comment in blogs, but if they say something others would find hard to believe, they should if they want to convince people.

          • Joe says:

            Well doconnor if I was giving an academic dissertation I would be citing sources. However Kaspar Juul being poor;y educated is not trying to use the citations in a proper manner. He thinks that citing sources ‘proves’ which of course is little more than engaging in the logical fallacy of appealing to authority which is I believe the difference between a classic liberal and a progressive liberal. A classic liberal is more likely to think on his own while a progressive liberal is more likely to seek intellectual succor in the opinions of an ‘expert’. Please note the MORE LIKELY I try not to issue blanket statements when dealing with people and their beliefs as that pratfall is what is known as bigotry. Whenever I see a blanket statement about any identifiable group I gather that the speaker/writer is a bigot and those views should be ignored.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Hardly. You refuse to give up any sources to prove your argument and so you return to the ad Hominem attacks. The big words don’t change that at all.

            Taking you at your word or believing your “research” are simply not valid for proving your point.

            Which returns us to this impasse. You are unable or unwilling to prove your point and thus respond with bluster and ad Hominem attacks.

            Maybe Doconnor is correct and you really don’t want anyone to believe what your saying. If that’s the case then why persist with the fiction?

          • Joe says:

            Well Kaspar Juul how about if you start reading the works is suggested instead of seeking the Readers Digest Condensed version. Start with Hegel, move on to Nietzsche then something a little lighter like Marx take a trip into Mein Kampf, mix in a little Dewey, Upton Sinclair etc then take a side trip into Emily Murphy and a few other leading Canadian Progressives and draw your own conclusions.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Thanks for the reading list, it doesn’t change that you haven’t proven your point. Some vague statements about home research, thought progression studies or this bizarre belief I gather my entire knowledge from an old man or readers digest doesn’t change a thing. You presented a bunk theory and when you got called on it you got huffy and demanded that I prove you wrong.

            Unquantifiable statements without proof and bizarre attacks as a reaction. Truly hilarious Joe. The presumptions about who I am equally as funny. The attempt to sound learned by interjecting a dash of Thurston Howell into your prose…well that just makes cancelling cable worth it.

      • que sera sera says:

        Apparently right wing trolls like Joe “study history” to redefine Christian Nazis as “European Progressives”.

        I suspect Canadians better pay more attention to how Harper’s fascist government and its revisionist supporters are not only destroying – but redefining – Canada, particularly in the glare of the global village’s international spotlight.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    As a fellow Zionist I find it more than disconcerting that back home in the land of Israel certain political heavyweights would rather have principle than peace. Could it really be true that Bibi reportedly said in Hebrew that we will never see a Palestinian state???

    Bibi needs to ask himself this question: do Israelis deserve peace? My response, no nation on the face of this earth deserves it more. NECESSARILY, it will come at a very heavy price. Too bad some people put their personal electoral interest of staying in power ahead of Israel’s best interests. Now, strike up the band…and prepare for a long wait..

  3. doconnor says:

    Israel may have the right to defend itself, but it also has the responsability to seek peace. With it continued building of settlements, the Netanyahu government hasn’t done that.

  4. scot says:

    Bibi and his fellow conservatives will never take their foot from the Palistinian back. The only thing that gets any attention are the rockets. Conservatives on both sides of the equation are the problem. Too bad they can’t just kill off each other and leave the rest in peace.

    • Bill Templeman says:

      Thanks Mark. When soldiers speaks about war and killing, we need to listen, if only because, while the trigger decisions are theirs, if they are on our side, they act in our names and our taxes pay for their weapons.

      From the Guardian article from this former IDF air force officers: “A clear, loud voice that says that bombing a house with civilians in it is immoral must be heard. These killings cannot be accepted without question. Public silence in the face of such actions – inside and outside of Israel – is consent by default, and acceptance of an unacceptable price.”

      These bombings of civilians will sow the seeds of what?

      • david ray says:

        tomorrow’s headlines read em today
        oh what a price we will pay
        while we share and stare at silly little screens
        made by the poor in crowded factories
        the crazymaker sons will capture the flag
        a suitcase filled with fire and plans for jihad
        so read em and weep then get out and shop
        how we’ll rue the day we didn’t make it stop

    • Bill Templeman says:

      Thanks Mark. When soldiers speak about war and killing, we need to listen, if only because, while the trigger decisions are theirs, if they are on our side, they act in our names and our taxes pay for their weapons.

      From the Guardian article from this former IDF air force officer: “A clear, loud voice that says that bombing a house with civilians in it is immoral must be heard. These killings cannot be accepted without question. Public silence in the face of such actions – inside and outside of Israel – is consent by default, and acceptance of an unacceptable price.”

      These bombings of civilians will sow the seeds of what?

  5. Joe says:

    I’m not Jewish nor am I a Zionist but I do believe that Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself and I sincerely hope it is able to stop the aggression of Hamas. I also hope that Canadian Jews are able to see through the insincere mouthings of a failed drama teacher/political heir. This isn’t a shot at the Liberal party but rather at its leader whom I have yet to see any reason to vote for. When his ideal form of government is modeled by Communist China and his political hero is Fidel Castro I rather doubt his commitment to the only functioning democracy in the Middle East aka Israel especially given his dictatorial predilections regarding candidate selection/qualification.

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      Is it possible to be a conbot and a concern troll in the same comments?

    • smelter rat says:

      Get a grip.

      • Joe says:

        Get serious. Chretien I could support, Martin I could support, Dion I could support, Ignatieff I could support. Trudeau? no thanks. I may have had differences with any one of the PMs or wannabe PMs but Trudeau? All the previous Liberal leaders were men of accomplishment. Trudeau? He hardly finished the softest discipline in college and then focused on the least serious aspect of that. Part time high school drama teacher? What’s more he never even worked at that anymore than part time.

        • smelter rat says:

          And Stephen Harper worked in the mail room of some oil company. What’s your point?

          • Joe says:

            Desperately looking to see where Stephen Harper has been anywhere near the topic of conversation. Nope can’t find it. Try to follow the thread sunshine ok? We are discussing Liberals here not Conservatives. The Liberals are trying to woo the Jewish vote. What do they need to do to do that? I suggest that they need to be a lot more serious than just having their leader mouth some platitudes. Especially since their leader is seen as a bit of a lightweight anywhere outside of southern Ontario.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            Avoid, deflect and change the topic. I imagine all of Joes lectures at the University of Cranbrook end this way

          • Joe says:

            The guy dragging Harper into a conversation about Trudeau is not trying to deflect? Who knew? When the topic of Harper comes up we can all rip him to shreds but until then lets try stick to the program.

          • Kaspar Juul says:

            And next weeks lecture Faux Outrage – how to lose a discussion but convince yourself you won.

          • smelter rat says:

            I’m simply pointing out that your argument re Trudeau is bogus. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

    • Domenico says:

      what a steaming pile.

  6. Ted says:

    It’s going to take more than one statement for the Jewish community to take Trudeau seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure most in the community are glad he’s finally onboard, but we’re all well aware it took over a week of hostilities in the region and Omar Alghabra putting his foot in his mouth for Trudeau to come out with a statmeent in support of Israel.

    Compare and contrast the Liberal Party statement on July 8th with Baird’s statement on July 8th:
    http://www.liberal.ca/newsroom/news-release/liberal-statement-situation-israel-gaza/
    http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2014/07/08c.aspx?lang=eng

    Then radio silence for a week from the Liberals, until the Conservatives discover a Liberal candidate attacking Israel on Facebook. Coincidentially I’m sure, Trudeau issues a statement the next day that reads like John Baird’s talking points. Call me a cynic, but if Trudeau is serious about winning back the Jewish community, he can’t be waiting a week into a conflict before publically supporting Israel’s right to self-defense. Casting Omar Alghabra out to sea would be a similarily welcomed gesture.

  7. JH says:

    I would suggest that the headline that most Canadians are paying attention to at the moment is the one that says ‘Hamas breaks truce (s)’. I suspect the pros and cons of the issue argued on and on, are lost beside that one story for the moment.
    I also suspect that Jewish supporters of Israel will not forget that easily how late both Trudeau and Mulcair were in coming to their support

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      I would suggest that the headline that most Canadians are paying attention to at the moment is the one that says “Beautiful weather this long weekend.” I’d suspect that’s because it’s summer.

  8. Kelly says:

    What is Harper’s position on one state vs. Two state? And if one state, does he want full citizenship rights for non-jews?

    Israel certainly has the obligation to defend itself from the illegal attacks of Hamas. However a real shift has happened over there. There are prominent members of the current team in power wants a one state solution that is a Jewish state with limited rights for non-Jews. The demand that Palestinians accept Israel as a “Jewish state” is new — and troubling. You can’t have a democracy built on a demographic segment; it’s fundamentally undemocratic when held up to the western idea of a liberal constitutional democracy. Nobody gets to be more equal than others. Moving from the nation of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people to the Jewish State is a huge shift and something not discussed enough in the context of the violence.

    Do Canadian conservatives think it’s OK for some citizens to have fewer rights than others? Is variable justice OK to them? Is this kind of thinking behind the new (unconstitutional) law allowing governments to strip Canadian citizenship from dual nationals? What’s happening here? Help me out?

    • TrueNorthist says:

      “Moving from the nation of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people to the Jewish State is a huge shift and something not discussed enough in the context of the violence.”

      That is a question that absolutely must be addressed. Such a fundamental change is indeed a major shift in the very purpose of Israel and would be wholly unworthy of even tacit western support IMO. I commend you for raising the issue. Far too many appear blinded to such crucial details.

      And speaking as a nominally conservative Canadian, I would hope my comment provides the answers you seek in your later questions. Not all conservatives are gun totting, bible thumping, angry bigots. Some of us are quite compassionate and progressive in fact, and proud of it. But I can forgive you for thinking otherwise. It is easy to miss the sane people when the media is so fixated on the nut-bars.

  9. Matt says:

    To be fair, the statement you quoted from Trudeau was actually the second one.

    The first was 5 days before that and rather tepid.

  10. TrueNorthist says:

    It didn’t take long before you guys were back to yelling at each other about the same damned things. It is no wonder there is no hope for a solution to ME problems. Everything seems to get distilled down to each individual’s hatred of something. And before you jump on me I admit that I am no better. It makes me want to cry.

  11. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    To achieve peace you need blood curdling enemies. Check. You also need a unified Palestinian government. Check. And you also need a de jure state. Not so much.

    Think how Rabin hated shaking Arafat’s hand and you have some idea of what is required. Peace will flow from the deepest hate — and political exhaustion on the ground.

  12. david ray says:

    there are no colours that can ever describe
    the many shades of murder
    by these disparate tribes
    so let’s just kiss and make up
    say the proxies in our midst
    but the devils in the details
    and boy is he pissed

  13. ottlib says:

    I think we need to remember that the trigger for this current kerfuffle was the murder of three teen-aged Israelis on the West Bank, a part of the Palestinian territory not controlled by Hamas. At the time of these murders the Israeli government claimed that the culprits had ties to Hamas, which begs the question that if they knew those responsible well enough to know their political affiliations why did they not hand over that information to the Palestinian authorities and demand they be arrested and charged with murder? Mr. Abbas would have resisted at first but he would have given in after a few days.

    Instead the Israeli government ordered airstrikes in Gaza, which caused Hamas to retaliate with rockets, which lead to the ever escalating response from Israel, and the thousands of civilian casualties that resulted. As well, the cruel irony is that more than two dozen more young Israelis have lost their lives, in avenging the first three, as war casualties, not to mention the dozens more that have been injured and crippled.

    The murder of those three boys was a tragedy certainly and a crime absolutely and it should have been handled by the law, not by the IDF.

    And for those who disagree I would ask that would you agree that the appropriate US response to the murder of three American tourists in Tijuana, by members of a Mexican drug cartel, would be an armed incursion by the American military into Northern Mexico in order to “destroy the Cartel leadership”?

    I would hope not but if you do then you are part of the problem.

    Israel has the right to defend itself but like all rights there are limits in how you can exercise it and the fact the Israeli government invoked that right after the murder of those three boys is nuts.

  14. ottlib says:

    As you mention Mr. Kinsella the greatest concentration of Jews on the country are in Toronto and Montreal so you have to wonder if the Harper government’s pandering to them is really paying them political dividends. The Conservatives are moribund in Montreal and they are not exactly blowing the doors of the GTA either.

    You really have to wonder if what votes they gain by their gung-ho support of Israel is not turning off as many Muslim voters in these cities as it is gaining Jewish voter. It could very well be a wash.

    You would think a more nuanced approach might be more politically wise. Having Jewish in-laws I know that there are still a great number of thoughtful Jews in this country who support Israel with all of their hearts but are still troubled by what is happening over there and how the Israeli government is handling the situation. Convincing them that they can safely vote Conservative and showing Muslims that the Conservative Party understands some of their needs would probably compensate for the number of lost votes amongst Jewish hardliners.

    Then again there has been a fair amount of literature produced that demonstrates that Evangelical Christians believe one of the signs of the end-of-days is Jewish control of the Holy Land and they therefore support Israel because they think it will bring The Rapture that much quicker. Although Mr. Harper does not wear his religion on his sleeve it is well known that he is an Evangelical Christian and so is a great deal of his base. You have to wonder how much that plays into the Harper governments position on the Israeli/Palestinian question.

  15. Ian Howard says:

    “On the one hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is occupying another people. On the other hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is existentially threatened. Both occupation and intimidation make the Israeli condition unique. Intimidation and occupation have become the two pillars of our condition. ”

    My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
    by Ari Shavit

    “The settlements have placed Israel’s neck in a noose. They created an untenable demographic, political, moral, and judicial reality. But now Ofra’s illegitimacy taints Israel itself. Like a cancer, it spreads from one organ to another, endangering the entire body. Ofra’s colonialism makes the world perceive Israel as a colonialist entity. But because in the twenty-first century there is no room for a colonialist entity, the West is gradually turning its back on Israel. That’s why enlightened Jews in America and Europe are ashamed of Israel. That’s why Israel is at odds with itself. ”

    “This is not to say that Shavit in any way defends the occupation. On the contrary, he longs for it to end, regarding the West Bank settlements as an Israeli error of catastrophic proportions. He does not offer details or a map, but his support is clear for the international consensus that calls for a withdrawal to an adjusted version of the 1967 lines. The difference he has with his erstwhile comrades in the peace movement is that he no longer believes such a move will bring peace: “We should never have promised ourselves peace or assumed that peace was around the corner. We should have been sober enough to say that occupation must end even if the end of occupation did not end the conflict.”

    Implicit in such a view is that Israel need not wait for agreement with the Palestinians to draw a border and, as Shavit puts it, “gradually and cautiously withdraw to that new border.” He is with David Ben-Gurion himself who, in the immediate aftermath of the 1967 war, suggested that Israel unilaterally return the territories it had just conquered (except for Jerusalem). On this logic, the recent failure of John Kerry’s peace process, or the flare-up in violence following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June, need not delay a unilateral move. With no illusions about peace, Israel can get started on the more practical business of deoccupation all by itself.”

    The Liberal Zionists by Jonathan Freedland | The New York Review of Books

    • davidray says:

      Israel is the only nation in the West occupying another people if you conveniently forget our Indian Brothers. What arrogance.

      • Ian Howard says:

        Pointing out the obvious we have no existential threat to justify our occupation.

        • davie says:

          For some decades it has been obvious that the people facing an existential threat, the people dismissed as ‘never have been, and are not now, nor ever will be an existing’ people are the Palestinians.

          …despite the claims to the contrary!

          • Ian Howard says:

            Please, Israel was never meant to survive partition. The British did their best to insure an Arab victory that would “push the Jews into the sea”.

            That attitude lives on in Hamas a fatalistic, fundamentalist organization that will never accept Israel’s right to exist. As we have seen in Syria and Iraq the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 is causing chaos, death, and destruction to this day. Is the existential threat diminished from sixty seven, perhaps but while Arab nations and Iran are willing to fund terrorist activities for their own regional interests the people of Palestine will continue to suffer. Hamas is infatuated with death, and the realization of a functioning pluralistic society has no place in their agenda.

            Israel failed itself and the Palestinians with it’s settlement program. But those Israeli’s of the left who used to believe that there were partners for peace in Palestine are disappearing rapidly. The two societies are becoming mirror images where distrust and hatred are predominant and what sane person would expect that to change anytime soon.

  16. davie says:

    White people helping white people!

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      A bit too oversimplified

      • davie says:

        Could be…although, I see a lot of other fairly simplistic shibboleths repeated to justify one regime’s century of dispossession and expansion.

        For some time I have sensed that an increasingly large chunk of Canadians see apartheid being practiced and supported, and not one Member of Parliament or federal political party representing that large chunk’s point of view.

  17. terence Quinn says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/opinion/david-brooks-when-middle-east-conflicts-become-one.html?emc=edit_th_20140729&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=7956698&_r=0

    You all might want to read this guys column. I think he hits the bullseye. It is other Arabs and Persians who don’t mind seeing innocent Palestinians killed as long as they can embarrass Israel. Its time the world looks to the surrogates who supply Hamas and want all Israelis killed.

  18. que sera sera says:

    Marching Israelis In Tel Aviv Chant ‘There’s No School In Gaza, There Are No More Kids Left’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/29/israelis-chant-there-are-no-children-left-in-gaza_n_5630601.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada

    Why pretend it’s “progress” that the Conservatives and now the Liberals are fighting over appeasing the Canadian Zionist vote (apparently the Canadian Muslim vote and Canadian Arab vote doesn’t matter) while Palestinian civilians are bombed with the full support of the Canadian government? Good grief.

    Evaluate how “appeasement” worked as a political solution creating a void for the atrocities of WWII to be committed while the world watched in silent complicity.

    How fucking pathetic Harper & his polarizing partisan politics have made what’s left of this once honourable country.

  19. socks clinton says:

    The problem is Hamas’ rockets can’t hit the broad side of a barn while Israel’s are deadly accurate. The solution is to have both sides switch weapons and everyone in the U.N. will be happy.

  20. Jerry says:

    Your friends at work targeting the civilian population: killing fish in a barrel: this one a journalist https://plus.google.com/+OTPGlobal/posts/fe8JbR9Djrm

  21. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Yesterday I watched a video of ISIS terrorists marching many Iraqis single file, forcing them to lie in a trench, and then shot in the back of the head.

    Yesterday I read about Nigerian forces rescuing a 10 year old girl whom had been kidnapped by Boko Haram. She had a bombed strapped to her body.

    Hamas has been busted numerous times now for hiding rockets in UN run schools and facilities. The UN returned said rockets to Hamas.

    Al Qaida is involved with Mexican drug cartels as America’s southern border devolves into outright chaos.

    Meanwhile, for several days now Putin’s Russian forces have been firing artillery rounds across the border into the Ukraine.

    Cannot recall seeing or reading about a single protest or demonstration in any western nation street against any of this.

    The parallels between the current moral relativism/ambivalence/paralysis among western nations and their leadership, and that leading up to WW2 are, IMHO, extremely disturbing, if not outright ominous.

    Tyrants think in terms of the weakness of their opponents and windows of opportunity.

    I fear we now are closer to global war now than any time since the Cuban missile crisis. And this one will be fought on our own soil.

  22. David Grant says:

    I think that the only principled position to take here is to stand with the people of Gaza. While it is deplorable that Hamas to shoot rockets into Israel, the response of Israel has not been principled at all with all of the loss of live. I agree with Gideon Levy, Miko Peled, and the other progressive Jewish voices in the world. I am getting very tired of all of the defences that are given to the unconditional support that Harper, the Liberals, and even the NDP are giving Israel. I am also tired of the the justification of using the Holocaust to justify any oppressive action of Israel. The only real chance of peace is to abandon the Zionist ideal and move to a secular state where Jews, Palestinians, and others live together. I think this might be possible with a younger generation that is getting tired of these old quarrels and want a different future.

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