, 05.21.2018 09:11 AM

Column: heartless in Gaza

The email arrived at 6:03 a.m. It was accompanied with a little graphic of a flashing red siren, up near the top, presumably to signal its importance.

“Take action,” the email said.  “Tell the Canadian Government you’re disappointed.”

The email was authored by the “CEO” of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, in Ottawa.   “Yesterday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to acknowledge that it is Hamas – not Israel – that is responsible for the current violence on the Gaza-Israel border.  This is very disappointing – and we must let him know its unacceptable.”

If you clicked on that last part, it mines your data, and then it takes you to a three-paragraph letter to Trudeau.  If you click on some buttons, the paragraphs and the wording get changed around, so that the Prime Minister is under the false impression that the letter-writer authored it him or herself.

In the letter, the lobby group’s “CEO” makes no specific reference to the 104 Palestinians – among them 12 children, one an eight-month-old baby named Leila Anwar Ghandoor – who have been killed during the course of the demonstrations at the Gaza Strip. Nor did his letter mention the number of people who have been injured – more than 12,600.

Oh, and one (1) Israeli soldier has been injured.

(And, before either side bombards my inbox, please be advised that none of the above information comes from Israel or Hamas.  It comes from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who get called in where there’s complex emergencies and natural disasters. Canada helps fund it.)

Also not mentioned in the CIJA letter is the name of one of the wounded: Dr. Tarek Loubani, an emergency-room physician from London, Ont.  A sniper shot Dr. Loubani in the legs with high-velocity tactical rounds.  At the time, he was wearing one of those distinctive green surgeon’s outfits, and he was standing with several orange-vested paramedics.  He wasn’t near any of the protestors when he was hit.

Dr. Loubani, who has worked in several war zones as an emergency doctor, told theGlobe and Mail: “I am very seasoned about not being shot at. I know where to stand. I know where to be. I know how not to get shot. Snipers don’t reach me because of mistakes. I did everything right. We were all huddled. We were high visibility. It was quiet at the exact moment I got shot.”

In other words, this Canadian man was targeted by a sniper in the service of a foreign nation.  The sniper would have known he or she was aiming at a doctor.  Perhaps he or she had orders to do so.

One of the clearly-identified paramedics rushed to assist Dr. Loubani.  Later that same day, a sniper targeted him, too, and killed him.

As noted, the CIJA letter said nothing about the attempted murder of Dr. Loubani. The Israeli Embassy apparently didn’t say much about it, either, simply referring the matter to a “fact-finding team” with the Israeli Defence Forces – that is, the organization that attempted to kill the Canadian.  The IDF would investigate the IDF.

All this proved to be a bit too much for Canada’s Prime Minister, and rightly so.  The use of disproportionate force was “inexcusable,” Justin Trudeau said.

And: “We are appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded – along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children.”

At this juncture, some disclosure: I have been a member of the board of the former Canada-Israel Committee (CIC).  I have been a legal advisor to the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC). I have worked for most of my adult life exposing and opposing anti-Semitism.  I love Israel and Israelis.  I am a Zionist.

I parted ways with Canada’s Jewish leadership about a decade ago, however, after a dispute with the aforementioned “CEO.” Someone in the Jewish leadership had decided to ferry two Muslim-hating white supremacists on a junket to Israel.  One of them, blogger Kathy Shaidle, has said this of Muslims:  “Your religion is fucking retarded…[you are] ungrateful belligerent foreign savages…most of them can’t even read…What we really need to do is stop immigration from Pakistan and other crazy Muslim countries filled with illiterate, violent tribal peasants…”  She has also called Muslim children “parasites.”


When I pointed out Shaidle’s statements to the “CEO,” and objected to her being feted in Israel, I was removed from the CIC and CJC.  I haven’t spoken to the “CEO” since.

In the interim, however, the exceedingly-well-paid “CEO” has overseen the elimination of the CIC and the historic CJC.  CIJA has also lurched to the Right, where it has become little more than a mouthpiece for the Likud Party. To many, in fact, CIJA has become a puny echo chamber for Donald Trump’s Islamophobic Middle Eastern policy.

I again looked at the email from the “CEO,” trying to detect a reference to the baby, Leila Anwar Ghandoor – or even for Dr. Loubani, a Canadian who was in Gaza to save lives.  There was no mention of either.

So I looked for the “unsubscribe” button, down at the bottom of his email, and I clicked it.


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    T. Sterling says:

    Or is it that Donald Trump has become “a puny echo chamber” for the Likud Party? Note, after the election, all the far-right people were cut loose e.g. Bannon. All that really remains is the Kushners’ really quite spectacular influence operation i.e. state capture. As someone who believes genital mutilation (aka circumcision) should be criminalized, both Israel and Palestine, Muslim and Jew are backward, unprogressive, cruel. Both Kathy Shaidle and Tarek Loubani represent an atavistic return to the law of the jungle and the dark side of Abrahamic cults.

    There is no way to win with these people. 16 May, front page StarMetro Vancouver: “War Crimes (1 inch font) – Boycott Israeli Apartheid”. Inside, almost entirely pro-Palestinian reportage e.g. “Canada’s backing of Israel stems from its endorsement of the 1947 partition of the Palestinian territories by the UN. That, he argued, makes Canada culpable for the deaths of Palestinians. “Canada carries complicity for our bloodbath and our dispossession…” The message is clear: Israel should not exist and Canada is a legitimate target of the Intifada. Unless you’re with Hamas, you’re Islamophobic. Unless you’re beating the drums for Israel, you’re anti-semitic.

    A tribute to Palestinian activist Kayla Mueller appears on electronicintifada.net; a poster behind Mueller shows the classic Che Guevara image overlaid with a man waving a Palestinian flag. Mueller was abducted, imprisoned, tortured, repeatedly raped and eventually died in an Islamic State compound. This is how the fatal disease of naiveté end.

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    Hermann Fegelein says:

    I’ve read that clicking “unsubscribe” can be a problem because it indicates to the sender that your email address is real. Maybe report spam, or block would be better?

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    Mark says:

    Good for you. As a Zionist myself, I find myself ashamed of those who, espousing spurious arguments that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, or God’s chosen people can’t do wrong, overlook behaviour that they would condemn if it were instigated by any other government in the world.

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    Marge T. says:

    Who brings a baby to this:


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    Some Jewish Guy says:

    I unsubscribed after receiving that email as well, and I am a former CIJA intern who worked on Parliament Hill, in an MP’s office, thanks to their internship program.
    Of course, that was back when it was a reputable organization, that had credibility, prior to it being hijacked by the CEO and his minions.
    What a tragedy he has perpetrated on this once legitimate organization.

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    A parent says:

    Out of curiosity, who brings a baby to a demonstration of riot?

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      Kevin Keswick says:

      The baby was no where near the border fence – it was at a camp far inside the fence where the families were and Israeli drones dropped the tear gas on the baby killing it

      Also none of the protesters killed near the fence actually broached the fence – they were executed by Israeli snipers who had a good view of their victims in their sniper sights. One of those killed was a journalist wearing a vest with “PRESS” in large letters which the IDF sniper would have clearly seen in his sniper sights

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    the salamander horde says:

    .. its out of control.. out of its mind, Israel that is
    & Canada’s Government is failing & flailing
    This all all about a land and offshore resources grab
    An ‘Annexation’ ? Oh worse..

    First they send in the Israeli army
    to protect colonists who are
    cutting the olive trees down
    then come the bulldozers
    and the settler building commences

    This is exactly what happens
    in South America.. chase off the inhabitants
    and start mining & pollution
    (Canadian registered of course)

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    Riazuddin says:

    Thank you for writing the truth on the current Gaza crisis.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Trying to figure out the truth in this region is about as non-lethal as Russian Roulette…

    Do the people in Gaza willingly go to the fence or is it instigated by Hamas? Are they a pressing and major threat to Israeli security? How many ammunition rounds were fired from Gaza? To ask the questions is to answer them.

    Guess Bibi is still encouraging Trudeau to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem. What are the odds of that happening? Say what you like about Bibi but at least he is, as always, true to form.

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    Fred from BC says:

    I called BS on this story the very first time I heard it…way too many suspicious ‘facts’ for my liking.

    First, the United Nations. Oh, yeah, I believe them, for sure. How can you not take them seriously, given their long documented history of fair, balanced and impartial treatment of anything and everything Israeli, right? They care so much about Israel that they devote about 90% of their world-wide human rights efforts to them, special departments and Rapporteurs and all…

    Secondly..’targeted’ by Israeli ‘snipers’? I don’t think so. Israeli snipers don’t aim for your legs, for one. But even worse for this narrative, Dr. Loubani helpfully decided to defend his version of events on Reddit, and this is where it gets interesting; he first claims that he and the other medics were “standing” 25 meters or so away from everyone else, and he therefore deduces that the shot that struck him “came from the north tower”. So if he wasn’t moving he would have been a clear and perfect target, easily identifiable as a doctor (yeah, because Israel doesn’t have enough bad PR and not enough people hate already them, right? Let’s kill a few more doctors…and maybe some babies, too…) and just as easily killed. Loubani’s real mistake, though, is engaging in a conversation with an Australian ER trauma surgeon (or so he claimed) who casually notes that the damage to Loubani’s legs is consistent with a “low-velocity round”. Loubani agrees. Problem is, sniper rifles *don’t fire* low velocity rounds. Loubani was most probably hit with either an accidental “through-and-through” bullet (targeted at someone else) or a handgun round fired by someone else (most likely Hamas, and for the obvious reason).

    As for Lubani’s assistant, he was actually a Hamas member (look it up). And someone else has noted that a “journalist” was “executed” by these very same snipers; he have overlooked the fact that the “journalist” in question was in fact a HAMAS CAPTAIN, who routinely flew drones over Israeli positions.

    The people being targeted are not protesters, chanting and waving flags…they are Hamas members actively attempting to plant explosives and breach the border fence so they can flood into Israel and kill Jews. They said so even before this whole thing started.

    Oh, and the relocation of the US Embassy was passed into law by Congress over 20 years ago, but no US president has had the balls to do it until now.

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