There are people who insist that Israel is an overseas battleship for the United States. What about the relationship between Israel and Canada?
Documents have come to light, through a Queen’s University researcher using the federal access-to-information law, that say Canadian defence minister Peter MacKay told Israel’s top military commander, major-general Gabi Ashkenazi, while in the Middle East, that “a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada.”1
It is nothing new. Mackay’s boss, prime minister Stephen Harper previously stated, “Those who threaten Israel also threaten Canada.”2
First, who is the primary threat in the Middle East? Is Lebanon attacking Israel or is it Israel attacking Lebanon? Is Syria attacking Israel or is it Israel attacking Syria? Is Gaza attacking Israel or is it Israel attacking Gaza? Did Iraq attack Israel or did Israel attack Iraq? Has Iran ever attacked Israel, or is it just Israel that has attacked Iran?
It appears the threat is an Israeli attack on nearby countries, not another Middle Eastern country attacking on Israel.
If an attack on Israel is an attack on Canada, then what is an attack by Israel? If Canada is so aligned with Israel, does it then consider that it is in an attack posture along with Israel?
Or is there a semblance of fairness to Canadian foreign policy under the Conservative Party government?3 Would Canada declare that a threat against another Middle Eastern country from Israel is a threat to Canada? Does Canada wish to be a peace-loving country (hardly credible nowadays after it role in the imperialist debacle against Iraq and in war-torn Afghanistan) or will it condone threats and violence by Israel against neighbors?
When talking about threats, is it not important to consider what might be prompting a threat? Would occupation of another state’s territory not be provocative? Is anyone occupying Israeli territory? (Just what is Israeli territory anyway?) How about vice versa? Israel is in longstanding occupation of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. So just who is the threat and who is engaged in provocative behavior?
Former prime minister, Paul Martin, said: “Israel’s values are Canada’s values — shared values — democracy, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights.”4
If Israel’s values are Canada’s values, on democracy is this expressed by Canada’s freezing aid to Palestine after Hamas won the 2006 election? On the rule of law, is this expressed by Israel’s violation of numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions and the 2005 International Court of Justice decision that the apartheid wall must be dismantled from within the West Bank and compensation paid to Palestinians? On the protection of human rights can this exist within an apartheid regime; can it exist under occupation?5
So what exactly are these shared values between Canada and Israel?
Does Canada value becoming an undeclared nuclear power? Will Canada therefore withdraw from the NPT and develop its own nuclear weapons arsenal in line with Israeli values?
Should Canada not then support Iran’s nuclear research since they only do what Israel has done, and even less, and even Canada does nuclear research and sends its uranium to nuclear-armed states?
How does Canada avoid charges of hypocrisy? How does Canada elude charges of bias?
Harper had defended Israel by saying: “But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”
Is there not a moral obligation to take a stand against apartheid, to take a stand against occupation, to take a stand against serial violations of international law, to take a stand against human rights abuses, and to take a stand against warring?
Are Israeli’s values not a threat to any nation state professing respect for human rights and justice?
- See Murray Brewster, “Threat to Israel is threat to Canada, MacKay tells Israeli military commander,” The Province, 19 June 2012. [↩]
- See “Fault Lines – Canada-Israel: The other special relationship,” Al Jazeera. [↩]
- It does not really matter in Canada’s current political landscape because Canada’s New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party are more-or-less equally obsequious to Israel. [↩]
- Press Release, “Canadian prime Minister Paul Martin Addresses Delegates at Opening of United Jewish Communities 2005 General Assembly,” UJC. [↩]
- Visit, for example, the website of B’Tselem — the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories for a glimpse at Israeli activists acknowledge as Israel’s abuse of human rights. [↩]