Advocating Genocide as Electoral Tactic

In a 60 Minutes interview from 1996, then US ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright infamously quipped of the deaths of half a million Iraqi children to maintain US policy: “… we think the price is worth it.”1 On 24 September, a prominent Canadian politician said that the collective punishment of the Palestinian people “… is the right thing to do.” The name candidate with Canada’s Liberal Party delivered a shocking statement that is, in essence, advocating a genocide against 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Speaking at Toronto’s Beth Emeth synagogue, hockey hall-of-fame goalie, former federal cabinet minister, and current member of the Canadian parliament for the Ontario riding of York Centre, Ken Dryden sounded like an arch-Zionist:

Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians… it is the right thing to do at this time.2 [emphasis added]

Journalist Paul Weinberg considered that Dryden was “trying to out-Israel” his competition from the staunchly pro-Zionist Conservative Party, Rochelle Wilner, a hard-liner and former B’nai Brith president.2

Dryden’s campaign manager, Ruth Thorkelson, contradicted her candidate. She stated that the Liberal Party position was for a Canadian government boycott of aid but to indirectly support UN assistance.

Since Palestinians in Gaza were already starving,3 a call for cutting off all aid to Gaza is tantamount to a call for a mass starvation. It is advocating collective punishment — a war crime, as stipulated by the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is advocating genocide.

While with the International Committee of the Red Cross, Christa Rottensteiner argued that cutting all aid could be a war crime, crime against humanity, and/or genocide. The requisites for genocide are there.

The denial of humanitarian assistance could fit into the categories of “killing members of the group”, “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, provided that the prerequisites for genocide are fulfilled. What was said for murder as a war crime is also applicable, mutatis mutandis, to genocide.4

Wrote Rottensteiner, “[T]he impact of the denial of humanitarian assistance can be just as strong as massacres ‘committed with knives’.”

So far no word has been forthcoming from Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion on Dryden’s racist remarks, which are receiving short thrift in the corporate media. Dion is known to be a sympathizer of Zionism, so this is not surprising.

Dryden is considered to be an “all-star” of the Liberal team, a person who, according to “prominent Liberal strategist” Scott Reid, “can speak to character.”5

Ron Saba, editor of Montreal Planet magazine, has been indefatigable in exposing the complicity of Canadian politicians in the crimes of Zionism. Dion is near the top of his list. Many of the supporters of Zionism turn out to be politicians from within Canada’s corporate-political duopoly of the Conservatives and Liberals. Prime minister Stephan Harper is an unabashed backer of Zionism.6

A particular focus of Saba is the racist Jewish National Fund (JNF) which enjoys strong financial support in Canada — illegally. Dion is taciturn on JNF crimes and the illegality of the JNF operating in Canada as a tax-exempt charity. Dion even went so far as to welcome fellow liberal “all-star” Bob Rae, the Liberal candidate in Toronto Centre and a committee member of the JNF, an organization acknowledged as practicing racism towards Arabs by the attorney general of Israel.78

Dryden’s racist remarks are inexcusable from any human being and, certainly, from a MP. The right thing for Dryden to do at this time is to resign, and Dion should be calling for that resignation immediately and publicly.

  1. Albright does regret the statement. See “Democracy Now! Confronts Madeline Albright on the Iraq Sanctions: Was It Worth The Price?Democracy Now!, 30 July 2004. []
  2. See Paul Weinberg, “Israel’s party mixer,” NOW Magazine, 1-8 October 2008. [] []
  3. An Egyptian weekly called it “direct starvation — with grave ramifications in humanitarian terms.” Saleh Al-Naami, “Darkness, starvation and imminent death,” Al-Ahram, 24-30 January 2008. []
  4. Christa Rottensteiner, “The denial of humanitarian assistance as a crime under international law,” International Review of the Red Cross No. 835, 30 September 1999: 555-582. []
  5. Craig Offman, “Dion calls up his all-stars,” National Post, 20 September 2008. []
  6. Mike de Souza, “Criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, Harper says,” The Gazette, 9 May 2008. []
  7. Editorial, “Who needs the JNF?Haaretz, 23 September 2006. []
  8. Meron Benvenisti, “A ridiculous war against the gaps,” Haaretz, 29 June 2006. []
Kim Petersen is an independent writer and former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 6th, 2008 at 9:57am #

    consevartive-liberal party had been strongly antipalestinian for a century.
    it had participated in the destruction of palestine and now can’t or won’t participate in its construction. thnx

  2. Giorgio said on October 6th, 2008 at 12:24pm #

    This should be ample confirmation to all who are still too blind to see it OR like the ostrich that sticks its head in the sand in order not to see it, that the Zionists dominate the Western world political scene and that they have the EU and the USA well under control by their shorts and curlies. We have seen and continue to see it in this presidential campaign how McCain, Obama and Clinton have been fawning over Israel just as blatantly as street walking sluts flashing their wares to male passers by…
    So spineless GOYIMs of the world bow down to Zion!
    For my part, I must, if relunctantly, take off my hat to them for a job well done. May be they’re GOD’s CHOSEN ONES after all !!!???
    But that’s irrelevant.
    What really counts is BELIEVING THEY ARE!!!

  3. Giorgio said on October 6th, 2008 at 6:35pm #

    “Where are the starving people? Answer: There aren’t any.”

    Oh, God! Is this another Goyim genuflecting to Zion?

  4. catherine said on October 6th, 2008 at 7:56pm #

    Albright undoubtedly regrets being reminded of it all the time, but that’s her problem. And she doesn’t really explain what was “stupid” about the remark. A lot of other adjectives come to my mind, such as “shameless,” “cruel,” “criminal,” etc. What she probably means is that she was stupid for putting herself in such a position, which is, like, duh, true!

    As for Obama, his VP choice is even worse on Israel than Obama is, given his statements in the VP debate.

    Thanks for your piece, Kim.

  5. lichen said on October 6th, 2008 at 8:15pm #

    Yes, Albright has said many creepy, offensive, cruel, deluded things in public; if she no longer wishes to be reminded of them, why doesn’t she retire to a quiet place where she can take tea with Margaret Thatcher, and stay out of the political field instead of trying to kill more people in a new administration.

  6. Giorgio said on October 7th, 2008 at 12:25am #

    “Yes, Albright …. why doesn’t she retire to a quiet place where she can take tea with Margaret Thatcher” …and join the Club of Retired Old Ladies whose only requirement for admission is to look like the backside of a German WWII Tiger tank….

  7. Woody said on October 7th, 2008 at 7:10am #

    Add cutting off aid shipments to sealing all entrances and exits, blocking medical spares, sending F-16s, tanks, armed drones, helicopter gunships and naval gunboats to pour thousands of high-explosives into the tightly packed civilian population, stopping fishermen fishing their own waters and even preventing students leaving to attend university and the chronically sick to obtain proper treatment…. that’s genocide.

    Not blessed with much humanity, are you Emile? Been to Gaza lately?

  8. Andrew F said on October 7th, 2008 at 7:28am #

    Emile, thanks for clarifying and enlightening us about the palestinian question – those Palestinians should if anything be greatful and just take it lying prostrate rather than democratically elect cadres that truly reflect their indignation about their collective fate in the hands of their neighbouring nemesis and its Golem across the Atlantic.

    Kim, that ol’bag was in fact US Ambassador to the UN, unless of course you meant ‘Washington’ in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.

    Andrew F

  9. denk said on October 7th, 2008 at 7:59am #

    ““What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about, if we can’t use it?”
    ………thus a thousand wars are launched.
    tinyurl.com/3h6zt

  10. Danny Ray said on October 7th, 2008 at 8:19am #

    Giorgio;

    I must say that I take offense with your remark about Madeleine Albright. A Tiger tank has an, as have almost all well built classical killing machines, has a beauty of its own, which madam Albright neither has now nor has ever possessed

  11. Giorgio said on October 7th, 2008 at 9:24am #

    Danny,
    My apololgies…I admit that was a bad comparative choice I made. I just thought it would pass unnoticed. Not only this particular tank has a beauty of its own and so is the tiger, the animal, very beautiful….

  12. Danny Ray said on October 7th, 2008 at 9:28am #

    No sweat My friend, down here we perfer to say she looks like the back side of a mud fence.

  13. Ali Mallah said on October 7th, 2008 at 4:26pm #

    Dear Kim,
    Sincere thanks for following on this story.
    When the news appeared on Now magazine, every one responded was very critical of Dryden and his statement. You could review it her:
    http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfmcontent=165210&archive=28,5,2008.
    Even a self declared Zionist ” Abelard ” posted a comment expressing concerns and wondered what Dryden has been thinking!
    Finaly, Dryden issued a statement attemting to spin it his way, but I followed up with a direct question to him and Dion, still no reply yet.
    Here it is:
    Mr. Dryden and Dion,

    In reading your statement and your attempt to clarify your position, It appears that you still have not addressed the focal point of this matter.

    Would you please explain exactly what you meant when stated “Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians… it is the right thing to do at this time.”?

    Thanks,

    Ali Mallah
    CAF- VP, Ontario
    CLC, Alternative Vice President, Workers of colour

  14. Angie said on October 11th, 2008 at 3:55am #

    On 8 October 2008, Mahmoud al-Shaer, and Muhammad Hamad Abu Taha, both 22, brought to 249 the number of Gazans who have died as a direct result of the ongoing Israeli siege which prevented them from obtaining life-saving medical treatment outside of Gaza. Murder by any other name is still murder.

    Meanwhile, here in Canada, former hockey star and current Liberal MP, Ken Dryden, while addressing constitutients in his York Centre riding in Toronto, left no doubt as to how he feels about the people of Gaza.

    In an article which appeared in Now Magazine, we learn that Dryden told his audience that Canada should:

    “Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians … it is the right thing to do at this time”.

    Cutting off all aid to Gaza will result in certain starvation. As an MP, Dryden is aware of this. He must also be aware that Gazans are already starving thanks to the ongoing Israeli siege which has left the densely populated area close to a complete melt-down in all areas of life – economic, social, medical.

    As Dryden has to be aware of the implications of what he said, we can only conclude that he is not only an advocate of genocide, he is also a racist. He is, in fact, inciting hatred of, and promoting the starvation and subsequent extermination of, 1.5 million Palestinian people because “it’s the right thing to do at this time”.

    And to prove that odious double standards are alive and thriving in the Canadian political scene, there has been no comment from the leader of the Liberal party, no immediate removal of Dryden from its ranks, no call for him to be brought before the sham CRHC for inciting hatred against Palestinians. Nothing.

    If Dion continues to ignore Dryden’s racist comments, his silence and inaction will only confirm his agreement. If the other political parties remain silent, they, too, will tell Canadians that preventing “aid” from reaching Gaza (which aid is minimal at best) and inciting hatred of the Palestinian people is perfectly okay with them, and Geneva Conventions be damned, eh?

    Who knew Dryden harboured such animosity towards the Palestinian people? Who knew he was a real life racist? Who knew he was fawning over a minute segment of Canada’s population, supporting the illegal occupation of Palestine, and supporting Israeli terrorism?

    Dryden has since written Now Magazine, prattling on about what he “meant”. He was “mischaracterized”, the only standby when one is trying to save one’s ass. He meant (gasp) that “we should restrict government-to-government aid to Gaza due to the Hamas-led government’s continuing refusal to disavow violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist”. Suggesting, of course, that Israeli violence is perfectly acceptable, and that the Palestinian people do not have a right to exist in their own homeland.

    Hand me a bucket, quick!

    There’s more. He also said that: “Tragically the residents of Gaza face a daily struggle for survival”.

    http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=165300

    You will note, dear people, Dryden didn’t explain why the people of Gaza “face a daily struggle for survival” . There was no mention of daily Israeli atrocities carried out against Palestinian civilians. There was no mention of the ongoing destruction of homes, olive trees, produce stands, factories. There was no mention of the continual attacks on Gaza fishermen. There was no mention of the lack of medical supplies and services. There was no mention of the difficulties students are encountering as they try to attend schools and universities. There was no mention of the ongoing assassinations carried out by the terrorist IDF with complete impunity.

    According to Dryden, then, it’s perfectly acceptable for Israel to bring its massive and sophisticated cache of weapons to bear against a largely civilian population. It’s perfectly okay for Israel to keep 1.5 million Gazans locked in the world’s largest concentration camp to be shot at, bombed, etc., much like fish in a barrel.

    And what is also hugely disturbing about this revelation by a genocidal racist is the complete lack of comment by the Canadian corporate media. The CBC, Canada’s own (or so we are told), never carried a word much less a detailed report. CTV, likewise. The Globe and Mail, purporting to be Canada’s national newspaper, silence. The only reference I could find to it was a piece in rabble.ca

    http://election.rabble.ca/post/53517638/groups-call-for-dion-to-pull-dryden-over-remarks-on

    I would suggest that Canadians ask themselves what would have happened had Ken Dryden advocated the starvation of 1.5 million Israelis, what Dion would have done, and what the Canadian media would have done.

    Thanks to Kim Petersen for bringing this latest Canadian shame to the attention of DV readers.

    O Canada, what have you become?