On Israel

“Israel was not created in order to disappear. Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”

~ President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved Canada voting for a U.N. resolution condemning Israel. It was the second time since former Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper ordered that Canada stop voting for one-sided resolutions against Israel that Trudeau broke with our decade and a half long policy. The first time was at almost the same time last year on this same resolution. The excuse then was Canada wanted a seat on the Security Council. We didn’t get it. In fact despite this government’s pandering to the Israel bashers and anti-Semites at the UN, Canada got less votes than under Prime Minister Harper who stood boldly with Israel which he called, “a sister democracy in the family of free nations.” We wrote last year — and repeat today — that the Trudeau administration “joining the jackals” and demeaning Canada’s integrity was a price not worth paying.

The resolution was sponsored by three of the world’s great tyrannies, North Korea, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. These are now Canada’s bedfellows. The old expression that when you lay down with dogs you stand up with fleas certainly applies. And that may very well be an insult to dogs.

This was an odious act. The resolution, “reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine.” Yet there is no mention of the Palestinians having to recognize the State of Israel. There was not a word about the responsibility of Palestinians to renounce terror and to commit to living in peace with Israel. And there was not a word from the world community recognizing the same right of self-determination for Israelis as they would afford to Palestinians.

As troubling were the following words that the resolution, “recognizes the preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” This resolution could be interpreted as affirming the Palestinian right to a state in any part (or the whole) of historic Palestine, irrespective of Israel’s territorial rights. It can reasonably be called a denial of Israel’s right to exist.

Even UN Ambassador Bob Rae expressed reservations. But what makes Canada’s vote even more repugnant is the undisguised attempt by the Trudeau administration to play both sides against the middle. That doesn’t even work when you’re shooting craps never mind practicing diplomacy.

Canada is one of 35 major industrialized democracies to have formally accepted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. That definition, in one of its eleven guidelines, states that, “denying the Jewish people their right of self-determination” falls int the category of anti-Semitism. This resolution that Canada voted for can certainly be interpreted as denying Jewish self-determination. We leave the logical conclusion of this statement for yourselves — and your sense of justice — to determine.

The opportunism and hypocrisy of this government on issues of Jewish concern can be breathtaking. Just several weeks ago Prime Minister Trudeau appointed former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler as Canada’s envoy to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Cotler is not only a world-renowned advocate for all human rights but also for Jewish human rights. He is an eloquent voice not only defending Israel’s democracy but also condemning the UN being hijacked by theocratic tyrannies and tinpot dictatorships. This government cannot square the appointment and the vote. Perhaps if Mr. Cotler were to resign in protest this Prime Minister would get it.

That this nation should sully itself in alliance with criminal regimes is bad enough. What is worse is that officials from our Foreign Affairs department let it be known that one of the reasons for the vote was to send a signal to “Israel-wing populism.” At its most extreme, Israeli right-wing populism is a beacon of democracy compared to anything in the Palestinian side.

In a previous abandonment of Israel, Canada’s then UN Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard had the temerity to boast that “at last Canada found its voice.” To paraphrase Churchill, “Some vote. Some voice.”

The Trudeau government has sacrificed a sister democracy to appease some of the world’s most brutal dictators. This is how this government has rent asunder Canada’s moral compass. What Trudeau fails to realize is that Israel’s relations with the Arab world are getting better and better and will make the Palestinian issue moot. The latest peace agreements with the UAE, Bahrain and The Sudan in addition to the long-standing ones with Egypt and Jordan will be followed by many others. Saudi Arabia may very well be next.

The lesson from all this is that sacrificing Israel on the altar of political expediency does not work anymore. And the fact that the Trudeau administration has been a propagandist for the false narratives about Israel is not only a shameful legacy for Canada but thanks to Mr. Trudeau has put Canada on the wrong side of history. Let your MP know this.

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