Israel’s tail is wagging Harper government’s dog
The Harper government’s failure to get Canada elected to the Security Council was a diplomatic fiasco that brought Canada humiliation and shame on the world stage.
As usual the Harperites reacted by blaming everyone else for their misguided and failed policies. So far the list includes Michael Ignatieff, the Europeans, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Arab countries, Muslim countries and the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF).
Sensing that Canadians did not buy these hysterical accusations, Prime Minister Harper decided to switch gear and now says with tongue in cheek that his foreign policy is “based on the promotion of our values — freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, justice, development, humanitarian assistance for those who need it,” and is not based on popularity.
This is the same government that domestically has eroded the protection of free speech and has weakened, marginalized and silenced Canadian democratic institutions and civil society organizations by cutting funding to numerous organizations that disagree with the Government’s positions; barring British MP George Galloway last year from entering Canada; continually violating the human rights of Omar Khadr a Canadian child; and undermining the Rights and Democracy agency.
On the international scene the Harper government has undermined international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights and environmental principles by refusing to sign the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; reducing its foreign aid to Africa; cutting its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that assists 4.5 million Palestinian refugees who were dispossessed with the creation of Israel in 1948; supporting Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006; justifying Israel’s ghastly assault on Gaza and the deadly Israeli raid on the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza; and refusing to endorse the Kyoto climate change accord.
Shamefully, Mr Harper repeatedly declares that ‘Canada and Israel share the same values” when Israel has been found by various UN and international bodies and inquiries of violating the Geneva Convention by transferring 500 thousand Jewish colonists into occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and erecting a Separation Wall inside that territory; of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in occupied Gaza; of violating international law when it raided the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla in international waters; and of torturing prisoners.
Most troubling, Mr Harper has blindly aligned Canada with a country that defines itself as a “Jewish state” and whose citizenship, immigration and land ownership laws discriminate against its Muslim and Christian citizens who make up 25 percent of the population. One wonders if he will next define Canada as a “white, Christian state.”
“Many Canadians believe that the Harper government appears far more concerned with protecting Israel’s interest than enhancing the traditional good reputation of Canada in the world, and seems ready and willing to bring disrepute and isolation to Canada for the sake of such a pariah state,” said Khaled Mouammar, CAF National President.
Toronto Star columnist James Travers best summarizes how the Harper government has betrayed Canadian values and tarnished Canada’s reputation when he states that “The confluence of domestic politics, Christian fundamentalism and foreign policy is now so strong that Israel’s tail is wagging Canada’s dog.”