Thursday, January 16, 2014

Canada's "moral obligation" to Israel

PostMedia titles in Canada are featuring an interview with Employment Minister Jason Kenney that reads as though it could have been scripted by one of Benyamin Netanyahu's speech writers.

Israel faces a daily existential struggle for survival and is a refuge for the Jewish people born out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

The only Israelis facing a "daily existential struggle for survival" are the 1.7 million citizens living below the poverty line. When Kenney claims Israel is "attacked every day" he must be talking about those kids throwing rocks at soldiers in the West Bank. That's not considered an "existential threat" even by Netanyahu's speech writers.

From what I hear through the grapevine, unless you're already established or well connected, Israel is a very tough place for young folks to make a go of it. That's why young Jewish professionals are leaving Israel by the tens of thousands.

As for being a "refuge for the Jewish people" it's telling that more Jewish people choose to live outside of Israel than in Israel.

Kenney's comments don't really shed any light whatsoever on the Harper gang's obsession with Israel. Surely they can not imagine that Israel needs us for our military prowess? The Israeli military is far larger, far better equipped, and infinitely more experienced than Canada's. Plus, they're a nuclear super-power in their own right.

Which is not to suggest that Israel couldn't use some good friends. Remarks by Kenney and Baird and Harper smack more of wannabes trying to ingratiate themselves than the concerns of true friends. What real friends would do is talk seriously to their friends about the issues that are driving Israel onto the rocks. True friends would express their concerns over the occupation, the settlements, the immigrant issue, the Beduin relocation issue, nuclear proliferation, and so on. If the Harper gang were really friends of Israel they would have kept Canada's Iran embassy open and worked hard at establishing a robust diplomatic presence in that country.

As things stand, Canada's "friendship" consists of constantly telling the most reactionary elements in the Israeli political spectrum only what they want to hear.

That's not friendship.

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