Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dear Elizabeth May

The world is watching Israel's slide into right wing radicalism. The Conservatives and the Liberals look the other way. The Green Party membership won't. Your party, Elizabeth May, passed a moderate resolution calling for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question and supporting the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement to help achieve it.

Just so there's no doubt about where Canada stands, and with whom, Alison at Creekside, has reproduced this General Assembly vote on the recent resolution.

Seven nations opposed it - Israel, the United States, Canada and the bought and paid for Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Micronesia. Seven votes, four of them stooge ballots. Look at the other side, the 155 nations voting in support - Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, Portugal, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, Italy and Ireland - the whole bloody European Union - plus the nations of Africa, South and Central America, and Asia Pacific.

It's an apartheid regime and the world knows it. You say you oppose BDS but offer not one damned thing that might work in its stead. Where are you going to draw your line, ethnic cleansing? There are a lot of voices in Israel brazenly calling for that now and most of them support Netanyahu.  Israel has been doing it incrementally for half a century to the point that now the West Bank looks like this. That's what dialogue has achieved. Mind you, this is a full decade out of date. There's less, much less remaining of the Palestinian homeland now.

Canada, Liz, is in a bad way. We, Israel and the U.S. stand alone against the rest of the nations that can no longer look the other way. Censuring BDS has to be denounced for what it is - one more effort to stifle dissent and that's about as undemocratic as it gets. Wait, in Canada, it gets way more undemocratic than a mere censure motion. Speaking out can cost you your job.

Wake up Liz. Netanyahu's former second in command, then defence minister, Moshe Yallon, resigned in protest saying his country had been taken over by extremists. Former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, has warned that Netanyahu has planted the seeds of fascism. Netanyahu appointed Russian-born thug, Avigdor Lieberman, to serve as defence minister, effectively making him czar of all captive Palestinians. Here's just a glimpse at this thug:

Lieberman has called to redraw the border between Israel and the West Bank so that Israel would include large Jewish settlement blocs and the Palestinian state would include large Arab-Israeli population centers. He proposed that Israel's citizens should sign a loyalty oath or lose their right to vote.

In November 2006, Lieberman, who described Arab members of the Knesset that meet with Hamas as "terror collaborators", called for their execution: "World War II ended with theNuremberg Trials. The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in [the Knesset]."[79]

The comment was attacked as racist by Eitan Cabel, a Labor party representative, and Ahmad Tibi, leader of the Arab party Ta'al and one-time advisor to Yasser Arafat, who demanded that "a criminal investigation be initiated against Lieberman for violating the law against incitement and racism".[79][80] Tibi strongly objected to Lieberman's ministerial appointment, describing him as "a racist and a fascist". Labour minister Ophir Pines-Paz, who resigned over Lieberman's appointment, echoed Tibi's remarks, saying that Lieberman was tainted "by racist declarations and declarations that harm the democratic character of Israel".[81]

In remarks in the Knesset in March 2008, shortly after the 6 March attack at Jerusalem's Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, Lieberman commented that "yesterday's attack can not be disconnected from the Arab MKs incitement, which we hear daily in the Knesset."[82] Directing his comments at Arab MKs whose comments Lieberman describes as anti-Israel incitement, he added that "a new administration will be established and then we will take care of you."[83]

Or you might dwell on the warning of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, general Ya'ir Golan:

“If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the Holocaust, it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”

General Golan knows the reality of fascism. A German Jew, his parents managed to flee Hitler's Germany in the nick of time. As a boy he saw fascism take hold and spread in his boyhood homeland.

"Things happening in Israel, especially since the last election, bear a frightening similarity to those events. True, the process is quite different. German fascism arose from the humiliation of surrender in World War I, the occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium from 1923-25, the terrible economic crisis of 1929, the misery of millions of unemployed. Israel is victorious in its frequent military actions, we live comfortable lives. The dangers threatening us are of a quite different nature. They stem from our victories, not from our defeats."

"The discrimination against the Palestinians in practically all spheres of life can be compared to the treatment of the Jews in the first phase of Nazi Germany. (The oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories resembles more the treatment of the Czechs in the “protectorate” after the Munich betrayal.)

"The rain of racist bills in the Knesset, those already adopted and those in the works, strongly resembles the laws adopted by the Reichstag in the early days of the Nazi regime."

As fiercely as he denounces the Palestinian militants of Hamas and Hizbullah, his No. 1 target is Israel's Arab minority, which he has called a worse threat than Hamas. He has proposed the effective expulsion of several hundred thousand Arab citizens by unilaterally redesignating some northern Israeli towns as parts of the Palestinian West Bank. Another group of several hundred thousand could expect to be stripped of citizenship for failing to meet requirements such as loyalty oaths or mandatory military service (from which Israel's Arabs are currently exempt). The New Republic's Martin Peretz, a passionate Zionist and critic of the peace movement, calls Lieberman a "neo-fascist ... a certified gangster ... the Israeli equivalent of [Austria's] Jörg Haider." No liberal democracy I know of since World War II has disenfranchised or expelled its own citizens.

As for the Boycott Divest Sanction movement that has your knickers in such a bunch, Lizzie, listen to Murray Dobbin who notes that the ghost of Stephen Harper lives on in Parliament, including now it seems, in the office of the leader of the Green Party.

That the Liberal government is so in alignment with Israel lobby groups raises a number of questions: Just who actually makes Canadian policy towards Israel? Did Trudeau think this through at all -- such as, is this in Canada's interests? But perhaps more to the point, is it even in Israel's interests? Does the Trudeau government have some brilliant ideas about how to get Israel to the bargaining table? Or does it believe the current situation doesn't need resolving? It makes me feel like Stephen Harper still rules the day on this critical foreign policy issue. Indeed the resolution smacks of Harper's declaration that criticism of Israel's government is the "new anti-Semitism."

The BDS campaign might not worry Netanyahu so much if it weren't for the fact that Israel now ranks near the bottom of pile when it comes to world opinion. A BBC poll in 2013 interviewed more than 26,000 people in 25 countries and found only 21 per cent of participants had a positive view of Israel, while 52 per cent viewed the country unfavourably. Only Iran, Pakistan and North Korea fared worse.

...If Justin Trudeau and his government believe they are doing Israel a favour by supporting the repugnant Conservative thought crime resolution, they could not be more mistaken. Every time a Western government turns a blind eye to Israeli apartheid it reinforces and extends that system by signalling to Netanyahu that he can do whatever he pleases.

As a Haaretz columnist recently wrote, BDS isn't the best weapon against Israeli right wing extremism, it's the only weapon. It's the only measure that works. So let's kill it off, eh?


Lorne said...

These are times that test the integrity and mettle of those who would lead us, Mound. Clearly, Canadian politicians are failing the test.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Mound, one just has to imagine what it would be like to have to experience what the Palestinians experience at the hands of the Israelis. One does not even have to know the history and politics between the 2 countries.

Just imagine for a minute what it would be like if another country came into your country and destroyed your homes, confiscated your land and built settlements on your confiscated land.

Just imagine being occupied by this same country where a blockade is put in place to monitor your every movement. Then imagine having to live in a ghetto/camp which is nothing short of an open prison.

Then there is the violence. Imagine bombs being reigned on you at will, your schools and hospitals pulverized and your friends and family including your children are killed.

Imagine on a daily basis, being maligned, denigrated and even being killed because you, like the Palestinians, are simply a Canadian. A Canadian, whose country someone else wants.

Imagine this genocide being done to you before the eyes of the world, for all to see, for years and years and no one comes to your rescue. Imagine that this is your life, day in and day out.

Now, thank goodness, there is the BDS movement that many countries have embraced. A peaceful tool of dissent which can expose and hopefully, eventually stop the Israeli abuse and destruction of the Palestinian people.

Elizabeth May from her daily life in safe peaceful Canada is against the BDS movement and thus implicitly she is against Canadians right to peacefully dissent.

I always thought that when it came to supporting human rights Elizabeth May was better then other politicians. I was wrong.

People like Trudeau and May who have the power to alleviate or even stop the unearned suffering of the Palestinian people and choose to not only not do so, but in fact support the people who are the causing that suffering, the Israelis, these people are nothing short of amoral.

The Mound of Sound said...

They are failing us indeed, Lorne. I've about had it with the lot of them.

The Mound of Sound said...

I share your thoughts, Pamela. I too have questioned how long any Canadian would tolerate the conditions inflicted on the Palestinians and how we would respond. When one side has all the heavy firepower the weaker side's options are limited.

Anonymous said...

Like yourself Mound, I agree with Pamela.

Elizabeth May, in chasing "votes" has lost my support of the Greens. I matters little what the soldiers of the Greens may say, the rot started at the head.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth May, in chasing "votes,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Holy shit ; I think she is better than that!
It's the GREEN party ffs; there are easier fish to catch than demonising Israel.
Israel is a shitty little nation that in an earlier age, remember South Africa, would suffer the general public's outrage.
In a media highly influenced or owned by Jewish nationalists !! May is unlikely to attract anything but anger and subversion...
SHit ; the Greens should ,at this stage of their growth, should have kept their mouths shut.......


The Mound of Sound said...

TB - if you read the post, the graphic of the UN General Assembly vote, the quotes from so many prominent Israelis including one who had first hand experience of the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany to later rise to be the second in command of the Israeli Army, it would indeed have been expedient for the Green Party membership to join the rest of Canada's political parties in looking the other way. The Tories do it. The Liberals do it. The NDP ride the fence of cowardice. The Green Party isn't just an environmental movement. It is a social justice party. To fault them for being the lone party to take a principled stand on the Palestinian nightmare says more about you, TB, than it does the Green Party. BTW, the Greens in Europe also back BDS.

Anonymous said...

The Greens are not popular enough to take chances .
I agree with the Greens and vote for them.
Destroying themselves from the inside out won't help.
Some things should be left alone until they have more ,rounded, support.


Northern PoV said...

Promoting balanced attitudes towards the Middle East in "Western Democracies" is akin to albino sunbathers and just as rewarding.

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, you seem to have made the case for Western disengagement from the Middle East. Your comment on the NYT Magazine issue confirms it. The magazine doesn't suggest that "the ME is fixed up so nice" as you suggest but, then again, you noted you would be bored to tears reading it. In fact what comes out is that the Bush/Cheney/Blair invasion of Iraq destabilized the entire region, triggering endless wars in the Arab world.

Unfortunately, using Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn" analogy, it's a mess we triggered and we own it. Erdogan's budding bromance with Putin must have Washington in knots. It's a geopolitical fiasco. The notion of an Erdogan/Putin/Assad pact is almost as unbelievable as it is possible. Putin isn't playing footsie with Erdogan out of admiration. I still think Erdogan will some day pay for that Russian shootdown. He does, however, offer Putin a possible means to further erode US influence in the region and it's already wobbly. If America had a hand in the abortive coup in Turkey I'll bet they're now wishing they had done a proper job of eliminating Erdogan.

Northern PoV said...

"we own it"

sure I know it was meant as a warning ... but it sounds like .... 'the white man's burden' stuff now. And we've had so much success to date. (I am well aware of the clusterfuck Bush & Blair created and don't need no stinkin NYT to tell me.)
Time to go home and let the locals sort it out.

I met a Brit who said about Muslims... "if they'd just stop bombing us"
He failed to see the irony when carefully explained to him.

Northern PoV said...

found a Green Party you might like....

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, I do wonder if the ethnic, tribal and sectarian conflicts that rage across the Muslim world today might not abate, at least somewhat, if Western meddling was halted. Since the era of Napoleon, Christian caucasians have been trying to control the Middle East, inevitably to suit our, not their, purposes. In some ways (Sykes-Picot, for example) we have set them against each other.

Perhaps it's too late to try withdrawal. It could be that would trigger a wave of nuclear proliferation. And there's Putin who may be seeking to avenge the ouster of the Soviet presence by Washington decades ago. Then again, another 30-years and climate change could render much of the Muslim world uninhabitable. Decisions, decisions.

Purple library guy said...

Publishing a map? That shows things in easy-to-understand graphic form?! You know that's forbidden, how anti-semitic of you. ;)

The Mound of Sound said...

At least I used a map that's 11-years out of date. It's a helluva lot worse today. Good to hear from you, PLG.

Anonymous said...

As if we need another Holy War!

The Mound of Sound said...

The Holy War, Sunni v. Shiite, is already well underway. It's in Syria, in Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. On this blog you'll find a few posts that reference a farewell visit received by retiring MI6 Chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, from then Saudi defence/security minister, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Dearlove said Bandar proceeded to tell him that the Sunnis, led by the Saudis, intended to wipe out the numerically far inferior Shia "once and for all." Within a couple of years, out of nowhere, ISIS materialized, trained, armed, ready to go. Just like al Qaeda before them, ISIS was funded by the Sunni Gulf princes, emirs and sheikhs.

We won't start another Holy War. We might, however, stop facilitating the one that's already underway.

The Mound of Sound said...

CBC Parliamentary reporter, Eric Grenier, added this:

"Elizabeth May is yesterday’s leader..and I say that with a bittersweet smile.

"While she was and is still, for the most part, a formidable parliamentarian, like Tom Mulcair , ousted NDP leader, she has fallen behind her constituency when it comes to values and political philosophy..

"May always seemed to have a lamentable tendency to go along with whatever spew Harper chose to throw at Parliament, and her voting record does not bode well for the progressives being increasingly attracted to her could argue that her party has now swung Left while she remains firmly mid-Right on everything except the environment..not a pretty picture for those of us who are frustrated with the NDP foot-dragging, and want an alternative.."

Anonymous said...

Religion, a good reason for mindlessness. You can't replace science with religon; you sure can replace religion with science. Morality and honesty can be learned without opening the Bible. Anyong