Friday, December 30, 2016
Who Will Decide Canada's Policy on Israel, Barack Obama or Donald Trump?
When US secretary of state, John Kerry, proclaimed that Israel had to choose - it could be a Jewish state or a democracy, just not both, Washington's abrupt epiphany must have caught Justin Trudeau and Steffie Dion with their short pants down.
If Washington can say the emperor has no clothes, where does that leave Ottawa?
Trudeau Mk.ll, like Harper, has broken with Canadian tradition in paying fealty to Benjamin Netanyahu. Put another way, Justin enjoys kissing Bibi's ass every bit as much as Stephen Harper in his day.
Oh, this is more than simply supporting the Tory motion to censure the BDS (boycott/divest/sanction) movement. As Alison at Creekside has diligently reported, the Trudeau government has continued the Harper policy of steadfastly supporting Netanyahu by voting against every pro-Palestine resolution in the UN General Assembly.
On every occasion, until now, Canada and the United States have carried Israel's water even as the rest of the world, as in the "rest of the world" - the entire EU, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia - refuse to look the other way.
That changed when the US refused to veto a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Israel cease stealing Palestinian land, what little of it remains, for ever more Israeli settlements. With that, America pushed the "reset" button on US-Israeli relations. Kerry followed through with a speech branding the Netanyahu government as the "most right wing in Israel's history."
The Israelis were predictably outraged at being exposed for what they are and have been for decades. Netanyahu's education minister, Naftali Bennett, blurted out that, as of January 20th when Trump is inaugurated, the "two state solution" will be off the table which, of course, it has been all along. Bennett then repeated his call that Israel simply annex most of the Palestinian West Bank.
John Kerry was speaking the obvious truth when he said Israel's settler policy is creating a one-nation state, one in which Palestinians will see their homeland erased even as they remain captives to the Israelis. What's next, ethnic cleansing - driving the Palestinians off their lands, again, and herding them to Jordan?
The problem with this is, when you have 150 nations - make that 151 now - opposed to Israeli extremism, that leaves just the one - Justin Trudeau's Canada isolated, exposed.
Of course, Justin can wait until the 20th when the old order is restored by president Donald Trump but he's been put on notice. He can't pretend any more. He cannot continue to look the other way. Trudeau, like Harper before him, has made our government, our nation and us - you and me - complicit in this. Once again this prime minister has shown that all of his principles come with price tags and can be had for the right price.