Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Canada = Soft on Israel, Soft on Trump

We don't have any reason to hold our heads high when it comes to Canada and Israel or Canada and Trump.

It was expected when Harper made Canada Netanyahu's willing rent boy. Those of us who remember Trudeau, the real one, were a little surprised when his namesake eagerly followed Harper's lead. For the past two years Canada's voting record on Palestinian measures in the UN General Assembly has been in sordid lockstep with the former Conservative government's.  Rent boys do as they're told. They don't cause trouble.

And so, while nations with a modicum of integrity, such as our allies France, Britain and Germany, didn't hesitate to criticize Donald Trump's announcement that the US would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trudeau the Lesser dummied up and went mute. There'd be no trouble from Trudeau.

"Canada is a steadfast ally and friend of Israel and friend to the Palestinian people. Canada's longstanding position is that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. This has been the policy of consecutive governments, both Liberal and Conservative."

The department stressed the statement was issued in the name of spokesman Adam Austen, rather than Freeland herself. But after Trump's announcement Wednesday, Freeland re-issued essentially the same quote in her own name.

Austen explained Freeland's earlier silence this way: "The minister does not make statements about world events before they happen."

Of course, governments and foreign ministers often do make statements either calling for or warning against actions that have not yet been taken. After all, the window of opportunity to influence a decision closes once it is announced.

Other foreign officials not only commented but contacted their U.S. counterparts before the decision was announced, in an attempt to get the Trump administration to reconsider. French President Emmanuel Macron called Trump, as did British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"We believe it's unhelpful," May said after the announcement, adding that Trump has an obligation to "now bring forward detailed proposals for an Israel-Palestinian settlement."

"We all know the far-reaching impact this move would have," said German Foreign MinisterSigmar Gabriel. "Everything which worsens the crisis is counterproductive."

"We think it's an unwise step and a counterproductive step," said his Dutch counterpart, Halbe Zijlstra. "I don't think we can use another conflict in this very explosive region."

When it comes to pro-Israel/pro-Washington grovelling there isn't much the Liberals won't do.

At the United Nations, Canada under Trudeau continues to block resolutions condemning Israeli actions in the occupied territories — alongside the U.S., Israel and a small coterie of Pacific island nations that depend heavily on the U.S. and traditionally vote in lockstep with it.

Last December, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, China and 162 other nations all supported UN resolution 17/96, guaranteeing the protections of the Geneva Convention to Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.

The Trudeau government joined forces with the United States, Israel, Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands to oppose it.

I get angry at those who make me ashamed of my country. That goes for Trudeau as it did for Harper before him. To some that makes me a "Trudeau hater." If it does, so be it, he deserves it. He's earned it.


Toby said...

You are forgiven on this one, Mound. Trudeau' fawning to power is embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Trudeau typically triangulates a position between the traditional Liberal one and Harper's. Because the Libs traditionally are a centrist party, this inevitably moves the centre to the right, just as it did when Clinton started the practice in the US.

In the context of Israel, this moves Canada away from the mainstream international view it has traditionally taken, and towards Harper's "Israel can do no wrong" position. He doesn't seem to care that this leaves us supporting the oppressor. It's not a good look for Canada, although it is consistent with this country's treatment of its own indigenous population.