Michael Harris sums it up as well as any:
When the only thing refugees can do to advance their cause is present themselves at someone’s border to be shot, you know the world has lost its way on this file.
When 60 human beings are gunned down in cold blood, when a doctor is shot while tending to wounded civilians, and people want to talk about the dress Ivanka Trump wore at the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem, you know a whole class of people has been dehumanized.
When 2,800 people are hit by live fire or tear gassed by drones for protesting an illegal occupation that has gone on for more than 50 years, it is a strange time to announce that history would look back on this despicable day as a step towards peace.
Yet Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s gruesomely green Middle East envoy, made that statement with just 40 miles between the embassy celebration and the border slaughter, and the bubbly and the barbarism.
It was Kushner’s “let them eat cake” moment. The president’s son-in-law delivered his lines like an extra out of the cult film “Night of the Living Dead.” It was as if the mass shootings didn’t register with him.
It was as if Israel’s “eye for an eyelash” policy, as Special UN Rapporteur, Canadian Michael Lynk called it, was perfectly justified in Kushner’s mind.
How else could he blame the Palestinians for their own slaughter? Men, women, children, doctors and journalists.
Remember that fascist-tinted moment in Toronto in 2010 when police rounded up and detained more than 1,000 people protesting the G-20 Summit? It was called “kettling.”
No one liked seeing fellow citizens put under the jackboots of the police. Former Toronto Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee wrote that the security fiasco of that year “left a permanent emotional scar” on him.
Imagine, though, if the authorities had opened up on the crowd with live ammunition and killed 60 people on the spot? All of it captured on video.
Remember those recent TV clips of a few hundred Mexicans pushing up to the U.S. border, hoping to get a piece of the American Dream?
What would have happened if the National Guard, which Trump dispatched to “defend” the U.S. from illegal immigrants, had mowed down 60 of these poor and unarmed people? All of it captured on video.]
In all these cases, we would not be scolding or expressing our disapproval or having a discussion about independent investigations in a country that doesn’t permit them.
We would be arranging murder trials.As for Canada, Trudeau and Scheer:
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer utterly disgraced himself and the country by trivializing the mass shootings, and attacking Justin Trudeau for his strong words about Israel’s use of “excessive force.”
Scheer has proven he has both a wooden head and a wooden heart. He’s a remote control northern Republican, just like his ideology-soaked predecessor.
Trudeau has done a far better job of capturing the revulsion that many ordinary people around the world, including in Israel, are feeling. He charted a wise course in opposing the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and made the right call not to attend the ceremony.
For all that, he deserves credit.
But his call for an independent investigation into Israel’s possible “excessive force” against civilians was tepid stuff. Possible? Really?
Although the prime minister and his foreign affairs minister both said the right things, their words don’t change the bottom line. Canada took the minimal diplomatic action under the circumstances — far less than Turkey and South Africa, which both recalled their respective ambassadors.
So far, Canada has done no more than dutifully echo the secretary general of the United Nations, who is calling for an independent investigation. That’s not terribly inspiring. What are the chances the country that did the shooting is likely to embrace the idea of a third party murder investigation involving its military and political establishment?
You would think that the circumstances would speak for themselves.
Eight dead kids.
All in one day.
But this is 1984. That’s why Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador at the UN, is able to say that no country would show the “restraint” that Israel had.