Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Flotilla to Gaza Has Fox News North in a Flap

Fox News North is in a right flap over Canada's participation in the Flotilla to Gaza, to deliver badly needed humanitarian aid.

Conservative columnist John Robson claims they are acting like children, and Brian Lilley says that because there is an obesity problem in Palestine, they don't really need aid.

Obesity is not always about too much food, but not the right kind of food.

John Baird is warning the participants that he will not come to their rescue, and two NDP MPs have broken with party policy and are supporting the activists. So am I.

What's interesting, is that while in Canada we are accused of supporting terrorists, or of being anti-Semitic if we denounce the Israeli blockade, in Israel, 64% of citizens want their government to negotiate with Hamas.

Are those 64% who denounce their government's actions, anti-Semitic? They are residents of a Jewish state, so I rather doubt it.

But as Glenn Greenwald wrote:
Needless to say, isolating the democratically elected Hamas government and childishly pretending that they don't exist is a central prong of the Bush administration's policy, and few American politicians could ever get away with advocating that Israel attempt diplomatically to negotiate its conflicts with Hamas. Cascades of "anti-Israel," "soft-on-Terrorists" and other related accusations would pour down on any person suggesting such a thing.
The same can now be said of Canada.

Libby Davies got a tongue lashing and was forced to apologize, after visiting Gaza and reporting on the inhumanities. The Reformers dug up an old piece written by Michael Ignatieff for the New York Times, in which he compared the Israeli Apartheid to the Apartheid in South Africa.

Jimmy Carter was president then and Ignatieff had flown over Gaza in a helicopter to report on Carter's initiatives in the area. But clearly he was the devil for making such an observation, even if it was 30 years ago.

Lilley, in the Fox News North piece, also suggests that even if Canadians are arrested, they will be treated like royalty, spending their days sipping champagne and eating pâté.

It's not like they're going to be tortured or anything.

And yet there is overwhelming evidence that Israel does indeed torture prisoners.

Of all the things that Stephen Harper has sold out from under us, the selling of our backbone, and our ability to care, are the two things we will miss the most.


  1. A wise man once said, "There comes a time when we must choose between what is right and what is easy."

    It's been easier for the world to be bullied by the war criminals who run the government of Israel than to do what is right and hold them accountable. With Harper defending the criminality of the Israeli government at every turn, as Canadians we have a moral obligation to act. This is why a Canadian Boat to Gaza is necessary.

    With Netanyahu claiming to speak for all Jews everywhere, Jewish Canadians have a double responsibility to say loudly and clearly that what both of these governments are doing is not in our name. This is why groups like Independent Jewish Voices were formed.

    And this is why I am going on the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Because there comes a time when you have to stand up to a bully and say, "no more."

    That time has arrived for Palestine.

  2. Israel lobby group outlines dirty tricks against campus Palestine activists

    Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 06/24/2011 - 11:00

    What is the best way to smear Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists and get away with it?

    That is the question David Bernstein, Executive Director of the pro-Israel propaganda group, The David Project, asks in a surprisingly frank article titled “How to ‘Name-And-Shame’ Without Looking Like a Jerk” posted on Israel Campus Beat, a website sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

  3. Gaza is the largest prison on earth

    Jeff Halper was the first Israeli to enter Gaza in 2008 on one of the Free Gaza movement boats that sailed from Cyprus to Gaza. He co-founded the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) to challenge the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories and to help rebuild them.

    "We have to express our solidarity with the people of Egypt and wish them well and a government that truly represents them," said Halper. "And if that is the case, that means the end of the blockade of Gaza."

    Halper described Gaza as a cage where food can't get in and people are trapped. "There's malnutrition and poverty," he said. "The whole place is a scorched earth. It's the largest prison in the world."

  4. No one argues that Israel must be able to exist in safety and security.

    But to deny Palestinians also be allowed a viable state is entirely out of step with reality.

    In the words of the secretary general of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, "The world has always looked to leadership from Canada and it has benefitted from Canada's strong position on human rights... That leadership however seems to have disappeared from the world stage."

  5. Amazing rant from an English man re being arrested by fancy dress, being locked up in a cage at Toronto’s G20, and a call to action for all women

    Charlie Veitch, the founder of the peace activist group ‘The Love Police’, was pre-emptively arrested on Thursday the 28th of April 2011, around 1615h, on an allegation of a conspiracy to cause public nuisance. As the video evidence shows, Charlie was not read his rights, and no warrant was presented for his arrest or for the search of his living space.

    He was held for 16 hours at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge. Outraged locals, students, and activists protested outside the station, and concerned citizens from around the world inundated the station with phone calls to voice their concern of this totalitarian police behaviour. Parkside police were obstructive to his lawyer, family, and partner, let alone friends and supporters, by not providing any information of his wellbeing or whereabouts.

  6. As US fiscal conservatives cut food programmes for poor children,

    3 billion for military aid for Israel is left untouched.

    It no longer comes as much of a surprise that the average Democrat or Republican will rule that Israel aid cuts are off the table — while supporting cuts in programs like head start, which educates poor children, or WIC, which provides nutrition assistance to disadvantaged women and their infants.

    It is not a surprise because everyone knows that the Democratic and Republican campaign finance committees warn their members of the dire consequences that might ensue if they dare to stand up to the lobby.

    That is why even the most liberal members of congress never point out the absurdity of supporting full funding of military aid to Israel while slashing vital domestic programs. In fact, the only members of congress who have suggested that Israel share some of the sacrifice are Reresentative Ron Paul (R-TX) and his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who would pretty much cut every program in the budget, including Israel aid.

  7. Why is HarperCon **SO** fanatical about supporting Isreal bombing innocent Palestinian civilians? What’s the secret agenda at work here?

    ‎Canada does one billion dollars $$$$$$ of trade with Israel annually. Most of it military. (At the 5:30 mark).

    ‎... the standard picture is that the U.S.(and by extension Canada) is an honest broker trying to bring together two recalcitrant opponents- Israel and Palestinian Authority.

    That’s just a charade.