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Commentary on Canadian Party Leader positions on Israel-Gaza

by Stephanie McDowall
(Nanaimo, BC)

Unfortunately, there is no alternate viewpoint to Baird’s among Canada’s political leaders. Perhaps because of vocal NDP supporters opposing the Israeli bombing, Paul Dewar, the NDP foreign affairs critic, issued a statement, along with a letter to John Baird, on July 14 that pretends to address the situation. Dewar urges “all parties to exercise restraint” as though there is any comparison to bombing attacks by one of the most powerful military forces in the world and the ineffective rocket attacks by Hamas.

Along with the Conservatives, on July 15 Liberal leader Justin Trudeau commended Israel for accepting a ceasefire agreement and condemned Hamas for rejecting it. He ignored the fact that the ceasefire did not propose any easing of the Israeli blockade, which in itself is an extreme form of violence against the Palestinian people. Trudeau condemned Hamas rocket attacks on civilians without any mention of Israel bombing attacks. He summarized his position by saying, “Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Hamas is a terrorist organization and must cease its rocket attacks immediately.”

Elizabeth May has publicly supported a Green Party motion condemning “all illegal Israeli settlement expansion” as an obstacle to the peace process. This deserves commendation, but it does not face up to the urgent issue of Israel’s attack upon Gaza and the continuing blockade.

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"The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their "vital interests" are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world." - James Baldwin, Source: page 489 of COLLECTED ESSAYS (1998), from chapter one of "The Devil Finds Work" (orig. pub. 1976)

"Since world war two we've managed to create history's first truly global empire. This has been done by the corporatocracy, which are a few men and women who run our major corporations and in doing so also run the U.S. government and many other governments around the world." - John Perkins, 2005, author of the book titled 'Confessions of and Economic Hit Man' 

In the struggle of Good against Evil, it's always the people who get killed. - Eduardo Galeano  

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The above quotes are from ICH on Dec. 18-19, 2015: InformationClearingHouse

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