Harper’s Israel speech: If peace were that simple, we’d be there already

Michael Petrou on the Prime Minister’s remarks

by Michael Petrou

Ariel Schalit/AP

One can draw several conclusions from Ahmed Tibi’s outbursts during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s address to the Israeli Knesset.

Tibi is an Israeli-Arab parliamentarian, representing the Arab Movement for Renewal party. He heckled Stephen Harper during his speech, at one point admonishing Harper not to misrepresent boycott campaigns against Israel. “We want to boycott settlements,” he shouted.

(While the movement is not monolithic, robust campaigns do target Israel beyond its West Bank settlements.)

Tibi also pointed to the government side of the assembly and shouted: “That’s where Likud sits,” referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party. “You should sit there.”

First, it must be said that Tibi’s presence in Israel’s Knesset is a testament to the country’s strong democracy. It’s not a perfect one: Tibi has a voice in the parliament that governs his life because he is an Israeli citizen. Palestinians living in the West Bank, also ultimately under Israeli government control, do not.

And Tibi’s presence in the Knesset is not uniformly welcomed. Several Israeli MKs object to Tibi’s membership because he will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any peace deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said this recognition a prerequisite for peace. I’m not sure how much Palestinian affirmation of the Jewish nature of their state really means to most Israelis, or to Netanyahu for that matter. But it means a lot to Palestinians. By demanding Palestinians do something he knows they won’t, Netanyahu can frustrate progress toward Palestinian statehood and blame the Palestinians.

And, frankly, I don’t see the demand as a reasonable one. Israel is not exclusively a Jewish state. About one fifth of its population are Christians or Muslims. Defining the country as Jewish implies those who are not Jewish are lesser citizens. Then Jewish nationalist MKs complain about the loyalty of these Arabs, and around and around we go.

Back to Tibi’s comments today. I think Harper deserved a politer reception than he got. But Tibi’s accusation that Harper should have been sitting with Likud members was metaphorically correct.

Israel’s democracy is vibrant. Some of the most intelligence criticism of Israel comes from its own parliamentarians and media. Harper’s speech reflected little of this nuance. He spoke to, and for, Likud and similarly-minded Israelis.

On Palestinian statehood, he described a fictional scenario in which the main impediment to the birth of such a state is the refusal of Palestinians to “make peace with Israel.” When that happens, he said, Canada would be right behind Israel in welcoming Palestine as a new member of the United Nations.

If the roadmap to peace were that simple, we’d be there already. We’re not. There’s plenty of blame to go around, including heaps of it among the Palestinians, but portraying Israel’s continued occupation (not that Harper would use that term) of the West Bank as a primarily the fault of the Palestinians is inaccurate.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recognizes Israel’s right to exist and wants a Palestinian state that lives peacefully beside it. He has also done much to curb terror attacks against Israel from the West Bank..

Many, perhaps most, Israelis want the same thing. But there are also members of the current Israeli government, including its economy minister Naftali Bennett, who reject the idea of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state. A declaration from Ahmed Tibi that he accepts Israel as a Jewish state isn’t going to reverse Bennett’s stand on this.

Change, in other words, must come from Israel as well. Harper’s speech didn’t reflect that reality. He placed blame on the comparatively weaker Palestinians and effectively absolved Israel. No wonder Netanyahu is so pleased he’s come.

Harper also went on a bit of an odd tangent regarding Iran. While I think diplomacy must be given a fair chance to succeed in ending the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program — the alternatives, lest we forget, are military ones — I do think a firm stand on Iran is defensible, especially regarding the horrendous way the regime in Tehran treats its own citizens.

But Harper segued to Iran by way of Palestine.

A Palestinian state, he says, will come when “regimes that bankroll terrorism realize that the path to peace is accommodation, not violence.”

Harper was talking about Iran. Iran used to be a major backer of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs the Gaza Strip and has launched many terror attacks (and thousands of rockets) at Israel.

The Palestinian Authority, in cooperation with Israel, has largely suppressed Hamas in the West Bank. Israel quite understandably fears this situation might change. A Hamas-controlled West Bank would be a security nightmare for Israel, putting Jerusalem and Ben Gurion Airport within Hamas rocket range.

Iran, however, is no longer a primary sponsor of Hamas. The militant group broke with Tehran over the latter’s support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Hamas now receives much of its funding from Qatar, which enjoys good relations with Canada (and functional relations with Israel).

The Middle East is a complicated place, and I’m not going to try unraveling the webs of cooperation and conflict that run through it here. My point is only that blaming Iran for lack of progress toward a Palestinian state is misleading. Much of Harper’s speech was.




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Harper’s Israel speech: If peace were that simple, we’d be there already

  1. Harper’s speech wasn’t meant to bring about peace.

    • This comment was deleted.

    • Harper is stirring things up, probably hoping for a terrorist reaction against Canada so that he can justify his new “security”. It’s all been done before, Harper isn’t a friend of Israel, Harper is a friend of money and control.

      • This wins the award for stupidest comment of the day. Ya, Harper’s just hoping for a terrorist attack in Canada. Obviously the best way to avoid something like that is to give in to the terrorists at every possible opportunity.

        • That must really tick you off since you usually win that prize.

        • Not really. As Canada positions itself to us F18s and defective price inflated F35s to bomb people for money, control, oil and political greed, we too will become targets. Tick off Islam, you can expect to get a hit.

    • And the Hamas rockets are right. Those peaceful rockets.

        • If one landed on your house you would not say that.

          • Beats an Israeli bomb or tank shell or missile or…

  2. Harper is a lying POS Election Fraudster who has sold this country out A modern day Quisling. He is not my countryman.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • He’s not MY prime minister. He’s not even Canadian.

        • He’s Canada’s Prime Minister, and maybe it’s best ever. Meaning he’s also YOUR best ever Prime Minister.

          • Noop sorry.

          • inbred annanuki I say

          • Harper? Well I woudn’t rank him THAT high. LOL

          • Im telling you Emily. I dont beleive it myself. But it sure is bad when the foil cap club questions our pm`s earthly origine with a unedited slow motion video his face. :( It`s really not good when psychology sites question his mental stability also. I always seen mentally unstable dictators as a thing of 3rd world countries and here I am living under the rule of gouverment Harper or Harper canada? What is it are little narcissistic megalomaniac poor psychopath male hyteric dictator calls it these days.

          • Heh….I have always questioned Dear Leader’s mental stability….and he’s very big on troops and the military in general. Even wears a military jacket.

            Dennis Rodman will probably come for a visit next.

          • about diagnosing Harper

          • Interesting site. I would have said Schizophrenia…probably paranoid. But something seems to be wrong.

          • dont ask for the annunaki video of harper you can look that up yourself LOL

        • But you would vote NDP/France Mulcair?

          Emily, it was good for a laugh.

          • I would never vote for the NDP. Laugh is right.

  3. “I do think a firm stand on Iran is defensible, especially regarding the horrendous way the regime in Tehran treats its own citizens.”

    Yes Michael, we all know you preferred Iran under the Shah when the Savak was in charge of all the torture.

    • What the Shah did does not excuse what the Iranian regime does. If you are a supporter of the Iranian regime, you are an enemy to decent people everywhere.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Launching rockets at schools then hiding amongst your own women and children is such a noble act.

          • Since all Israelis must serve in their military that makes all Israelis legitimate military targets and since the people of Gaza are in an open air prison where would you have them fight from? Also Israeli soldiers have been caught using Palestinian CHILDREN as human shields so they, and you, shouldn’t talk.

          • Since all Israelis must serve in their military that makes all Israelis legitimate military targets

            ALL? You’re not going to make an exception for babies in case one is destined to one day become a great Israeli general?

          • Of course I would, just like the Israelis do when they bomb Gaza or Lebanon or Syria or…

          • The Israelis sometimes kill babies in their attacks, it’s no doubt true, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard someone in the Israeli government or military claim that babies are legitimate military targets. I suppose I could be wrong though.

          • I know for sure their chief Rabbi did and if the military didn’t it sure hasn’t stopped them from killing many thousands of them has it?

          • Seems to work well for the Israelis doesn’t it?

        • Except that didn’t happen. Get your facts cross-checked.

        • Did I say anything about Israel? Do I have to excuse Iran to criticize Israel? Do I have to be uncritical of Israel to hate the Iranian regime?

          No and No. Since it is obvious both NiteOwl and you are apologists for the Iranian regime (and probably paid by them) I would like to tell you that a special hell is waiting for you for being an accomplice in the oppression of your own people.

          • I WISH they paid like Israeli Hasbara pays the likes of you. Don’t judge others by your own character. Not everyone is as scummy as that.

    • Why don’t you go live in one of these despotic hell holes you’re always defending? You obviously dislike living in a democracy, so maybe go see how Assad treats people like you.

      • I already live in Canada under Harper. That’s despotic enough for me thanks.

      • this Macleans discussion board is getting even more pathetic than it has been in the past. What a disgrace to Canadians. I understand that you keep trying to talk some sense here, but on this comment board it is not about common sense but all about non sense. The Macleans writers are catering to that nonsense group.

        • Wow you know you’re reaching when you declare Tricky Ricky as the voice of common sense.

        • Ya, it’s unfortunate. There used to be a lot of really bright folks here who could actually have a civil debate without resorting to name calling. Unfortunately all the hardcore Liberals here pushed them away because they wouldn’t tow the party line 100% of the time, and then resort to name calling.

  4. If a 2 state solution was possible the 20 years of negotiations since the Oslo Accords would have delivered it already. The only viable solution is a single bi-national state. If it works in Canada it can work in Palestine.

    • It is too taxing in Canada to support Quebec now for 57 years.

      Like a bad marriage, sometimes better for one to leave and get a divorce.

  5. Great post MP. I don’t always see eye to eye with you but I can comfortably sign off on all of this. I listened to Tibi’s interview with CBC and he came across as passionate yet balanced.[ well ok, apartheid is a bit over the top]
    I had no idea myself that was Netenyahu who made acceptance of an ethnic Jewish state as pre-conditional to peace. Is that a popular position with Israelis?
    I noticed that Harper also tried to conflate Abbas’s rejection of that precondition with his assertion that Palestinians have never conceded Israel’s right to exist. Thank you for pointing out this isn’t true.
    I’m sorry to say this was a typical Harper performance, full of sound and fury signifying nothing beyond his willingness to lie on our behalf. Tibi also pointed out today that all Harper has achieved by chanting all the way with Netenyahu is to make Canada irrelevant as an interlocutor in the ME. Who honestly believes Harper will speak truth to power in private any more then he is willing to in public? And even if he does, the most important player in the region[ after Israel] – the Palestinians – will never believe him. Which would be unhelpful to say the least. Nice job there Steve.

    • I think it has been long established that Harper and truth are almost always mutually exclusive.

      But how is the apartheid accusation over the top? Sure, there are a few Arabs in the Knesset, a fact that is repeated ad nauseum and without ever mentioning that Palestinians have special ID cards, special license plates, are prohibited from driving on certain roads and are subjected to all kinds of security checkpoints.

      If Israel is recognized as a Jewish state, is it still a democracy or a theocracy? And how does that make it different from Iran or Saudi Arabia?

      • I just don’t think there’s an exact equivalence between what you describe and what happened in SA. There’s discrimination for sure, but is it truly race based or an overreaction from an understandably security obsessed Israel? I’m not excusing it at all. I’m trying to understand it.
        I understand apartheid to be a form of state enforced segregation based soley on race. Do you really believe Israelis share such an odious ideology? I don’t.

        • You are right – according to a SA Member of (SA) Parliament, Apartheid is the systematic segregation of people based on race that is enshrined in law. There is no such law or segregation in Israel. The problem is that the argument does not differentiate between Israel and the territories – it assumes that because there are separate roads in the WB, then there must be separate roads in Tel-Aviv or Haifa. Palestinians living in the WB are not Israeli citizens, so of course they have different ID cards, license plates, etc. My health card & drivers license are different from those in other provinces – does Canada practice apartheid?? I got stopped at an embarrassing checkpoint when I went to Buffalo – does the US practice apartheid?? The road issue is a safety one in the WB and directly linked to the settlements. The apartheid argument would only make sense if Israel annexed the WB and delcared everyone there Israeli citizens.

          Why Does recognition as “the Jewish State” or “Homeland of the Jewish people” matter? The PA already recognized Israel as a state at Oslo (though not “it’s right to exist”, that is never mentioned and the PA charter still has a section calling for the destruction of Israel).

          It matters on 2 fronts. The first is because the PA has been conducting a campaign to “de-Judize” Israel – The PA denies there was ever a Jewish presence in the land between the Jordan River & the Mediterranean Sea. The PA denies that there was ever a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. As far as the PA is concerned Jews showed up in their land in 1948 and won’t leave. Last holiday season Abbas even informed us that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian!! Recognition as the “Jewish State” means that they have accepted the historical ties of the Jews to Israel.

          The second is because recognition of a “State for the Jewish people and it’s citizens” leads to recognition of the “Palestinian State” for the Palestinian People, including those Palestinians living in the myriad of “refugee” towns. It mitigates the issue of “the right of return”. Abbas wants Israel to accept over 4 million Palestinians as citizens (rather than have them realize their national ambition of sovereign statehood), but will not accept any Jew living in the new Palestine. Understand that – there will be NO Jewish citizens in the state of Palestine. (imagine if he said there would be no black people in Palestine??)

          • I’d have to take your word on much of this, but I suspect there’s another pov among Palestinians. It’s truly sad to hear the old hatreds never seem to die.
            On the question of a Jewish state or a homeland, I’m confused. Do most Israelis wish to live in an ethnic state, or a state that is in fact a Jewish homeland yet still a modern multicultural entity?
            Certainly any argument in this regard that applies to Israel ( the one Tibi made) that Israel should not have two tiered minority rights, should equally apply to a future Palestinian state. Anything else would be a mockery of democratic norms.

          • Recognition of Israel as the Jewish Homeland by the world would likely be amazing.

            The main aspect would be cultural – National Statutory holidays would be the main Jewish holidays (new year & Yom Kippour) rather than Dec. 25 or Good Friday. Kosher food would be the norm (though you can buy pork and cheeseburgers in Israel). Weekends would stay Friday & Saturday, with Sunday a regular workday (banks open, etc.)

            All citizens have the same rights under law. They have access to the same legal mechanisms as you and I do here in Canada when they feel wronged. There is no special court for Jews or Muslims or Christians (though some religious Jews do use a religious court for some disputes, other minorities have the same right to turn to their faith based court, though none have any true legal bearing). Everyone has the same access to health care (even the Syrians are getting care in Israeli hospitals).

            Recognition of Israel as the “Jewish State” or “Jewish Homeland” is really just acknowledgement of the historical Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the 4000 year old Jewish presence there.

          • On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the partition plan of Mandatory Palestine. On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization[9] and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” a state independent upon the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, 15 May 1948

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

          • Now I’m really confused. Are you saying Israel is not already recognized as a cultural homeland for Jews , in the same sense Ireland is for the Irish? And isnt it a fact that Likud and Netanyahu are dabbling in the concept of a greater Israel, one that would permanently cement Palestinians in place as second class citizens in their own homeland? This seems to be the view of Chomsky for instance. He argued Likud is deathly afraid of the demographic consequences of a one state solution. And that they ( and the US) have chosen the third option rather then a two state solution.

          • I’ve listened to Chomskey – he can’t seem to make up his mind which conspiracy to go with. Don’t forget, this is a man who advocates against private property ownership, but also happens to own 2 homes.

            The demographic issue is being debunked. It is being reported that Jewish birth rates are now outpacing Arab birth rates. These numbers go up and down, and along with immigration and emigration the issue is pretty moot.

            The one-state solution is considered code for the end of Israel. It is not inconceivable that in a single state where Jews are the minority that a predominantly Muslim government would enforce sharia law and make Jews (and Christians) dihimi – an Official second class citizen policy of their own. There is no Mandela in the Palestinian camp.

            That you mention the concept of “Greater Israel” means you are not as confused as you let on. The “Greater Israel” policy was done away with when Oslo was signed. It’s greatest advocate (Ariel Sharon) walked away from it. By advocating the two-state solution subsequent Israeli governments of many different parties have walked away from the idea of “Greater Israel”. Yes, there are many, including elected members of parliament, who want to go back to the “Greater Israel” policy. It won’t happen – the same as with those, including elected members of parliament, who want Quebec sovereignty, It won’t happen.

          • Nope, still confused. I just read Chomsky’s article on Andrew Coynes blog of all places. I can’t link it off my I ph. But if you’re interested go to Coynes blog and follow the link.
            I find this strange too. I’m pretty sure Coyne is a moderate backer of Israel. So I was somewhat surprised to see a link to a website outlining US and Israeli power plays. Chomsky’s article is there. And he does allege Netanyahu is still pushing for greater Israel. He goes on to make some pretty spurious arguments about Iran too.
            So, I gather you’re pretty happy with the cozy position Harper has taken then? I’m afraid he really hasn’t achieved anything other then taking Canada right out of the game as far as the Palestinians are concerned. But then do we really matter? Surely it’s all down to where the US stands in the end.

          • That is the idea. Immigrate, infiltrate, instigate and infuriate for control. All religions are against birth control, as all want more disciples. Its a subtle way of conquest.

          • There is no more room for a Palestinians state. This is a situation that Israel has created by its gradual but constant and ongoing take over of the territory allocated for a Palestinian State by the UN Partitition plan in 1947. Here’s a map illustrating this from a Jewish website: http://ijvcanada.org/2013/help-vancouvers-ad-campaign-disappearing-palestine/

          • Its all they have to live for really. No real wealth in their societies, just dwelling on the hate. Lead by the unscrupulous for power and control, they are easy for the wrong people to manipulate them.

          • So it has to be exactly like SA apartheid before it’s really apartheid?

            You can cite obscure sections of some charter and try to paint all Palestinians as yearning for the destruction but that does not cut the mustard; nor do licence plate metaphors.

            Apart from doubting the veracity of your points, they strike me as trivial compared to the continuous land grab that occurs in both Israel and the WB even during the peace “negotiations”. Add to that the new demands, late in the process, as Bibi is wont to do, that only sabotage any peace talks in progress.

            And you are never going to convince me that a “Jewish” state will treat all citizens equally. You can’t say it’s not a theocracy because it’s a democracy.

            Nice try though.

          • Yet you have no trouble believing that a “Christian” state treats all citizens equally. You can use the term “secular” all you want, but Canada, US, Europe, Australia were all founded on Christian Principles – Sunday is a day of rest (hence a weekend of Saturday & Sunday), Christmas Day, Easter Monday, and Good Friday are all statutory holidays. In the Jewish State Yom Kippour and the Jewish new year are statutory holidays, the weekend starts on Friday as Saturday is the day of rest. The Jews have a unique historical attachment to Israel, the same as the Greeks have a unique historical attachment to Greece, Italians to Italy, Irish to Ireland, etc..

            Frankly, Canadian citizens are not treated equally here (Neil Young has time to spare for that argument now that his “Honour the Treaties” tour is over). You’ll have a hard time convincing me how Israel doesn’t treat it’s citizens as equally as Canada (let’s not forget, Palestinians living in the WB & Gaza are NOT Israeli citizens. Non-Canadian Citizens, though living and working within Canada’s boarders, cannot vote or hold elected office).

            Bibi may have added a demand to the negotiating table, but he is not the one who won’t sit at the table without getting a few perks first. Abbas won’t sit a negotiate unless -1) Israel frees convicted murders from prison (they can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court – where one of the three judges is Arab-Israeli); or 2) Halts all building (an item that is on the table, not decided before negotiations); or 3) US applies pressure.

            Again, the settlements and “land grab” issues are red herrings. Israel has proven it will dismantle settlements and remove it citizens in return for peace! Israel removed settlements in the Sinai for peace with Egypt. Israel removed settlements in Gaza hoping for peace, but got rocket attacks. I don’t know about any land grab within Israel – anybody can buy & sell property there (selling land to a Jew is a death penalty offense in the WB & Gaza). THere are a lot of issues with building structures without permits and I am sure there are a few state expropriations (Canada has the same laws – look up the farmer in ONT who is forced to sell his land to the DND).
            Abbas signs a peace treaty, Israel will remove settlements and swap land for the larger blocks.

          • Again, the settlements and “land grab” issues are red herrings. Israel has proven it will dismantle settlements and remove it citizens in return for peace!

            Well they sure have a funny way of proving a point. And your own knowledge seems highly selective.

            http://www.btselem.org/settlements/20111010_forced_eviction_of_bedouins

          • A left wing organization not accepting a government position – I’m shocked!

            That the Israeli government expropriates land, enforces building safety codes, plans to expand settlements is no different than Canada expanding the suburbs. Let’s say I have as much trust & faith in Btselem as you do in Netanyahu.

            Let the Palestinians negotiate and agree to a boarder, agree to end the conflict and have Israel agree to remove settlements.
            Without doubt the major settlement blocks will remain and land swaps will happen.

            The point is this – In 1977 there were a least 4 Israeli settlements in the Sinai and no peace. In 1978 there was peace with Egypt and the settlements were gone. – In 2004 there were major settlements in Gaza and no peace. In 2006 the were no settlements in Gaza and no peace.

            The Israelis have proven they will make the hard decisons for peace.

          • That the Israeli government expropriates land, enforces building safety codes, plans to expand settlements is no different than Canada expanding the suburbs

            They enforce safety codes, do they? Gosh, I never thought of it that way. Your comments have been a big help here Jkatch.

          • You have a new settlement announcement timed to peace negotiation or some major event. Harper practices this now ” in you face” politics?

          • Palestinian Nationalism is based on the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the west bank and the eastern half of Jerusalem.

            Please explain how that is different from Naziism?

        • Its not apartheid, its ethnic cleansing. Israel makes life as difficult as possible for the Palestinians (including demolishing their homes, stealing their land and killing children) both in Israel and in the illegally occupied West Bank in the hopes that they will leave. They’ve been doing it since 1948. Get the harsh facts from this Israeli website: http://zochrot.org/en

    • Nelson Mandela called it an apartheid state but I’m sure you’d know better than he does what one looks like.

      • I’m absolutely sure you’re right about that. I suppose that explains why Netanyahu refused to go to his funeral, which was truly shabby of him.
        Presumably Mandela gave one or two speeches on this? I just don’t ever recall reading one.

      • No, he did not. You are thinking of Desmond Tutu. Mandela never made that accusation.

        South African MP the Reverend Kenneth Meshoe disagrees with Tutu quite strongly:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27sNLIEOes

  6. Transparency! Accountability! Accommodation!

  7. I was concerned with the idea floated by Peter Kent that Harper considers an attack on Israel as an attack on Canada. That means Canada would be at war with any nation that attacks Israel. We would likely be the only western nation in that position.

    This could have dire and unintended consequences. It seems the Harper visit to Israel is moving Canada very close to that position, although he apparently hasn’t said it in exactly those words. Nevertheless, it sets us up as a prime target for extremist attack.

    • Perhaps that is the intention….

      • The man hugs cannons. Who does that?

    • That means Canada would be at war with any nation that attacks Israel. We would likely be the only western nation in that position.

      Do you really think so? I mean, I’m not certain that a U.S. President has said it explicitly, but certainly prominent U.S.Senators have said that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on the U.S. And prominent Iranians have said that an attack by Israel on Iran would be considered an attack by the United States, and that they’d retaliate against the U.S.

      I think it’s naive in the extreme to think that a serious attack on Israel would not lead to a robust American counter attack. That said, the more pressing question, imho, isn’t “How would the U.S. and Canada respond to an attack on Israel?” It’s “How long will the Americans be able to keep Israel from attacking Iran?”. If the Iranian nuclear program isn’t curtailed, eventually the Israelis are going to feel compelled to act unilaterally to try to stop them from getting the bomb. And, if Iran follows through on it’s threats to use an Israeli attack as justification for attacking U.S. bases (or worse, the U.S.) well, that’s the ballgame, isn’t it?

      • I have not heard any commitment such as Canada has made, but I could be ill informed.

        If numerous countries around the world line up on one side or another in a regional conflict, and make promises such as Canada has made, it’s a dangerous situation for world peace.

  8. “The Palestinian Authority, in cooperation with Israel, has largely suppressed Hamas in the West Bank”
    To this day rockets are still fired from Gaza into Israel to target civilians. Why don’t they try to suppress Hamas in Gaza?

    • To this day far more palestinians are killed by Israeli defence forces and those “settlers” that are killed by Palestinians. Why do they keep expanding settlements?

      • There have been 3 new settlement announcements since the Oslo agreements were signed. That’s it. Under Oslo communities can expand within their pre-existing footprint.

        There have been more criminals killed by the police in Canada than vica versa. In 2013, according to B’Tselem, 36 Palestinians were killed by IDF forces, 30 of them were engaging in hostilities at the time.

        In the same period the death toll in Syria was over 60,000 and Iran had over 600 executions.

        • There have been 3 new settlement announcements since the Oslo agreements were signed.

          That is pure balderdash and you know it.

          • Then name the new settlements that the Israeli government has created since Oslo.

            All you’ve done is quote Palestinian propaganda. The construction of individual homes within the municipal footprint of existing communities is completely legal under the Oslo accords since the PA has agreed to it in a treaty (Oslo).

    • The PA does not control Gaza, Hamas does . . . in fact they were democratically elected.

  9. ah, give him a break. he’s confused and out of sorts. He’s just had a swamp named after him.

  10. So nice to come to Macleans and watch all the heads of the anti-semites and jew haters explode.
    All that outrage…….
    again, directed only against the Israeli’s.
    Pretty much sums up, and PROVES harpers speech was correct.

    • I hate to be crude (really, I do) but f*ck you and every other right-wing jackass who thinks accusations of antisemitism can be tossed around a political debate like any other of your brainless insults.

      I say this not because I’m personally insulted (I could never take you that seriously) but because antisemitism is a real-world problem. Like crying wolf, crying antisemitism cheapens the phrase and makes it less impactful when it’s really needed. Save your grade-school insults for global warming and tax policy; the Jews that I love and respect don’t need help from the likes of you.

  11. I am from vancouver and i wanted to say that i agrees with Ahmad Tibi in criticizing Stephen Harper.Most people in the world knows that israel is an apartheid state and that it should be condemned.Harper openly supports israeli apartheid and he should be condemned for it.
    The canadian gov. is complicit in all the war crimes committed by the apartheid israeli gov. against the Palestinian people since 1948.That is a lot of war crimes.Israel shouldn’t be recognized by any gov. in the world while it got an apartheid gov.The canadian gov. should be condemned by all Palestinian People for this vile act.Long Live Palestine,Death to the Canadian and Israeli govs.

  12. Your trying to find balance when in fact most of the blame is at the feet of the israelis. If international law is our frame of reference, then it is the Palestinians who have made all of the concessions. They have agreed to give, substantially, up on the right of return, compromised on settlements and borders. But the Israelis want to keep illegal settlements far inside the greenline. That is the juggernaught.

    • Not true.

      Abbas clarifies: I have not given up demand for Palestinian right of return

      Palestinian president tells Al-Hayat that his comments on not returning to live on land that is now Israel reflect his
      own stance, not policy; Netanyahu: Abbas has already taken back his
      words.

      The settlements are not “illegal” – they are subject to negotiation under the Oslo accords. Dr. Jacques Gauthier, a noted Canadian jurist has argued that the right for Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria is enshrined in International Law going back to the 1922 San Remo Convention. Further there is no basis in International Law for awarding the Palestinian Authority sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, let alone a basis for dividing the city in half.

  13. Does the Likud Charter still state that it will fight to take all of the West Bank? Perhaps we should put sanctions on the Likud Party and the Jewish Home Party. Fair is Fair. Hysterical Zionist are always trying to censure anyone or group that promotes wiping another off the map.

    • It does not. That was an item in their campaign platform about not ever accepting a Palestinian State in the 90s which has been superseded by later elections. There is no “Likud Charter”.

      There is a Hamas Charter however that endorses a belief in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion though. It is quite vile in other respects too.

  14. Yep, Harper on the big shot tour with other peoples money to give away while poverty workers, pensioners, disabled get devalued money and devalued pensions….. But wine and cheese please…..

    Fact is the war mongering is about a war no one sane wants to cover up the fiscal mess our governments have created. Same reason Germany in 1937 was inevitably destined for war, they printed too much money for war-waste debt.

    • Yeah. He gave $66 million to the Palestinian Authority and pledged another $100M to Syria refugees.

      He signed an agreement designed increase trade with Israel improving the market for Canadian goods abroad.

      Wait… aren’t all those considered to be good things? Way to go, Mr. Prime Minister!

  15. Abbas has done nothing to curb terror attacks. The wall has.

  16. Truthy Alert: Criticism
    of Israel’s
    apartheid crimes is ^NOT Anti-Semitism.

    Why is Canada’s
    right-wing Bush-lite Prime Minister Stephen Harper *SO* fanatical about
    supporting Israel
    bombing innocent Palestinian civilians?
    What’s the secret agenda at work here?

    ‎Surprise! It’s money: Canada
    does ONE BILLION DOLLARS of trade with Israel annually. Most of it military. Oh hello untendered gov. contracts and big
    bus. bribes.

    At the 5:30 mark.

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ2MY58RunM

    ………………………..

    • Harper’s uncritical political
      support of apartheid Israel
      is well known;

      Canada’s
      military, intelligence and arms trades with Israel are not.

      7:12 min. long video

      h ttp://youtu.be/LrEkVHQlD88

  17. Criticism of Palestinian Nationalism is considered by some to be antisemitic. After all, aren’t Arabs semites too?

    Then why is Abbas calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from areas that he hopes will become an Palestinian state, but also hypocritically demanding that descendents of Palestinians be given the right to “return” to Israel?

    • Then why is Abbas calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews

      Again, pure balderdash. Obviously you can’t be hasbara — they are merely selective in the truth they provide in their explanations. Your assertions are just outright lies and fabrications.

  18. Harper is not too bright.
    He claims Israel has the right to defend itself.
    Israel is an occupier of Palestine.
    The Israel state exists on occupied territory.
    Contrary to popular belief within Stevens marble….”occupiers can not claim self defense”.

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