And what did you do on your Parliamentary break?

by Aaron Wherry

If I read this report correctly, Irwin Cotler went to Jerusalem. And lest you be wondering what he’s been thinking about the latest spasm of conflict in the Middle East, Cotler has penned a 1,200-word essay for the Jerusalem Post, including an eight-point plan on the way forward.




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And what did you do on your Parliamentary break?

  1. “…there is admittedly a severe disproportionality between the freeing of an illegally abducted soldier and hundreds of terrorists.” -Irwin Cotler
    And there is admittedly disproportionality between the numbers of Isreali citizens killed by Hamas rockets and the numbers of Arab women and children killed by Israeli aggression.

    I think this type of patriotism openly shown toward Israel by Irwin Cotler should effectively disqualify him from a Cabinet seat in any future Liberal Government. Like the Governor General, who had to renounce her former citizenship, such ties to other countries, such allegiences, are not appropriate for proposed Cabinet members to hold. For all of Canada, there will only be a few of us privy to the State security secrets. It scares me to think that Irwin Cotler may again one day be one who knows our State secrets.

  2. Truemuse,

    The secret is that we have no secrets.

  3. In the context of the massive tragedy and destruction being visited upon the residents of Gaza by Israel at the moment, Cotler’s article amounts to a justification of Isreal’s behaviour in a way that he wouldn’t defend any other country including Canada. Where is his principled criticism? His point about investigating and prosecuting Israeli AND Hamas war crimes?

    I confess I really don’t understand this reflexive defence of anything and everything done by Israel, which sometimes seems more common in Canada than in Israel. For instance, the point being made by the rabbi quoted in the Gazette article seems to be that if you are under attack or threatened, that somehow relieves you of moral responsibilty for the civilians killed by your actions. It’s precisely when you are under attack that international conventions must be observed. That’s why we call the targetting of civilians or firing on UN convoys that have previously supplied their credentials and itinerary, “war crimes.”

    • “Cotler’s article amounts to a justification of Isreal’s behaviour in a way that he wouldn’t defend any other country including Canada.”

      I’m not sure that’s true – there have been a number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan by allied forces and nobody is accusing Canada of war crimes.

      “U.S., NATO and Afghan troops killed 577 civilians, or 40 percent, including 395 deaths caused by airstrikes, the report said. That was up 21 percent from the 477 deaths that the U.N. said were inflicted by pro-government forces in 2007.

      An additional 68 civilians died in crossfire or other incidents for which U.N. officials couldn’t determine responsibility, the report said. ”

      Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-7802931,00.html

      Note: The above comment does not reflect support for anybody’s actions in anything. I just don’tt hink it’s fair to say that Cotler (or most Canadians) wouldn’t defend Canada’s actions when the death of civilians in a military conflict are involved.

      • There is a Canadian captain currently facing charges related to the shooting death of a unarmed captured combatant in Afghanistan, and there were investigations and criticism of Canada related to prisoner transfers. Neither investigation seems to have proceeded swiftly, but there was a process. Also, as much as I disagree with our involvement in Afghanistan, there is international sanction for the military action, and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Canada has deliberately targetted civilians.

        On the other hand, who has been apprehended for the recent murder of the Palestinian contractor who was delivering food for the UN, under cease fire arrangements in which the convoy’s movements were coordinated with the Israeli military? Was it an Israeli soldier acting individually or, given the pattern of similar incidents, was it a deliberate strategy to get the UN relief workers to leave Gaza?

        None of this absolves Hamas from its crimes against Israel, or the targetting of Jewish people, but the crimes of Hamas don’t absolve Israel either.

        • “There is a Canadian captain currently facing charges related to the shooting death of a unarmed captured combatant in Afghanistan, and there were investigations and criticism of Canada related to prisoner transfers. Neither investigation seems to have proceeded swiftly, but there was a process.”

          Who says that there necessarily will not be here? These events are ones that have only taken place in the last 15 days.

    • Hamas and Hezbollah are committing ‘war crimes’ and ignoring Geneva conventions as well.

      When your neighbours, who don’t recognize your right to exist, are firing rockets into your country to randomly kill and maim citizens, are you supposed to do nothing but watch and hand-wring?

      • Criticising a particular action doesn’t entail endorsing a different action or lack of action.

        This level of logic used to be elemental.

  4. Multiple mentions of “Iran.” Not one instance of “occupation.”

    Same old, same old…

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