What Stephen Harper didn’t see in the Middle East

Sectarian violence in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, and a Canadian in Egypt

Ariel Schalit/AP

“When somebody is a minority, particularly a small minority in the world, one goes out of one’s way to embrace them.” —Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on why he won’t publicly condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank

A few days before the Jewish National Fund of Toronto paid tribute to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by hosting a lavish gala in his honour last month, Sen. Linda Frum mused about the PM’s sterling reputation in Israel. “I think it’s fair to say that he’s the most popular politician in Israel, bar none, including any of their own. He’s a rock star in Israel,” she said. Those words, rock star, felt overstated. But most reporters in the PM’s entourage can find no better phrasing for his treatment in Israel.

Three days in a row, Harper’s cracked the front page of the Jerusalem Post. This morning’s headline reminds readers that the Canadian leader is “unapologetic” about his “strong support” for the country. Today, he’s sightseeing, visiting the Sea of Galilee and the Hula Valley. That December tribute dinner raised $5.7 million for a visitor centre at the bird sanctuary in that sacred valley—to be named, of course, after Stephen J. Harper. Less than a month later, the man himself presides over his future namesake park.

Last night, Harper did his best literal rock-star impression. Canadians have seen this before. Harper took to a stage and belted out The Beatles‘ Hey Jude. Party time in Israel.

As Harper’s feted and as he tours the sites, however, the world doesn’t sleep. To his north, east, and south, torment continues in the troubled Middle East, just out of earshot.

1. A Canadian is languishing in an Egyptian prison. Mohamed Fahmy, a producer with Al Jazeera who holds both Canadian and Egyptian citizenship, woke up to his 25th day behind bars. Authorities have not laid charges against him or his colleagues, producer Baher Mohamed or reporter Peter Greste, but the trio stands accused of spreading false news and maintaining cozy connections with the Muslim brotherhood. Consular officials are reportedly on the ground.

2. A bomb killed four in a Beirut suburb. Four people died when an explosion rocked Haret Hreik, a Shia-dominated southern suburb that’s known as a Hezbollah stronghold. The Nusra Front, a group of Sunni fighters and a Lebanese branch of al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility. The deadly strike was just the latest front in a sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia factions that Maclean’s senior writer Michael Petrou reports is tearing apart the region.

3. Seven bombings rocked Baghdad. The same day Harper addressed Israel’s Knesset, militants blew up parts of Sunni and Shia neighbourhoods in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. Meanwhile, the government continues to fight al-Qaeda militants in Fallujah. The United Nations reported that last month, 759 civilians in Iraq died as a result of the sectarian strife. Iraq Body Count, a website that independently tracks civilian deaths, pegged the monthly toll at 983—and 791 so far in January.

4. A report chronicles Assad’s terror. A report released on Tuesday, as Harper toured Israel’s sacred Western Wall, claimed that the Syrian regime headed by Bashar al-Assad has “systematically killed and tortured about 11,000 people.” World powers came nearly to the brink of intervention in Syria, but their armies never joined the war. Petrou writes that “there were always costs to our non-intervention … And now, in chilling clarity, we are faced—should we choose to look, and many won’t—with what those costs are.”

ABOVE THE FOLD

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Post: Eugenie Bouchard‘s surprise run at the Australian Open has made her a fan favourite.

Star: Ford is still associating with Sandro Lisi, a friend who’s facing an extortion charge.

Citizen: A former Ottawa pastor could get jail time for committing fraud.

CBC: A massive blizzard is sweeping across Nova Scotia.

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Far: A Dutch brass band may play YMCA, a gay anthem, at the Olympic speed skating venue in Sochi.




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What Stephen Harper didn’t see in the Middle East

  1. “When somebody is a minority, particularly a small minority in the world, one goes out of one’s way to embrace them.” Harper.

    And he said that with a straight face.

    • Emily,
      Better to have a straight face like Harper, than two faces like Obama, or previous Canadian Governments under the Liberals.

      • Really, Harper doesn’t have two faces. What do you think that this Stephen Harper might have had to say to today’s Stephen Harper?
        http://youtu.be/tYmUGg4wTIM

        Or is it different when it’s a Conservative?

      • When he was talkking about minority he was talkking about Acadians or Aboriginals right?..no He is a hypocrite or in other words two face. Who the hell wants to associate themselves with this guy. Im wondering if anyone else think he may be suffering from narscissitic megalomania. He is not behaving with any logic.

        • Also Mandela himself said that Israel was a fare worst apartheid state than Africa. You know Mandela the funeral Harper attended just not too long ago.

      • Your political bias lies naked. Hide it, its grotesque.

    • “When somebody is a minority, particularly a small minority in the world, one goes out of one’s way to embrace them.”

      Except for those friggin’ Indians Steve, amirite?

      Do you think he’s genuinely oblivious to the implications of his remarks? What a jackass.

      • Yup, first thing I thought of….only a million of them and in Third World conditions right in his own country….and Harp’s answer is to call in auditors and refuse meetings.

        Harper’s church is into that Prosperity Gospel……if you’re well off it means God approves of you……if you’re poor it shows God has cast you off.

  2. The Taliban is a small minority, when will Harpo embrace them?

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Jack Layton embraced the Taliban? Really?

  3. and in some twisted way, all these torments in the surrounding countries are either Israel’s or Harper’s fault. – in the liberal left’s on-going hate attacks on everything that Mr. Harper has accomplished since the timely demise of the corrupt government we suffered with in the years preceding the Conservative majority. .

    • How, exactly, is expecting our Prime Minister to show a balanced view in a politically volatile part of the world an “on going hate attack.”

      • Didn’t you see that journalist viciously throw himself on to the fist of Harper’s bodyguard…it was a clear provocation i tell you.[ just sarcasm conbots. You can relax now]

      • Stacey It’s the ongoing and never ending instinct to attack everything Harper that is tedious. The Prime Minister is doing an admirable job of speaking to both sides of the debate in Israel and yet it’s the left’s first instinct to attack. If there was a tiny bit of objectivity in people like EmilyOne I would have much more compelling reason to consider their opinion

        • AHAHAHAHAHA yes, Harper is sooooo objective

          • wow Are you 12 years old? if you capitalize HA and use several os it makes your opinion relevant? there was nothing to attack in this article except the complete lack of relevance of Harper’s visit to Israel and the “reporter” pointing out some problems and injustices in neighbouring countries. Your instant jump to attack is the lack of objectivity here.,

          • It’s a blog dude, not an English thesis. Get over yourself.

            I’m not the least bit objective about Harper. I think he’s the worst leader we’ve ever had.

            And this paid vacation in Israel is probably the worst political train wreck I’ve seen in my lifetime.

          • Because it’s a blog and not an English thesis doesn’t seem like a reasonable excuse for throwing proper English out the window. Do you think we teach English in schools just so people can write English thesis’, and not for every day use?

            This “political train wreck” also has Harper being greeted like a rock star, and getting nothing but positive press coverage. I suspect he’d take this kind of “train wreck” every day.

          • LOL Your shift is over dude….go home.

          • I knew people in university that would snicker at foreign professors. They were good English majors but guess what….who cares about English and language barriers. Going besides the point and attacking someones grammar when he can’t abord the subject is more childish than a conservative, blue collard, university drop out, oil sucking degenerate with a budget.

          • He needs all the help he can get at this point.

        • Election fraud?

        • Sorry, Hoggie33, I disagree. I think it is the job of the press and the opposition to challenge government. Then the voters have some information on which to base decisions — not just campaign ads and rhetoric. Automatically cheerleading whatever a leader does will not make the country better, no matter who is running it.

      • Why would you want the Prime Minister to show a “balanced” view between right and wrong? You don’t try to find compromise between good and evil.

        • Exactly!!!

          That is the point so many don’t want to acknowledge. There is only good because there is the bad also. Not being able to make a distinction between the two opposites won’t resolve the conflict in the ME. But precisely by acknowledging the fact that the two – the good and the bad – are as opposites, can the conflict be resolved.

          To suggest that only the Israeli settlements are bad and that therefore all the bad actions of the Palestinians can be explained by that, would be in an effort to prolong the conflict, not to remedy it.

          The Israeli settlements are bad, and the Canadian government states that clearly enough, but some people think that when the Israeli settlements are to be dismantled that then there will be no more obstacles to overcome. But there is a Palestinian ‘bad’, namely not wanting to recognize the State of Israel, and that ‘bad’ is not to be wiped clean by saying that the Israeli settlements are bad. Harper understands that. His thinking on this ME conflict is intelligent thinking. I appreciate that. We, as Canadians, should all be able to think intelligently about such conflicts – not make them worse by creating or perpetuating false impressions.

    • A Canadian is in prison in Egypt, and Harper doesn’t care.

      Corrupt Government preceding the Harper Government? Were they fraudulently elected too?

      • No, they legitimately stole $100-million dollars (Adscam).

  4. I suspect you just made his point. Israel for a number of reasons has managed to put together a thriving place where people can go about their lives in prosperity. Apartheid is an interesting parallel; South Africa went from a first world nation to very close to it’s neighbor Zimbabwe in a very short time. And the world called that progress. If Israel did what the world wanted it would look like Syria or Egypt within a month. And the world would celebrate.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Explain those facts James. I’d love to have you explain why Apartheid was maybe ok in SA because there was a successful white society running it.

        • James was the guy who didn’t know who Einstein was the other day. I answered him, but he was too embarrassed to reply.

          James is just another Con’splainer….like Rick

          • I’m actually surprised that either of them manage to find their way to this site everyday without their mums showing them the way.

          • it’s hyperlinked in the PMO talking point e-mails and has the phrase “klik on pretty blue words” typed next to it.

          • Probably in crayon to be doubly sure.

          • Why what an intelligent and helpful conversation you two are having here. I’m sure Macleans readers are incredibly thankful for your valuable contribution.

          • At least we aren’t lieing Rick

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Yes I do.

          • Sorry, i should have asked what your favourite colour was first, shouldn’t i?

          • Good point….there’s 3 of them now….Rick, James and FV. Like the Stooges…only political ones

          • And it was EmilyOne just a few months ago who did not understand the difference between Einstein and Newton.

          • Well, well….look what just fell off the truck

            Actually I don’t think I’ve ever discussed Einstein or Newton on here, much less both of them together. LOL

          • This comment was deleted.

          • No, I’m in Ontario. And apparently neither of us remember discussing Einstein and Newton on here. How interesting. LOL

          • This is what you posted over a year ago:

            “Phones are over a century old….updating them is not a major scientific advance, it’s normal. Slow actually.”

            Progressing from land line phones to cell phones is not an update. Landlines and cellphones are two different technologies at work and are in relation to how Newton and Einstein theories differ. You could not understand that then and you cannot understand that now. Such is your lack of understanding.

          • Gawd….should I be flattered? A comment I made over a year ago, and you have it on file! LOL

            I have no idea of the context there….but Newton’s theories and Einstein’s theories certainly differ….as you could have discovered if you’d looked them up. Both of them differ from Darwin’s theories too. LOL

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Everything ever put online is on file….most people don’t bother hunting through it. Another OCD type are you?

          • Newton wasn’t Jewish…..
            so Emily didn’t feel the need to keep him on file.

          • James was the one who was pointing out that Einstein was Jewish, but that just went miles above your head.

          • Einstein was a German atheist.

          • And “Palestinians” are Israeli Muslims.

          • Like I said….you’re part of the 3 Stooges.

            Clueless but mouthy-on-command

          • Einstein believed that “god does not play dice.’ (direct quote uttered by Einstein).

            How could Einstein talk about a god if he was an atheist?

          • LOL I talk about God, and I’M an atheist.

          • You say whatever. Einstein, however, knew what he was talking about.

          • Too funny how you send me info which contradicts your own posts.

            “He also called himself an agnostic, while disassociating himself from the label atheist,”

            So Einstein was not an atheist, as you said.

          • Too funny you claim not to have read where he said religion was priimitve superstition.

            Atheist and agnostic are the same thing, FV.

          • Agnostics accept all religions.

          • LOL no they don’t

          • Nope! Wrong again.

            ag·nos·tic
            agˈnästik/
            noun
            noun: agnostic; plural noun: agnostics
            1.
            a
            person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the
            existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a
            person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

            emphasis added.

            a·the·ist
            ˈāTHēˌist/
            noun
            noun: atheist; plural noun: atheists
            1.
            a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

            See the difference?

          • From your own link:
            “He called himself an agnostic, while disassociating himself from the label atheist.[122] He said he believed in the “pantheistic” God of Baruch Spinoza, but not in a personal god, a belief he criticized.[123][124]”

            Not an atheist.

          • On 22 March 1954 Einstein received a letter from Joseph Dispentiere, an Italian immigrant who had worked as an experimental machinist in New Jersey. Dispentiere had declared himself an atheist and was disappointed by a news report which had cast Einstein as conventionally religious. Einstein replied on 24 March 1954:

            ‘It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but
            have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.’

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein#Personal_God_and_the_afterlife

            Ciao

          • Can equally reflect agnostic or atheist views. It’s one quote. But the link you yourself pointed to as proof outright states he was agnostic not atheist.

            Admit for once in your life that you misspoke.

          • The letter sold for $3M because it settled the matter.

            Atheist

            Ciao.

          • Yup. And Hitler and Stalin were devout Christians. LOL! You’re such an ass…

          • Fun how you can pull out quotes out of context and make them fit a
            premise. For example, if I were to argue he was a devout Jew…again from your link:

            Other scientists also fled to America. Among them were Nobel laureates and professors of theoretical physics.
            With so many other Jewish scientists now forced by circumstances to
            live in America, often working side by side, Einstein wrote to a friend,
            “For me the most beautiful thing is to be in contact with a few fine
            Jews—a few millennia of a civilized past do mean something after all.”
            In another letter he writes, “In my whole life I have never felt so
            Jewish as now.”[58]

            But he wasn’t. He was an agnostic.

            Deal with it. Sayonara!

          • Sorry…..he was atheist, as the letter clearly shows.

            Hasta la vista baby.

          • Agnostic, Athiest…..devout.
            It doesn’t matter to folks like Emily…..as I’m sure in her head she always thought of him like this:
            Jewish Agnostic
            Jewish Athiest
            Jewish Devout……
            The only thing folks like Emily pay attention to is the first word. That tells her all she needs to know.

          • LOL Another airhead like Bram…

            Why would an atheist care what religion a person was?

            Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim….they’re all primitive superstitions…and equally crazy.

            Much like the cases of arrested development wandering through here.

          • He wasn’t an atheist. Nor was Darwin!

          • Ahh you’re just being a comedian. Cute.

          • Einstein was a persecuted Jew who, like hundreds of thousands of others, had to leave Germany or else be imprisoned. Einstein was very religious and had a deep concern for social justice, particularly in the area of public education.

          • No, he was none of that.

            Don’t make shit up.

          • Again, from your link:

            In early April 1933, he learned that the new German government had
            passed laws barring Jews from holding any official positions, including
            teaching at universities.[58] A month later, Einstein’s works were among those targeted by Nazi book burnings, and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels proclaimed, “Jewish intellectualism is dead.”[58] Einstein also learned that his name was on a list of assassination targets, with a “$5,000 bounty on his head.”[58] One German magazine included him in a list of enemies of the German regime with the phrase, “not yet hanged”.[58]

            So he was some of that…

          • Agnostic, actually. And German-born, of Jewish descent. And an American by choice.

          • Actually, Emily…I never saw your response. I was well aware of who Einstein was……but in your haste to reply to another poster, you seemed to have forgotten that Einstein was one of those folks from a group you seem to pillorize.
            I just thought it interesting that some folks who show their true feelings for our Hebrew brothers….would use one as a reference point.

        • The facts are clear enough for those who can see: people in Israel thrive while people in neighboring countries still live in poverty with no hope of improvement in sight.

          If Palestinians would have build up a viable community instead of resorting to violence, there would be no problem to rectify. But the Palestinians prefer to spread hate instead of spreading goodwill for their people.

          Those are the facts.

          • Er, actually the think they were robbed of their homeland. Unfortunately for them Jews also quite rightly want a homeland…thus we have a problem. Even Ben Gurion acknowledged that were he a Palestinian he would fight too. It is a complicated world. I’m not surprised you have trouble grasping that “fact”.

          • So the Israelis decided to make something of their lives while the Palestinians managed to remain in poverty and backwardness.

            Why have the Palestinian people not managed to build up something viable of the lands they live on? Why can they not make something worthwhile out of their lives as the Israelis have done???

          • It’s amazing that these anti-Israeli people completely fail to acknowledge that Arabs and Muslims live peaceful, normal lives in Israel. But the Palestinians would never allow a Jew to in Palestine. And then they have the gall to call Israel an apartheid state.

          • Of course. Well said.

            Furthermore, I am certain that if the Palestinian people, as a whole, could be trusted to be interested in creating prosperity that then the state of Israel would have no problem incorporating all Palestinian people into the state of Israel.

            Palestinian people have a choice to make and it seems to me that they are making the wrong choice, time and again.

          • Absolutely. Though I don’t blame the Palestinian people so much as their leaders who continually lie to them, and neighbouring countries who use Palestinians to further their own interests.

            Iran LOVES the fact that the Palestinians are in the state their currently in. It allows the anti-Semites in Iran to claim that they only hate the state of Israel, and not Jews specifically. Like so many of the leftist commenters here, they simply disguise their racism as being anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish. But do you really think that if Palestine was suddenly acknowledged as a sovereign entity and the settlements were returned to Palestinian hands that these people would stop having Jews Israeli’s? Not a chance. They’d just find another reason. They literally will not be satisified until the Jews Israeli’s are driven out of the middle east, and the entire planet.

          • I understand.

          • Rick,
            It’s clear that comments such as those made by Emily, Kcm2, Nite Owl, et al……..
            Are made by people who think history didn’t start until after 1967. The breadth of their ignorance, is only surpassed by their conviction.

        • Kcm,
          Though you address a point I didn’t make…I’ll try to help you out in any event.
          Start with Israel – (since you ask me to explain a point I didn’t make, I’ll explain one that you didn’t make)
          Israel – tiny sea of civility surrounded by Islamic Barbarians who teach their kids that Jews are apes and pigs. Israel is populated by Jews, who have lived their for over 4000 years, but for some reason many in the world think they are somehow invaders, who stole the land. A land mass, by the way, which is less than three-Quarter the sizes of Vancouver Island, more than half of which is desert. This tiny naiton has been attacked repeatedly throughout their history by the very people who now claim to be the victims. This has nothing to do with “settlements” as the attacks and terrorism have been happening long before any settlement was in place.
          South Africa – governed by a minority white population, which treated the majority black population like crap. Country became very wealthy, and though there was always some degree of crime, it was largely a safe place to be (unless you were black) Country grew wealthy (again, it was the whites who benefitted) and was more advanced than most other African Nations, which were predominantely tribal and violent, with corruption being the only sure thing.
          I believe this is where Zimbabwa comes into play. It too was run by whites, and was the “breadbasket” of Africa. When Mugabe took over….the country tanked. It is no longer a BREAD-BASKET,but certainly qualifies as a BASKET-CASE.
          South African crime rates have skyrocted by over NINE THOUSAND PERCENT…and tens of thousands of white farmers have been killed. The corruption in Zimbabwa, is now quite common in South Africa…..now led by NON-White people.
          Apartheid was an evil system, and I never stated otherwise, (and here’s the BUT)…but, I would say that South Africa will soon become no different than many other African nations with problems of tribalism, crime, and corruption. As I mentioned on a previous thread…..if you are a WHITE south African….get out now.
          The country is going nowhere but down.
          That was Derek’s point…not mine. but since you asked, I thought it only fair to explain it to you.

          • Yawn. Gotcha. The white guys should run the show, cuz they’re the only ones who know how.

          • I didn’t say white guys should run the show…..I just pointed out the fact of what happens when they don’t run it it certain nations.
            If you doubt me…..go visit either country.

          • So! The British ran their African colonies pretty efficiently too, from Egypt to Sudan to Kenya. Are you advocating a return to colonial rule?

      • (By lefties, James means working people and people with an education.)

        • No,
          By lefties…..James means people with an education without the intellectial capacity to benefit from it.

    • Let me get this right, are you seriously arguing that Mandela’s struggle was somehow not worth it because white SA ,whatever their faults, did run the place well after all?
      Perhaps you didn’t mean to imply that? I certainly hope you didn’t.

      • No,
        Mandela’s struggle was a noble and just one.
        It’s the people who came after him that buggered everything up. You can’t just “struggle”….you have to settle down and work after the struggle is over as well.
        YOu need to have follow through.

        • Exactly what makes you such an expert on SA’s problems?

    • And Hitler had the trains running on time.

      • And the Muslims loved him for it!

        • idiot.

          • Read a history book! They almost joined him on the march through the desert to Egypt. They were just waiting to see if the Nazis would be the winning team so they could join them. Anybody that sends the Jews to the gas chambers on trains are OK in their books! Keeping their options open and all that!
            Idiot!

          • I’ve read that story too my self thanks. The Palestinian mayor of Jerusalem was am anti semite[ some argue by convenience since he was a Arab nationalist] back in the day. Does that mean all muslims approved of the nazis? Did it escape your attention that almost all western society was infected by anti semitism and racism in general at the time? All the way from the king of England down ward. Why single out muslims? Why not eh! Guys like you simply don’t do context do you.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haj_Amin_al-Husseini

          • And anti semitism is alive and well today. Did you not read Harper’s speech?

          • You mean the bit where he brands the boycott movement and the mention of the word Apartheid as being the new anti semitism, rather then just legimate expressions of free speech? Yeah,regrettably i read that over the top tripe.

          • Harper, in his speech, explained that one-sided criticism of Israel is in fact being anti-semetic.

            Harper questioned why it is always Israel which is criticized and not the Palestinian people.

            Why, even you will not question the Palestinian people. You in fact are proof of what Harper was talking about. You, and men like Nick Taylor, make Harper’s point very well even though you do not realize you are doing just that.

          • Question for you genius:

            If I started running around the country trying to convince people not to business with Natives or hire Natives, would you consider that racist, or legitimate free speech?

            If you think that would be racist, then why do you think it’s okay to do it to Jews?

          • Right back at you Einstein. Firstly don’t assume i think the boycott is a good idea. I think it is likely counter productive – just gets moderate Israeli backs up, which it may have done already.
            Secondly it would depend on the context[ i know you don't do context] I can’t see any logical context in which you would want to lead a boycott of FNs. They’re far more likely to boycott us. Even if you did boycott them because you didn’t like the way your tax dollars were being spent, that wouldn’t make you a racist – just stupid.
            It is tactic, that’s all. The question is, is it a good one. OTW i think probably not. They need moderate Israeli opinion to be on their side in any future negotiation. In the end this just plays into the hands of Israeli nationalist in the Likud Party.
            So yes to your question, both would simply be free speech imo.

          • I can’t see any logical context in which you would want to lead a boycott of FNs. They’re far more likely to boycott us.

            Neither can I. But the reason somebody would propose something like that would be for the same reason people support boycotting Israel: they’re racist and ignorant.

            As for FNs boycotting the rest of Canada, are you seriously suggesting that they would stop taking the billions of dollars annually from the government? Or are you talking about some type of “boycott” where they keep taking the money, they just spend it only on things made by FNs? That’s not really a boycott, is it?

            And if it’s just “free speech” for me to declare that I won’t hire Chinese people, why does Canada have a Human Rights Commission to deal with situations like that? Why do we have laws against such things?

          • Some may well be on both sides of that hypothetical. But i still feel its a matter of free speech.
            And you are assuming again. I did not say a FNs boycott of Canada would be likely or a good idea, but it might be understandable; as with the Palestinian boycott.
            Your last point is a non sequitur. Simply not worth addressing.

          • You say:”Your last point is a non sequitur. Simply not worth addressing.”

            Is that how you avoid an honest debate, by arbitrarily deciding that Rick Omen’s important point in the discussion is simply a ‘non sequitur’? How convenient.

          • That is a stunningly stupid rationalization.

          • Yes I am aware of that, as I am aware that the whole of western society from the King of England on down, other than Italy, were fighting against the Nazis…………………..except of course, the Muslims, who were not fighting, but assisting in descrete ways and enjoying the campfire. They couldn’t toss Britain under the bus until Nazi victory was complete.

          • So you deny anti semitism was rampant in Britain and throughout the western world, not just Germany? For cripes sake half the British upper class were nazi sympathizers.

          • And most western universities now have an anti-semetic slant.

          • That may be true. But since its coming from you i’d bet it’s an exaggeration.

          • That all depends on whose definition of “anti-semitic” you are using, doesn’t it?
            With Harper’s version unless you are praising Netanyahu 24/7 you are all anti-semites. Your last comment failed to praise him therefore you are an anti-semite.

          • It is not about definition; this is about one-sided accusations. When only Israel must be attacked for its ‘bads’ and supposedly the Palestinians can do no ‘bad’ then yes, such one sided attack is anti-Semitic in nature.

            I am sure that Harper would have addressed the Israeli settlements at his later news conference if journos had asked about Palestinians and their refusal to recognize the existence of the state of Israel. That is the point.

          • It is about definitions, because Harper has redefined anti-semitism to mean what he wants it to mean. Nobody here has condoned terrorist attacks by either side from what I’ve read, but when anyone does bad they should be held accountable. Being the only democracy in a sea of despots does not mean that your bads get ignored. It certainly doesn’t mean that discussions about Israeli bads should be prevented by calling people who raise those issues anti-semites. That is devaluing the term.

            As for your sureness about Harper addressing issues of substance in public with the media – you are joking right?

          • Wrong again, Harebell…..

            Harper wasn’t re-defining anti-semitism to mean what he wanted it to mean………he was pointing out that anti-semitism is alive and well…….and often being couched in words or deeds meant to disguise what the anti-semites actually mean.

            See the difference?

          • And you are wrong too.
            Harper is seeking to prevent any discussion of any action that the Israeli government takes by accusing opponents of being anti-Semites. Now when the Sun newspaper (official voice of the Harper Gov) comes out with the same impression that I formed then you might want to reconsider the message your man was sending. http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/20/stephen-harper-argues-criticizing-israel-is-anti-semitic
            When left and right arrive at the same conclusion that is a rare form of consensus.

          • Well….if you are talking about Canadian universities, we would simply have to listen to those calling for a Boycott…or read their signs. There are often overt cases of anti-semitism, whether it is signs reading “Death to Jews” or students yelling those words, or words like it.
            Pretty clear to me what they are. What do you think they mean?

          • You get loons everywhere, they are usually not in the majority by a fair degree and provide a case study so that opponents can point to the unreasonable nature of every single one of their opponents.

            This occurs at opposite ends of the spectrum too. Rick Omen and Francien fulfill that role for the right on these comments boards.
            Are the Westboro baptist loons a fine example of christianity? And should their every utterance be held up as emblematic of what christian’s think? It’s where the sloppy logic that supports religious belief can lead, but it doesn’t for the most part.
            Using extremists as case studies is fraught with problems, until those extremists get their hands on power or somehow influence main steam opinion. With Israel that hasn’t happened because most people understand that the issues are more complex than that.

          • Yes…you do get loons everywhere…..but for those who want to boycott Israel, you would think that the signs reading “Death to Jews” would not be welcomed at their events. As we ahve seen….no one takes the signs down….because many agree with them.
            As for the Westboro Church…EVERYONE thinks they are loons. They are one small clan, not representative of anyone besides their own inbred family.
            The anti-semitism we see on University campuses however, are widespread across Canada……often with the blessing of University administration.
            I agree that using extremists as case studies causes problems……but when the extremists with an anti-semitic bent consist of tens of thousands of young people across Canada (and their professors)…you need to point out the obvious. This has nothing to do with Palestinians…………it has to do with Jews.
            This is what Harper was pointing out…..and the anti-semites don’t like it one bit. Their cover has been blown.

          • No.
            You are insisting on inflating the numbers and that they are a unified bunch in order to make a political point and support the statements of a clueless PM – that isn’t so.
            You are also setting the parameters on insisting this has nothing to do with the Palestinians and you are wrong on this too.
            Dishonesty and lying has meant that this issue has been rumbling on for too long now.

            Yitzhak Rabin wasn’t killed by a Palestinian extremist or a BDS student protester. Extremists are heavily invested in keeping the animosity alive and going and they are present on both sides.
            Your pointing out that this is solely the responsibility of the Palestinians is as disingenuous an action as those you claim to oppose.

            Harper is one of those disingenuous people and thought sucking up to the extremists in the Israeli government would do him some good. His cover was never that good to begin with and neither is yours.

          • half the British upper class were nazi sympathizers

            Right, which is why the British upper class decided to go to war with the Germans? Do you sit there and just make up history to support your demented world-view all the time, or only when you’re trolling here?

          • Reality isn’t your strong point is it Tricky?
            The Duke of Windsor (who was king until he abdicated) was virulently pro nazi. Lawrence James’ book quite plainly outlines the reasons for the anti-semitic pro nazi stance of many aristos in the UK and it was based on their fear of communism and their association of that philosophy with Jews.
            I don’t expect you to have read anything about this topic before you dismissed it out of hand, as taking a position based on ignorance is the norm for you. but do you have to make ridiculing you so easy.
            http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/126784/Hitler-s-aristocratic-admirers

            Also it was not the upper classes who took the UK into WW2 but rather Parliament.

          • I didn’t say there were zero Nazi sympathizers in GB. I said they didn’t make up half of the “upper class”. Your link confirms my statement. It’s also rather pathetic that you’d call anybody who supported appeasing Germany a “Nazi sympathizer”. Not wanting to go to war does not mean you support the other side. Or would I be correct to assume that anybody against the war in Afghanistan is secretly a Taliban supporter?

          • Hah
            Well don’t you also find it pathetic that someone who is upset that the IDF used white phosphorus on civilians and that the Israeli government continues to sanction the building of illegal settlements is now called an anti-Semite too? After all wanting Israel to abide by an international treaty prohibiting the use of white phosphorus seems like a fair position to take; as does an insistence on respecting the rule of law over property rights.

            Simplistic slogans for simplistic people – Canadian Conservatives.

          • Well don’t you also find it pathetic that someone who is upset that the IDF used white phosphorus on civilians and that the Israeli government continues to sanction the building of illegal settlements is now called an anti-Semite too

            Who’s called them anti-Semites?

          • Of course, criticism of Israeli government policy is not in and of itself necessarily anti-Semitic

            You take that to mean that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic?

            What he was saying isn’t rocket science. If you criticize Israel for attacking Gaza without acknowledging that it was Hamas’ fault for lobbing rockets at Israel daily, that is anti-Semitic. It suggests you, like Hamas, don’t believe Israel should defend itself against attack. Which is to say that it shouldn’t exist. And saying that Israel shouldn’t exist is anti-Semitic.

          • I see you studiously missed the bits where he shredded the rest of the PM’s speech

            “After that opening came a series of questions and tests with which he hoped to force this issue.

            “What else can we call criticism that selectively condemns only the Jewish state and effectively denies its right to defend itself while systematically ignoring or excusing the violence and oppression all around it?” Anti-semitism.

            for three more paragraphs no less……

            In other words, there’s nothing to see here in Jerusalem. Move along.”

            But then Rick you have never felt any guilt or shame about your incessant lying and ignoring of reality when it comes to you defending your nasty little world view have you?

          • Whatever. You think it’s okay to criticize Israel for defending itself. You think it’s okay to deny Israel’s right to exist. And I’m supposed to believe that it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a Jewish state?

          • And now we have tricky Ricky continuing lying about what I believe and insisting that his arrogance and stupidity is grounds to impugn my character.
            I have no problems saying unequivocally that Israel has a right to exist. It does. But I also have the consitency to expect that it obey the law, in much the same way that I insist that Canada, the USA, Iran and DPRK should obey the law. I’m consistent in my expectations of sovereign states and their obligations towards treaties and laws. You play favourites and then call people names who call you on it.

            Luckily I consider the source when I get accused of things and you have shown yourself to be a liar repeatedly in the past, so this is no surprise to me.

          • One should note……harebell doesn’t expect the same standards from the Palestinians.

          • One should note that you are joining Rick in the “making things up because you have nothing else” department.
            Seriously, that’s it? You have nothing so you lie?
            My impression that there is no such thing as an honest wingnut on these comment threads is rapidly being confirmed.

            Go back and find one example where I said what you said I said… go on … I’ll wait.

          • Harebell demanded of Israel:
            “But I also have the consitency to expect that it obey the law, in much the same way that I insist that Canada, the USA, Iran and DPRK should obey the law.”
            How is repeating your EXACT words making things up? Given the topic, one would think that you would include the very people being discussed. Please show me where you demand the Palestinian (or any Arab Nation) respect human rights and international Law.
            If anything I wrote is a lie…….then I guess you would be the liar. I’m just repeating your words.
            You just don’t like the fact you have been busted.

          • Because you didn’t repeat my exact words. You left out the part where I expected sovereign states of any stripe to obey the law.

            Last I looked All those Arab countries were sovereign states. Except of course for Palestine which isn’t recognised at the UN and I wonder why? But even so I would expect them to obey the law too.
            What is this obsession with “busting” how old are you?

          • Rick,
            You will note…….harebell, and others’ with his “perspecitve” spend little if any time criticising the terrorsts who target innocent Jewish civilians.
            Bit if an innocent Palestinian dies because Israel defends itself….it becomes a war crime.

          • Actually, simplistic would be writing that Israeli’s were using white Phosphorous ( or any weapon) on civilians, when in fact, they were using white phosphorous on terrorists………without mentioning that the terrorists liked to use civilians as human shields, in the hopes that civilians killed would result in shallow people accusing the Israeli’s of using white phosphourous on civilians.
            Spot the difference yet?

          • Yeah except for I remember that during my basic training we had this concept of “Identifying our target” drummed into us before shooting. It’s the same reason that smart weapons are the flavour of the day, to reduce the death and injury of non-combatants; because killing non-combatants is not only ethically and morally repugnant, but also because it is counter productive to the swift and meaningful resolution of any conflict.
            A fine coincidence of morality and strategic goals.

            But even if you place no regard on military discipline and objectives you are so wrong about white phosphorus.
            “Use of white phosphorus in areas with “concentration of civilians” is illegal under international law.”
            You have admitted civilians were present so the use of WP in this situation was a war crime.

          • Harebell….Imagine Osama Bin Laden was still alive and it is June 11th, 2001; and you had intelligence about his plans for the upcoming attacks in New York.
            If he was sitting on the floor with his four wives and 18 kids eating dinner……..and I knew where he was, I would do everything in my power to drop a two-thousand pountd bomb on his falafel.
            Please note….terrorism, is also a crime. If the criminals who commited such acts, NEVER left a civilian area, we would never get them….and they would continue to commit such acts.
            IF they were NEVER targetted when they were amongst civilians….they would never stop.
            If that still escapes your grasp, imagine an different scenario.
            Some dude is standing outside of your window and shooting into your living room where you, your wife, and your children are watching TV. Fortunalty, you kept an RPG from your baisc trainign days (I won’t ask how you got it) and you decide to defend your family. when you look again, you see that this dude with the machine gun is now standing with his wife and kids……would you still take him out, or would you let your family take the risk?
            That is what Israel has to decide on a regular basis. And unlike many terrorists, Israeli’s actually love and value their families and will do what is required to protect them…..regardless fo the criticisms directed their way for doing so.

          • 1: Bombing Osama bin Laden would not have stopped the attack, as he wasn’t involved in physically carrying them out and the attackers were in place by June 2011.
            2: Killing civilians creates more hatred of you and leads to more people picking up weapons to fight you.
            3: You’ve watched too much Jack Bauer like many a right wing whacko.
            4: It’s because of idiots like you and your simplistic view of war that we end up repeating the same errors throughout history for stupid reasons.
            Back in time a fellow called Mohammed Mossadegh was leader of Iran. He annoyed Western business interests over Iranian oil. so the West kicked him out in a coup and replaced him with the Shah. His repressive regime was supported by the West despite what it was doing to the people and radicalised the population and led to the placing of the ayatollah’s in office. And the Islamic republic of Iran was formed with it’s hatred of the West. Now repeat ad nauseam and you wonder why we’ve created enemies?
            Unlike you I have more than a twenty minute attention span and can understand just how past actions have led us to where we are today. Unlike you I have the guts to accept that we might be responsible for for some of what is here today. Unlike you I can see that everyone has a part to play and unlike you I don’t play favourites, no matter how hard you try and twist my words to suit your point.

          • To quote from your link:

            There was No large pro-Nazi following in Great Britain between 1933-39 and beyond-to say that there was is nonsense.

          • You cherry picked that off the comment didn’t you? There’s a whole lot more of a debate there if you would simply open your mind. It is a fact that pro nazi sympathies were not uncommon in the British ruling classes during the 30s. Hitler was widely admired. The same sympathy was not widely shared, if at all in the working classes. Do your history.

          • “It is a fact that pro nazi sympathies were not uncommon ……..”

            Is that not exactly what Rick Omen said? What then is YOUR point??

          • Sigh…goodnight Irene

          • LOL So I didn’t cherry pick the comment you comment that you cherry picked? The dangers of using comment forums as the basis for your “facts”, I suppose.

            So where are you at with this debate now? Were Nazi sympathizers “not uncommon” in the British ruling classes, or did they make up “half” of the British ruling class? Do I need to provide you a link that will explain that theirs a huge gap between “not uncommon” and “half”?

          • Huh! No, i actually studied history in school while you must have been skiving off somewhere. That comment you cherry picked was from one guy, his opinion right! And he did list quite a few well known British nazi sympathizers…ever heard of Sir Edward Mosely by any chance?
            Its not uncommon rather then an exact half, so sue me for embellishing it. I’m not sure if anyone knows how many. Since rather conveniently no one was once the war was underway. And you started from, it was all a fantasy i just made up. I think i’m out ahead of you by a country mile still.
            I assume you now concede there were “any” pro nazis at all in the British ruling class?

          • kcm2 wrote:
            “Did it escape your attention that almost all western society was infected by anti semitism and racism in general at the time?”
            How can it escape our attention? Every time you, Emily, or others with your ideology make a post about Israel….we are reminded that the ideology is alive and well even today in Canada.

          • If you think anti semitism is as rampant, acceptable and virulent in modern day Canada as it was before WW2, you’re an ignoramus James

          • If you were a Jewish student at a Canadian Univeristy, and each year the school held an entire week where your fellow students held signs reading, “Death to Jews” or “Hitler didn’t finish the job”…..duirng their Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week.
            Would you consider it rampant even if most people outside of the school or an NDP convention did not participate?
            As for acceptance of anti-semitism…………it is becoming more mainstream in Canada and Europe.

          • You failed to mention that Jews in Palestine offered to work with that Nazis too against the allies.

      • That was Mussolini. Hitler built the autobahns.

  5. It’s rather amazing how today’s Left has cast Israel as the enemy and the regimes around it the victims is remarkable. Israel is a beacon of prosperity. Not only do minorities have rights there, Arabs sit in Parliament. Freedom abounds.
    Yet the left tacitly supports regimes that espouse a stone age mentality where gays are hung, “impure” women stoned, where death and murder by suicide is openly celebrated, where democratic ideals are nowhere to be found.
    That Israel faced existential threats in which all the countries around it gathered and attacked seeking its destruction, is stricken from the record when considering the issue of “occupied” lands. Israel took that land in wars started against it. It is now rightfully theirs – that’s the result of losing a war one started. The “refugees” (who are all now long gone) have only their corrupt leadership to blame for starting these wars.
    My parent’s lands were taken by the communists in the Soviet Union, like millions of others. Christians and Jews have been effectively culturally exterminated by eviction through intimidation in the Middle east over the last half century. Christian Copts are currently being hunted down in Egypt. The reality is Palestinians have been utilized as a proxy for all in the region who hate Israel and wants her destroyed. Today’s left are more than willing to facilitate this state of affairs.

    • You specialize in building towering straw men dont’cha Biffer. Great shining towers, dedicated to your self righteousness. It’s perfectly reasonable to assert[imo] that the Palestinians are in many cases the authors of their own misery. It is even reasonable to assert that the hardline left has been blind to their faults and too eager to blame Israel; even anti semitic in some cases. What isn’t reasonable is to cast this as a stark us and them issue. It simply isn’t true. A considerable portion of the moderate press of this country and throughout the west has indeed tried and struggled to find some kind of balance in a very difficult and polarized struggle. Has Israel been unfairly singled out? Yes i think so, but i prefer to believe that on the whole those of us who made this error did so not out of malice. It is simple human nature to root for the under dog; and human nature to over look the flaws of the under dog. But the fact remains that Israel is the regional super power, the guys with the backing of the only global super power. It isn’t unreasonable to expect a little more of them. That’s human nature too.

      • Funny how you never ever address the Palestinian mindset. You know, the one which accepts hate and revenge over prosperity and well being.

        Why is it that after all those years, and after all that financial help from other nations (another 66 million from Canadians!) the Palestinian people still cannot get it together to build something instead of destroying things?

        • Funny how you can never stop generalizing.

          • “Why is it that after all those years, and after all that financial help
            from other nations (another 66 million from Canadians!) the Palestinian people still cannot get it together to build something instead of destroying things?”

            Why will you never answer the real questions?

          • Because, ulike you i don’t have all the answers. Maybe the Palestinians have a siege mentality? If so i wonder why?
            If your larger point is they need a Mandela of their own i would whole heartedly agree. If instead you’re insinuating it is because they are inherently inferior, i believe that may be racist.

          • The systemic poverty of the Palestinians has nothing to do with calling them inferior (and no, I have never called them inferior). The Palestinian plight of poverty resides in the fact that they are more concerned about revenge and violence than they are concerned with building something worthwhile for the next generations, as israelis have done.. It really is a matter of choice; either one chooses to build up something or one chooses to NOT build up something.

            I believe (and that belief is based on evidence in the ME region) that the Palestinian people are not interested in building up a better future for their people. And the international community SHOULD question why that is so. In the end, such questions asked may resolve the ME conflict. Not asking Palestinians the most difficult questions is not helping them.

          • So you’re saying even if they eventually get a homeland, they still wont be interested in building anything? That’s a pretty neat box you’ve put them in there. I have an idea, why not give them a homeland and see!

          • Hamas has publicly stated on many occasions that one of it’s main goals is to destroy the state of Israel. “Why not give them a homeland and see”? Because of their stated intention to destroy Israel. When someone says they want to kill you, you don’t hand them a gun.

          • Does Hamas speak for all Palestinians? Is there a de facto state of war between Hamas and the PA, who are working with the IDF to suppress them? Try and think before you post NotRick.

          • Hamas was elected by the Palestinian people. So ya, they do speak for all Palestinians, weather some like it or not.

            Think before you post NotKcm2.

          • Hamas was elected in Gaza, not the west bank. How does that make them speak for all Palestinians dofus.
            I see you conveniently ignored the fact that the PA is more or less at war with Hamas.

          • I “conveniently ignored the fact that the PA is more or less at war with Hamas” because it’s not true. How many rockets have Hamas launched at the West Bank, or vice versa?

          • Sorry. I’m off the clock now. I don’t do stupid on my spare time.

          • Ha! Typical Liberal, only willing to waste your employers money, never your own time. Do you work for the government by chance?

          • Nope, i’m a capitalist. I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay for off the clock, especially with stupid.

          • Apparently, you only have time for “stupid” when you are working eh?

          • Did you have help coming up with that one…or did you manage it all on your little ownsome?

          • You make it too easy.

          • Au contraire. Nothing is too easy for you James.

          • The Palestinians have land under their feet now, do they not? And what have they done with that land? What have they created over the past generations to show for? What have the Palestinian people accomplished with the money they have received from so many nations????

            Where are the Palestinian businesses? Where are the schools for learning how to read and write and do some basic math??

            Why the need to teach their youngsters about hate and revenge? What does that accomplish, over time?

            Many nations, over time, have been overtaken by others and many of those nations have managed to build up something new again. Holland and Belgium, for instance, were at one time in history, as part of Spain. Things evolve and evolved for the better because those people adapted to change and tried to make something out of the new situation. Talking about hate does accomplish nothing. Nothing.

          • Holland and Belgium only built up something once they became independent. It was destroyed when they were invaded twice by the Germans. Kind of like Palestine – how can you build things when periodically every thing is destroyed by the IDF?

          • Israel has never attacked Palestine offensively. Every time the IDF has gone into Palestine, it’s been in response to Palestinian aggression. How can you expect the Palestinians to have peace when they’re constantly lobbing rockets into Israel?

          • ah so its the classic catch 22.
            You deride the Palestinians because they build nothing of substance. Then when a few terrorists do something heinous and the IDF takes the opportunity to destroy the entire area and blockade them. Then that too is the fault of the Palestinians. Repeat ad nauseam.
            Just how does this cycle of build, destroy, blame, build, destroy, blame etc. cease? Clearly whatever has been done up until now has failed horribly, yet the solutions proposed by the far right both in the West and Israel are the only ones ever proffered.
            If all we have is just what we’ve been trying in the past then there will never be a solution… but that is what Likud and the Harper’s of the world want – a war to keep people in line.

          • Just how does this cycle of build, destroy, blame, build, destroy, blame etc. cease?

            It’s very simple: the Palestinians have to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. That is quite literally the only thing standing in the way of peace.

          • No it’s not and you know it.
            Settlements and the strategic timing of their continued building are just one example that illustrate that you are full of rubbish on this.

          • The settlements will continue as long as this war goes on. When at war, any successful army tries to take control of territory from it’s enemy. It’s the most basic of military strategies.

            But the war won’t end until the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. They did that, I have very little doubt that Israel would immediately cease building any new settlements.

            Israel has, very handily, the upper hand in this war. Yet you seem to think the responsibility lies on them to stop the fighting, when they’re clearly winning. Which is obviously a recipe for more war, because no army like Hamas’ is going to suddenly stop fighting when their enemy decides that they’ll not go on the offensive.

          • Except that you ignore that fact that even the Israelis and Canadian governments know that the building of settlements is in fact illegal and contrary to international law. check out our government’s web-site.
            So, no you don’t get to say, “it’s the spoils of war.” You get to choose to “obey the law or not.” By building settlements this Israeli government has chosen to break the law. Because others break the law doesn’t mean you can excuse your own law-breaking by pointing to them.
            Only a Harper supporter could think otherwise.

          • The settlements are illegal. I’m not ignoring that.

            It’s also contrary to international law to target Israeli civilians with rockets. Or send suicide bombers to attack school children. YOU ignore that.

            This is exactly why Harper says criticism like yours is anti-Semitic. You point out that one side is breaking international law, and completely ignore the fact that the other side is doing the same. Do you know what it’s called when you treat people differently because of their ancestry?

          • I haven’t ignored anything, so you are lying yet again.
            But the blanket punishment of an entire group of people for the actions of a few is also contrary to international law and domestic common law. When Germans lined an entire village up against the wall in WW2 because of the actions of a few partisans that was a war crime and a crime against humanity. The Israelis as a law abiding democracy cannot send tanks and troops into Gaza and punish an entire group of people, they need to target those responsible. If they take the easy route then they are culpable.
            I realise that understanding and adhering to the law is beyond the modern right wing lunatic but try and be consistent.

          • The settlements have NOTHING to do with the current problem, it is just an excuse to criticize Israel. The Palestinians and surrounding nations have been attacking Jews, and Israel long before any foundations of settlements were even poured.
            You spend too much time watching the CBC or BBC.

          • They are illegal and just put back the peace process. To deny this is to deny reality, but then I forget who I’m dealing with.

          • IF the settlements had anything to do with the peace process…..then please enlighten us as to why there has been no peace if Israel came into being in 1948? There were no settlements then.
            Maybe it is some other reason then?

          • You really are one of the most disingenuous and ignorant commenters it has been my experience to engage with here.
            In 1948 through to the 70s the region was subject to ground wars, so settlements were not really the issue. Settlements have become an issue because since the ground wars ceased people have tried to find a permanent solution to the problem and the two state proposal has been touted as the best solution to date.
            Settlements and their continued expansion threaten this solution.
            To use your tactics now. Imagine a family decided to start building a hut on your front lawn and when you rushed out to tell them to move two heavies with guns forced you back in your home and told you to deal with it. Then when you went to the police they did nothing but the next day came around to your house and demolished your shed so another family could build their hut there.Then when you got upset they called you a bigot.

            Both sides are making enough mistakes here and both sides need to admit it if there is to be peace.

          • Not to speak of the money spent on rockets and such instead of spending that money on good schools and setting up businesses, eh.

          • It would be helpful also if they didn’t use schools as rocket launching pads so that the IDF wasn’t forced to destroy them. It also doesn’t help that Hamas sees it to be politically advantageous for them to keep Palestinian civilians poor and uneducated.

          • Holland and Belgium did build things and built many great things while belonging to Spain for the duration.

            And furthermore, after both WWI and WWII, Holland and Belgium did not sit around and teach hate to their offspring. Instead of teaching hate to their offspring, the Belgians and Dutch adults got on with the job of rebuilding.

          • Harebell…….there are actually quite a few immigrants in Holland and Belgium who share the same religion with the Palestinians.
            In fact, many areas in BOTH Nations are now “no-go” zones for native Belgians and Dutch folks because of it.
            Few more years, and they will be dealing with their own Palestinian problem.

          • Right wing fearful rantings with no basis in reality except on a few fringe far right web sites.
            I’ve heard the same rubbish all my life. First it was repeating Moseley about the Jews in London, then it was Powell about the immigrants from the Caribbean and E Africa and now its the Muslims. It’s like a cracked record.

          • Holland and Belgium got their homelands back you may have noticed. How well would they have done if they had remained occupied? Your comparison is ludicrous.
            But as i said, the Palestinians have tried the path of violence, it has got them nothing but grief. History teaches the only time armed liberation struggles ever succeed is if there are winning conditions, ie., the other side is growing weaker, distracted by other wars, decadent etc. By now they should have realized there are no winning conditions for them. They are never going to beat the Israelis, and even if they had a chance there’s another BFGuy in the Israeli corner backing them up. When are they going to reach a similar conclusion? Time to try the Mandela approach. Way past time in fact.

          • Mandela approach? How so??

          • It has nothing to do with race. It’s the culture of the Palestinians which holds them back.
            As for the siege mentality….nope. Not that. Arabs in that region have been attacking Jews long before any settlements were built, and frankly, long before Israel was even a country. Remeber Palestinians were not even a “People” before Arafat made them so….they were Egyptians and Jordanians.
            There won’t be peace in the region until the Palestinians want peace. We’re not there yet….as the refusal of Palestinians to even recognize Isreals right to exist is the main blocking point.

      • Kcm2……….do you root for the underdog, when its behaviour and actions indicate it may be rabid?

        • Palestinians aren’t just behaving badly, even appalling at times…they’re rabid. And we all know what you do with a rabid underdog right!
          Are you really that proud to be racist at core?

          • There’s nothign racist about it……it’s culture.
            Now answer my question.
            Why do you support a society that teaches its children to hate, engages in Barbaric behaviour….and murders innocents with glee?
            Do they deserve your support?
            Palestinians are only underdogs insomuch as they haven’t been able to drive the Jews into the sea…..which is what they repeatedly state is their final intention. They have only themselves to blame for their predicament.
            One cannot blame the Jews for defending themselves against such fanatacism……and when innocent Palestinians die, Jews feel more badly about it than the Palestinians.

          • Sorry i can’t hear you for all the GENERALIZING! You just have an off and on switch, and nothing in between don’cha?

    • Charles…

      do you know how Israel came to be? By ‘taking lands’ belonging to other countries…

      do you know how the Israeli west bank settlements came to be? By invading land in a foreign country (Palestine), setting up communes, farms, towns and settlements and militarily protecting these invaded areas by force.

      have you heard of false flag terrorism? it was invented by Israel.

      just because you have no issue with this Charles doesn’t mean the countries that lost land have no issue with it, the country that was invaded and lost land may also have issues with that. think about it..

      exactly like your ‘parents lands’ were taken, so were lands taken to form Israel, and so has Israel taken land from Palestine. .. but that is different.. right?

      • Umm, a little bit of correction on your second paragraph there, bud. The West Bank was not “invaded” by Israel in 1967; Syria and Egypt started a war by attacking Israel, and Israel counter-attacked. The current situation is basically a result of the 6-day war in 1967, which Israel emphatically did not start. Basically Nasser started it.

      • Ummmm, you do realize that that they have been in the area since Biblical times, prior to Islam? You do realize that under the Dome is in fact Solomon’s Temple? There are no such peoples as Palestinians, they are indistinguishable from all other Arabs in the area. Jordan is where these people belong. You are another tool who drank the koolade!

        • So, if the UN decided Canada needs to give our country “back” to the First Nations, you will simply accept that, because they were, of course, here first.

          • If the UN ordered Canada to “give back” the land to the first nations……we’d say no.
            Why do so many criticize Isarel for saying the same thing. In fact, given the Israeli’s have been living in that region for 4000 years, long before the term “Palestinian” was even invented, one would have to ask why should they? They were the original inhabitants (after the Caanites of course….sorry about that)….
            As for the natives in Canada….the analogy is incorrect to begin with. First nations voluntarily signed the treaties and surrended ALL RIGHTS to the land in exchange for other promises.
            go read them.

      • Do you know how most nations came into being?

        • Obviously you don’t get it Francien. It’s “different” because it’s Israel. And that has nothing to do with the fact that the majority of Israel’s population is Jewish. It’s just “different” because Israel.

      • But have they been living in camps demanding “return to their land” for years? No, they have continued to live. Gaza was under Egypt and the West Bank under Jordan till 1967, and they started the 1967 unrest. Bad gamble with bad results…

    • Your beacon of prosperity takes billions in aid from the US government, while also receiving million (tens if not hundreds of millions) in donations from Churches and individual Americans.

      Cut off all te subsidies and see how prosperous Israel is.

      • The Palestinians also receive billions in aid from US and European governments. Yet they still in 3rd world conditions. The main economic driver in Palestine is foreign aid. The same can not be said for Israel.

        • Not to mention the UNRWA, which pours money into ‘refugee camps’ that have been towns and small cities for decades.

  6. Though not his intent, it is pretty clear that the author of this column confirmed everything both Harper and Netanyahu have been saying.
    Canadian In Egyptian Prison – A person involved with the Muslim Brotherhood….a terrorist organization. No jews involved Nick….sorry.
    bomb in Beirut – again…not the Jews nick.
    Bombs in Baghdad – not the Jews nick.
    Assads terror – Not the Jews Nick.
    As for Harper not condemning Israel….why should he? As you have so clearly spelled out Nick, the atrocities and barbarism surrounding Israel….has nothing to do with Israel, nor its settlements. In fact, such barbarism has been ongoing well before Israel had ANY settlements in place.
    Besides, Harper doesn’t need to condemn Israel, as many “journalists” have that base covered already.

      • He did say it wasn’t your intent. I imagine he thinks that lets him put as many words into your mouth as he possibly can.

      • Nick, welcome to the magnificent world of the wingnut. it doesn’t matter what you said or how you said it, they only have a limited set of rote answers they can use. You’ve seen QP in the house, well just think of that only more stupid…. here you are dealing with the base, entry level Con and not the elite.

      • “Since August, 2005, 16,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from
        Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Palestinians have forever — long before
        Jewish settlements in the West Bank started going up — rejected Israel’s
        right to exist.

        Why didn’t we ask what Abbas was doing to improve governance in his
        territory? What about the accountability of Abbas and the Palestinians?
        Canadian reporters had two chances to ask Abbas a question — in
        Ramallah, of all places — and instead of asking him why the Palestinians
        will not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, we wanted Harper to
        explain why the Jewish settlements were illegal.”

        http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/21/israel-canada-strike-deals-to-boost-economic-growth

      • Clearly, …you were not amongst the reporters included in the trip to Israel.
        I believe Bob Fife regrets the question which resulted in Harpers response spelling out quite clearly, that the press was doing their best to have Haper actually criticize Israel, without also asking him to citicize the Palestinians.

    • So harper divides a part of the mid east with his my way or the highway(divide and demonize), while the UN is trying to bring peace, in the mid east(Syria). So who are the true leaders in this world, the saber rattler or the peace brokers. Give me peace any day.

      • What does the civil war in Syria have to do with Israel?

        • Don’t you get it yet, Rick.
          It’s always the fault of the “joooosss…”

    • I also have a lot of sympathy for most journos and reporters(not saying which ones)to have to hold their noses when they have to write or print this stuff.

      • “Yesterday in the Palestinian Authority, no one asked me there to single
        out the Palestinian Authority for any criticism in terms of governance
        or human rights or anything else,” Harper said, speaking about the press
        conference he’d held Monday in Ramallah side-by-side with P.A.
        President Mahmoud Abbas. “When I’m in Israel, I’m asked to single out
        Israel. When I’m in Palestinian Authority I’m asked to single out Israel
        and in half the other places around the world you ask me to single out
        Israel.”

        http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/21/israel-canada-strike-deals-to-boost-economic-growth

    • “Canadian In Egyptian Prison – A person involved with the Muslim Brotherhood….a terrorist organization.”
      According to the Harper Gov’s list of terrorist entities the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organisation. http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx But KACH is a terrorist organisation. Harper is travelling with a JDL member, an organisation that is listed by the USA as a terrorist organisation because of its links with KACH. So if you want to talk terrorist organisations you’d best address your man’s proclivity to hang around with people with dubious connections.
      Also the operative word in your sentence is “Canadian.” Last I looked he was the Canadian PM and that means he has a job to do for Canadians. You can rest assured that if the guy was white, christian and probably not a journo then Harper and the gang would be all over it like Toews on a babysitter.
      Harper doesn’t care about Canadians or Canada, just himself and those who are useful to him.

      • YOu can be jsut a sure, that if the guy was a white Christian, he wouldn’t be supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, or other Terrorist organizations.
        For the record….EGYPT considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be terrorists and terror supporters.
        Maybe YOU consider the JDL a terrorist organzation, but I don’t think anyone else does. Please tell me….how many acts of terrorism are the JDL folks responsible for?
        As for being “Canadian”…so what.
        So was clifford Olson….so was paul Beranardo…..so were a bunch of terrorists killed oversees………..
        Being Canadian, doesn’t make one a saint.
        For those Canadians…..I’d say let them rot.

        • So the beast reveals its true colours now.
          The FBI considers the JDL to be a terrorist organisation. The Canadian government considers KACH to be one and the JDL in Canada has links with KACH and other far right extremists in other places too. So it’s not just me who considers the JDL/KACH to be terrorist orgainsations is it now?

          Well I value my Canadian citizenship even if you don’t value yours, but then I had to work hard for my citizenship; I guess you didn’t.
          But from my research prior to my examination on the topic I seem to remember that being Canadian meant that you would have the rights that all Canadian citizens have and one of them is not to be abandoned by the government when illegally detained overseas. Now I realise that we have a right wing populist government in power at the moment, but they are supposed to govern on behalf of all Canadians and not some Canadians and the Likud Party of Israel. That means that even if you didn’t vote for them the very fact that you are a Canadian citizen means that they have obligations towards you. And yes that does include all those citizens who broke the law or who you don’t like too.
          Citizenship is like that, it comes with rights that don’t change just because some idiot doesn’t like you.

          • I’ve never tried to conceal my true colours….I leave that to folks who like to pretend their anti-semitism is about Palestnian human rights. I come right out and say what is on my mind……you can interpret it in any way you see fit, I really don’t concern myself with how other people see me.
            My true colours are based upon common sense and observation.
            I do notice you never answered my questions, but I wasn’t expecting it in any event.
            Also, the JDL is not considered a terrorist organization no matter how many times you repeat it. Again, please show us an example of one of ther acts of terror. (as for Muslim groups or “charities” in Canada….you will find REAL connections to terror groups, but again, that seems not to be an issue for the anti-Jew…er, Isreali folks on these threads)
            Lastly, I don’t like Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson, or any of those Canadian fanatics who joint terror groups abroad, and I don’t care about their rights. If that makes me an idiot….so be it.
            Question remains…….what does it make you?

          • JDL – http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=183
            “Two JDL members, however, were arrested in 2001 for their plot to bomb the office of a Lebanese-American Congressman from Orange County California and a mosque in Culver City California. ”
            Also this is a starting point because of the sources. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Defense_League#Terrorism_and_other_illegal_activities

            If maintaining ones rights depended upon likeability then very few of us would have any rights; that’s why they are enshrined as rights in the Charter. Using likeability as a factor in withdrawing rights is idiotic, and accepting that rights are legally endowed and protected makes me law abiding.

  7. When the comes time a PM has to go singing in a foreign country to try and keep his job in Canada, than I think its time for him to take a walk in the cow dung. Please Neil Young, if you ever make another comment about Mr. Harper, please make sure you tell him he should give up singing and playing the piano. Its funny how harper sings paul McCartney(personal, I think hes an over rated singer)songs, the same guy who had his picture hanging next to a fluffy seal, protesting Canadas seal hunt. Hey Judas. At least Harpers not crucifying a Neil young song.

  8. Well, I guess if Harper loses the next election in Canada, he can for leadership of Israel instead. That’s clearly where his heart is.

  9. Weird ending to the column. What do these events have in common with Israel? If you write a column about Windsor, do you also have to include something about Detroit, since that is in the vicinity? Pardon me, but I don’t see the logic.

    • Logic and Macleans? You won’t find it.

      • No Francien, YOU won’t find it. Most everyone else finds it just fine.

  10. This has to one of the least intelligent responses to an important Political event I’ve seen in some time… it seems that a lot of people (including a lot of media) are so emotionally invested in bourgeois anti-Israel ideology they are absolutely deaf to any other point of view, even when they are incapable of finding fault with the clearly explained logic of that view.

    If you are one of those people who is incensed at Harper for being supportive of Israel.. please go listen to his entire speech, then come back and do your best to explain what he said that was so wrong. Thank you.

  11. Harper should have sung “Mammy.”

  12. Isn’t it obvious that Canada is going extremely pro-Israel to make America look more moderate in the latest peace push (Kerry).

    • Why would they do that?

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