The dishonesty and Jew-hatred, of the Toronto Star continues – as usual, under the guise of “balance”. Linda McQuaig, the Naomi Klein wanna-be columnist, laments Stephen Harper’s unwavering support for Israel with this deceitful screed of nonsense. Let the Fisking begin:
A loss of balance on Israel
Canada has a long history of supporting Israel. But the nature of that support, particularly under the Harper government, is almost unrecognizable from its earlier form.
Shocked by the horrors of the Holocaust, Canada played an important role in United Nations decisions that led to the establishment of Israel in 1948. But what Canada supported was a package deal in which Palestine would be partitioned into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.
Oh, you mean the package deal that Israel accepted, and the Arab world rejected? The one that Israel would have been proud to accept in return for peace on multiple occasions in the last 60 years, only to be responded to with war and terrorism? Yeah, that’s the one.
Whatever the flaws of that model, one thing is clear. No Canadian official ever advocated what has become the reality today: that a Jewish state would be created, while the much larger Arab population in Palestine would be left stateless six decades later, and in fact living under Israeli military occupation.
WHAT? The Arab population of Israel is about 1/3 the size of the Jewish population. They are stateless only because they keep rejecting their opportunities, and because neighbouring Jordan, Syria, and Egypt refuse to accept permanent resettlement of any of the Arabs who lived in the borders of Britain’s Palestinian Mandate. And now that there’s no occupation of Gaza…the Gazan Arabs are living under their very own Islamist occupation.
That Canadian attempt at even-handedness has utterly disappeared under Stephen Harper, who lavishly celebrated Israel’s 60th anniversary with promises of Canada’s “unshakeable” support, while utterly ignoring the fact that this is also an anniversary – although a very different one – for the Palestinians.
Israel’s founding 60 years ago last week is also the 60th anniversary of what Palestinians call the naqba, or catastrophe, when some 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled in the face of violence by militants determined to establish a Jewish state. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, speaking recently in Toronto, described this as “ethnic cleansing.”
Oh, Ilan Pappe, “Israeli Historian”! That is RICH! By all accounts, Pappe is a disgrace. Copius details can be found here in The New Republic in a review of Pappe’s fabrication-filled work by a true Israeli historian, fellow leftist Benny Morris. In a nutshell: Pappe’s a demented self-hating communist extremist who was recently expelled from his position at the University of Haifa. If Ilan Pappe says there was an ethnic cleansing, you can be certain there was none. Yet this is the latest “big lie” the extreme left is pushing on the world about Israel.
This bloody history has been largely banished from discussion in the mainstream North American media in recent years.
WHAT? Do you read your own paper?
But at the time, violence by Jewish militants was widely acknowledged. Menachem Begin, a militant who later became Israel’s prime minister, unabashedly pointed out in his memoirs that in the late 1940s British newspapers and politicians branded him “Terrorist Number One.”
If you’re not reading carefully, or you’re reading with bias, you might think, “oh, Begin was proud of being a terrorist.” Read again: Begin said that BRITISH NEWSPAPERS AND POLITICIANS called him a terrorist! He most certainly was not one, by any standard. Of course, this is part of the demonization: draw moral equivalence between a hero (Begin) and the worst scum on earth (Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc.)
Members of the Canadian UN delegation that voted 60 years ago in support of partition did so partly to avoid more Jewish violence in the region. R.G. Riddell, a member of that delegation, described the partition plan as “dangerous and provocative” but he argued that failure to adopt it would “play into the hands of Jewish extremists who are said to be prepared to seize the whole of Palestine by force.”
Another member of the delegation, Elizabeth MacCallum, a Middle East expert from the external affairs department, questioned Canada’s support for a partition plan that would “turn over 65 per cent of the territory to the Jews, who now own only 6 per cent of the land.”
Canada’s justice minister, James Ilsely, expressed concern that partition didn’t sufficiently answer “the very strong moral and political claims” of Palestine’s Arab community.
So three old historically-insignificant Liberals of the era said some things that are quite inoccuous. There’s nothing in any of these quotes, either, that rules out full support for Israel – particularly after 60 years of watching the two sides in the conflict. Your point is, Linda?
To celebrate the founding of Israel without at least acknowledging the flip side of this occasion – the beginning of the Palestinian diaspora – is to deny that there are two sides to this story. With this denial, Harper – in line with the Bush administration – has become an obstacle to reaching a Middle East peace.
Ah, when all else fails, bring out the Bush card. And please, explain, how could Canada, a nation with a standing in the region comparable to, say, Denmark, or Argentina, have anything but the most negligible impact on reaching Middle East Peace?
To continue to portray Israel as uniquely vulnerable stretches credulity. Yes, crude Palestinian rockets can reach into Israel. But Israel’s existence is well-established. It is one of the world’s best-armed countries, with a massive nuclear arsenal and unwavering U.S. support.
What, it’s OK to have rockets land in your living room, killing your mother, because your country has a strong military? Canada has a decent army, but that doesn’t mean we should be a target for a single random foreign terror missile landing in suburban Toronto.
Meanwhile the Palestinians – in refugee camps, under military occupation in the West Bank and under siege in Gaza – barely eke out an existence.
“under siege in Gaza” – THEY EVACUATED GAZA THREE YEARS AGO!!!!! And if they’re barely ekeing out an existence, where do those billions of dollars a year in foreign aid go to?
If Harper isn’t willing to be even a tiny bit even-handed, it would be helpful if he’d at least stop trying to play a role in the Middle East tinderbox.
“Harper, if you don’t agree with me, then shut up.” What a juvenile ending.
Linda McQuaig’s column appears every other week. email@example.com