Category Archives: israel

The Leading NDP Need to Show Leadership

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By not cowering away from two important sore points in Canadian economic and political policy:

  1. The Tar Sands are killing Canada and its reputation on many different levels.  Leaving Tar in the ground is OK by me.
  2. Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians, and yet it seems offensive to speak the truth about what’s happening in the world.  By removing Morgan Wheeldon, the NDP are complicit in the crimes being committed by Israel.

Tom Mulcair:  you have (had?) the lead.

Prove you’re a leader.

Take a tough stand on these and other issues and stop playing into Harper’s hands.

Canada will reward you when you do.

Stephen Harper Declares War on Canada?

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And Canadians?

In describing his visit to the Middle East, many narrators (aka reporters) made various dithering comments about his token visit to the Palestinians, but simply referenced the press release at hand and talked about his great visit to Israel.  To suck up, that is.

And yes, if Stephen Harper has his way, that last comment makes me an anti-semite, but guess what?  I’m not.  For the record, I believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians and I don’t endorse that.  Nor should any other Canadian or human being, for that matter.

And I have zero respect for a group of people that were treated so miserably at one point in their history only to turn that around on another group of people.

Shame.

The real question I have is why our Canadian leaders have strayed so impossibly far from any kind of balanced approach to Middle Eastern affairs.  Are we simply void of any critical reasoning and good judgement when it comes to our ‘making friends and influence people’, as Dale Carnegie once said?

I’m truly looking for answers, as are all of us.

Is this just another strategy of the right to pull us to the right, regardless of what’s, well … right?

When Stephen Harper stood up in the Knesset today and firmly declared unilateral support for Israel without even remotely indicating that what they’re doing in the Middle East is wrong, didn’t he effectively declare war on Canada?

Every true anti-semite around the world, especially those who are members of the non-Jewish or non-Israeli populations in the region, who despise what Israel is doing in the Middle East will have very clear and obvious evidence that Canada is biased against them after today’s antics of Stephen Harper.  And just like the US became a target as their presence and misbehaviour in the Middle East began after the Second World War, we too have just become a target because of Stephen Harper’s failure to be unbiased.

As a final afterthought, what take-away should negotiators with the First Nations people have after Stephen Harper clearly showed that he is with those with might rather than those who are right?  If we can’t look at the Israel-Palestine situation objectively without resorting to name calling and racial stereotypes, how can we ever possibly trust the Harper Government to treat First Nations people fairly?

Category: harpooned, israel, Steve

Support Palestine’s Bid for Nationhood

Stephen Harper says no, , despite spending billions of our dollars without our permission ‘liberating’ Libya from the clutches of a socialist dictator.

Barack Obama says no.

Many others say no, and given the extent of support for Israel, Palestine’s bid for statehood may be rejected by the UN.

However, the true path to solving issues in the Middle East begin with Palestine having independent nationhood.

This is NOT a political issue wrapped in anti-semitism.  If Palestine were to become a nation-state, Israel would no longer be able to treat the people in the surrounding regions like human punching bags.

This is a true moment on the International Day of Peace to support measures that will actually bring … peace.

Category: israel | Tags: , , , ,

MayDay 2011: Alice Klein of NOW Toronto Encourages Us to Shake Off Cliches

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Alice Klein wrote a piece in NOW Toronto this past week encouraging all of us to accept the fact that in this election, the stakes are extremely high and that the game has definitely changed.

She reminds us that it’s not about voting your passion, but voting for that party that will unseat the Conservative government and push them out of as many ridings as possible.

She’s behind Project Democracy, but there are other projects as well (copied from the Project Democracy site):

  • Avaaz The campaigning community bringing people-powered politics to decision-making worldwide
  • Lead Now Brings generations of Canadians together to take action for our future and hold politicians accountable.
  • Swing 33 Donate strategically in 33 ridings to defeat Harper.
  • Pair Vote – Vote Swapping Support your preferred party while also stopping Harper
  • Catch 22 Campaign A grassroots effort to help defeat the Conservative government in 22 key ridings.
  • The Environment is my Voting Issue Facebook Group An action-oriented Facebook group aimed at holding politicians accountable for their votes on environment issues.
  • Department of Culture A community of Canadian artists, arts professionals and cultural workers concerned about ensuring the social and cultural health and prosperity of our nation in the face of a Federal Government that is aggressively undermining Canadian values.
  • Fair Vote Canada – On August 1, 2000, a group of concerned citizens formed Fair Vote Canada (FVC) with the aim of building a nationwide campaign for voting system reform. We envisioned FVC as a multi-partisan, citizen-based campaign bringing together people from all parts of the country, all walks of life and all points on the political spectrum. Today FVC has members in all provinces and approximately 20 local and regional chapters.

Project Democracy is exciting because it focuses on helping voters get up to date polling data related to their riding.  In many ‘strategic voting’ ridings, the past favours the Liberals, but since the Liberals are sliding in the polls, should we really be electing someone from the past or someone from the future?  I’ve signed up for their email to get riding updates, so I’ll post more information as it comes to my in-basket.

Finally, I can’t repeat this often enough:  you can contact pretty much any riding and help them with calls, even if you’re not from that area.  Human voices are substantially more valuable to campaigners as opposed to those awful ‘robo-calls’ and they remind voters that this is an election about the future of all people in Canada.  Of course, consider your riding and the ridings that are immediately around you as opposed to those that are across the continent!

Was Egypt’s Gentle Coup an American Takeover?

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Gee … I can’t imagine what life under a dictator would be like (maybe Canada could do with a little regime change?), but I know this:  life under the military will likely be harder for Egyptians.

The “Walk Like an Egyptian” campaign staged by hundreds of thousands of people seems to be subsiding, but let’s repeat who’s in charge now:  The military.

In most circles, a transition of power from the leader (regardless of how he or she got there) is called a coup d’etat.  As defined by Wikipedia:

A coup d’etat is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military — to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military. A coup d’état succeeds if the usurpers establish their dominance when the seated government fails to disallow their consolidation of power.

In the case of Egypt, I would call it a gentle coup.  The military waited and they seemed to get what they wanted.  Not to sound cold, but few people died in the transition and right now, it actually seems like a responsible host of military leaders will help Egypt emerge from dictatorship.

Or will they?

In Egypt, we need to know to whom the military is beholden.  Are they representatives of Egyptians or an extension of the American military?

Don’t forget that Egypt is America’s second largest recipient of financial and military support – after Israel.  That kind of funding has to generate some kind of internal connections.

Did the turnover in Egypt occur because Hosni Mubarak wasn’t buying billions in new hardware?  In December, Wikileaks showed that the US made repeated attempts to encourage Mubarak’s regime to upgrade their military.  Substantial investments didn’t occur, resulting in Council of Foreign Relations expert Steven Cook to say this:

The cables reveal a military deeply reluctant to take part in regional counterterrorism efforts, and the focus on weapons necessary for desert battle is a reflection of that.  The Egyptian military is not good at or interested in, quite frankly, projecting power. It is there to ensure the survival of the regime and protect the country’s borders.

Not to defend Mubarak, but shouldn’t that be the priority of any government?

We also see that Israel was worried about Egypt’s commitments in the Middle East:

Meanwhile, Israel remains worried about Egypt’s current appetite for weapons. A July 2009 cable from Tel Aviv paraphrased political military chief Amos Gilad as saying “the Egyptian military led by Defense Minister [Mohamed] Tantawi continues to train and exercise as if ‘Israel was its only enemy.’ He added that … [Egypt’s] peace with Israel ‘is too thin, too superficial.’ ”

Looking at this information, one can’t help but wonder what was behind the activities for the last three weeks.  Was it a a pissed off Egyptian populace or an even more irate US industrial-military machine that was no longer getting support in Egypt’s upper echelons?  If bills weren’t being paid and hardware wasn’t being upgraded, could this have provided enough of a spark to overthrow Mubarak?

Other issues are at stake here, particularly the Suez Canal and the Gaza Strip.  The Suez is the most important oil asset to Europe and Gaza represents some of the most important real estate for Israel.  What happens next with these two locations will also reveal clues to why things happened the way they did in Egypt.

To sum up, as the military takes control, who they report to – the US or Egypt – will tell the full story.  Big, gluttonous upgrades and changes in real estate ownership will be the first sign to everyone that this had nothing to do with the will of the people.


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