JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RICK SALUTIN ON HARPER’S POOR EXCUSE OF A FOREIGN POLICY AND ESPECIALLY HIS OBSESSION WITH ISRAEL   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED COMMENTS ON A COLUMN BY RICK SALUTIN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

These truly nasty men of Harper’s are gradually destroying the entire fabric of Canada’s international reputation.

Our reputation included fairness and balance in the Middle East, as elsewhere.

Harper has said many provocative and unpleasant things to his own people, including suggesting that Canadians who criticize Israel are anti-Semites, a vile repetition of a favorite attack on critics by apologists for Israel’s bloody excesses.

Peter Kent has always been a second-rater, a man not particularly astute or even interesting to listen to, now a junior minister with a junior mind at best. Where does he dare suggest we are committed to going to war for Israel, or anyone else for that matter?

Where in God’s name does he think he receives that kind of authority?

Of course, it is from his bully boss, Stephen Harper, who tells everyone in his creepy little party what to say unless they want a chair hurled at them in caucus.

I truly cannot believe that the Alberta-derived bunch of Harper’s ministers and supporters – truly, mainly the classic WASP-types – are that attached to Israel.

And they cannot be seeking just votes with this inappropriate demonstration of loyalty to one small state, Israel: the Canadian Jewish community is in fact a fairly small one, I believe on the order of 1 to 2% of population.

So what motivates this foreign-policy obsession, for no other word is adequate?

I do recall Heather Reisman, who supported the Liberals, getting upset with them for not being enthusiastic enough about Israel. I believe they were only trying to be fair, but that is not how Ms Reisman saw it, and she was public in her criticism.

Ms Reisman is of course a successful and well-off business person, and Canada has produced several prominent Jewish families of great success and wealth.

Traditionally, many Jews supported liberal or progressive parties because of their own history of hardships and discrimination.

But the often ghastly human-rights behavior of the state of Israel now makes a terrible wedge issue for Canadians of Jewish descent, and politicians like Stephen Harper smell opportunity, opportunity for large campaign donations.

Effectively, Harper seems eager to trade the genuine long-term interests of Canada and all of its citizens, interests in maintaining a precious reputation for fairness and decency, for the short-term potential of substantial campaign contributions in the face of an ugly international situation.

Were I a Jewish Canadian concerned about Israel’s future, I would hardly be comforted by that kind of transaction in pretended loyalty.

________________

“As a country, we should stand against terrorism, not sit on the fence to placate barbarians.”

Yes, absolutely.

The only trouble is that the person making that comment, like so many others these days, equates barbarians with Muslims.

Pure and absolute prejudice.

Everyone with eyes and ears and a working brain regards Operation Cast Lead as the purest barbarism.

And so too Israel’s horrific attack on Southern Lebanon.

I do believe we have more to fear from an organized state sinking into barbarism than we do from malcontent individuals or even groups. Far more.

A state, moreover, armed with nuclear weapons and ugly stuff like nerve gas.

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