Canada and Israel

Canada and Israel

as published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2018, pp. 6-7

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s abstention on the recent U.N. vote against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was both predictable and firmly rooted in Canada’s history of official support for Zionism at the expense of Palestinian Arabs. Canada’s non-Jewish Zionists include Biblical literalists and other Christians seeking the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

Former Prime Minister Lester Pearson worked strenuously to promote an Israel that would serve U.S. and British interests in the Middle East. He and other Canadian leaders displayed a colonialist attitude to Palestine’s Arab population, who were justifiably opposed to foreign interference in their affairs and rightly feared those incoming European Jews who had every intention of displacing them to create a new state.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Canadian, American and British anti-Semitism inspired calls to route European Jews to Palestine rather than Western nations. A Pakistani U.N. official wryly noted that the world’s great powers had been very generous at the expense of the Arabs; who had played no role in the Holocaust or Europe’s historical anti-Semitism.

Responding perhaps to the revealing work of historians like Benny Morris and Illan Pappé, Israeli bureaucrats continue to reseal declassified records that threaten to expose the darker aspects of Zionism and Western efforts to help Israel expand territorially. These censors may have been inspired by George Orwell, who said of history, those who control the past control the future.

Morgan Duchesney, Ottawa

We wonder how many North Americans think that Israel came into being only as a result of the Holocaust, when in fact Zionists and their Western sponsors and backers had been plotting since the end of the 19th century.