Feds’ approach to Israeli state is troubling, says Ottawa reader

Feds’ approach to Israeli state is troubling, says Ottawa reader

As published in the Hill Times: 6 July 2022 & the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: January-February 2023 Vol. XLII, No1

Canadian government’s “working definition of antisemitism”

The Canadian government’s embrace of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) “working definition of antisemitism” is troubling, given the government’s indifference to Israel’s illegal occupation of conquered Palestinian territory and ongoing defiance of the Geneva Convention and United Nations Resolutions.

By supporting this non-legal “definition”, the government encourages the false notion that even accurate criticism of the Israel state policy is a form of antisemitism. As one writer noted “…The trick is to enforce a set of boundaries around criticism of Israel without investigating whether these boundaries bear any relation to boundaries on the ground.”

Therefore, the act of documenting the offence becomes a greater sin than the offense itself to those who think the Israeli state deserves preferential treatment and ought to be accorded exceptional status.

Effective opposition to Canada’s role in Israeli misdeeds is hampered by mainstream media coverage that routinely portrays even peaceful Palestinian resistance as terrorism. Alternately, the Israeli state is automatically presented as an embattled democracy whose noble intentions sometimes go awry.

Recent reports by Amnesty International and Israeli peace groups have concluded that the Israeli state operates an apartheid system assigning inferior status to Israeli Arabs and open hostility to Palestinians in Gaza, the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem.

Canada’s official rejection of accurate criticism of Israeli conduct has little to do with Zionism and everything to do with profitable deference to the U.S. government’s military, financial and diplomatic support for Israel.