Canada silent as Israel raids Palestinian human rights offices in West Bank

Canada silent as Israel raids Palestinian human rights offices in West Bank

As published in the Hill Times: September 5, 2022

The recent Israeli raid on a Palestinian human rights office reminded me that Israel employed secret evidence in 2021 to categorize six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations. This is hardly news, since the Israeli state routinely targets Palestinians who dares advocate for themselves with any effectiveness.

Recent apartheid findings by Amnesty International and Israeli human rights groups has angered Israeli leaders and thus worsened conditions for Arab Israelis, occupied Palestinians in the West Bank and Golan and of course, the Gaza strip. In spite of this, it is worth remembering that the South African apartheid regime crumbled eventually.
While official Canada had remained silent, nine European countries consider these allegations devoid of merit. Democracy is not served when any state uses overwhelming power to criminalize their critics.

The use of secret evidence against alleged terrorists and their supporters is not uniquely Israeli. France; with Canadian support, persists in its use of secret evidence against Hassan Diab, a Lebanese Canadian accused of bombing a Paris synagogue in the early 1980's. One possible motive for this persecution is France's desire to protect its regime of arms trading and nuclear technology assistance with Israel. What is one man's dignity compared to billions in profits?

As well, the former Harper government quickly de-funded Kairos; a Palestinian advocacy organization accused of supporting Hamas, an official terrorist organization. Ironically, the democratically-elected Hamas was once allied with Israel against the Fatah party. Throughout history, the terrorist label has involved the perpetrator's allegiance and the victims' identity. In other words, "we" (us and our allies) are incapable of terrorism while "they" (anyone who opposes us) rely on it and are thus, ready targets.

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.

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

Morgan Duchesney