Canadian Legislator Harden’s Israel Comments not anti-Semitic

Canadian Legislator Harden’s Israel Comments not anti-Semitic

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: March/April 2023

Canadian Legislator Joel Harden, a member of Ontario’s New Democratic Party; has been attacked Israeli advocacy groups for alleged “antisemitic comments.” This accusation may reflect his critics’ support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IRHA) “working definition of antisemitism” which casts even accurate criticism of Israel state policy as antisemitism. The IHRA definition is based partly on the dubious notion that that the state of Israel represents the interests of all Jews.

Last year Harden apparently said, “…the single greatest origin of violence in the Middle East, it is unquestionably the state of Israel and the way in which they feel absolutely no shame in defying international law…”
Harden was referencing the fact that the Israeli state, with full U.S. support; has defied over 70 UN Resolutions and the Geneva Convention to maintain control of conquered Palestinian territory. Israel has committed military aggression against all its neighbours and exists in a self-imposed state of permanent militarism.

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.

Israeli plans for the annexation or outright conquest of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan date back to Ben Gurion’s time and are rationalized by “biblical” prophecy. Such flexible border concepts perpetuate geopolitical instability and ensure conflict.

Peace will only be possible when the U.S. government ceases its military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel’s total domination of Palestinian society. Only that will allow the beginning of fair-dealing and the cynical two-state fantasy must eventually be replaced by a binational state with equal rights for all.

Rather than attempt to silence and shame Harden and others, it might be wiser to examine the facts behind their statements. For the time being at least, such attacks will continue to be mounted by those determined to shield Israel from the consequences of its unethical and illegal conduct.