Prime Minister Trudeau: Is Canada a fake ally and fair-weather friend of Israel? Part III

In Part I of this paper, I raised a number of questions about the case of Dr. Loubani, among others, as to his reasons for being where he was at the time he got shot. Well, Bradley Martin in his article titled “Justin Trudeau is no Friend of Israel “ in the May 18 issue of the algemeiner  reports that the doctor was  previously arrested in Egypt for his support of Islamic terrorism and refers to him as “alleged murderer Tarik Loubani” without providing further details to explain the reasons for using the first two words.

In Part II of the paper, I outlined the humanitarian and constructive alternative courses of action the Prime Minister could have taken for sake of the inhabitants of Gaza (save for Hamas and its army). But instead, he preferred to take the most unproductive course of action prejudicial to the inhabitants.

In the meantime, since Trudeau issued his statement, Hamas Leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar declared:

Our people took off their military uniforms and joined the marches; they have imposed their agenda upon the whole world; we decided to turn the bodies of our women and children into a dam blocking Arab collapse (for a full transcript of his TV interview, see: MEMRI, Special Dispatch, May 18, 2018)

Since then, it occurred to me that beyond four of the interim measures, he could have taken the leadership to liberate the people of Gaza from the yoke of Hamas by organising an international military force of the willing countries, to get rid of Hamas and of any other terrorist organisation in Gaza so as to give the people the chance to catch their breath and help them to start rebuilding their society.

The examination of the history of Trudeau government’s pattern of dealing with Israel and with matters concerning Israel shows it to be one that vacillates between indifference and cynicism and opportunism and passive-aggressive hostility interspersed with photo-opportunities to capture his smiling foreign diplomacy.

Starting with the current events, Trudeau condemned Israel’s conduct in the current Gaza war  based in good measure on the alleged excessive  used  by the IDF towards the civilians whom he described as “protestors” and grandly demanded an international investigation  of the conduct of the IDF. All this  grandstanding, despite the fact that Col. Richard Kemp, a former commander of the British military forces in Afghanistan who also served in Iraq and the Balkans and  is widely recognised and respected military expert,  told the  special meeting of the U.N.  Human Rights  Council  that IDF   troops should be commended for saving the lives of Palestinians during the violent rioting that occurred  during the week of May 13.  (cf. the staff, the algemeiner, May 18, 2018)

Yet, I did not hear him to condemn Turkey’s genocidal military conduct against the Kurds at Efrin. Nor did I hear him condemn the Iraqi government for expelling  the Palestinians claimed to be refugees, from its territory. And when the Syrians were bombing the hell out of the agglomerations of such Palestinians in the country with explosive barrels, Trudeau was nowhere to be found and certainly not as his desk issuing a statement condemning the government of Syria.

2015 (after the election)                                                                      After the election Canada  changed its tone toward Israel and the Middle Eas.The new government Canada decided to strive for a “more balanced policy” regarding the Middle East, including to engage in active outreach to the Arab world…Among progressives, the term “balance” can excuse all manner of foolishness….In a telephone conversation between Trudeau and Netanyahu, the Canadian leader ‘explained there would be a shift in tone, but said Canada would continue to be a friend of Israel…’.

The government paid $35,000 to an artist whose exhibits glorify Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. The artist continuously justified terrorist attacks plotted by her brother including the 1974 massacre of 22 Israeli schoolchildren and four adults.

2015-2016: BDS                                                                                      During the 2015 general federal election that brought Trudeau to power, he ran an ad in the Canadian Jewish News which in part reads:

The Liberal Part of Canada believes that…..we must oppose Boycott, Divest and Sanction campaigns in our communities and continue to speak out forcefully against them….I am opposed to the BDS movement. I think it’s an example of the new form of anti-Semitism in the world…an example of the three “D’s”: demonization of Israel, deligitimisation of Israel, and a double standard applied toward Israel.

On other occasions he said: The BDS movement has no place on Canadian campuses. And he repeatedly said enough is enough.

After he won the election , he was nowhere to be seen, heard or to be read on the subject.

On February 18, 2016, two members of the Conservative Party in Parliament decided that it was time to do something about the BDS movement in Canada and tabled their anti-BDS motion fully expecting that the leaders of both major parties would put their money where their mouths are and vote swiftly for the motion. They were in for a big surprise.The motion read:

That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House [1] reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and [2] call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement here at home and abroad.

 During the ensuing debate on the motion a leading  member of the Conservative Party  told the House of Commons:

….The boycott, divest, sanction campaigners claim it to be a human rights movement. In fact it is nothing more than a thinly disguised, multi-dimensional hate campaign. On the one hand …it seeks to delegitimize and demonize Israel with hateful, hypocritical anti-Semitic attacks .On the other hand, on Canadian university and college campuses, the BDS movement focuses the new anti-Semitism on pro-Israel and Jewish students, disrupting with hate what should be a happy, uplifting student experience.

Trudeau failed to show up on the day when the motion was to be argued in the House of Commons. Instead, Mr. Dion, the Minister of External Affairs led the debate from the government benches.

In light of the strong statements of the Prime Minister during the election campaign, one would have thought that Mr. Dion would follow suit.

After  informing the House, that the Liberals would vote in favour of the motion he then proceeded, for all intents and purposes, spoke against the motion by giving a perfect demonstration of the art of speaking on both sides of the mouth or, as my Indigenous brethren would say, he spoke with a forked tongue.

He first paid homage to the Canadian Jewish community beginning with an appropriate mea culpa about the ill- treatment of Jews in Canada before, during and for a time, after World War II and the government’s refusal to give sanctuary to Jewish refugees. He then praised the contributions of the community to Canada.

Mr. Dion then proceeded to describe Canada as a close ally and a strong friend of Israel since 1948 and the relationship between the two countries as broad and deep.

He specifically referred to the mutually beneficial exchanges of scientific research and related joint endeavours and put some emphasis on the importance of trade between the two countries and mentioned the free- trade agreement  describing it in highly favourable terms the importance and the benefits of these endeavours for Canada .

Likewise, Mr. Dion paid his diplomatic dues to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and claimed that Canada is an important partner of the P.A. He said: Our development and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza address the immediate needs of the Palestinian people. Contrary to all reliable evidence, he claimed that This helps to lay the groundwork for the viable, democratic and secure Palestinian state…

But when Mr. Dion turned to the intent, substance, effect and merits of the motion, his tongue spliced. He (a) accused the Conservatives of bad faith and divisive tactics;(b) asserted that  the motion was divisive; (c) expressed  some disagreement with the way the  motion was framed; (d) ) save for a  single reference to “some hate-filled extremists, racists and anti-Semites … [about whom he said] “We must strongly condemn those individuals”; (e)  ignored the well- documented evidence of the serious harm caused by the BDS movement not only in Canada  but also  to the economy  of the Palestinians; (f) paid  lip service to the adverse impact of the BDS movement on the Jewish college and university students with a one liner and  then despite the fact that  during the debate members of  his party and of the two other major parties  kept speaking about  the serious  problems  experienced  by Jewish and pro-Israeli students on Canadian campuses from coast to coast  caused by the BDS movement and its supporters; (g) reduced  the BDS movement  to a mere aggregate of individual supporters, and (h) in effect, rejected the second part of the motion  by re-framing it by reference to the individual supporters of the movement with sparse reference to organizations.

Mr. Dion stated, time and again, that his opposition to the BDS movement is based on the fact that it is not the right solution to the problem; that it will not lead to a peace agreement, and that its supporters are simply misguided in thinking that the BDS will bring about the realisation of the two-state solution even though the movement’s directing minds and the supporters who think along the same lines are clearly not interested at all in that solution.

In a disingenuous  display of wilful ignorance of the well-established facts about the nature of the  BDS movement and the despicable  and at times criminal behaviour  of its supporters on campuses and elsewhere and its ultimate goal to destroy Israel, the Minister  insisted  again and again that save for some individuals,  most of the people  in  the movement  including many organizations are acting in good faith, believe that the BDS is the way to go in order to get Israel to reach a peace agreement with the PA based on the two-state formula.(Italics mine).

In an attempt to convince the House of the wisdom of his argument, Mr. Dion could not resist the temptation of pointing out that even some Jewish people were among those who in good faith shared this belief. (Italics mine) Obviously, Mr. Dion did not know much about  the Jewish Diaspora’s so-called  “progressives”, “lefties” or “liberals”, who are more accurately  known in the  Canadian Jewish community as meshuggeneh (English word of Yiddish originCrazy; senseless. One who is crazy).

So, what then did the government propose in response to the motion? How did the Minister of Foreign Affairs plan to actively combat the pernicious new forms of anti-Semitism [BDS] that are attacking the very existence and legitimacy of the State of Israel? How will he prevent people from being misled by entities that have bad intentions?

The response was: The direction we must take is to launch a number of programs that are effective in combatting racism and developing tolerance, openness and acceptance in Canada”. However, it is important to avoid painting everyone with the same brush, to avoid driving wedges all over the place with indiscriminate condemnations. One thing we can do is identify anti-Semitism and separate this anti-Semitism from legitimate discourse in which we are looking to find solutions and we can have good-natured disagreements…We will be there to fight any attempt to divide Canadians and to put Canadians in good faith in the same bag with people who are animated by hatred and racism….The first way to fight racism is to avoid amalgamation [of these two groups of people].

So at the end of the day, Mr. Dion on behalf of his government reinvented the BDS movement as comprising “some” hate filled- extremists among most of its supporters who in good faith advocate ultimately the mass capital unishment of Israel, i.e. its demonisation, delegitimisation  and ultimately its destruction.(Italics mine)

This is certainly not how the Prime Minister characterised the BDS movement and linked it to anti-Semitism on the nation’s campuses.
Needless to say, at the end of the day, the government did absolutely nothing about the BDS movement in Canada  and on university campuses where the overall situation is now  worse than it was in early February 2016 or  in anywhere else for that matter. If anything the Foreign Minister’s utterances during the debate contributed to the legitimisation of the BDS  movement and in the process  provided an impetus, if one was needed, to the spread of  anti-Semitism in Canada under the guise of BDS advocacy.

2015-2018                                                                                          Trudeau has yet  to denounce and condemn publicly   the Palestinian Authority’s support of terrorism committed in Israel.

2015- 2018                                                                                               Trudeau  reversed the policy of the previous government and  reinstated Canada’s annual contribution to UNWRA, a portion of  which is devoted to the education of Palestinian  schoolers despite  incontrovertible evidence that   the textbooks used by these students, are designed to inculcate  them  with hatred of Israel and Israelis, incite them to commit violence against the country and its people, praise martyrdom resulting from the perpetration of such violence. (See: my blog  Canada and the funding of the Palestinian school books, April 26,2018) .

His government deceived the Canadian public with the assurance that Canada would monitor closely the contents of the schoolbooks,  presumably with the intention of insuring that the books used by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza  through UNWRA are cleansed  of their poisonous  hatred towards Jews and Israel. The government did nothing of the sort and if it did, it took no remedial action.

He ignored the compelling evidence presented in February 2017  by in UN Watch’s Report on UNWRA Teachers’ Incitement to Jihadist Terrorism and Antisemitism  and refused  to take any of the remedial measures   UN Watch  recommended to the donors specifically the United States, Canada,  the U.K  and the E.U.

Shortly after the report was distributed, a member of the Conservative Party  asked the Government  Minister responsible for the UNWRA file: Canada would never  tolerate  the employment of racist  teachers in our schools. Why are the   Liberals funding [UNWRA] when there is clear evidence that it employs it employs racist anti-Semites and terrorists?

 The Minister did not answer this clear question. Instead, she talked about the wonderful work Canada was doing with UNWRA and concluded her reply with the following inane statement: I would rather see [Palestinian ] children  at the UN school than on the street.           

But the E.U.  finally did something about the matter and in in March 2018, the E.U.  Parliament ‘s Committee on budgetary control introduced legislation  designed to ensure that all programs financed by EU money “ reflect   common values such as freedom, tolerance, and non-discrimination within education.” On April 18,the E.U. adopted this legislation which is intended to prevent E.U. aid being transferred to the Palestinian Authority (via UNWRA) for education purposes from being used to teach hate, and insure that henceforth the textbooks of the Palestinian Authority used by UNWRA  and in the other schools under P.A’s authority meet the E.U. and UNESCO standards.

To date, the Trudeau government  has yet  to express  its  full support  for this legislation, let alone enact similar legislation.

 2015 -2018                                                                                          Trudeau has yet to publicly denounce and  condemn the practice of the Palestinian Authority to name schools, not to mention streets and public places, after dead Palestinian terrorists.

Trudeau has yet to  publicly denounce and condemn forcefully  Hezbollah and demand international action to strengthen the UN peace keeping force enlarge its mandate and insure that it removes from Lebanon the terrorist  Hezbollah  military infrastructure and weaponry.

2016-2018                                                                                                Canada has yet  to denounce  and condemn  the Palestinian Authority for  paying  salaries to Palestinians who commit acts of terrorism against Israel and Israelis and in case of death to their families.

2016-2017                                                                                            Blaming Israel:  The Foreign Affairs Minister Dion, made it clear that Israel shares, if not bears, responsibility for the ills befalling it.

False equivalence: In a public statement, the Foreign Affairs Minister equated Palestinian and Israeli “violence and incitement” and calling on “both sides” to return to the negotiating table.

Inability or Unwillingness to Empathise with and Express Sympathy to Israel nor to Condemn Palestinian Terrorism and to Mean It : On the heels of two particularly horrifying stabbing attacks by Palestinian terrorists against two Israeli women-one slashed to death  in front of her traumatised  teenage daughter and the other wounded while pregnant, Foreign Minister  warns  Israel about receiving a more harshly worded reprimand.

2018 Just  days after announcing that he would offer an official apology on behalf of the government  for the turning away of 907  German Jews on the ship St. Louis  fleeing the Holocaust  for their lives, thus forcing them to return to Hamburg where  a great number of them  transported east and murdered, Trudeau  issued an official letter strongly supporting “Palestine Day which took place in  Canada’s Parliament building, coinciding with   “Land Day”(an annual event calling for the annihilation of Israel). This year’s event featured anti-Israel activists calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.

These facts sum up the nature and substance of Trudeau’s  new balanced approach to the Middle-East  issues and to Israel: To be charitable one is left to wonder if the Prime Minister suffers from mental dyslexia. Some friend! Some ally!

About the Author
Doğan Akman immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice as a Crown prosecutor, and then moved over to the to civil litigation branch . Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled "This is My New Homeland" published in Istanbul.