Why I vote pro-Israel in Canadian elections

I know it’s not popular to say and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but unless there is an extreme leader, let’s say an unusual American president, my central premise of voting revolves around support for Israel. I’m a proud progressive, so I always pay attention that other issues are not drastically compromised and I’m not risking much the well-being of my fellow Canadians, but when the coast is clear, I’m all in with Israel. I don’t announce this often because the majority of the time when I do actually mention this publicly, there is always one or two people, mostly fellow Zionist on the left who immediately challenge my loyalty to this amazing country and call me a one-issue voter who has no consideration to what’s going on around him. I know that many Jewish voters put Israel-Palestinian conflict as a lower priority but I want to make the case for the few who choose to make this our top priority.

So, let’s take a hypothetical example. If tomorrow Italy decides that Greece is not a real country. Where the borders of Greece always belonged to them, and they don’t care what happens to the Greeks. They can leave politely which we all know they will not do, or be ready to have a full genocide committed against them under a slogan of pushing them to the sea. All around the world, people supporting the Italians, cheering from the Thyerian sea to the Mediterranean Sea, Italy will be free, and then the Canadian government decides to legitimize this discussion by picking a side. Of course, the left-leaning party would fully support the Italians and the moderates bounce around. If this would happen to the Greeks or any other nation for that matter, they would have jumped on roofs and call out bloody murder. This wouldn’t simply go quietly, like the Jews who accept this discussion in a civil manner.

I don’t expect you to agree with my narrative, I know many people see it as just another topic about a country that we have foreign relationship with and seems to be getting way too much media, but for many Jews like me, Israel is my identity no different than Greece are to Greeks, Italy is for Italians and for that matter the Dutch are for Netherlands, (just to offer an example of other people where the name of their ethnicity is different than the name of their country.). When you debate the legitimacy of Israel, it might be a fun and interesting political debate for you but for me, you are debating whether I exist or not. When you support the Anti-Israel protest, I will have to point out as a side note that you are not really supporting Palestinians but what you are supporting is people who are hoping to commit the next genocide. The Left parties that choose to support BDS are literally supporting the full ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people in Levant. If you don’t believe me, just google quotes and goals of Omar Barghouti the founder of BDS. When I vote with Israel as my priority, I vote to protect my right to exist and the survival of my people, no different than a black lives matter supporter would make it black rights their central issue.

It’s also important to mention that my vote is not just for Israel, it is for the conflict as a whole, I don’t just need a leader that would support my right to exist, I also want a leader that would help me to end the conflict for the benefit of both, Jews and Palestinians. That means I need a leader that would stop funding UNRWA, a UN refugee organization that specifically focuses on keeping Palestinians refugees with double the budget and staff as UNHCR, a actual legitimate refugee organization that focuses on the rest of the world and only accept refugee status for one generation. It’s probably a shocker for most of you to hear it but I believe that UNRWA, is an organization that is dedicated to keep Palestinian as refugees and is the biggest reason why we are not moving forward with any peaceful resolution.

And I know that Israel may seem like a single one issue topic, but I truly believe that the UN and the world is using Israel as a scapegoat to ignore real atrocities around the world. If you don’t believe me check UN Yearly resolutions of Israel compared to the world. When Syria was losing about a million people, the UN made one resolution for Syria and 21 for Israel. Not to mention they will probably won’t come up with any resolution for the Kurds.

I know many of you probably rolling your eyes right now, and If you are, there is not enough room in this article for me to prove you all these points in detail. I simply wanted to offer you a perspective to my central issue, is not some false loyalty to Canada. The support of my politicians towards the country of my origin has a huge impact on my life and the world as a whole and I simply can’t see a more urgent topic for any Jew. I love Canada and I’m so thankful that I live in a country that I’m free to fight for my identity and if I ever do see a leader that truly can damage the wellbeing of this nation I will most certainly make it a bigger issue.

About the Author
Sharon has been an activist in the Jewish community for nearly two decades. He was heavily active in student activism and quickly moved on to become an executive at the Canadian Jewish Congress, and the National Chair of Outreach for B’nai Brith Canada. Sharon currently invests his time in developing the progressive zionist movement http://progressivezionist.com, a non-apologetic and non-compromising approach to achieving peace, helping progressives who love Israel to finally get on the offensive.
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