Monday, March 01, 2010

Say No To Tim Uppal's Motion

That this House considers itself to be a friend of the State of Israel; that this House is concerned about expressions of anti-Semitism under the guise of "Israeli Apartheid Week"; and that this House explicitly condemns any action in Canada as well as internationally that would equate the State of Israel with the rejected and racist policy of apartheid.

Because some good people say it is an apartheid state, and some say it ain't, and some (like myself) think the phrase is an exaggeration that hides a germ of truth. None of us needs the federal government to step in and offer guidance on the issue.

(PS. What will actualy happen when the motion--which has no legal force--is introduced? I suspect gutlessness, at least from the Liberal benches. I would like to be pleasantly surprised.)


C-Nuck said...

As Michael Ignatieff noted during apartheid week last year, “International law defines ‘Apartheid’ as a crime against humanity. Labeling Israel an ‘Apartheid’ state is a deliberate attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself.”

Jason Cherniak said...

Israeli Arabs are the only Arabs in the region who participate in a real democracy, yet you call it apartheid? Some of them even elect legislators who question the legitimacy of their own country. Sound familiar?

It's fair ball to debate Israel's policies in fighting Hamas and other terrorist groups, but comparing it to "apartheid" has no basis in reality. This is little different than when anti-zionists compare Israel to Nazi Germany - it's about creating a dialogue with no truth behind it in order to smear the country and avoid the real issues at stake.

Dr. Dawg, I think you'll see that Ignatieff believed every word when this motion comes up for a vote.

Ti-Guy said...

What does Jack Layton have to say about "Israel Apartheid Week?"

Anyway, I'm just going to sit back and wait for Pfizer to come up with a pill to alleviate antisemitism. It's obvious that the rest of us are powerless to do anything about it: "Sorry, I have APD : Antisemitic Personality Disorder. It's related to BDS; Bush Derangement Syndrome. Don't blame me. It probably has something to do with estrogen-like compounds in the environment or something."

Ti-Guy said...

Israeli Arabs are the only Arabs in the region who participate in a real democracy,

They, along with other Israelis, may be the only people participating in any real democracy in the entire World, at least when it comes to talking about Israel. That of course, will depend on just how the Knesset intends to deal with this latest antisemitic tirade from that reliable ol' Jew-hater, Ehud Barak:

If, and as long as between the Jordan and the sea, there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic... If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a binational state, and if they don't, it is an apartheid state.

Holly Stick said...

If Israel doesn't like being called an apartheid state, it should stop acting like an apartheid state. If Canadian supporters of Israel don't like it being called an apartheid state, they should stop apologizing for its apartheid-like actiivities and urge Israel to treat the Palestinians with justice.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, perhaps we could watch The 'Humanitarian Queue'. I suggest watching it without sound. It's absolutely intolerable otherwise.

Ti-Guy said...

We've moved so far beyond basic conceptual coherence that it's impossible to talk about this sensibly anymore. I still have problems understanding how a secular, liberally-democratic state with a diverse population can ever be thought of as "Jewish," nor can I ever accept that any state has an inherent right to exist. Our own supreme court has tacitly ruled that Canada, as it's currently constituted, doesn't have that privilege.

My real concern though, is Canada getting dragged into the upcoming war in the ME, when (and not if) Israel and Iran finally get it on. I have a sickening feeling that public opinion is being mobilised for just that eventuality and that we are being compelled to choose a side in a conflict in which our military participation will be completely irrelevant, but for which Canada's moral support would be a jewel in the crown.

Ti-Guy said...

I'll add that I believe the Liberals *and* the Conservatives are complicit in the campaign to shape public opinion.

Marky Mark said...

I like how BCL put it.

I really don't think our legislators should be regulating this discussion even if I agree more with Jason on the substantive debate re: the use of the A word. Note that Uppal didn't just condemn the use of the A word, but characterizes those that use it as anti-Semites.

Jason Cherniak said...

Barak is arguing for a two-state solution - which is the political consensus in Israel. Even the current right-wing government believes it. The problem is how you can create those two states when every negotiation thus far has ended in Palestinian terrorism.

Ti-Guy said...

which is the political consensus in Israel.

I don't believe that for a minute; not while the population of West Bank settlers continues to rise.

Of course, the eventual Palestinian state may be the one originally envisioned: Jordan.

Anonymous said...

Cherniak, I think you are far too intelligent a bloke to promote this hasbara stuff. Plus you insult our intelligence. Not nice. You write: "The problem is how you can create those two states when every negotiation thus far has ended in Palestinian terrorism."

We are no longer fooled. Analysis like the one quoted below is much more helpful:
[T]here is a powerful disconnect (one that was pervasive in Barak's speech) between most of this camp's diagnosis of the situation (an "end of the world as we know it" threat of apartheid or binationalism) and their prescription for addressing it: resume negotiations, blame the Palestinians, more of the same. It's like telling someone they have life-threatening yet treatable cancer and prescribing two aspirins a day.

If the situation is so dire, then bolder steps are surely called for. There are any number of game-changing options to consider. There are any number of game-changing options to consider. Maybe it is possible to engage Hamas (as is happening in the ongoing Shalit negotiations*), to lift the Gaza siege, and to accept Palestinian unity instead of vetoing it, so as to facilitate an empowered negotiating and implementing address. After all, Israel spoke to the PLO before its charter was amended, and the United States engaged Sunni ex-insurgents in Iraq and is encouraging dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
- Daniel Levy

* Although that one is in trouble now, it seems.

Marky Mark said...

I really hate agreeing with Ti-Guy but despite what public opinion polls in Israel may show and despite what successive Israeli governments say, what Israeli governments actually do is not fully consistent with the two state solution. Yes, Israel under Begin traded land for peace and later also withdrew from Gaza (for which they were repaid with acts of war in the name of continuous rocket fire), but the settlement policy is not consistent with two states at all.

Of course I don't believe for one second that the Palestinians are any more committed to two states than is Israel. I think they believe that they will outlast Zionism and that Israel will go the way of the USSR and Yugoslavia.

I wish both the Left and Right here in Canada had more intelligent and nuanced positions instead of in each case acting as apologists for the indefensible. In that respect I see where Uppal is coming from, but he replaces one form of bias with another and without furthering any Canadian national interests.

Marky Mark said...

P.S. Is anyone here aware of a Canadian academic having done a comparative analysis of Canada to Israel/Palestine, examining competing national claims as well as the theme of indigenous peoples? That really would be fascinating and could make for a unique Canadian perspective. Aren't people tired of it being either Israel is the Great Satan vs. Palestinians are Terrorists?

Ti-Guy said...

for which they were repaid with acts of war in the name of continuous rocket fire

*rolls eyes*

Go have a cup of chamomile, MM.

Marky Mark said...

OK just for fun, Ti-Guy, what do you think Trudeau, given the War Measures Act response to the FLQ Crisis would have done if he were the head of the Israeli government and rockets, however crude you no doubt will say they may be, were being fired into his territory?

a. gone off in search of Barbra Streisand;

b. gone canoeing;

c. said he was sorry that his country had been created and he would try to make amends; or

d. kicked the crap out of them?

Mitka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marky Mark said...

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2010

Statement by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff regarding Israeli Apartheid Week

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement today:

“On university campuses across the country this week, Israeli Apartheid Week will once again attempt to demonize and undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state. It is part of a global campaign of calls for divestment, boycotts and proclamations, and it should be condemned unequivocally and absolutely.

Apartheid is defined, in international law, as a crime against humanity. Israeli Apartheid Week is a deliberate attempt to portray the Jewish state as criminal.

The activities planned for the week will single out Jewish and Israeli students. They will be made to feel ostracized and even physically threatened in the very place where freedom should be paramount -- on a university campus.

Let us be clear: criticism of Israeli government policy is legitimate. Wholesale condemnation of the State of Israel and the Jewish people is not legitimate. Not now, not ever.

The very premise of Israeli Apartheid Week runs counter to our shared values of mutual respect and tolerance, regardless of nationality, race or creed. It is an attempt to heighten the tensions in our communities around the tragic conflict in the Middle East.

On behalf of the Liberal party of Canada and the Parliamentary caucus, I urge all Canadians to join with us in condemning Israeli Apartheid Week, and to reject, in principle, all forms of anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance, both within this country and around the world.”


Press Office
Office of the Leader of the Opposition

Ti-Guy said...

Ti-Guy, what do you think Trudeau, given the War Measures Act response to the FLQ Crisis would have done if he were the head of the Israeli government and rockets, however crude you no doubt will say they may be, were being fired into his territory?

Bear with me while I get out the Ouija board...

*rolls eyes*

Marky Mark said...

Mitka, isn't the answer to those who say Israel is an apartheid state to debate them and argue that it isn't?

C-Nuck said...

Well said Mitka.

Add to that list Jean Chretien, Stephane Dion and every Liberal Leader of the modern age.