A lot of Political Mavens readers may instinctively suspect that Canada has lumped itself in with the chorus of nations denouncing Israel for defending itself against Hamas. Not so. To my surprise, both the Conservative government and the opposition Liberals (led by none other than former Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff) have laid blame for the conflict on Hamas and upheld Israel’s rights to protect its citizens.
Not that Canada doesn’t have its share of left-wing anti-Israel voices. Labour leader Sid Ryan, for instance, has called for a boycott of Israeli academics, and compared Israel to the Nazis (for which he was forced to apologize). Naomi Klein echoes the call for a boycott against Israel (which, according to one of her sources, is “infinitely worse than apartheid”). But overall, most influential Canadians have been sensible.
Perhaps Canada’s crowning symbolic achievement during the Gaza conflict was this Jan. 12 news item: “The top UN rights body has approved a resolution condemning Israel’s military offensive in Gaza saying it has ‘resulted in massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people.’ On Monday, the Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted 33 in favor and 1 against the resolution that also accuses Israel of systematically destroying Palestinian infrastructure and of targeting civilians and medical facilities. European Union countries abstained and Canada voted against the resolution.”
The only voice of reason in a forum of 47 countries? Makes me proud to be a Canadian.
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