Thursday, July 31, 2014

Canada-Israel Solidarity Rally

Yesterday while this carnage was going on, Chris Gunness from UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, was breaking down in tears on live TV after 19 were killed and 125 wounded in the latest attack on a UN school in Gaza, which the UN accused Israel of carrying out after being warned 17 times that civilians were seeking shelter there ...

Gunness : "UNRWA is overwhelmed in #Gaza  - we have reached breaking point, our staff are being killed, our shelters overflowing. Where will it end?"

Note : Canada once provided 10% of UNRWA's budget. Now, according to UNRWA's list of of 60 donor countries for 2013, we give nothing.  
In 2010, then Treasury Board director Vic Toews explained the funds would be redirected "in accordance with Canadian values". 

Meanwhile, fifty miles away at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, Liberal MPs Carolyn Bennett and John McCallum, Con MPs David Sweet and Ted Opitz, Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, and former Liberal Senator Jerry Grafstein were leading the Canada-Israel Solidarity Rally in singing O Canada and Hatikva on, as JPost put it, "Day 23 of Operation Protective Edge."

Con MP Randy Hoback not shown in photo.

The Jerusalem Post reported in advance that the event would also include a broadcasted appearance by John Baird

For all I know they may have also broadcast this :

The Solidarity Rally Lib/Con MPs and senators did not, needless to say, visit the West Bank, or Gaza where they might have been in danger of being shelled by their hosts..

But prior to the group giving their "fact-finding mission" report to the Government of Canada, here are some of their advance observations from the trip. 

Con MP Randy Hoback An opportunity to ask tough questions
“How often do you get the chance to get firsthand information about what’s going on in Israel in regards to both the rocket bombs coming out of Gaza and reaction from Israel.”
"It’s very interesting, there’s a lot of things that people don’t understand. Hamas is the issue here, it’s not the Palestinian people. Hamas is a terrorist organization, their whole goal is [getting] Israel off this earth. This group isn’t a group that you can sit down and talk with and negotiate a peace settlement. It isn’t a group that wants to be your friend, they basically want to annihilate Israel which is very sad. 
They are willing to put children in front of bombs and willing to put rocket launchers inside of schools and inside of mosques, basically do whatever they have to do to win their so called war. So it makes it tough when they do these things.”
Senator Grafstein
“I’m absolutely amazed about how strong and how supportive Israel has been in this war effort, but more important than that at how united they’ve been and how calm, cool and collected they’ve been.”
David Sweet :
"Tory MP David Sweet said Wednesday that from his location in Israel he could see and hear the destruction in Gaza. 
"It was quite an experience to see the havoc, the death threats," he said. 
The way Sweet sees it, the people of Israel have been under siege for eight years. 
"Sleep deprived for eight years," he said. "Who knows the long-term effects of that?"

Mark Regev would be so proud



Boris said...


Is Hoback suggesting it is OK to kill civilians if Hamas is hiding behind them?

thwap said...

What monsters. What empty-headed monsters.

Anonymous said...

Interesting no one from the NDP went. Were they not invited or did the decline?

Alison said...

Anon : According to the CBC :
"A senior NDP source told CBC News Tuesday that it did not want its MPs on the trip. "In the current context, only a mission organized by a neutral organization would be appropriate."

Hill Times :
"NDP MP Dewar turned down the trip to Israel
“I didn’t think it would be responsible for me to participate in a rally that simply supported the position of the government of Israel. That seemed to be what it was in the end,” Mr. Dewar said of this week’s delegation. “It’s way too sensitive a time right now to be having people go as observers on a trip funded by a group that by its own claim [supports] one side.”
[the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)]

Mr. Dewar also criticized the Conservatives’ decision to end its general funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in 2009.

The agency, which is responsible for providing humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip, has been accused by the Canadian and Israeli governments of being complicit in the rocket attacks by Hamas. UNRWA operated schools in the Gaza Strip have been the target of Israeli airstrikes in recent weeks. The agency says that six of the 245 schools that it operates in the Gaza Strip have been hit by the IDF since Operation Protective Edge began on July 8.

“We totally disagree with the government’s approach. We think it’s not balanced. We think that we should be telling our friends, Israel and [Prime Minister] Netanyahu in particular, that he’s not doing enough to protect civilians,” Mr. Dewar told The Hill Times. “We disagree with Mr. Netanyahu and his approach, because notwithstanding their claim to trying to be careful, we’ve seen too high of civilian casualties and it’s unacceptable.” "

Thwap : Ya think? See late update from Sweet above.

Boris : He said something similar before the trip. Honestly I don't think he meant it like that, but doesn't seem to realize his words imply justification.

Dana said...

Clearly the Palestinians in Gaza are untermenschen and not worthy of concern. Still, I don't think the Netanyahu government has yet unveiled their final solution. Harper will support it whatever it is - especially if it involves a furnace-like environment.

Anonymous said...

Harper did take some kind of a planeload with him, when he visited Israel. Harper is encouraging Israel to make war with Palestine.

Six members of my family, served during WW2. One brother was in the Liberation of a concentration camp. Our family had always supported the Jewish people.

However, in dreadful shock when, I see Israel has thrown themselves in with the fascist monster Harper, I am in disbelief. Have the citizens of Israel, forgotten about their children, with tattoo`s on their little arms. The dead Palestinian children, are merely collateral damage.

I have always detested Harper. He has no decency, honor, ethics nor morals, what-so-ever. Now I believe Israel, is no better that Harper.

Anonymous said...

Harper stopped general funding of UNWRA in 2009? wtf?

Isn't UNWRA the only relief agency willing to work in an active battle zone in Palestine?

Beijing York said...

"Harper stopped general funding of UNWRA in 2009? wtf?"

I was just as shocked as you Anonymous to hear this. WTF indeed. This is not the country I recognize.

There is not one official party that has the courage to call what Bibi's government is doing a war crime. Good old punching boy Putin deserves to be dragged into international court for the death of approx. 300 airline passengers who may or may not have been the victims of a missile attack on their airliner by pro-Russian militants? But some 1300 mostly civilian deaths in Gaza are just freaking collateral damage in Israel's quest to defend themselves from a barrage of rockets?

For fuck's sake, what is wrong with these so-called leaders and supposed impartial media? This is beyond sickening as it was when Israel was given carte blanche to butcher innocents and destroy infrastructure in Lebanon. And there was also the previous collective punishment foray into Gaza. When is it brutal enough to call out the truth?

The current government of Israel is hell bent on wiping Palestine off the face of the earth.

Alison said...

BY and Anon : Yes, UNRWA is the only relief agency working under fire in Gaza and yes, we've cut our funding to it to zero in the last two years
I didn't know people didn't know.
I've just now added a note and links about it near the top of the main post.

Here's a bit more history.

Once Canada provided 10% of UNRWA's total budget.
In 2009 Canadians were told that our general funding to UNRWA including medical help etc. would now be restricted to just funding for food, with the rest being redirected to the Palestinian Authority.
Various evangelical groups and Jewish groups here and in Israel had been lobbying for this for years, arguing that - given the tiny area from which to hire employees - UNRWA might have been or else definitely was infiltrated by Hamas.
I also would imagine they didn't much care for UNRWA's report alerting the world to Israel's use of phosphorus shells in Gaza - remember that?

Israel and the US both asked Canada to reinstate funding in 2010. No go.

Last year Canada was absent from UNRWA's list of 60 donor countries altogether.

In January this year Lib MP Irwin Cotler called for UNRWA to be disbanded entirely.

Anonymous said...

Holly Stick talkin':

Of the 6 MPs who were just over there, Liberals Carolyn Bennett and John McCallum met with some Palestinian people or groups in Ramallah, West Bank; a few tweets about it, eg:

Anonymous said...

Holly Stick again

Meanwhile Antonia Zerbisia tweeted some interesting links:

Today's NDP statement which I think is feeble but inching in a good direction:

And today's statement by the NDP Youth which is well done and not feeble:

Anonymous said...

Same shit, different decade. Until Canadians get off their fat asses and vote in a progressive government these crimes against humanity will go on for ever. Liberals .... Harper/Cons are like sisters, turn them upside down and they look the same. Its taken Harper less than 10 years to destroy what took Canada 100 + years to accomplish on the world stage as being a caring, generous,compassionate country that probably and most importantly was the conscious of the world in matters as the one we are experiencing in the middle east.

Shame an all of the tunnel visioned short sighted low information morons that voted these a..holes to represent Canada. We are all tarred with their shallow sleaze dripping


Unknown said...

Anon 2/8/14 9:38 am we are f***ed.

Unknown said...

Resistance is justified when Gaza is occupied
Israel's propaganda offensive puts the blame for death and destruction in Gaza on Hamas. Eric Ruder examines the various claims--and sets the record straight.

July 29, 2014
Gazans march in a funeral procession for a victim of Israel's war
Gazans march in a funeral procession for a victim of Israel's war
AS THE world reels in horror at mounting Palestinian deaths in

Gaza, the Israeli propaganda machine and its willing accomplices in the U.S. mainstream media have issued their customary reply: Blame Hamas.

Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed all responsibility for Palestinian deaths on Hamas:

Go figure.

Boris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boris said...


It's means and ends, and the fine-grained details when it comes to Palestinian resistance in Gaza through Hamas.

Resistance movements take all forms both in strategy, tactics, and governing ideologies. In challenging Israeli oppression, Hamas uses rockets and tunnels and is governed by an Islamist ideology. These facts are not in dispute. It tries to kill Israeli soldiers and civilians much the same as the IRA in Northern Ireland which killed British soldiers and civilians in respons British military occupation and Protestant socioeconomic domination. Hamas is not absolved just because Israel kills Palestinians at rates orders of magnitude greater than Hamas is capable. Hamas KNOWS that Israel will respond in force to its rockets and attacks, and it knows that Israeli incursions generate a response that feeds the cycle or system of revenge, yet it still does it. This can only mean that it benefits from the violence because dead Palestinians give it free fresh recruits and reinforce the claims behind its own propaganda, not to mention that of the rightwing Israelis. The claim in the SW piece that Israel wishes to destroy the "spirit of resistance represented by Hamas" ignores the acutely violent nature of the organisation. It as much a terror group as the current Israeli government because it thrives on violence and death. Together, they form a ghoulish self-perpetuating system of death.

The history of anti-colonial resistance movements is rare on instances of peaceful emancipation acheived through violence. The IRA eventually abandoned violence for a political solution. India achieved independence through Ghandi's satyagraha strategy. In Canada, we were spared the bloody US Indian Wars, opting instead for more duplicitous or civil forms of violence, now resolved through courts and not arms.

In places where anti-colonial resistance used violence, the results tended/s be violent even after the coloniser has left. Many African states have and continue to have sorry post-colonial histories.

Try this:

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