Irwin Cotler is too Israeli to be in Canada's government
by Greg Felton
Wednesday October 12 2005
Niagara Palestinian Association
The smoking gun that should take down Cotler is his
affiliation with two organizations that directly
undermine Canada's Middle East policy... BESA
(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies [and] ...
JCPA (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs).
Several times in this space, I have drawn your
attention to a particularly serious threat to Canada's
national sovereigntyJustice Minister Irwin Cotler
(a.k.a. Israel's main man in Cabinet).
I've shown that he flogs the fraudulent "new
anti-Semitism" to manufacture sympathy for Israel; and
belongs to the Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel
(the "Little Knesset"); meddles in Middle East policy
to the detriment of Canada's national interests.
I've also shown that Cotler's reputation as a human
rights lawyer confers upon him an unwarranted air of
international respect and legitimacy.
Even though he declared: "as a matter of principle and
a matter of policy, torture must everywhere and always
be condemned," Cotler agitates on behalf of a state
founded on the systematic torture of Palestine's
native Semitic people, and he openly supports Alan
Dershowitz, who advocates torture and collective
punishment against Arabs.*
Moreover, Cotler belongs to WOJAC (World Organization
of Jews from Arab Countries), which is premised on the
bogus notion that Jews in Israel are "refugees" from
Arab lands, and therefore entitled to compensation. He
evinces no interest in the compensation due
Palestinians because of the Great Jewish
Given the foregoing, I concludedhow could I not?that
Cotler has an undeniable conflict of interest; is an
agent of a foreign power; and must be expelled from
Cabinet. Unfortunately, no such logical course of
action has happenednot yet, at any rate.
The minority Liberal government of Paul Martin is
joined at the hip to the Jewish Lobby, whose main
organs include B'nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Jewish
Congress, the Canada-Israel Political Affairs
Committee, the Canada-Israel Committee, the Canadian
Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, and the United
Israel Appeal Federations Canada.
Still, even the most intransigent government can be
compelled to do the right thing if enough pressure is
brought to bear and the misconduct in question is too
blatant to be ignored.
For example, in the former Republic of the United
States the Bush-led junta could well be brought down
because of a criminal act that no amount of propaganda
or spin-doctoring can cover up.
Key White House advisorspossibly even George Bush and
Dick Cheney, themselvesare being implicated in the
deliberate exposure of a CIA agent in retaliation for
her spouse's writing a New York Times op/ed article
that debunked a major excuse for invading Iraq.
Unlike the criminality that has broadly defined the
junta's bellicose reign, the exposure of an agent
can't be buried under a mountain of "war on terrorism"
fertilizer. It is a prosecutable federal crime against
(How ironic: the newspaper that did the most to spread
disinformation about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass
destruction"courtesy of pseudo-free speech martyr
Judith Millerhas become the cause of the
In Canada's case the smoking gun that should take down
Cotler is his affiliation with two organizations that
directly undermine Canada's Middle East policy. The
first is his position as an international academic
advisor to BESA (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic
According to its website, BESA's publications and
policy recommendations are directed at senior military
and civilian Israeli decision-makers, and Israel's
Defense and Foreign Affairs establishments, among
others. Its research includes:
Israeli Strategic Thinking,
Strategic Options in the Peace Process,
Israel Defense Forces of the Future, and
Middle East Water Resources.
Since Israel's "strategic thinking," like the Wall,
runs counter to international law, and since Canada
predicates its foreign policy on respect for the law,
Cotler is acting against the interests of his own
country. The same is true of Brian Mulroney and Norman
Spector, although fortunately they are no longer in
Perhaps more serious than Cotler's advisory position
with BESA, is the one he holds with JCPA (Jerusalem
Center for Public Affairs), which does little more
than regurtiate Likudnik propaganda. Among its more
outrageous claims is that the demand for a return to
the 1967 armistice lines "would undermine Israel's
security and even pose an existential threat."
(Amazing how respect for the law can be repackaged as
a national threat, isn't it?)
One of JCPA's most odious activities is its
publication of NGO Monitor, edited by Gerald
Steinberg. It is similar to various "monitoring"
groups like CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle
East Reporting in America) and honestreporting.com,
which attack people and organizations brave enough to
stand up to Israel and the Lobby.
On Sept. 22, NGO Monitor published "Assessing Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA) Funding For
Political NGOs." Behind the innocuous title is a
defamatory attack on one of Canada's most important
foreign policy bodies.
Steinberg accuses CIDA of aiding Palestinian political
objectives under the guise of conducting humanitarian
aid, and funding such "anti-Israel" organizations as
Save the Children, Doctors without Borders, Medical
Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam, UNICEF, UNRWA, and World
In fact, any show of political acumen or sympathy for
Palestinian suffering can be denounced as
"anti-Israel." Ruth Jensen, executive director of
Canadian Lutheran World Relief, is assailed simply for
observing that the Wall causes increasing stress by
forcing people to wait for up to two hours at
"These walls do not contribute to understanding and
peace, but to isolation and suspicion," she said.
Steinberg denounced her for attacking Israeli policy.
Here's the perverse logic: humanitarian organizations
must by their nature defend the oppressed, but since
Israel is an oppressor state, humanitarian activity is
conveniently denounced as "anti-Israel." So long as he
is associated with JCPA, Cotler supports this
perversity and by extension opposes defence of
Palestinian human rights.
Here's another irony: Cotler is still listed as the
director of McGill's human rights program and chairman
of its international human rights advocacy centre
McGill University, take note!
* Citation found in Jeff Sallot, "Torture Tactics
Indefensible: Cotler," Globe and Mail, Aug. 30, 2005.
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