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Zionism Poisons Canadian Politics

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    Zionism has transformed the Canadian political scene Western politics is infected with a lethal virus Political poison Eric Walberg
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 5, 2008
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      Zionism has transformed the Canadian political scene
      Western politics is infected with a lethal virus

      Political poison
      Eric Walberg

      This year's sixth international Cairo Conference against imperialism
      and Zionism continued the same themes as last year: dialogue between
      the left and Muslims, the struggle against Islamophobia, press
      censorship, torture and dictatorship, and the chance for Western peace
      groups to network on Middle East issues. The most inspiring project
      was the growing campaign to boycott Israel in the West and plans to
      coordinate this on an international level with the long- standing Arab
      and Muslim boycott campaign.

      Otherwise, there was little to gladden activists, for the wars in Iraq
      and Afghanistan continue apace, not to mention the increased brutality
      of Israel against the Palestinian people. There are changes going on
      in Western countries, with increased activism of students and trade
      unionists. But the political scene is dismal, despite the overwhelming
      unpopularity of US-NATO/Israeli wars, as governments continue to bow
      to Zionist pressures -- both internal and external.

      A case in point is Canada, which was unofficially represented at the
      conference by 14 members of the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) and
      others from student organisations. Delegates to last year's conference
      were attacked in the right-wing National Post and Ottawa Citizen for
      consorting with "terrorists" and "shouldn't be surprised if they come
      under scrutiny of the Canadian security services", simply for their
      willingness to dialogue with Muslims fighting the various wars now
      being inflicted on them. But they were not intimidated and returned
      full of energy. The conference gave them the opportunity to continue
      to share their experiences and make valuable contacts in the anti-war
      struggle. Al-Ahram Weekly spoke with several delegates about what is
      happening in the land of the maple leaf.

      The Canadian political scene has been transformed in the past year,
      and not for the better. The 2,500 Canadian troops in the dangerous
      southern Kandahar region of Afghanistan had their mission extended to
      2011 on 13 March in what was billed as a fateful parliamentary vote,
      as the pro-war Conservatives have only a minority government and the
      war is deeply unpopular among Canadians. In a recent poll, only 15 per
      cent favoured extending the troop presence to 2011, with 60 per cent
      in favour of bringing the troops home now. In fact, the vote was a
      walk-over, with the Liberals voting alongside the minority
      Conservative government, with only the small social democratic New
      Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Quebecois voting against.

      How was this possible? The Liberal Party leader, Stephane Dion, should
      be a natural opponent of the war. In fact, as Liberal critic for
      foreign affairs in 2006, he voted against extending Canada's original
      commitment of troops, which was to end in 2005. Quebec politicians --
      mainly Liberal -- opposed WWI and WWII, and the federal governments of
      the time dared not introduce conscription, fearing the collapse of the
      Canadian confederation.

      Yet Dion was manipulated into supporting the Conservative Prime
      Minister Stephen Harper and forcing his own Liberals to vote against
      what is clearly a violation of Canada's sacred role as peacemaker in
      international affairs. Despite strict pressure by party whip Karen
      Redman, 20 Liberals didn't show up and one -- Newfoundland MP Bill
      Matthews -- dared vote against. Redman issued a statement saying she
      "would make whatever decisions need to be made" to punish the truants
      and the lone rebel. Meanwhile, in a less than subtle propaganda ploy
      to counter French-Canadian distaste for "fighting other people's
      wars", the media is always highlighting Quebecois troops bravely
      fighting the "detestable scumbags and cowards", as Canadian Chief of
      Defence Staff General Rick Hillier famously called the Taliban.

      A partial answer to Dion's political about-face was revealed at a
      bi-election meeting two days after the parliamentary vote, on 15 March
      in Toronto. Bob Rae, an ex-NDP leader and born- again Liberal, was
      running in a safe Liberal constituency. When CPA members heard about
      the meeting, 10 snuck in the back door, raised their anti-war banner
      and demanded to hear why, in a democracy, the overwhelming opinion of
      the electorate was being ignored by the leading candidate. Dion, who
      was present, was paralysed, while Rae smoothly offered the protesters
      their 30 seconds but proceeded to ignore their question. When
      establishment journalists took up the theme, he neatly sidestepped the
      issue and escaped unscathed. Interestingly, Rae, a committed Zionist
      -- his wife is vice-president of the main pro-Israeli lobby, the
      Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) -- came second to Dion during the last
      leadership convention, and is clearly being preened as the heir
      apparent when the Liberals collapse in the next election.

      An earlier bi-election last year in another supposedly safe Liberal
      riding in Quebec backfired even more spectacularly for the Liberal
      leader. Outremont has been Liberal for 68 of the 73 years it has
      existed, and the NDP traditionally fares abysmally in Quebec. Yet they
      won 48 per cent of the vote there in an election that NDP leader Jack
      Layton called a "referendum on Afghanistan". Layton is called "Taliban
      Jack" by pro-war critics, just one step away from being put on a
      terrorist watch list like last year's Cairo Conference delegates
      presumably have been. His is virtually the only clear anti-war voice
      on the national scene, despite the solid anti-war sentiment in Canada,
      which stubbornly refuses to bow to the pro-war media.

      The Afghan debacle has already cost over 80 Canadian soldiers' lives
      (vs Britain's 91), and the Canadian taxpayers well over $5 billion
      (official figures are $3 billion by 2009), as the government hurries
      to slash social spending. An intelligent and brave politician should
      be able to take this issue and run with it. But just as Democratic
      presidential contender Obama Barack's anti-war position is now being
      deriding by US media as his "weak point", no Canadian politician is
      allowed to do what should come naturally in any democracy worthy of
      the name.

      All this is in fact an eerie replay of John Mearsheimer and Stephen
      Walt's argument about the Israeli lobby in the US, whose "core" is
      "American Jews who make a significant effort in their daily lives to
      bend US policy so that it furthers Israel's interests." Its Canadian
      counterpart, led by the CJC and Bnai Brith, through extensive media
      control and privileged access to the highest levels of government, has
      poisoned the Canadian political scene, paralysing the anti-war
      majority and choking all debate, pushing the Liberals into the
      Conservatives' arms on the one issue that could win them the next
      election. Canada's continued agony in Afghanistan is vital to the
      Israeli lobby; after all, a rejection of the Canadian role in the
      genocide in Afghanistan is a step down the slippery slope of a
      rejection of blind support for Israel's genocide in Palestine.

      Instead, the Liberals are now very likely to lose -- probably
      resoundingly, with their indecisive leader flip-flopping on the one
      issue that could secure him victory. Just as McCain is now the
      favourite of the US pro-Israeli lobby and US anti- war sentiment is
      stifled and ignored, Harper has earned their Canadian counterpart's
      favour and anti-war proponents are silenced, allowing the
      Conservatives to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the next
      election, with the media cheering him on and a disillusioned
      electorate splitting the vote among lesser parties or merely staying home.

      This poison has unfortunately infected the NDP as well as shown by its
      caving in to the Zionist lobby on its campaign to boycott Durban 2,
      the UN Conference against Racism to be held next year in South Africa.
      The upcoming conference was loudly denounced by both Harper and Dion
      for daring to criticise Zionism as a form of racism, and NDP foreign
      affairs critic Paul Dewar, apparently without clearance from Layton,
      joined the chorus. When CPA activists protested to Layton personally,
      he claimed ignorance and to his credit had all references to this
      criticism of the UN conference removed from NDP websites. However, he
      did not actually support the conference and certainly would never dare
      criticise Israel or Zionism in any significant way. On the contrary,
      several NDP MPs are outspoken supporters of Israel. None openly
      support Palestine. So the rot goes deep into all parties on the
      Canadian political scene.

      An interesting footnote to poor Canada's plight is how it is being
      used as a Trojan Horse to encourage more NATO troops to actively fight
      the Taliban alongside Canadian troops. CAP activist Sid Lacombe told
      the Weekly his Dutch and German colleagues explain that their
      foreign/defence ministers would never try to convince unsympathetic
      electorates that the US needs help. Instead, they talk about how
      "Canada helped liberate us from the Nazis," arguing "we Europeans owe
      them one."

      The sorry state of Canada's political scene is replicated in Britain,
      according to peace activist Ian Taylor, who told the Weekly the one
      hope to fight their Israeli lobby, George Galloway's newly minted
      Respect Party, is collapsing under the weight of too many expectations
      and media loathing. Labour was long ago co-opted by the Zionists (the
      latest bribery political scandal involves Labour Friends of Israel). A
      trip through Western "democracies" surely would turn up similar sad
      cases of political near death from poisoning. Where is the antidote?

      Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly. You can reach him at




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