Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Israeli Ambassador Slams Canada's Opposition Parties

In an article in Embassy News the Israeli ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, accuses the opposition of 'playing politics' with the Middle East, says they're 'naive' and hold 'curious positions' while he pats Stephen Harper on the head for being a good sockpuppet.

The Conservative government has refused to call for a ceasefire until a number of conditions have been met that will ensure a permanent cessation of hostilities. But opposition committee members last Tuesday passed a resolution 7-4 calling for an immediate ceasefire following a day-long hearing in which Mr. MacKay was the only witness to testify.

Mr. Baker says he was overcome with "surprise and shock at the way the opposition parties have developed their very curious positions here."

"The Liberal party, who are saying Canada [should] take a neutral or fair-minded or a balanced approach, I think this is purely opposition talk to establish a different position from the government," he says. "I genuinely don't believe that this is their genuine interpretation of how Canada should be acting.

"If the Liberal party had won the elections and was still in power today, then the Liberal party would have taken exactly the same position that Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper is taking because any fair interpretation of Canadian values and Canadian concepts of the right to protect civilians and the right to protect territory would recognize Israel's right to defend itself against a terror organization," says Mr. Baker.

'Offended' By Opposition MPs

Mr. Baker says he was "personally offended" by NDP foreign affairs critic Alexa McDonough and Bloc Québécois foreign affairs critic Francine Lalonde who "were so blindly hostile to Israel for whatever their own reasons are."

During the hearing, Ms. McDonough questioned whether Israel was violating international law with its bombing attacks on Lebanon, which have destroyed a large portion of the country's infrastructure and killed hundreds of civilians. She and NDP leader Jack Layton have also called for Parliament to reconvene to debate the issue.

Well, at least Baker hasn't called anyone an anti-semite - yet.
Dismissing suggestions Israel has valued Canada's neutral stance in the past and that Canada is now trying to curry favour with the United States by taking the same position as its southern neighbour, Mr. Baker says Israel sees Canada's position "developing over the past few years."

"Not only has it been registered, but it's extremely highly valued by the Israeli leadership," he says.

'highly valued' - well, of course it is! Who wouldn't value the opinion of someone who agrees with you no matter how much death and destruction you cause? And he's just plain wrong about this supposed evolution of Canada's position unless he's talking about how the Israel lobby has cozied up to the Conservatives - not that they needed much cozying up to to begin with since they actually do march lockstep with Bush, his neocon cronies and AIPAC.

Baker's also dead wrong about his interpretation of Canadian values. Someone needs to show him the latest poll that indicates only 32% or so of Canadians agree with Harper's staunch support of Israel. Perhaps he's been getting his education about these so-called Canadian values solely from the Conservative party, because that's the only way his distorted views make sense.

Canadians do not stand for obliterating a country's entire infrastructure in some misplaced mission to root out a few Hezbollah members.

Canadians do not stand for kidnapping and jailing more than 20 members of Palestine's democratically elected parliament.

Canadians do not stand for killing innocent civilians and then having Israel defend these deaths by saying that they dropped a few warning leaflets after they bombed out the escape routes.

Canadians do not stand for gross violations of international laws, including the Geneva Conventions, as we are forced to sit by and watch collective punishment, blockades to humanitarian assistance and the bombing of a civilian building in Qana which was located nowhere near where Hezbollah rockets were reportedly being fired - a fact even the Israeli government conceded after it had massacred innocents.

Canadians do not stand for bombing UNIFIL positions or Red Cross ambulances.

Canadians do not stand for military campaigns that have absolutely no hope of bringing peace to a region.

Canadians do not stand for invading another country, weakening its democratically elected government and then blaming civilian deaths directly caused by Israel on a militant faction of that government.

We certainly do have values, Mr Baker, and they're not the ones being spoon fed to you by Stephen Harper who still refuses to condemn your country's actions. You'll also find that most Canadians do not value Stephen Harper and that he and his minority grip on our federal government are bound to be history in a very short time - thankfully so.

So, enjoy this support of these Conservatives while you have it but remember this: Harper does not speak for the majority of Canadians. Believing otherwise is just plain denial. And, if you want to accuse politicians of playing political games, look to our neighbours to the south who fund your every move and send you missiles to continue your campaign of destruction. They, along with your government, are hell bent on fashioning some sort of New Middle East out of all of this rubble and flesh according to their twisted political philosophy which we've already witnessed to be extraordinarily short-sighted and destructive. So, as America's pop psychologist Dr Phil would ask, 'How's that workin' for you so far?'

And, just a friendly reminder: insanity is doing the same thing over and over - expecting different results. Perhaps you need a refresher course on your country's misadventures in Lebanon just two decades ago. What makes you think things will be any different this time?

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