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The Palestinian-Israel conflict -The Gaza war of May 2021

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In the wake of the War in Gaza, a pro-Israel rally in Winnipeg was attacked by a convoy of Nakba Day agitators who charged past police lines, May 15, 2021. (Photo: File)

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The first statement of Minister of Global Affairs

Curiously enough, unlike the U.S and most western governments, the Canadian one took eight days into the war for Marc Garneau, the Minister of Global Affairs, to speak about the conflicts between the P.A. and Hamas against Israel. The government stayed mute as Hamas, which triggered the war, was busy committing three sets of war crimes: using children as soldiers; using civilians as human shields and targeting indiscriminately and killing Israeli civilians.
One would think that before opening his mouth on the subject eight days into the war, the Minister would have collected accurate data concerning the war and researched properly the matters he intended to raise before accusing Israel of committing fictional sins. Well, he did not see the merits of making a well-informed statement.

On May 8, 2021, Garneau made the following statement:
“Canada is following the situation in Jerusalem closely. We call for immediate de-escalation of tensions and for all sides to avoid any unilateral action.”

“Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.

“As a close friend and ally of Israel, Canada is deeply concerned that recent decisions on settlements, and demolitions and evictions, including in Sheikh Jarrah, would negatively impact livelihoods and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution based on mutual respect for human rights and international law by all parties.

“Canada calls for renewed commitment to peace and security and, as always, stands ready to support efforts for a two-state solution.”

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So here we are: Garneau speaking on behalf of Canada as “a close friend and ally of Israel”,

a. called on Israel to de-escalate tensions despite the incontrovertible fact that the tensions in Jerusalem were caused exclusively by Palestinian rioting and engaging in violent action against Israeli Jews and the Israeli forces trying to re-establish law and order;

b. speaking as a “self-declared friend” of the Palestinians he proffered no specific advice to the P.A. starting with the demand that it order the rioting Palestinians to cease and desist and to enforce this order with its own police and security forces;

c. proceeded to put the blame for the tensions on Israel’s alleged unilateral actions i.e. settlements, demolitions and evictions including in Sheikh Jarrah;

d. made no mention of the role played by the P.A and agents of Hamas in inciting the rioting, with Hamas and the P.A. fiercely competing as to which of their respective organisations will cause more destruction and harm, and

e. ignored the Palestinian rioters’ desecration of their own as well as the Jewish holy places during the riots of 2021 and since. Bassam Tawil, “Les Palestiniens Profanenent Tous les Lieux Saints, Y Compris les Leurs”,(How Palestinians Desecrate Everyone’s Holy Sites Including their own) Gatestone Institute, May 1,2022;Aryeh Savir, “Muslim rioter arrested [by Israeli police, among other things] for urinating on the roof of Al Aqsa Mosque” 8,2022.

Worse, in accusing Israel of being the cause of all this mayhem through its unilateral and implied illegal actions, the Minister demonstrated his utter ignorance of international law and of the facts on the ground. The first of these is Garneau’s implied notion that the settlements in Judea and Samaria constitute illegal occupation, a proposition that has no basis in international law.

At all events, since the P.A. has no legal entitlement to the lands in question, the occupation cannot be illegal against the P.A.

Decidedly, on this issue Canada is speaking with a forked tongue since, the Palestinian Authority in breach of the provisions of the Oslo Agreement has been also establishing illegal settlements in Area “C” which under the Agreement is set aside under the exclusive control of Israel save in instances where the government grants Palestinians a right of abode in the Area, as it happened recently under the new Israeli government.

To date, Canada has yet to accuse the P.A. of taking unilateral and indubitably illegal action of the nature identified above.

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With respect to the demolition of the houses of persons who engage in terrorism, this is not done arbitrarily but in accordance with the law which grants the terrorist access to the court of law to argue against the demolition. And in certain circumstances, the Supreme Court of Israel has been known to grant the relief sought by the terrorist.

In the circumstances, Canada has no business patronizing Israel by criticizing the lawful authority of the Supreme Court of Israel to adjudicate in such matters in accordance with the laws of Israel and exercising its discretionary powers judiciously.

I wonder if the Minister or the government as a whole would take it kindly if Israel were to criticize the government’s decisions to provide funds to entities that are linked to terrorist organizations or are antisemitic.

Finally, the Minister pointed the finger at Israel on account of the alleged evictions in Sheikh Jarrah also known as Shimon Hatzadik once again demonstrating his ignorance of the historical background of the matter.

More specifically, in 1948, as a result of Israel’s War of Independence, Jordan occupied Judea, Samaria and more specifically the eastern part of Jerusalem. Its British led army unlawfully seized the area in issue, and forced the Jewish inhabitants to leave before turning it over to Jordan to assume ownership of the properties that belonged to the expelled Jews.

Jordan in turn: 

  • looted and burned the Jewish Quarter
  • destroyed 58 many hundred years old synagogues
  • unearthed gravestones from the historical Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives and used them for latrine pavers;
  • barred Jews from praying at the Western Wall;
  • expelled and killed the remaining hapless Jewish community
  • assumed ownership of their properties including the houses in Sheik Jarrah.

Bassam Eid, is an Arab-Israeli, political analyst, human rights pioneer and expert commentator in Arab and the Eastern part of the Old City of Jerusalem. During the Gaza war, he published an article about Sheik Jarrah, he wrote: “This has nothing to do with Sheik Jarrah. It’s about Hamas seeing a chance to seize the narrative and increase its own influence and control over Palestinians in Jerusalem.” Blog, Times of Israel May 12, 2021. He explained:

“The pretext for the latest missile barrage and social media incitement is Sheik Jarrah, where a long running legal dispute was scheduled for a court hearing. This had been a private matter between Jews who have an old property deed from the 1800s and the residents of four homes who have lived there for decades and do not want to pay rent. It is the kind of situation that should be handled by a local municipal court. Could happen in any other country and there would be no public interest. But this is Jerusalem, so you have to view everything in the context of political situation.” (Eid’s list of publications is listed in his website BASSEMEID.)

After surrendering the Jewish Quarter to Arab forces, the Jews of Jerusalem fled for their lives in 1948. The victors ravaged the city as spoils of war, destroying Jewish property and history. (Photo: John Phillips/LIFE)

For a factually and legally accurate analysis of the matter I refer the reader to Mitchell Bard’s “Sheikh Jarrah”, in the website of the Jewish Virtual Library.

The Minister concluded his statement with the usual verbiage about Canada calling for renewed commitment to peace and security through the two-state solution.

Well, Israel made the Arabs, later after the Six days war of 1967, reinvented by the Europeans as Palestinians, offers of statehood on no less than on 5 occasions in 1937,1947,1967,2000 and 2008 in addition to offering the Oslo Accord process to be rewarded by two intifadas launched by Arafat in the aftermath of the signing of the Accord followed by Palestinian terrorist attacks.

In response, The Palestinian Authority has:

a) consistently rejected out of hand any and all peace initiatives, projects and offers

b) demanded peace on terms that no sane government could possibly accept and

c) done just about everything in its power to maintain domestic conditions that militate against peace.
Garneau uttered this nonsense yet again despite the Palestinian mentality in dealing with Israel described by Joseph Puder in “Palestinian Zero-Sum Mentality” FrontPage magazine, May 4, 2022.

This mentality has long been confirmed by

a) the decision of the P.A to establish a financial incentive program, pay for slay, to encourage and reward terrorism in Israel by making terror a lucrative line of business where the Authority paid the imprisoned terrorists a salary and in the event of their death; granted monthly allowances to their families at a rate far higher than the social assistance provided to persons and families in need.

b) by the repeated public statements of the P.A. that promote violence and insist on the demise of Israel. [Maurice Hirsch, “Palestinians Admit: Only Destroying Israel Will Bring Peace” The Algemeiner, November 4,2021; Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Fatah Deputy Chairman: ‘We are Proud of All’ Terrorist Murderers”, The Algemeiner, November 10,2021;”Fatah Publishes Video Glorifying Members of the Palestinian Security Services Who Are Fedayeen By Night”, MEMRI, May 25,2022; Senior Fatah Official Majed Al-Fityani: “Only The Palestinians Will Have Sovereignty In Palestine, From River to Sea; We will Go After the Israelis and Wrest Our Rights From Them”. MEMRI, May 29,2022, Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilbwerdik, “PLO, Palestinian TV Openly Advocate for Israel’s Destruction, The Algemeiner, May 31, 2012. See also: Khaled Abu Toameh, “Why Palestinians celebrate the Murder of Jews”, Gatestone, April 12, 2022]

In effect, the P.A. consistently rejected the two state solution. It wants all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean – with the Jews out of the territory. In any event, there can be no peace, so long as Hamas is in control of Gaza.

Foreign Minister Marc Garneau of Canada met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during Garneau’s first trip to Israel in his portfolio. (Photo: Global Affairs Canada)

In the light of these facts, surely Garneau must direct his exhortations for peace specifically to the P.A and Hamas. Of course, G-d forbid that he should do that lest he offend the sensitivities of a fair number the Liberals’ electoral constituencies without whose support Trudeau might well have been consigned to the opposition benches in 2019.

At all events, the Minister would be hard put to establish a juridical entitlement to the lands to which the Palestinian Authority asserts an absolute and exclusive claim, particularly since Mahmoud Abbas point admitted that the Palestinians and the Jordanians are one and the same people.

On this score, once again, Canada is either ignorant of the law or knowing it, is being hypocritical in denying Israel’s lawful entitlement to the lands in issue.

In a barely four paragraph statement, Garneau referred to peace four times and in the process failed to acknowledge that Canada claims to be committed to the goal of peace but has done nothing to address firmly the PLO cum the Palestinian Authority for rejecting all generous Israeli peace offers, and for responding to the Oslo Accord with a blood thirsty intifadas followed by terrorism.

Nor has Canada taken the P.A. to task for financing terrorism, printing poisonous antisemitic and anti-Israeli school textbooks; reifying the Nazis and naming schools after terrorists. On the issue of terrorism, surely there is no difference between Hamas and the P.A.

Yet, while Canada lists the former as a terrorist entity, it would never think of doing so with the P.A.

I suppose, it would be hypocritical for Canada to take the P.A. to task on account of the textbooks since Canada continues to provide funds for UNRWA’s educational program that among other things uses the very same books.

Such is the sincerity of Justin Trudeau, who in 2021 both at the Canadian Summit on Antisemitism at home and at the Malmo International Forum that followed the Summit, pledged to combat antisemitism at home and abroad.

Doğan D. Akman is an independent researcher and commentator. He holds a B.Sc. in sociology, an M.A. in sociology/criminology and an LL.B in law. He held academic appointments in sociology, criminology and social policy; served as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and occupied the positions of Crown Counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation at the Federal Department of Justice. His academic work is published in peer-reviewed professional journals, while his opinion pieces and other writings are to be found in various publications and in blogs.  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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