"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Friday, August 15, 2014

What John Baird Said In His Latest Speech (Video)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gaza As A Ballot Box Issue In 2015

Our home sweet Gazan home!

So being enraged by the senseless slaughter of innocent people in Gaza - children bombed while they sleep in supposedly safe U.N. schools, children being killed while they play soccer on the beach, the destruction of schools, hospitals and Mosques, children being murdered as they play on swings in public parks - I decided to voice my opinion to our leadership who have been anything but leaders regarding this horrific state of affairs.

Our government has steadfastly stood by the Israeli state, claiming that it's Israel's right to defend themselves, so "oh well" about the collateral damage. "It's all the terrorists fault". I'm quite sure none of those sleeping children were terrorists. This reminds me of the case in the States recently where a guy shot and killed a pregnant women who attempted to burgle his house. The overarching opinion of folks south of the border seems to be that it was the woman's own fault for being caught committing a crime. The man was simply defending his home so he had a right to "bust a cap into her baby belly". No one there is talking about murder or the un-justified use of lethal force.

Anyway, Our Government is in no way seeking an end to the slaughter, merely stoking the flames of discontent by pointing the "flying fickle finger of fate" at the very people who are dying in their hundreds. It's their own fault for supporting Hamas so "fuck em"!

I would expect nothing less from our Conservative Government. They have displayed nothing
There are only friends and enemies to
Citizen Stephen. Friends can do no wrong
and enemies can do no right. 
even remotely close to a balanced approach to affairs in Israel. Stephen Harper is incapable of that kind of response. He sees the world as black and white, friends and enemies. It's connected to his mental health issues. And the fact that Citizen Stephen dismisses out of hand any condemnation by the U.N. regarding the bombing of Gaza, is also not surprising. He's been at war with the U.N ever since Canada was denied a seat on the security council in 2010, thus placing the U.N squarely in the enemy's column.

So the response from Harper and his hand-puppet, Bellicose John Baird, while reprehensible, is not surprising. But what about our Opposition leaders? Why does Justine Trudeau, the great hope for a new and different Canada seem to follow lockstep, Harper's unmitigated support for Israel's war crimes? The official statement on the Liberal Party website regarding Hamas as being a terrorist organization and Israel having the right to defend itself, parrots almost to the letter the Harper response. Hardly the stance of a progressive Liberal leader.
The "Once and Future King" has
lost his way.
And what about Thomas Mulcair, leader of the opposition and Canada's traditionally most progressive party? Well Mr. Mulcair's stance was somewhat more balanced, but he still chose to point a bony finger at Hamas, saying it's "all their fault" while declaring Israel has the right to defend itself. No mention of excessive force, breaching of international law, illegal occupation or, heaven help us, the "G" word (genocide). Just like the Conservatives and Liberals. I somehow doubt that this is the kind of response we would have seen from Jack Layton's NDP.

Which brings me to Elizabeth May and the Greens. At their recent convention, the Green Party voted to adopt a resolution which decried the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. This was a good start. But then the president of the party, Paul Estrin, put out a rambling, poorly written statement (possibly penned whilst in a drunken stupor?) That actually goes beyond Harper's and Trudeau's highly political statements about the Gaza crisis. He declared he openly felt sad that Israel simply had to take the steps it's taking to defend itself and claimed that it's methods were highly "moral". Ms. May quickly distanced herself from these comments while defending Estrin's right to his own opinion.

So like many, many Canadians, I am beyond anger and frustration regarding our collective leadership's lack of a balanced, neutral approach to the current Gaza humanitarian crisis. One that not only expresses discontent with rockets fired from Gaza (which have killed very few civilians by the way) but the ones fired indiscriminately into masses of defenseless Palestinian civilians. There's nothing wrong with one friend (Canada) saying to another (Israel): "hey, we're still your friend, but what you're doing is wrong". So I emailed each of the four leaders mentioned above plus my Member of Parliament, NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson, to highlight my extreme displeasure with their lack of leadership and unbalanced positions regarding Gaza. So far, the only person who has responded is Elizabeth May. Here is what she had to say: 

Even the Greens are divided

"Thank you for writing about the situation in Gaza and Israel.

I am heartbroken to watch such death, destruction, and violence with seemingly no end in sight. In recent days, the death toll has soared to unspeakable numbers, mostly civilians. With each death, the prospect of a lasting peace seems further away.

I firmly believe that Israeli children and Palestinian children have an equal right to grow up free of bombardment. This should not be a controversial statement. While I, of course, condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization for sending rockets into Israel, the Israeli retaliation and the invasion of Gaza violates international law and humanitarian norms. The death and destruction in a place that was already experiencing a humanitarian crisis is simply unjustifiable.

At the recent national convention in Fredericton, the Green Party of Canada passed the following emergency resolution:

"Be it resolved that the GPC urges the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The GPC will adopt a posture of engaged neutrality, opening all available diplomatic avenues in both Palestine and Israel to press for a peaceful resolution to the conflict consistent with the GPC’s commitment to justice and custom of speaking truth to power".

The people of Israel and Palestine desperately need a ceasefire. They desperately need this battle to end so that they can return to resolving the enduring issues in this conflict. The people of the Middle East cannot afford to have this flare up so tragically every few years. The issues of the blockade of Gaza, settlements in the West Bank, permanent borders, refugees, and terror, will need to be dealt with in a cooperative and comprehensive manner, so that Israeli and Palestinian children can grow up without fear and without hatred.

Canada can and should play a constructive role in this process. A one-sided stance on this issue forfeits any opportunity for Canada to be a useful mediator. Canada needs to stand up for human rights and international law wherever they are violated. Canada should continue to condemn Hamas rockets and terror but any Prime Minister of Canada worth his or her salt would also say, as a friend and ally of Israel, “you’ve gone too far - you must move to peace talks.”

Thank you again for writing.


Elizabeth May"

2015 is fast approaching fellow citizens. While the tragedy that is now taking place in Gaza is a world away, how our leaders react to this humanitarian crisis speaks volumes regarding their views about Canada and it's place in the world. If they can't be trusted to be the voices of justice in times of international crisis, how can they be trusted to be the voices of justice here at home? So keep this in mind fellow Canadians when we go to the polls in October of 2015.