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Canadian Leaders Standing Tall Against Israel Apartheid Week

Finally, some political courage and real leadership in response to hatred and bigotry.

by
Barbara Kay

Bio

March 4, 2010 - 12:00 am
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In late February the province of Ontario’s legislature issued a denunciation of IAW. Progressive Conservative party legislator Peter Shurman, its promoter, stated:

The term Israeli Apartheid Week incites hatred against Israel, a democratic state that respects the rule of law and human rights, and the use of the word “apartheid” in this context diminishes the suffering of those who were victims of a true apartheid regime in South Africa.

The motion received unanimous support from all sitting members of the provincial parliament (MPPs), including — and this surprised many Canadians — members of the staunchly socialist New Democratic Party (NDP), perennial scourge of the powerful and unconditionally supportive shoulder to the “oppressed,” including well-known terror-dealing grievance collectors.

The NDP’s elected members’ views on the Middle East range from merely hostile to virulently anti-Israel. So if provincial NDPers felt free to join in this motion, then the denunciation was not an aberration, but an indicator that the times they are a-changin’ in Ontario, Canada’s bellwether province.

In May, the Liberal premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, will lead a trade mission to Israel, the first Ontario leader to do so since 1998, a move that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago for any politician in that ultra-liberal province.

Not to be outdone, Michael Ignatieff, leader of the federal Liberal Party, the official government opposition, declared that IAW “should be condemned unequivocally and absolutely.”

Perhaps all these gestures reflect a cascade phenomenon rolling down from the summit. Last week in Ottawa, the nation’s capitol, Conservative MP Tim Uppal affirmed that he would be introducing a motion declaring “that this House considers itself to be a friend of the State of Israel; that this House is concerned about expressions of anti-Semitism under the guise of ‘Israel Apartheid Week’; and that this House explicitly condemns any action in Canada as well as internationally that would equate the rejected and racist policy of apartheid.”

To cap it all, on February 12, in connection with the ominous approach of Iran’s nuclear weaponization, Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Kent stated: “Prime Minister Harper has made it quite clear for some time now and has regularly stated that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada.” In terms of support for Israel, it doesn’t get friendlier than that.

Perhaps I am over-optimistic in extrapolating a verdant spring from these elegantly swooping swallows, but I don’t think so. There are pendulum swings in all historical trends, and I believe we are witnessing one here in Canada.

Apart from rabid anti-Semites and true politicopaths, there would be a natural limit to how many times even the most “progressive” amongst our left-leaning elites can listen to the same frothing-at-the-mouth diatribes against Israel, the same demonstrably odious canards of “apartheid,” “terror state,” and “Nazis” leveled against a demonstrably democratic state, without feeling intellectually soiled by their complicity with the evil of anti-Semitism demonstrably fueling the IAW phenomenon.

One senses an air of the general public being fed up, causing a trickle-down of self-doubt to circulate among the reflexively Israel-bashing herd of political correctniks. One feels a turning in the zeitgeist, the dawning realization even among the dullest-witted sympathizers of the Palestinians that their so-called anti-Zionist militants in the IAW movement, who have never been at pains to disguise the anti-Semitism driving their political campaign, are finally becoming an embarrassment to their rank-and-file leftist shills.

Clinging to their tattered rags of political dignity, IAW’s erstwhile useful idiots are beginning to tire of dancing like trained monkeys to their zealous organ-grinder’s grotesque polka: “It’s about Israel, not Jews.” Fewer and fewer passers-by are attentive to that superannuated jingle, or throwing even small change into that rusty tin cup.

As a conservative Canadian of a certain age, I am habituated to a longstanding tradition of Canadian political reticence, even timidity, where support for Israel is concerned, and equally accustomed to witnessing frequent American boldness in beating against the current of political correctness in openly standing by Israel through tough times.

Today, a little confused, I must confess I am having difficulty adjusting to the new reality of Canadian leadership eclipsing America’s on the Israel file. I have rubbed my eyes a few times, but there they are: Canadian political leaders at the podium, wearing the gold medal for courage, integrity, and good judgment, and for this brief, shining moment at least, history is playing the Canadian national anthem.

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Barbara Kay is a weekly columnist in the comment pages of Canada’s National Post newspaper.
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