Canadians for Peace and Socialis

Canadians for Peace and Socialism Comments on the Israeli Government Attack on the Gaza Flotilla

Canadians for Peace and Socialism (CPS)

May 31st 2010,

Canadians for Peace and Socialism joins in the world-wide condemnation of the most recent act of armed aggression and piracy by the military forces of the Government of the State of Israel against the people of Palestine and their legitimate and freely elected governments.  The Israeli land and sea blockade of the 1.5 million trapped and encircled people living in Gaza deliberately inflicts suffering on all of its inhabitants in particular the children of Gaza and is a crime against humanity.

The Israeli armed forces attack on the Gaza Flotilla in international waters resulting in the deaths of unarmed peaceful activists and workers, the impounding of foreign owned vessels, the theft of the cargo in these vessels, the illegal arrest and detainment of citizens from many countries, including Canada, violates once again UN resolutions, human rights declarations and international law.  The most recent act of aggression is a brazen affront by the leaders of the Government of Israel to majority global opinion demanding an end to the policy of inflicting collective punishment on the people of Palestine.

The timing of the incident and the complicity of the Harper Government in the schemes of the Netanyahu Government to escape international accountability for mounting Israeli aggression against the people of Palestine bears close scrutiny.

The incident occurred while Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Ottawa on a state visit.  The incident became the pretext for the cancellation of his scheduled meeting with the US Obama administration.  The meeting was anticipated to query Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its rejection of Friday’s UN resolution on making the Middle East a nuclear weapons free zone and sign and abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon placed the Canadian people once more on the side of war and aggression by siding with Israel policy.   The minister said defending Israel, “Israel has its sovereign right to protect itself from any terrorist attacks as well as any attacks from Iran. We share a number of values with Israel; they’re strong friends and allies.”  Thus far the Harper administration has avoided a full statement on the incident awaiting the outcome of the special session of NATO in Brussels tomorrow June 1st that will deal with the demands of Turkey for the possible invoking of article V of the NATO Charter.   

Canadians must demand the opposition parties in Parliament tell the Harper Government that Canadian foreign policy is not determined in the imperial council of NATO.

The Obama administration appears split and paralyzed at the highest levels between those who advocate continuing to slavishly concede to the pressures of the US Zionist lobby in Washington and its right-wing extremist religious allies, and those who are aware of the need to begin the process of a reappraisal of US Middle East policy that takes into account the just claims of the Palestinian people.

The USA, since the launching of Iraq War and the expansion of its armed intervention in Afghanistan has become diplomatically compromised and isolated from many Arab regimes and is condemned by the masses of the Middle East and a majority of world public opinion. The spectacle of the USA, Canada and Israel against the world has created a crisis of credibility of US diplomacy it cannot evade.

Prime Minister Harper, belying all of his alleged cunning in matters political appears to be unmoved by the disintegration of US imperialist policy and the global condemnation of the aggressive actions of Israel.

The adage of “follow the money” needs to be applied in this case. Trade in military hardware between Canada and Israel involves Canadian purchase of Israeli drones for use in Afghanistan and collaboration through the Israeli Canadian Free Trade agreement in the development of military vehicles used by Israel to patrol the illegal wall erected to confiscate Palestinian lands and that denies Palestinians free movement to work and trade. Canada Israeli trade is about $1 billion and rising.

Israeli authorities are confident that trade and profit will trump any pressure on the Harper Government to condemn its expansionist policy against the people of Palestine.

Harper may not be able to avoid the issue much longer. Israeli brigandage has created a split in NATO. How deep and how long remains to be seen. The Israeli attack on Turkish vessels on the high seas has created tensions in NATO and under article 5 of the NATO Charter Turkey has the right to demand collective action by the alliance against Israel.

Canadian Foreign Minister Cannon cannot be expected to take an independent or principled stand at tomorrow’s NATO meeting. Classic Harper manoeuvring between any tensions that arise between Turkey and the USA can be counted on not to offend the Zionist lobby at Ottawa and its chief spokesperson Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

The fly in the ointment is Canada US relations. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, completely compromised in past statements that give slavish US support to Israel that props up her Zionist support in New York State cannot be counted upon to take a principled stand.  The likelihood of President Obama, besieged by events in the Gulf of Mexico, a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and under attack by the extreme right for a stalled economy faces another test of principle before rhetoric.  Thus far it has been more of the latter than the former.

The peace movement and all those who act in solidarity with the people of Palestine continue to mobilize public opinion and continue to condemn the perpetrators of this crime of collective punishment.

It is this arrogant and brazen declaration of Israeli “right to intervene” wage war, enforce illegal blockades, to destroy habitations at will and deprive whole populations of income, food, water, electricity, sanitation, health care and that disrupts the lives of millions with impunity, could not be done without the backing of these leading imperialist states first and foremost the USA and Canada.  Without their support, Israel could not carry out such atrocities and would be compelled to withdraw from occupied Palestinian lands and settlements.  

Those who aid and abet these Israeli Government crimes of war and aggression, who propagate and elaborate and embroider Israeli propaganda, who pander to the gross distortions of what is claimed to be support for Israeli “democracy “ have their own base profit motives for doing so.

Complicity and culpability in the deaths and suffering of the people of Palestine for profit is urgently in need of investigation.  Who are the investor interests in Canada that are benefiting from exploiting Palestinian labour, profiting out of stealing Palestinian land and construction deals on stolen lands and who are invested in companies benefiting from Canadian Government largesse flowing to the Israeli-Canada Free Trade Agreement?  That needs investigating and who better to do it than organized labour in solidarity with the working people of Palestine.

The Harper Government’s claim to be disinterestedly defending Israel cannot be believed. . The NDP is called upon to openly condemn the Harper Government’s collusion with Israeli Government violations of UN resolutions and International law and do so with vigour.

The support of the Harper Government for the actions of the State of Israel must be condemned.  The policy of uncritical support for the government of the State of Israel does not accord with majority opinion of the people of Canada who recognize the justice of the cause of the Palestinian people and believe their rights must be upheld.  Prime Minister Harper must be forced to end making the people of Canada complicit in the war crimes of Israel.

Until military, economic and political support by the US is ended Israel will continue its expansionist policies, flaunt international law and commit genocide on the peoples of Palestine.

The struggle of the Palestinian people to lift the Israeli blockade of Gaza is indivisible from the struggle of all people resisting imperialist aggression, and that includes the people of Cuba who have also been heroically resisting US blockade and harassment and who have also won the support of the overwhelming majority of the member states of the United Nations.