Monday, July 17, 2006

Israeli Missiles Reach Montreal

More Canadians have now been killed in Lebanon by Israel than have died as a result of terrorism in Canada. Seven individuals of dual Lebanese-Canadian citizenship were killed, and three more injured, when an Israeli shell landed on a house in southern Lebanon yesterday. All were from the same Montreal family.

So far, judging from the media releases from the Canadian Government, not a single reprimand, however diplomatically-worded, has issued out of Ottawa. None. Not only is it ok for Israel to bomb left and right, in Gaza and Lebanon, but it now seems that it's ok to kill Canadians, too. Or perhaps, to echo the statement made a little more than a month ago by a certain high-ranking bureaucrat at CSIS, these Canadians were like us, but they weren't. Maybe, because of their Middle Eastern heritage, they were less than Canadian. Only half.

In light of this, one can only hope that Prime Minister Stephen Haper will revisit his overtly pro-Israel foreign policy and rephrase his asinine view that Israel's behavior in the past five days has been a "measured" one.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, certain groups might start thinking about demonstrating in front of the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, or start boycotting Israeli products. Absent a foreign policy that tells Israel that it is not ok to indiscriminately kill civilians, Canadians or otherwise, that's pretty much all we can do to pressure the Israeli government. Soon after that, though, expect that various Jewish groups within Canada (not to name any specifically; you’ll know them when you see them) will whine to the media and to the Canadian government, as they always do, about how anti-Semitic Canadians are becoming, etc. We bomb your people, but we expect not a peep out of you. Bad Canadians; you should be like the Palestinians and accept being bombed. If you raise a stink, we'll whip out the one trump card we were kindly handed by Hitler and his cronies, what is it, sixty, seventy years ago, and use it against you. Oh, and just in case, we'll apply just enough pressure on your government to ensure that its security service continues to serve as our proxy. Just smile at the likely cameras, and wave a Palestinian or Lebanese flag. Or a Canadian one, for that matter.

Disgust at Israel's recent behavior is no anti-Semitism. This is Israel killing lots of civilians. And Canadians.

Perhaps this will drive home, on the streets of Montreal, if not in Ottawa, where sometimes the oxygen makes itself rare, the fear and pain and suffering under whose shadow the Palestinians have lived since 1948. If the deaths of those Canadians in Lebanon could achieve but one thing, I hope that it would help us understand why Palestinians haven't been the submissive victims the international community has wanted them to be.


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