Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ottawa blames the victims — again

“The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached an abysmal new low in its uncritical support of Israel yesterday when it said that Israel bombing of the UN-run al-Fakhora school in Jabaliya refugee camp, killing at least 42, including children.

Hamas bears a terrible responsibility for this and for the wider deepening humanitarian tragedy,” Canadian Junior Foreign Minister Peter Kent. Those comments by a junior foreign minister — let’s hope he remains junior for the rest of his diplomatic career — bore all the usual hallmarks and keywords of defenders of Israel. Hamas is responsible for the “tragedy,” we are told, as if this were not terror. Tragedy removes responsibility from the actor; it neutralizes events as if they were a natural phenomenon. We can be certain that if Hamas fired rockets at a school in Israel and killed dozens of civilians, it wouldn’t be called a “tragedy.” It would be called … yes, terrorism.

Our impeccably delusional Kent continues: “Hamas’s record is to use civilians — the population and civilian infrastructure — as shields and it would seem quite possible that this is yet another tragic instance.” Tragic instance — not even an attack, an “instance.”

If Kent and the government he represents were not so biased, he would have taken note of the fact that Israel has prevented Palestinians from leaving the territory while it is under siege. So, one could reasonably ask, are Palestinians supposed to hide, if not in buildings bearing the UN symbol? Are the supposed to vanish into thin air so that “tragedies” will not occur?

Voicing his opposition to a temporary truce, Kent said that Hamas has a “history” of using truces to rearm. Oh yes, the dangerous Hamas, which has failed miserably at defending Gaza. With a few exceptions, the handful of Israeli soldiers who have been killed since the invasion was launched on Dec. 26 were killed by friendly fire — that is, by Israelis. Meanwhile, more than 600 Palestinians, many of them civilians, have been killed by Israeli attacks.

Kent concluded by echoing the risible Ottawa blurb that Canada remains committed to playing a “constructive” role in the Middle East “peace” process. Very constructive indeed, when the victims are blamed and reality so outrageously defied. I am sure that Palestinians could do well without such “constructive” help from Ottawa. Maybe Mr. Kent should spend a night at a Palestinian refugee camp before he speaks for his government in future. Oh, that’s right — Westerners (including the media) are barred by Israel from entering Gaza because of their supposed biased views against Israel.

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