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Canada supporting Palestinian genocide

Sid Lacombe

October 25, 2023
The Canadian state is cheerleading ethnic cleansing. The brutal assaults on the 2.2 million people in the Gaza strip are part of a much longer process of colonization, mass killings and dispossession of the Palestinian people that has been going on for 75 years. 
But to hear Canadian politicians of every party speak of it you would think that the conflict began with the attacks by Palestinian resistance groups on October 7. Media pundits agree and any voice that opposes the slaughter is marginalized for the mainstream audience.
They are deliberately hiding the reality of daily life for the Palestinian people. The system of segregation, humiliation, dispossession and violent attacks affects Palestinians on a daily basis. Every reputable human rights organization globally calls it apartheid. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and even B’tselem—the largest human rights group on Israel—agree on that definition.
Palestinians have every right to fight back. People will decry their use of violent tactics but fail to mention that they have tried non-violent tactics for decades and have always been met with a violent response. The right of return marches in 2018—when trapped Gazans marched to the border fence unarmed and with hands raised in the air—where met with machine guns and sniper fire. When Palestinians and supporters launched the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns they were met with hostility and groundless accusations of antisemitism.
When peaceful means of creating change are throttled, violent fightback will result. 
The Israeli state simply doesn’t want to allow the Palestinians to speak out at all. Canada has been complicit in creating this situation because of its all-party support for the Israeli state. 
For Canadian politicians who are desperate to hide the reality of our own state which was founded on the genocide of Indigenous peoples, it is convenient and necessary to amplify the voices of the colonizers in Israel. 
They are also using the opportunity to lecture Canadians about anti-semitism less than a month after all of our MPs stood in Parliament and applauded a Waffen SS Nazi. That incident was an international embarrassment and politicians are happy to have a new focus to take the pressure off.
But there is a much larger issue of the role that the Israeli state plays for the global imperial order which fits in nicely with the goals of Canadian foreign policy. For Canada, being on the side of the US and NATO powers isn’t a moral position but is centrally about the economic and political advantages to tying the state to the US global empire. 
Israel was created to be the watchdog for the Imperial powers in the Middle East. It is championed by the largest empires—the UK and more recently the US—precisely because it can be used to control the restive Arab populations and to keep them inline while the US and it’s allies pillage the region for its resources - chiefly oil. 
As the Israeli paper Ha’aretz said in 1952,
“Israel is to become the watchdog. There is no fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive Policy towards the Arab states when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the US  and Britain. But if for any reasons the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to punish one or several neighbouring states whose discourtesy to the West went beyond the bounds of the permissible.”
How is Canada supporting Israel?
The main and obvious support is political with Canadian government officials and diplomats offering unconditional support for the Israeli state. 
Justin Trudeau’s statement was the standard for a Canadian politician, "Israel has the right to defend itself in accordance with international law.”
Foreign Affairs minister Melanie Joly said exactly the same thing as she reiterated, "Canada's support for Israel and its right to defend itself in accordance with international law.” 
Of course, Canada would never actually challenge the Israelis' conduct even if they were violating international law—evidenced by the fact that they have never brought charges in international courts even after decades of Israeli violations of those same laws. 
By stating that they support international law and then avoiding any criticism of Israel, they are providing further cover for the Israeli state. To be clear, international law does not include the right to self defence by an occupying power. Those that are occupied have a right to defend themselves—not the military doing the occupying. 
Beyond the obvious political support Canada sends millions in weapons to Israel. They sent more than $26 million in explosives and targeting systems in 2021 and a further $21 million in 2022. Since the low point of arms sales — $2.5 million in 2008— to today, sales have gone up consistently to a sum total of roughly $170 million in the last 15 years.
Central to this has been the sales of bomb components that are currently being used to cause mass killings in Gaza today. 
This is why a central call from Canadian human rights and peace campaigners has to be the end of arms shipments to Israel. The blood of the Palestinian people is on the hands of successive Canadian governments who support this slaughter. 
The mobilizations against the killing in Gaza and the West Bank have been huge across the country. They need to grow and broaden to fight back against the knee-jerk support for the Israeli state. 
Ceasefire now - Freedom for Palestine!

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