On April 12 Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau released a statement congratulating Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on his fifth electoral victory. Two statements stood out for their misleading role in creating a contrived narrative.
The first statement concerns democracy, “During the conversation, the two leaders spoke of the underlying democratic values shared by both countries. “ Indeed, there is a common democratic sharing between the countries. Both are colonial settler countries, one has successfully sidelined/cleansed its indigenous population, the other is still working on settlements in order to create a racist apartheid state. There is a strong possibility that the first was a model for the second.
Democracy also involves the acceptance and application of the”rule of law”, a mantra used by all nominally democratic countries in order to keep the populace acquiescence in the face of some hidden transgression. Canada has demonstrated the abrogation of “rule of law” on many occasions: its bombing of Libya and Yugoslavia/Serbia; its extraterritorial arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou; its declaration of regime change in Venezuela and the support given to the U.S.’ illegal sanctions there; domestically, its application of a hastily written new law so that a large corporation, known for its insider dealings (SNC-Lavalin) could escape criminal charges. As a supporter of the ‘White Helmets’ in Syria, Canada is also in abrogation of international humanitarian law as that group was funded by the west in order to provide media bias in support of fanatical terrorist groups in Syria. The list could go on….
The second statement carries even larger implications for democracy and “rule of law”, “The Prime Minister expressed Canada’s continued and strong support for Middle East peace efforts leading to a two-state solution while standing firmly with Israel in its right to live in peace and security with its neighbours. Canada and Israel cooperate closely on matters of regional security.”
Okay, sure, but there never will be a two state solution. It was never intended to happen and Israel’s history makes that very clear. A very well written recent work, “Preventing Palestine” (Princeton University Press, 2018) by Seth Anziska, (a lecturer in Jewish-Muslim Relations at University College, London) demonstrates that a two state solution was never in the works. What was in the works was continual dialogue about ‘autonomy’ while settlements were built and expanded in order to prevent the very fact of a Palestinian state. This comes from both the Camp David Accords and on through the Oslo Agreements.
The current situation is such that a Palestinian state is impossible with all the small apartheid style contanments – or in some cases virtual open air prisons – disallowing any contiguous entity to be made. It is about time that Trudeau, his Liberal party, and indeed all other Canadian federal parties supporting the two state solution – as they all do – apprise themselves of the real history and actual situation in Palestine/Israel. Neither democracy nor “rule of law” – other than extemporaneous military law – exists in occupied Palestine, and it is all designed to remove and restrict indigenous Palestinians within their homeland – always has, always will…perhaps.
As for regional security, Canada certainly supports that as its sale of military vehicles and weapons to Saudi Arabia – Israel’s de facto ally – and its pathetic pretense at attacking ISIS under U.S. patronage all attest to. And once again it rolls around to “rule of law” as Canada breaks international criminal law, war law, and humanitarian law in its support of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Gulf States – all supplying material and service support to ISIS – a U.S./Saudi spawned group – in their war against Syria.
I hold no great expectations for Canada as a leading light for global affairs, for its self proclaimed status as “peacemaker” operating under “rule of law.” It has nestled itself comfortably into the western narrative framed by the Washington consensus and enjoys all the perks and problems that come within that configuration.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.