POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
There are serious problems with Harper's statement.
First, he is trying to justify his government's failure to secure the Security Council seat we, by all precedents, should have received. In a word, he is taking no responsibility for his poor administration of foreign affairs.
Second, Harper attempts to put himself in the heroic position of having fought anti-Semitism. This is dishonest, hypocritical, and without ethics.
Just consider that Harper effectively implies that others who receive temporary seats may be anti-Semitic, and just so Canada in the past.
Is that way of explaining yourself an example of diplomacy? Or is it yet one more example of the very incompetence which lost Canada the seat?
There is yet one more flaw in logic contained in Harper's words.
He is implicitly equating one-sided support for Israel with fighting anti-Semitism.
That is not just incorrect, it is dishonest.
Israel is a state, and if it wants to be regarded as a state like any other state, it must behave by the rules which apply to the community of states.
Criticizing Israel for its often brutal and unjust behavior has nothing whatever to do with anti-Semitism.
Saying that it does is the shabby trick of Israel’s paid apologists.
Defending Israel against warranted criticism is not defending the world against anti-Semitism. It is the repugnant embrace of a dirty trick.
It also reflects an attitude with which most Canadians do not agree.
Canadians are largely fair-minded about the Middle East, and Canada’s policies and statements for decades, until this narrow-minded minority government, always have been balanced and fair-minded.
Harper has been quite ugly on the subject of Israel’s behavior. I do not know why, whether he is just so prejudiced against the rights of Palestinians or whether he is being craven to elicit campaign contributions from the powerful special interest groups which advocate a one-sided view of Israel.
Recall, after Israel’s deliberate targeting of UN inspectors doing their duty in Southern Lebanon, including a brave Canadian officer staying at his post, Harper, instead of criticizing the killings, criticized the UN for having the inspectors there.
Recall Peter Kent, second-rank minister of no distinction, announcing unilaterally in a speech that Canada was ready to go to war on behalf of Israel, making an extreme and provocative policy statement without having consulted Parliament or the people of Canada.
And recall Harper having previously asserted that Canadians who criticized Israel were anti-Semitic. Who granted the head of our government, a minority one at that, the right to call honest citizens ugly names?
Harper truly demonstrates in this matter what a twisted and deceitful person he is.
If we are a decent society, then it goes without saying that we disapprove of all forms of bigotry.
So why this selecting out one form of bigotry, anti-Semitism, for special mention over and over?
The very language of many who comment reflects this odd phenomenon, people often saying they are against bigotry or prejudice AND anti-Semitism.
I think this is so because of the constant effort at a form of reverse prejudice: people feel they need to cover themselves against the charge of anti-Semitism explicitly, even though they do not say they are not bigoted against blacks or against Arabs or against Catholics or anything else you can mention.
All bigotry is actually a form of superstition, and no rational, clear-thinking person indulges in it.
Bigotry certainly includes reverse prejudice.