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Canada and Israel - Building Apartheid

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Canada and Israel - Building Apartheid. Yves Engler. RED/Fernwood Publishing, Canada. 2010.

While much is made of U.S. support of Israel, its unstinting rhetoric and its similarly unstinting financial generosity, Canada has likewise been a strong supporter of Zionism and Israel. Not only has Canada been strong, they have in certain respects been stronger and more faithful to Israel than the U.S. In an enlightening little book, Canada and Israel - Building Apartheid, Yves Engler documents the strength of the Canadian tendency to give full support to Israel regardless of international law.

There are four key points that underlie the work. The first is the recognition that Canada supported Zionism from the origins of the concept, from its fundamentalist Christian roots. Secondly, as part of the British Empire, a Dominion without an independent foreign policy, Canada gave full support to the ideas and actions of British Zionism - from the Balfour Declaration through to the UN partition plan and subsequent UN votes, and on to the current fiascoes with Lebanon, Gaza, and the supposed peace process.

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Third, Zionism was originally given much support from Christianity as Israel needed to be filled with Jews for biblical prophecy to come true; yet while "In Europe, assimilating Jews usually shunned Zionism....In Canada, however, many prosperous acculturated Jews," the politicians who catered to them, and the media being largely controlled by pro-Israeli corporate bosses, have consistently supported all Israeli actions and Zionist claims. Finally, when the British Empire stepped out of the way, the Canadians fell into step with the United States who accepted their Israeli partnership with lavish monetary, political, and military support.

The writer will demonstrate that....

Engler's writing is clear and concise without wasted rhetoric. In the introduction he outlines what he wishes to demonstrate to the reader:

Canada has supported all but one of Israel's military adventures (Egypt);

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Biblical literalism and European nationalism played significant roles in the formation and ideology of both countries; both are "settler states;"

"Uninterested in the welfare of the indigenous population," Canada gave strong support to and helped shape the UN partition plan; followed by continued one-sided diplomacy supporting Israel - from Mossad/CSIS relations, to military, business, and private subsidized donations;

Both main political parties - Conservatives and Liberals, akin to the Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. - lead to Canada being "the most pro-Israel country in the world."

Finally, the main thrust of this one sided support is Canada's role as a sycophantic admirer of the U.S. empire - at least at the level of the political-corporate elites.

From those originating outlines, Engler delivers a hard driving compilation of facts, tendencies, and quotable quotes that do demonstrate Canada's strong support of the Israeli dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Canada announces that...

Canada has supported Israel for the six decades of its existence, having previously given large support to the idea of Zionism (note that Canada, along with many other western countries, limited Jewish immigration to Canada after WW II) under the guidance of the British Empire. Having adopted the U.S. empire after the collapse of the British, Canada under Harper's conservative government (which follows many of the U.S. Republican ideals) proclaimed in 2008 "that Canada was the most pro-Israel country in the world. So did Israeli officials." While Canadian officials "pretend that Israel is working towards a Palestinian state," their votes and actions give support to ongoing Israeli occupation and settlement against all international law.

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Engler wonders how Canada's credibility has been hurt or not. With our position on Israel, our support of the Washington consensus politically, our involvement in the U.S. imperial wars in Afghanistan, Canada's political credibility should be very low, at least outside of areas that kowtow to U.S. imperial directives - Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He states that "every Canadian who believes in the principles of human rights, even-handedness and peacekeeping in foreign affairs should be embarrassed by our government's record." Count me in on that one.

Canada is after all, just another part of the empire"...

In summing up the reasons for Canada's "overwhelming pro-Israel bias" Engler succinctly states his observations: the influence of religion (Harper is fundamentalist Christian as are many of his followers); the new threat of being called anti-Semitic (although the unreality of it hardly makes it a threat unless one is within the elite political/corporate system); the strength of the Jewish lobby in Canada (parallel with the U.S.) and the power of the U.S. empire in business and politics (most of Canada's trade is with the U.S., as their economy goes, so goes ours).

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A long time student/critic/analyst of the American empire and all that entails, having initially focused on Palestine with many articles submitted to Palestine Chronicle. Since then, other global websites have distributed the reviews and (more...)

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