This past June, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for “singling out Israel” for criticism. This is not a new line: the “singling out Israel” accusation is a decades-old tactic that Israel’s proponents use almost any time that Israel is challenged on its human rights record. The rise of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement calling for economic pressure on Israel for its human rights violations has only amplified the use of this evasive tactic.
At best, critics of Israeli government policies can expect to be accused of imposing an unfair standard on Israel; at worst they can face allegations of anti-Semitism for supposedly singling out the country for criticism. For example, during Parliament’s 2016 debate over a motion to condemn BDS, about a dozen Liberal and Conservative MPs toed this fictitious line when they declared, “Israel is singled out from the rest of the world.” In addition, a few MPs actually suggested that BDS supporters are the new face of anti-Semitism because they “selectively condemn Israel.”Read more
This article was originally published on September 11, 2017 on Rabble.ca and on September 12, 2017 on Huffington Post.
Most old popstars end their careers playing arenas in front of aging fans, milking old hits for every cent they're worth. Long past are the days when their politics were meaningful or relevant. But Roger Waters, the former front-man for Pink Floyd, is no ordinary musician. Waters' politics, in fact, still strike fear among some of the strongest political organizations in the world. All because Waters supports the international boycott of Israel.
Waters is due to give a series of concerts in Canada next month, and right on cue, Canada's pro-Israel lobby groups have mobilized aggressively to badmouth him. The hyperbole in these campaigns is astounding. According to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), for example, Waters "promotes vile discrimination" in a "bigoted campaign" targeting Israel. It sounds really nasty, until you look at what Waters is actually saying.Read more
This article was originally published on Feb. 17, 2017 in the Huffington Post.
New survey results indicate that on the question of Israel-Palestine politics, the Trudeau government is grossly out of step with the Canadian electorate. New survey results indicate that while Canadians were far more likely to have a negative opinion of Israeli government, most Canadians believe their government is biased in favour of Israel.
In a survey co-sponsored by my organization and conducted by EKOS, 46 percent of Canadians who expressed an opinion had a negative or somewhat negative view of the government of Israel. Only 28 percent had a positive or mostly positive view of Israel. On the other hand, 61 percent believed that their government held a pro-Israel Middle East policy, while only 16 percent thought Canada was pro-Palestinian.Read more
This article was originally published on Sep. 6, 2016 on the Huffington Post.
Last week, the world was informed of yet another expansion of Israeli “settlements” by the Netanyahu government. Israel announced plans for 285 new units in the West Bank, and the retroactive approval of 178 units that were built in the 1980s. Part of an ongoing series of announcements, Israel has now advanced plans for 1700 new units since July 1.
The UN Mideast Envoy, Nicolay Mladenov, was incensed. “Israeli settlements in occupied territory have no legal validity and are an obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”Read more