This article was originally published on April 24, 2017 in the Huffington Post.
In just a few weeks, the world will witness a remarkable and sobering milestone. By June, 2017, Israel will have been a military occupying power in the Palestinian territories for 50 years. Given the West’s blasé attitude, you might think this anniversary were inconsequential, but for millions in the Middle East, their hope and future depend on a shift from the status quo.
Some Canadians take a fatalistic attitude to the occupation and associated strife, making comments like, “the conflict will never end,” or, “they’ve been fighting for thousands of years” – neither of which is true. But regardless of the myths and the cynicism, 50 years of military occupation is far too long, and international players – including Canada – need to get serious about bringing it to an end. This crippling standoff between Israelis and Palestinians represents a ongoing failure in international diplomacy, and remains a source of ongoing strife in the broader Middle East.Read more
This article was originally published on Oct. 26, 2016 on the Huffington Post.
The appearance of B’Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad at the UN last week caused a healthy furor. While European and other politicians supported his testimony, Israel’s right-wing leaders went so far as to accuse El-Ad of treason. Yet this tiny Israeli human rights organization did what international diplomacy has failed to do for years: it held Israel to account – just briefly – for important violations of international law.
El-Ad argued something that most Canadian politicians have thus far been unwilling to accept: that you can like Israel, yet still criticize it. More importantly, El-Ad clearly implicated the international community in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The occupation isn’t an internal Israeli issue, but a major international issue. There’s no such thing as a democratic occupation. This can’t be an [Israeli] internal matter.”Read more