Dec 28 2008
I’ll be heading to a counter-protest at the US Consulate in downtown Vancouver tomorrow at noon (1075 West Pender, near Thurlow). I’m really hoping somebody else has organized something, since I only found out about a protest against “Israeli War Crimes” on Sunday night through a lucky Google search. I expect my last-minute efforts to organize a counter-demonstration in solidarity with Israel via social media apps like Facebook and Twitter will generate a token presence, but you never know.
Just to be clear, if the protest organized by a wide range of Palestinian, Arab and socialist(???) organizations were there to promote the cause of peace in the Middle East, I’d be marching with them. But that’s not why they’re going to be there. The language of the press releases and other promotions for their demonstration make clear that they consider any Israeli military response to rockets fired from Gaza a war crime. (If you MUST read their agit-prop, here it is. Just remember to take a shower afterwards).
The unjustness and stupidity of this position become clear when one considers the likely response of the Canadian government if, let’s say, residents of the Twassen First Nation started raining mortar shells and missiles on Kitsilano and West Point Grey. Governments of United Nations member states are obligated to defend their citizens from foreign aggression, and Israel is no different.
I’ll be there to represent Canadians who want to see real peace in the Middle East (and by extension, a more peaceful planet), with Israeli Jews and Palestinians both free to pursue their national dreams without violence. This requires:
1. The Palestinian people must reject the failed leadership of Hamas and turn to other leaders who are willing to pursue peaceful coexistence with Israel. This doesn’t have to be a violent revolution. The multi-colored revolutions of the Eastern European states point to what is possible, if the will is there.
2. A zero-tolerance policy for aggression by extremist groups, enforced by both the Palestinian and Israeli populations and the international community.
3. An end to the subtle back-door diplomacy approach of the international community to the peacemaking process. Given that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is cited as the cause of so much international terror and conflict outside the Middle East, it seems strange that the world at large devotes less resources to solving the problem than, say, promoting the Olympics.