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Do Canadian Jews Support Boycotting Aid to Palestinians?

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Liberals Want to Know: "Do Canadian Jews Support Boycotting Aid to Palestinians?"
by C. L. Cook
A few weeks ago, Liberal York Centre riding incumbent Ken Dryden channeled Tory foreign affairs minister, Peter McKay, telling the crowd gathered at the Beth Emeth synagogue Canada should completely cut off aid to Gaza.

In his article, 'Israel's Party Mixer,' NOW Magazine's Paul Weinberg quotes the former Montreal Canadiens star goal-tender saying;

"Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians; it is the right thing to do at this time."

Weinberg wonders why Dryden, ensconced in a riding threatened by neither Tories, nor hordes of registered Canadian/Israeli settlers would stake out a position on Palestine that puts him "far to the right of the Conservatives."
 
More worrisome though is: How can a Canadian legislator, and a lawyer at that, propose the Canadian government engage in collective punishment of a civilian population already with their collective back to the wall(s)?
 
Regardless of MP Ken Dryden's political ambition, or moral cowardice, how can he possibly justify such a callous statement, much less propose it as official policy? Does he have no inkling of the situation brought on by Israel and its allies' isolation of the imprisoned population there?

In an attempt to clarify Dryden's assertion, Weinberg says he went to the source, Dryden's campaign manager. Ruth Thorkelson, says Weinberg, denied Dryden's position signals a new direction for the Liberals on Israel/Palestine.
 
"I don't agree with your [Weinberg's] suggestion that we have changed our position."

Weinberg then says;
 
"One reason the Liberals probably won't pay a price for the Tories' dedicated loyalty to the Israeli government is that the Grits hold exactly the same position now." 

So, does that mean Dryden, and the Tories, are playing to Toronto's Jewish community, whom they believe supports the uncompromising starvation campaign against Gaza's population initiated by the now-departed Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert?

Clearly, Paul Weinberg thinks they do. He quotes Steve Scheinberg of Canadian Friends of Peace Now saying;
 
"I don't think the Conservatives are that interested in the Middle East per se. What I think they are interested in is winning some Jewish votes and money."

And this from Mark Khoury of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations;
 
"Many parliamentarians are nervous about [the Palestine] issue. There is still a culture where it is too hard an issue to touch." 
 
Can't Touch This

Sadly, having stirred the hornets nest, Paul Weinberg leaves off here, without canvassing the "Jewish Street" in Toronto, or the rest of Canada.
 
To be fair, the question of "Jewish Canada's" homogeneity on this issue is not Weinberg's question but mine; but, the implication there exists such a bloc mentality among Canada's [sic] Jews, and that it supports Olmert's and Israel's siege and destroy campaign in Gaza is left hanging over the piece like a predator drone.

I can't say whether NOW's editors cut Weinberg's piece short, or he was content to leave this damning indictment dangling Damoclese-like over "Canada's Jewish community," but some of NOW's audience clearly were not ready to accept that odious suggestion.

Reader, Dov Kreiner sums it up nicely, saying;
 
"Frank Dimant 'one of the top foreign policy influencers in Ottawa', really? I rarely see B'nai Brith quoted anymore at least in the mainstream press when it comes to Jewish issues. Its usually the Canadian Jewish Congress that seems to be the talking head. And what the heck is Embassy magazine? I think NOW would have been better off seeking the opinion of mainstream Jewish Canada rather than B'nai Brith then we might have better understood the position of the Jewish community on Israel."
 
While "Gary" has choice words for the famed puck stopper;
 
"If he has been quoted correctly, Dryden's comments are fascistic - pure and simple. To grovel before the pro-Israel lobby is disgusting enough, but to call for the slow mass murder of 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (still "occupied" by Israel, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention), brings to mind the monstrous crimes of Hitler. Ironically, by advocating what is most certainly genocide, Dryden is also feeding the fires of anti-semitism."

A few more responses to Paul Weinberg's article follow below, but sadly absent are the outraged voices of any Canadian Human Rights or Peace organizations, Jewish or otherwise. That leaves NOW readers to assume;
 
"Yes, Canada's Jewish community supports Israel, right or wrong, and any politician looking for their votes, or more importantly, their money and media favour, must support the starvation of an entire captive people."
Paul Weinberg
NOW Magazine
 
[Sample Comments]

Posted by Angie on 10/05/2008, 03:27 PM
 
Oh, Canada, what have you become? Ken Dryden, better known as a former hockey player than a politician, has stated "Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians ... it is the right thing to do at this time". Since the cutting off of aid is causing starvation of Palestinians, and since Dryden as a MP must be aware of the implications of what he says, one can assume that Dryden is an advocate of genocide, as well as being a racist. He is inciting hatred of, and promoting the starvation and subsequent extermination of, 1.5 million Palestinian people because "it's the right thing to do at this time". And to show that odious double standards are alive and thriving in the Canadian political scene, there has been no comment from the the Liberal party, no immediate removal of Dryden from its ranks, no call for him to be brought before the sham CRHC for inciting hatred. Nothing. Who knew Dryden harboured such hatred against the Palestinian people? Who knew he was a real life racist? Who knew he was fawning over a minute segment of Canada's population, supporting the illegal occupation of Palestine, and supporting Israeli terrorism? What is Dion going to do about this? If he does nothing, his silence and inaction will confirm his agreement with Dryden. If the other political parties remain silent, they, too, will tell Canadians that preventing "aid" from reaching Gaza (which is minimal at best) and inciting hatred of the Palestinian people is perfectly okay with them, and Geneva Conventions be damned, eh?

Posted by Edward C. Corrigan, Barrister & Solicitor on 10/05/2008, 06:39 PM
 
Liberal MP, and former Liberal Leadership candidate, Ken Dryden calls for a halt to all aid to Gaza, including humanitarian aid and food. This would result in the mass starvation and the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians. Even Stephen Harper does not advocate such an extreme policy. This statement is a call for mass murder through starvation of over 1 million human beings who have committed no crimes only democratically elected a party of their own choice not one dictated to by outsiders. Where are the calls for Dryden's resignation and his formal ouster from the Liberal Party? A retraction and apology is at minimum required. Liberal candidates who run afoul of the Canadian Jewish Congress, even at the slightest pretext, are expelled from the Liberal Party or are blocked from running for the Liberal Party. However, any attack on the Palestinians, Arabs or Muslim community no matter how outrageous is allowed. The discrimination and racism in this policy is obvious to all except those who refuse to see it.
Edward C. Corrigan Barrister & Solicitor Associate Editor ImmQuest Associate Editor Immigration Law Reporter

Posted by Abelard on 10/07/2008, 05:11 PM
 
You know,I am a zionist and a conservative supporter, and even I wouldn't advocate what Dryden suggested. Neither did the conservative candidate and neither has the Harper gov't. To think that the riding's Jews would be happy to hear that humanitarian aid should be cut off, is an insult to them. Even the Israeli government with only a few days of exceptions has allowed humanitarian shipments of food, fuel, and medical supplies in to NGO's, but not to Hamas. What was Dryden thinking?

Posted by Muldfeld on 10/08/2008, 01:38 AM
 
Thank you for doing this story. It's nice to know this Canadian paper is not as cowardly on the Israeli-Palestinian issue as American, including PBS.

Posted by Angie on 10/08/2008, 01:45 PM
 
We don't have to look at America to find this sort of genocidal racism being ignored by the corporate media.
Did you see any reference to this on CBC, the television of Canadians? Did you see anything about it on CTV? Did anyone from the Globe, purporting to be Canada's (hehe) newspaper, demand answers from Dryden and Dion? Did the Toronto Star send out an investigative reporter?

If any of those media outlets covered this story, please, someone, point me to it.

Certainly if it weren't for this publication, Dryden's dirty little secret would still be a dirty little secret -- other than, of course, to those who were present at the meeting...

Posted by Ajamu Nangwaya on 10/08/2008, 11:51 PM
Dear Ken: You said that your statement on the curtailment of government-to-government aid was 'mischaracterized'. Did you make the following statement: "Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians... it is the right thing to do at this time"? If you did, there is no mistake about the intent of your declaration. If you support the delivery of food aid to the Palestinians through U.N. agencies and NGO's, the following comment is contrary to your attempt to "clarify" your position: "While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians... it is the right thing to do at this time " It looks like you are suffering from more than that peculiarly politician illness called "foot-in-mouth-disease."
Ajamu Nangwaya 
 
 

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