Monday, February 26, 2024

What explains Canada’s “unwavering” support for Israel?


Canada Israel Christian Zionism genocide Gaza Palestine ICJ ruling UNRWA Bronfman geopolitics settler colonialism lobby racism arms industry military intelligence

On the day the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled it was “plausible” Israel was committing genocide and called for it to allow aid into Gaza Canada suspended its assistance to refugees in the coastal strip. Failing to even note that Israel is legally bound by the World Court, Canada acted immediately after Israeli officials claimed 12 out of 13 000 UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) workers were implicated in Hamas’ October 7 attacks.

Two weeks earlier, on the eve of South Africa presenting its case to the ICJ against Israel’s genocide, Justin Trudeau posted a message on X with Israeli flags in the background boasting about Canada’s “unwavering” commitment to the country. Canada’s Prime Minister wrote, “to the members of the Jewish community who spoke with us today: Thank you. Thank you for speaking so candidly about your pain, your anger, and your grief. I hear you. I want you to know that our commitment to you – and to Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state – is unwavering.”

As Trudeau’s post suggests, Canadian support for an apartheid state committing genocide is linked to Jewish lobbying and Israel’s anti-Semitism shield. But other factors drive Canada’s pro-Israel position, including imperial geopolitics, settler solidarity and Christian Zionism.

Like in Europe, Zionism’s roots in Canada are Christian. They flow from more literal reading of the bible that came out of the Protestant Reformation. At the time of Confederation Canada’s preeminent Christian Zionist was Henry Wentworth Monk who “took part in the first attempt at a Zionist agricultural settlement in Palestine,” boasts his biography. Six decades later, in Prime Minister R.B. Bennett told a national radio broadcast for the 1934 launch of the United Palestine Appeal that the Balfour declaration and the British conquest of Palestine represented the beginning of the fulfillment of biblical prophecies. Bennett declared, “When the promises of God, speaking through his prophets, are that the home will be restored in the homeland of their forefathers … Scriptural prophecy is being fulfilled. The restoration of Zion has begun.”  (more...)

What explains Canada’s “unwavering” support for Israel?

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