It's Time to Face Up to Reality


The Palestinian people are captive and, unless they leave their homeland, they will remain captive.

Says who? Well, among others, Gwynne Dyer. He writes that the liberal progressive Israel embraced by so many Canadians and our politicians is no more, hasn't been for a long time. Israel is a nation and a people of the far right and, for them, there's no going back.

Just before the Six-Day War, thanks to massive Jewish immigration from the diaspora, Jewish Israelis outnumbered the Arabs who had not been driven out in the 1948 war by around seven-to-one. That’s a comfortable majority, big enough that Israel could afford to let its Arabs have citizenship, the vote, all the usual democratic rights. And it did.

But after 1967 Israel ruled a far larger territory on which almost exactly half the population was Arab. More than half a century later it still does, and it doesn’t want to give that land up. But it cannot afford to give all those Arabs citizenship and all the rights that go with it, so the only solution is permanent subjugation of all its post-1967 Arab subjects. Only hard Right-wing Governments can do that and still be at peace with themselves, so that is what Israel has ended up with.

As former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said in 2017: “If we keep controlling the whole area from the Mediterranean to the river Jordan where some 13 million people are living, if only one entity reigned over this whole area, named Israel, it would become inevitably … either non-Jewish or non-democratic.”

Netanyahu’s solution to this dilemma is never stated explicitly, but a majority of Jewish Israeli voters understand and accept it. It is that the Arabs in the occupied territories will have to live under permanent military occupation, in order that Jewish Israelis may continue to live in a Jewish State that extends from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.

In four consecutive elections in the past two years, Netanyahu has failed to get an outcome that delivers him a possible winning coalition. He’s playing for a deadlock and a fifth election now, but he may end up out of office and in jail instead. 

Any politician who replaces ‘Bibi’, with or without another election, would pursue the same basic policy. The centre of gravity of Israeli politics is now far to the Right, and still moving rightwards.

Every Canadian government, Conservative and Liberal, has condoned the permanent subjugation of Israel's Palestinian captives. That includes Justin Trudeau. On Israel and the Palestinians there's not much sunlight between Mr. Trudeau and his predecessor, Harper. They play a fanciful dance because to acknowledge the obvious would make them complicit.

Trudeau’s government has voted against more than 50 UN General Assembly resolutions upholding Palestinian rights. In 2015, he passed a motion condemning “any and all attempts” to promote the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for the boycotting of products and companies that profit from violating Palestinian rights, as well as cultural and academic institutions. Trudeau has directly linked BDS to anti-Semitism.

During the 2014 war on Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, Trudeau, then leader of the Liberal Party, stated Israel had the right to defend itself, and commended its commitment to peace, despite 2,200 Palestinians being killed in the 50-day conflict, which is being investigated by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for potential war crimes.

Canada continues to offer economic and trade assistance to businesses in Israeli settlements. Former Foreign Minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland even went so far as to say that Canada would act as an “asset for Israel” if it were to secure a seat on the UNSC.

Israel is an apartheid state and it has no intention of restoring the Occupied Territories to the rightful possessors, the Palestinians. Yet our leaders are all too quick to condemn anyone who criticizes Israel as anti-Semites, compounding their disgrace.

Gwynne Dyer is not one to grind axes. His take on international affairs, especially military, is well-informed and thoughtful. Israel is intent on keeping the Palestinian lands. There will be no two state deal. There will be no one state deal, at least not a one state deal that includes the Palestinians.

h/t Trailblazer


  1. " the liberal progressive Israel embraced by so many Canadians"

    ah for the Kumbaya-Kibbutz days - those mythical days of yore!

    1. Even Mulroney defied Thatcher and Reagan to denounce South Africa over apartheid. I wish our current prime minister had the same principle. Sure Harper was a Netanyahu stooge but 1, it fits his evangelical bent, and, 2, he was an asshole. What's Trudeau's excuse?

    2. "What's Trudeau's excuse?"

      6 years in it becomes obvious that while Trudeau Jr. may be a wily politician of his time, on a policy basis he is simply the 'blank canvas' that Bay St. needed after the Harper years exposed their flanks. Freeland is running the country on their behalf. Thank goodness the need for Pandemic management came during one of our accidental minority parliaments.

  2. There seems to be little in the way of offering the milk of human kindness from Israel to any Palestinian. Emboldened ordinary Israelis seize nominally Israeli-citizen Palestinian homes in Jerusalem with police protection, and thus provoke Hamas in Gaza. Poke 'em with a pointed stick so they can be walloped when they react seems to be the government logic by enabling such outright theft. I guess it's only because we have so much land in Canada that we don't treat First Nations the same way, but find a gold mine under a reserve and watch O'Toole's fangs draw back.

    It's rather like the US continually baiting other countries to come out and fight if they show the slightest sign of objection to not following neoliberal elite BS and surrendering their sovereign possessions and government to the "free market", otherwise known as confiscation, or compensation for pennies on the dollar. Canada is good at offering our resources for virtually free to capitalists for a few jobs, like the tarsands or water utilities or a toll highway monopoly, so the US won't be coming after us on that score, but privatized medicine? Now there's a cash cow to be be milked! And over in Blighty, Boris is champing at the bit to do it, just like kenney in that enlightened prairie province of Alberta, when he's not fighting teachers, doctors, civil servants and lopping the tops off mountains for coal for a total $6700 in royalties to cover his next month's personal household expenses. Flogging off the "treasure", broadly owned by the citizens in society as commonwealth, to the private sector on the cheap is the "free market" at work. Yes sir. The financial rentiers must then have their tithe on every human transaction, because they own the property and need a return on "investment". The Israelis are cruder than the ultra rich in the West -- they just take what they want from the Palestinians, so far as I can see. No objections allowed or else.

    Gaza got bombed to sh!t in this go-around. Will Israel allow international aid in to help rebuild? Do stars twinkle on a cloudy night? "Agitators" might worm their way in, and Netanyahoo can't have that! And all the Western leaders do the great fandango in double jig time, lest they be branded as anti-semite by the ever vigilant Israeli sympathizers parsing all comments made by anyone for hints of not toeing the Israeli line. Rather than speak up, especially after the ruthless decapitation of Corbyn in the UK for NOTHING but mere unsubstantiated accusations of anti-semitism because he wanted to hear out the Palestinian side, our Western government pols prefer the coward's way out. Er, um, ah, well, er, "the fighting must stop!" Thank you Joe and Justin for your bold humanitarian leadership.

    In the US, state and university positions often mandate no criticism of Israel or you're out of a job. You basically have to swear fealty to a foreign country! And criticism is very broadly interpreted. A primer in how to hand over your sovereignty to a bunch of foreign right wing modern-day Boers. At least the ANC nominally got rid of apartheid in RSA before settling in to be comfy neoliberals; I have family in Durban and white privilege is still the norm there, Mandela's legacy or not. The few well-off ruling elites in the black population seem happy with a facade of freedom, but hey, a person has to know which side their bread is buttered on! The world is entirely corrupt.

    Must read some more Dyer. Decarie used to provide links, which usually led of all things to the Postmedia London Free Press.

  3. Where are you finding Dyer? His website hasn't been upgraded for awhile .

  4. Try this.


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