Stephen Harper claims that criticizing Israel is a new form of Anti-Semitism. Of course, he defines Israel as the Netanyahu government. But, as Gerry Caplan writes, there is so much more to Israel than the Netanyahu government:
But it’s not Israel that he supports. It’s the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Among the great truths the Canadian delegation will not be reminded of is that Mr. Netanyahu represents only one faction of Israel today, just as Mr. Harper represents only a minority of Canadians.
Like Mr. Harper, Mr. Netanyahu has generated a great deal of opposition. But Harper will not see that opposition:
Never having seen it for themselves – although it’s the easiest thing in the world to do – Mr. Harper and crew will not see how Israeli soldiers at many West Bank checkpoints casually humiliate and torment Palestinians way beyond any legitimate Israeli security needs. Instead, they will join the Netanyahu chorus and dismiss anyone who makes this point, or criticizes virtually any Israeli government policy regarding the Palestinians, as anti-Semitic. The Holocaust is routinely invoked.
I wonder if any of Mr. Harper’s fellow travellers, including the accompanying journalists, might be interested in branching out a bit for themselves. There is, after all, a veritable cornucopia for them to experience. For just one example, the Israeli group Breaking the Silence, founded by disillusioned Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and veterans, collects testimonies from IDF soldiers who can no longer remain silent about the brutal treatment they’ve witnessed by Israelis of Palestinians. About 900 from all ranks have spoken out. Wouldn’t it be vaguely interesting to talk to them?
The prime minister works very hard to not see what doesn't fit into the way he frames the world. In his world, only the like minded have any legitimacy. He is Ignorance personified. And his ignorance drives his paranoia.