Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza this week -- a move that is loudly supported by the Harper government. And it illustrates, Linda McQuaig writes, the moral disconnect at the heart of Harper's policy towards Israel:
Certain minimal standards are expected of a national leader in what is known as the ‘civilized world’.
One of those standards would seem to be that, when massive numbers of defenceless civilians are being killed, a national leader should call for the killing to stop.
Questions about responsibility, blame, punishment, repercussions, etc., can always follow. But surely the first order of business — the one with moral urgency — is to halt the killing of innocent people.
Harper's simple answer -- there's always a simple answer for him -- is that Hamas is using civilians as human shields. So don't blame the Israelis:
But Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian ambassador, noted on CBC TV’s Power and Politics on Tuesday that international law prohibits Israel from, for instance, attacking a military target if it is located in a densely populated building.
Anyone who knows anything thing about the Israeli-Palestinian relationship knows that it's fraught with complications:
What is striking about Harper’s intensely one-sided approach is the way he resolutely avoids dealing with the central fact of this decades-old conflict: that millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been living under Israeli military occupation for more than forty-five years, and that Israel has effectively annexed what used to be their land, building settlements on it that now accommodate more than 600,000 Israelis.
Harper’s refusal to take any of this into consideration flies in the face of Canada’s long-standing position on the Mideast conflict — a position that still appears on the Canadian government’s website.
Harper has always been comfortable in his ignorance. Moreover, he has the arrogance to think he's the smartest guy in the room. The result is depraved policy.