Canadian FM Outdoes Himself
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion exhibited a real knack for the twofer on Friday, by going after both his political opposition and the Israeli government in one disingenuous swoop.
In perfect doublespeak, Dion managed to announce his (Liberal) party’s support for a Conservative motion condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, while attacking it as an attempt to foment discord in parliament.
The motion to “condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals” to engage in BDS — “the demonization and delegitimization” of Israel — was tabled by Tory MP Tony Clement.
“This is not a partisan issue,” he asserted, urging Liberals to “side with us on this motion. Send a strong message to our fellow Canadians and to freedom-lovers around the world.”
Tory MP David Sweet went even further, calling BDS “anti-Semitic.” Sweet also got up and commended the Liberals for joining in a bipartisan effort to combat it. But this was too much for Dion, who made sure to say that though the Liberals would support the motion, they had “reservations” about it, among them the impure and divisive motives of the Tories in pushing the bill forward.
“To me, this is further proof that the Conservatives have not learned from their mistakes and are still trying to divide Canadians on issues that should unite them,” he said.
And then he proceeded to defend not only “freedom of expression,” but BDS as well — at least its supporters whose motives (unlike those of the Tories) are pure.
“Some supporters of the boycott have bad intentions, do not want peace and are working against Israel,” he said. “However, it cannot be denied that many of the boycott supporters are mistaken in good faith. Many organizations and individuals in Canada and abroad support the BDS movement out of the belief that it will somehow accelerate the peace process and be a nonviolent initiative that leads to a lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their goal ultimately is the same as ours: a two-state solution with a secure, stable and democratic Israel, living side-by-side with a secure, stable and democratic Palestinian state. However, they are mistaken in the way this goal may be achieved.”
This is quintessential Dion drivel in its finest. Since the November election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which marked the end of Stephen Harper’s conservative government, Dion has been making it clear in his convoluted way that Israel shares, if not bears, responsibility for the ills befalling it.
The wave of Palestinian terrorism against the Jewish state that surged shortly before Trudeau took office provided Canada’s recently instated top diplomat with the perfect opportunity to show the international community that he — the new peace sheriff in town – grasped this tenet. To illustrate he meant business, Dion promptly took a sharp turn away from his predecessor’s public display of support for Israel as a staunch Western ally, under the same kind of attack at the hands of radical Islamists as the rest of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim world.
The way he did this was to issue a public statement equating Palestinian and Israeli “violence and incitement,” and calling on “both sides” to return to the negotiating table. His timing was impeccable, as an additional heads up about a more harshly worded reprimand to Israel came on the heels of two particularly horrifying stabbing attacks by Palestinian terrorists against two Israeli women — one slashed to death in front of her traumatized teenage daughter, the other wounded while pregnant.
Imagine how painful it must be for him, then, to have to join forces with his enemies at home in countering Israel’s enemies abroad. No need to worry, however. We have not heard the last of Dion, whose ability to distort reality to suit his fantasy may yet surpass that of his counterpart, US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Fortunately for Israel, Canada has no real power; it has simply become yet another former ally professing to have its best interests at heart.
Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner.