Prime Minister Paul Martin is no friend of Israel. Even by the standards of politics, Paul Martin’s willingness to lie to a Jewish audience, especially when it is certain that he will be caught out a few days later, beggars the imagination.
“Canada has for many years supported Israel’s rightful place in the international community, including at the United Nations. And we will continue to press for the kinds of reforms that will eliminate the politicization of the United Nations and its agencies, and in particular, the annual ritual of politicized anti-Israel resolutions.” [my emphasis]
Three days later, Canada voted in the 4th Committee of the UN General Assembly on this year’s ritual of 9 “politicized anti-Israel resolutions”. Unbelievably, Canada voted against Israel 7 times, abstained once, and supported Israel only once.
Does that mean that Paul Martin lied to a Jewish assembly, or had he just forgotten to instruct his foreign minister as to the government’s new direction? To answer that question, we need to go back a year to November 30, 2004 when Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, Allan Rock, announced that “resolutions [against Israel] are often divisive and lack balance” and hinted that he would improve the situation. Those who heaped praise on this foreign policy breakthrough didn’t seem to notice that, the following day, Canada voted against Israel 5 out of 6 times on that year’s first batch of “politicized anti-Israel resolutions”, including one declaring that Israel has no legal, jurisdictional or administrative rights to any part of Jerusalem .
Is there a pattern here? Thunder with indignation before a Jewish audience as if the travesty is someone else’s doing, and then continue the anti-Israel agenda unchanged. It worked in 2004, so why not try it again in 2005?
Did the cheering UJC audience notice that the only specific act of terrorism that Paul Martin highlighted in his speech last Sunday was the killing of Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish assassin? He spent more time on this item than any other. The ongoing atrocities committed by Palestinians against Israelis did not warrant so much as a mention.
Paul Martin’s UJC speech is not the first time he has lied to a Jewish audience. In his speech at the inaugural parliamentary dinner of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) on November 1, 2004, he declared:
“We must respond to every act of anti-Semitism! … We must vigorously combat hate! … THIS IS NOT OUR CANADA!!!”
For this, Martin received a standing ovation from the mostly Jewish audience, despite the fact that he had failed to respond in any meaningful way to growing anti-Semitism. When Mohamed Elmasry declared on television his support for killing all Israelis over the age of 18, Martin was silent. When Sheikh Younis Kathrada called Jews “the brothers of monkeys and swine” and incited Muslims to die as martyrs killing infidels, Martin was silent. When David Ahenakew, a recipient of the Order of Canada, praised Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust and referred to Jews as “a disease”, Martin was silent. When Palestinian thugs and their supporters denied Ehud Barak the right to speak at Concordia University, Martin was silent. Martin was worse than silent when he personally appointed Yvon Charbonneau, a long-standing and well-known anti-Semite, to be Canada’s ambassador to UNESCO. Was Paul Martin telling the truth when he said he would “respond to every act of anti-Semitism”, or was he playing the Jewish community for fools?
Equally instructive is the pattern of media releases and statements from the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister. Reviewing Paul Martin’s official statements  and news releases  for the past year, one cannot miss his condemnations of terrorist attacks in Jordan, India and Egypt, yet regarding the many attacks against innocent civilians in Israel, Paul Martin is silent. But if killing Israelis does not reach his threshold for a statement or news release, concessions by Israel to Palestinian interests, such as the Gaza withdrawal, bring enthusiastic praise. And there is his official expression of sorrow over the death of Yassir Arafat, one of the worst killers of Jews in history. But Paul Martin’s finest moment had to be sending Pierre Pettigrew to lay a wreath at Arafat’s grave, while failing to likewise honour the thousands of Israeli victims of Arafat’s terror.
Would a friend of Israel have as his government’s official policy that Israel has no jurisdiction over Jerusalem, including recalling all Canadian passports that had “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth? Would a friend of Israel support the bogus Palestinian “right of return” that he knows would destroy the Jewish state? Would a friend of Israel send over $300 million to the Palestinians  whose ruling charter declares that “Judaism… is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own” and call for the destruction of the state of Israel? Every Canadian, including Paul Martin, should take a few minutes to read the Palestinian National Charter, and realize that its genocidal goals are being financed by self-proclaimed “friends of Israel” using Canadian tax dollars.
In December 2004, the Paul Martin government announced its usual $10 million annual funding of UNRWA . When Marc Gold of the Canada-Israel Committee rightly asked the government to reconsider this funding in light of a massive body of evidence linking UNRWA to Hamas terror , the government actually paused to consider the evidence. After a few weeks, having seen videos showing UN ambulances being used by terrorists and hearing an admission by the Secretary General of UNRWA that Hamas operatives are on its payroll, our government made the decision to continue the funding. Paul Martin can view the evidence just as he can read the Palestinian National Charter, but his only explanation has been that Israel wants the funding to continue. One has to ask if our foreign policy is made in Ottawa or Jerusalem, and why Canada has no reasons of its own for knowingly allowing our tax dollars to pass into the hands of terrorists. One also has to ask if we are hearing reality or diplomatic doublespeak.
As discussed in CCD’s recent testimony before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs , Paul Martin rewarded Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for breaking every commitment he made. Abbas came to office promising (1) to disarm Palestinian militants, (2) to end incitement in schools and media, and (3) to end glorification of suicide bombing. On that understanding, Prime Minister Martin promised an additional $12.2 million in May of this year. Since receiving those Canadian tax dollars, President Abbas has reneged on all his commitments. Specifically, (1) Abbas’s Foreign Minister publicly declared in June that the PA will not disarm Hamas and other terrorist groups under its jurisdiction; (2) Palestinian textbooks and PA-controlled media that deny the existence of Israel and preach the destruction of “the Zionist entity” have not changed ; and (3) Abbas himself, speaking to a group of high school students and educators in Gaza, glorified suicide bombing when he declared, “What has been achieved here [in Gaza] is due to the martyrs”. The consequences? In September, our Prime Minister rewarded Abbas’s bad faith with another $24.5 million from Canadian taxpayers.
The lies of Paul Martin and the list of anti-Israel actions by his government are more than anyone has the patience to read. The real question is, why? Why does this government have such a blatantly anti-Israel foreign policy, a policy so important that our Prime Minister is willing to sacrifice his own credibility to maintain it? There may be a number of factors, but the one unalterable reality is that there are over 650,000 Muslims in Canada and only around 350,000 Jews. In the crude calculus of electoral politics, that means that Jewish concerns will get little more than lip service, especially considering that the Liberals have historically retained the Jewish vote no matter how they undermined Israel.
If the Jewish community wants to change this government’s complicity in the existential threat facing Israel, they must demand that our politicians—from all parties—not only mouth platitudes about Israel, but act with honour and courage to support our only democratic partner in the Middle East. Sermonizing to Jewish audiences about anti-Semitism and then endorsing through silence incidents of Jew-hatred and incitement endangers every Jew in Canada. Professing to be a friend of Israel, and then demonizing Israel at the UN and sending tax dollars to groups dedicated to Israel’s destruction should no longer be acceptable to any Jewish voter. Paul Martin speaks the right words to Jewish voters, but his actions consistently undermine Israel and strengthen her enemies.
Enough, already! Paul Martin is no friend of Israel.