With Prime Minister Stephen Harper blindly supporting Israel in their persecution of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, we might well be looking at a Nobel Peace Prize winner prime minister after the next elections in Canada.
You will remember, Barack Obama was nominated for the coveted prize and was awarded it immediately after he won the 2008 presidential election, probably for the simple fact that he had replaced George W. Bush, possibly the most disdained US president of the last few decades.
Even Obama himself was surprised and discomforted by the prize, so much so that there was some behind-the-scenes diplomatic cold-shouldering of Norway by US diplomats according to newly surfaced anecdotal evidence. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/15/obama-nobel-peace-prize-norway-rebuke-war)
Getting back to Canada and our prime minister’s approach to international affairs, a recent article in the National Post examines how Mr. Harper conducts foreign policy. (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/04/stephen-harpers-rigidsupport-for-israel-based-on-idea-foreign-affairs-should-be-fought-on-moralgrounds/)
The article says the prime minister believes foreign policy should be conducted on moral grounds.
One must be very creative in thinking or rendered completely visionless by ideology to find any moral ground in the way Israel has been tormenting Palestinian population of Gaza, including by actions that could amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity as described by none other than the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Israel has created concentration camp conditions for many years for almost two million Palestinians living in Gaza, imposing a total blockade preventing trade with the outside world, applying restrictions of movement making it impossible for people to find employment and forcing the whole population to live in depravation, poverty and misery.
And when the people of Gaza who take refuge in schools run by the UN agency in charge of helping Palestinians come under fire from Israeli tanks, Mr. Harper still runs to the defense of Israel’s hard-line prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and blames the governing Palestinian faction of Hamas for the violence.
Of course, nobody claims that Hamas is innocent and it is true that they are also to blame in the eruption of the latest cycle of violence.
Here, the major issue is the disproportionate level of response that Israel has come up with to the almost primitive rockets fired by Palestinian militants to Israel. The Jewish state already has a massive air defense system that intercepts an overwhelming majority of the rockets fired onto its territory. Responding to an air assault by a massive land operation and displacing half a million people and killing almost a thousand civilians is not justifiable by any measure.
And Mr. Harper, in his dogmatic stance in support of whatever the Israeli government finds fit to do, continues to issue statements against the Palestinians.
A statesman would probably seek to understand why the Palestinians of Gaza Strip continue to support Hamas with all their heart despite accusations that their leadership is sacrificing people through this war for political gains; a statesman would realize that for the Palestinian population of Gaza, there is no more room to go back, that their backs are against the wall, and that this conflict is their last resort to call on the peoples of the world to bring about a solution to their suffering which has been going on for decades.
But Mr. Harper the politician has no qualms about his unwavering backing of Israel’s actions because he apparently feels he is on moral high ground. History will probably not agree with him.