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Monthly Archives: December 2010
A person doesn’t have to think back all that far to remember a time when rabbit ears forked out from the tops of our TV sets.
Televisions weighed about 60 pounds back then, and you would need approximately four of your friends to heft it around each time you re-arranged the basement. You might remember kicking the side of it every time the screen went static-y. Continue reading
Realpolitiks with . . .
North America has provided Canadians with a safe haven to prosper for the last 200 years. We’ve built a somewhat steady democracy, made a name as a leading nation in the world and have established peaceful relations with our neighbours. The folks in the Middle East, however, haven’t been as lucky.
There has been conflict over the territory of Israel since people’s calendars counted backwards to zero, so I’m not surprised people are still killing each other to this day. War might be the worst aspect of human society, but it’s become a large part of the Middle East because that’s what the people have grown up knowing.
Israel has every right to exist, and I applaud their veracity in defending their land. They are surrounded by nations who would look to destroy them, and so they do what they can in order to keep a parliamentary system in a war-torn part of the world. This means a strong military presence towards those that oppose them, sometimes even stepping outside the rule of law to show their might.
It’s a tough life for the folks in the Middle East, but that is between them and the stones they throw at each other.
I, for one, have no concern for what happens between them and the Palestinians, or any Muslem nation for that matter. It’s a ridiculous notion to think I know what’s going on over there, because I don’t. I live in a nation where we don’t care what religion you’re from, or what colour your skin is. It’s great to live in a country where discrimination is generally frowned upon, but that makes us quite ignorant to the conflicts that we don’t see every day.
According to the government of Canada, if you gathered all the people in Canada who’ve committed a violent crime against someone because of their religion they wouldn’t even fill a city bus. The Conservatives don’t have the historical wisdom to know what a religious conflict is, much less know how to handle one.
The Harper regime is known to use its pro-Israel stance for different political reasons. When Libby Davis spoke out against the Palestinian lands being occupied, the Conservatives tried real hard to get her thrown out for ‘anti-Semitic’ comments. Luckily for her, Canadians are more understanding toward those who are on Palestine’s side.
Our loss with the UN’s security bid might be blamed on Harper’s pro-stance with Israel, but it’s more likely his exclusion of Muslem nations that caused the minority vote to sway with Portugal. I don’t think keeping our soldiers stationed in the Afghanistan shows the world our passionate side, much less our commitment to promoting peace in the Middle East.
The Conservative government needs to understand they can’t condemn groups like Hamas as terrorists, then turn around and support Israel’s right to use phosphorus weapons against the people who live in Palestinian slums. We need to recognize that everyone has a right to exist. The tension between the Arabs and the Israelis goes much deeper than just recent decades of conflict, and it’s going to take discussions rather than condemnations to solve the problems in the Middle East.
Kevin Penny is a 20-year-old, second-year journalism student at Grant MacEwan University. As a tenderfoot journalist, he looks to give some straight sense in the world of politics by defending truth, justice and the freedom of choice.
Israel is one of the only democratic states within the middle east, the only nation in the region which supports western values of freedom and democracy, and the only country within the middle east that allows freedom of religion.
Israel is also a nation under constant attack from terrorists, a nation constantly threatened to be wiped off the face of the earth by neighbouring countries and a nation whose survival is at risk without western support. It sounds like a nation in which Canada, a country which stands for human rights and freedom should whole heartedly support.
Since the 2006 election which put the Harper conservatives in charge of Ottawa, Canada has become one of the staunchest and most consistent supporters of Israel.
Since President Bush left office in 2008, America under President Obama has shifted its country’s position from being all out, pro-Israel, to an apologetic mediator of the Middle East which has become too afraid of offending Arab nations that it no longer stands for its principles. Canada, rightfully so has stepped up to the plate to fill the void left by the Americans.
Many critics have lambasted Israel for its handling of the Palestinian state, the war with Hezbolla, a neighbouring terrorist organization, and as a violator of human rights.
All these attacks have been, for the most part, baseless, partisan, and reeking of anti-Semitism instead of legitimate political concern.
While Israel is not a perfect nation, it is the only western ally in the Middle East, promoter of democracy and free society and has been on the front lines against terrorism for several years. This is why Canada must continue its support for Israel.
While it is easy for a country to hop off the bandwagon and persecute Israel at every opportunity, Canada has taken a principled position and stood beside its ally. Many pundits believe this is why Canada lost its bid for a position on the UN security council.
If true, Canada should take that rejection as a badge of honour and courage. If the UN has become nothing more than a watering hole for anti-Israel and anti- Semitic discussion (Durban III Conference), then Canada should hold its chest high to the fact we were voted out of its most exclusive club.
Racist remarks, threats of attack and any challenge to the sovereignty of Israel has and will not be supported by Canada, nor will Canada back down from supporting Israel’s right to exist and defend its people from terrorists. While most nations scoff at any military action Israel takes to defend its people, most ignore the fact that these actions are in reply to attacks against innocent Israeli civilians, and that Israel has every right to support the defense of their people.
While Canada may have lost some of its prestige in the international community because of its position on Israel, Canadians should know we are doing the principled and right thing. As a former US president once said “Popularity is nothing . . . principles are forever”. Defence of democratic nations must be upheld by the west, and it’s another proud moment in Canadian history when Canada is the country holding the frontlines.
Mitchell Cooper is a 22-year-old, third-year Grant MacEwan University political science student with ambitions to attend law school. He’s worked two years in government, and on several political campaigns. He hopes to have the privilege of holding public office one day.
The Sputnik (Brantford)
(CUP) — Every year, the same battles get fought about whether there is a “secular war on Christmas” or if Christians are forcing religion on others. This holiday season, though, let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas — consumerism. Continue reading