What a grim field (Canadian politics and Israel/Palestine)
A brief report from the stomach-turning exercise of watching Canadian politics. The liberal leadership race is unfolding and all candidates are competing to bend lower in obesiance to racism and contempt against Palestinians. How bizarre that Michael "not losing sleep over massacres" Ignatieff is now off to atone for calling a war crime a war crime. And Bob Rae, who scored cheap points by attacking Ignatieff for saying he wasn't losing sleep, got to score more cheap points by attacking Ignatieff for calling the Qana massacre a war crime. And how does Rae know that the massacre wasn't a war crime? Of course because he knows the intent of the Israeli military. Rae, like so much of the Canadian establishment, reads minds. He knows the Western minds of the Israelis would never deliberately kill civilians, so we have over a thousand accidents from the summer and hundreds of accidents piling up continuously in Gaza. He knows the Oriental minds of Hizbullah and so he can tell us that they deliberately killed civilians, even though they killed mostly soldiers who were invading their country, committing the ultimate war crime of aggression.
But then, the Canadian establishment has never understood the concept of aggression, from the time that Lester B. Pearson criticized Vietnamese aggression against the French in Vietnam all the way to today.
Nor does the Canadian establishment understand racism, including its own. Our culture allows a certain level and a certain kind of racism. Because of that permissiveness, racism against Palestinians, support for Israel's ongoing massacres and ethnic cleansing, carries no political cost in our society. One need not expect the likes of Rae or Ignatieff to have pangs of conscience, but it would be good if at some point their kind of contempt of people's lives and deaths met with the revulsion it deserved.
I've explored that topic in the past. A while ago, as I was heading into an extremely busy period, I received a personal challenge to explore that topic again, something I plan to do in the coming days. More on that soon...