In Canadian Politics, Human Rights, Middle East

Yesterday, Canada’s pro-Israel lobby went bananas after the Trudeau government tossed a crumb to the Palestinian people.

For the second time in two months, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The first of those resolutions called for an “immediate and sustained humanitarian truce”. The UNGA adopted the resolution on October 27, 2023, by a vote of 120 in favour to 14 against, with 45 abstentions. Canada abstained.

Yesterday’s UNGA resolution “demands” an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages” and that “all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians”. It was adopted by a vote of 153 in favour to 10 against, with 23 abstentions. This time, Canada voted in favour of the resolution.

Predictably, Israel and its primary enabler, the United States, voted against yesterday’s ceasefire resolution. The remaining eight states that voted against the resolution were tiny, U.S.-dominated states. Their collective population is less than 75 million, or 1% of the human population. Despite this, Genocide Joe Biden claimed that “most of the world” still supports Israel.

The lobby goes bananas

When news broke that the Trudeau government had voted for the ceasefire resolution, Canada’s pro-Israel lobby descended into hysteria.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) thundered that it was “disgusted” and “frankly shocked” by this “hypocritical” act. CIJA Vice-President Jaime Kirzner-Roberts condemned Canada’s vote as “pathetic”. Nico Slobinsky, another CIJA Vice-President, said he was “horrified”.

Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, described Canada’s vote as “shameful” and claimed that the Trudeau government “finally caved to pressure by the usual anti-Israel suspects”.

Michael Levitt, the CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC), professed to be “appalled” by the decision of a Prime Minister under whom Levitt recently served as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

When looked at in their horrifying context, these bitter denunciations are beyond the pale.

In little more than two months, Israel has massacred more than 10,000 infants and children in Gaza. The total death toll of its genocidal onslaught exceeds 23,000. By contrast, the total civilian death toll in Ukraine surpassed 10,000 last month – some twenty-two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. CIJA, B’nai Brith and FSWC have all declared their solidarity with Ukraine.

Moreover, in Israel’s war on Gaza, 1.9 million Palestinians – more than 85 percent of Gaza’s population – have been displaced. Following Israel’s sadistic decision to deprive Gazans of food and water, many of them are starving. Infectious diseases are spreading across Gaza at a time when its health system, due to incessant Israeli assaults, has collapsed.

In Gaza, Israeli forces have assassinated more than 60 journalists and media workers, 250 medical workers and more than 130 staffers of the U.N. Relief Works Agency.  Israel’s military has damaged or destroyed hospitals, mosques, churches and U.N.-operated schools where displaced civilians were sheltering. It has paraded half-naked, shackled men with Abu Ghraib-levels of conspicuous depravity. Israeli soldiers have left Palestinian newborns to die and decompose after their incubators ceased to function.

How is this not Nazism?

If you support these monstrosities, then you’re not only a person of the lowest moral character. You are also a genocidal racist. Period.

What Trudeau has done is not nearly enough

Under the circumstances, what the Trudeau government did yesterday was the minimally decent thing: it joined – belatedly – with the overwhelming majority of humanity to call for an end to the slaughter and for desperately needed humanitarian relief. Moreover, it did this in the UNGA, whose resolutions are not enforceable and are only of persuasive effect.

Meanwhile, there is far more that the Trudeau government can and should do. Trudeau’s government could impose an arms embargo or other sanctions on Israel and its leaders. It could expel Israeli diplomats from Canada. It could call for international tribunals to hold Israel’s leaders accountable.

The Trudeau government has done none of these things. On the contrary, the Trudeau government recently opposed a request from the UNGA to the International Court of Justice that the Court render an advisory opinion on potential Israeli war crimes. Even worse, after Israel’s latest assault on Gaza began, the Trudeau government voted against several UNGA resolutions calling on Israel to respect international law.

Despite all of this, the Israel lobby is hopping mad. For the genocidal racists who now dominate Canada’s pro-Israel lobby, Trudeau’s countless and unconscionable concessions to Israel’s apartheid regime do not suffice. The lobby demands total, unqualified subservience to Israel’s agenda. The slightest departure from Israel’s agenda provokes their howls of indignation.

The Palestinian solidarity movement must not allow itself to be distracted by these histrionics. Despite yesterday’s UNGA vote, the Trudeau government’s response to the Gaza genocide remains a national disgrace.

For too long, Canada’s Palestinian solidarity movement has been conditioned to be thankful for the crumbs that Canadian politicians occasionally toss at the Palestinian people. There’s nothing to be thankful for here. Canada’s government remains deeply complicit in Israel’s unspeakable crimes. It will take far more than this one United Nations vote to bring Trudeau’s complicity to an end.

Today, I discussed these developments with Yves Engler. You can watch and listen to our discussion here:


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Showing 5 comments
  • Denis Cooper

    Thanks for the updates.
    Ref “In little more than two months, Israel has massacred more than 10,000 infants and children in Gaza. The total death toll of its genocidal onslaught exceeds 23,000. By contrast, the total civilian death toll in Ukraine surpassed 10,000 last month – some twenty-two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. CIJA, B’nai Brith and FSWC have all declared their solidarity with Ukraine.”
    I get so pissed about this. What about pre Russian invasion of Ukraine where 13000 innocents were killed by Ukr Nationalist army over an 8 year period. Why is there NO solidarity for those people? Because they are majority ethnic Russian?? Thats a period longer than WWII. People cant say they never knew about it.

    • Dimitri Lascaris

      If you re-read my statement, you will see that I did not attribute responsibility for those 10,000+ deaths in the Ukraine war. Clearly, some of those deaths were caused by Ukrainian forces. Moreover, there is no doubt that Ukrainian forces killed thousands of civilians in the Donbas prior to the invasion in February 2022.

  • Kirsten Hummel

    Many thanks for helping us Canadians keep our sanity!
    I would like to know if we can find a way to expose all the Israel lobby juncket trips offered to journalists…An Australian journalist just posted on X a video in which she shows a list of scores of trips paid to their journalists to visit Israel which is obviously an attempt to persuade their perspectives. Can we get such a list and expose our syncophant Canadian journalists??

    • Dimitri Lascaris

      Good question! I think this should be available under a federal Freedom of Information Act request.


    Amazing article. Thank You

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