Regime Change Canadian Style for Venezuela

Along with Sharmini Peries, Gregory Wilpert and Yves Engler, I discuss yesterday’s meeting in Ottawa of the “Lima Group”, an ad hoc collection of right-leaning governments having the singular purpose of overthrowing the legitimate government of Venezuela.

As I explain in this roundtable discussion, the article of the Venezuelan Constitution which Juan Guaido, Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland have invoked as the legal basis of Guaido’s actions does not in fact authorize Guaido to replace Nicolas Maduro as President. Their legal argument is, in fact, a sham.

Our discussion can be seen and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/conservative-governments-of-latin-america-plus-canada-endorse-regime-change-efforts-in-venezuela?fbclid=IwAR2cR5QV28EVAuyQgI33IpWeiZZZ__3EcA2sh0FiMdAXgOkFC7nHR7vYJNM.

Media Coverage of Hurricane Florence Leaves Out Crucial Information

Analyses of the media coverage of hurricane Florence show that most outlets ignore the link to climate change and the real dangers that this and other hurricanes present for creating devastating toxic spills.

For The Real News, I discuss the flawed media coverage of Hurricane Florence with Lisa Hyams of Media Matters for America:

https://therealnews.com/stories/media-coverage-of-hurricane-florence-leaves-out-crucial-information.

 

Rosie DiManno Spews More Anti-Palestinian Bigotry in the Toronto Star

“Thank God for Israel.”

That is how Rosie DiManno began her latest descent into anti-Palestinian bigotry.

DiManno, in case you did not know, is a columnist for the Toronto Star, Canada’s highest circulation newspaper. She began her career as a sportswriter at the Star and continues to write largely about sports, but for some incomprehensible reason, the editors of the Toronto Star consider DiManno competent to pontificate from time to time on the Middle East, a region about which she evidently knows nothing. Continue Reading ›

Postmedia, Israel and Ethics-Free Journalism

Malcolm X: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

In 2016, as Green Party of Canada members debated whether to support sanctions on Israel, Postmedia newspapers published 15 articles and op-eds that left no ambiguity as to where Postmedia’s sympathies lay. As I wrote at the time:

Virtually all of Postmedia’s 15 articles bore headlines that suggested extremism, anti-Israel bias or infighting within the [Green] party. For example, a Toronto Sun article of Aug. 14, 2016, was headlined “Greens self-destruct with Israel bashing.” A mere seven days later, the Toronto Sun published another article, “Greens attacking Israel? Hardly a surprise”…

Even worse than the strident tone of Postmedia’s articles was the absence of pro-BDS and Palestinian perspectives. The 15 articles quoted opponents of BDS on 17 occasions, anti-BDS organizations on eight occasions, and Israel’s ambassador to Canada on one occasion. By contrast, only once did any of the 15 articles quote a supporter of BDS (Jill Stein, leader of the U.S. Green Party). In none of the articles was a single Palestinian or Palestinian solidarity organization quoted.

Worst of all, Postmedia’s reporters completely ignored the issue at the heart of the debate over BDS: Israel’s egregious human rights abuses.

In early 2017, after the Green Party resolved overwhelmingly – and with Elizabeth May’s support – to endorse sanctions on Israel, I decided to file a complaint against Postmedia with the National NewsMedia Council (NNC). Continue Reading ›

Chrystia Freeland, George Soros and the Ethics of Evidence-Based Reporting

On September 4, 2017, Moscow-based reporter John Helmer published his latest in a series of articles on Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland. Entitled “Canadian Foreign Minister Freeland Hid Light Under Bushel Until Toronto Globe and Mail Exposé,” Mr. Helmer’s article explores the revelation in an August 16, 2017 exposé in Canada’s Globe and Mail that, at the time she entered Canadian politics, Freeland had a “deal” for a “sort of authorized biography of George Soros.”

At the end of his September 4 article, Mr. Helmer states that, in mid-August, I “commissioned” a report from him “on the new evidence on Freeland”. Describing me as a “Canadian politician” who “doubles as a reporter, interviewer and member of the Board of directors of The Real News Network” (TRNN), Mr. Helmer writes:

Lascaris recorded a 30-minute interview with me on August 21. At first he delayed its broadcast claiming he was “fact-checking”. Lascaris then claimed that Soros had issued a “definitive rejection” of the reported deal with Freeland, and cancelled the broadcast. He and his TRNN colleagues refuse to reveal the email exchange with Soros.

Lascaris added last week that he hasn’t had time to check with Freeland on her side of the Soros deal, or her Ukrainian sources of income and real estate. His reasons, he said, is that “both of my kids are leaving home to go to university and I am moving them into their new accommodations far from home. I am not going to drop everything and neglect my family’s needs to respond immediately to your email.”

Mr. Helmer has been instrumental in exposing skeletons in the Freeland family closet. Among other things, Helmer’s investigative reporting has helped uncover that Ms. Freeland’s grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi collaborator, and that Freeland misrepresented her grandfather’s sordid past when confronted with evidence of his Nazi sympathies.

Nonetheless, despite his journalistic contributions, Mr. Helmer’s account of his interactions with TRNN suffers from serious inaccuracies and omissions. Continue Reading ›

Postmedia, Paul Godfrey and the Decline of Canadian Journalism

(NOTE: an edited version of this article was first published on Ricochet Media on December 15, 2016)

In early 2016, Toronto Star columnist David Olive authored a scathing critique of Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper publisher. Mr. Olive called Postmedia a “cancer on Canadian journalism.” He denounced “savage, non-stop cost-cutting” by Postmedia’s management, and described Postmedia’s CEO, Paul Godfrey, as a “kindred spirit” of Stephen Harper – arguably the most right-wing Prime Minister Canadians have had to endure in the post-WWII period.

As Mr. Olive noted, Godfrey took the unprecedented step in Canada’s 2015 federal election of ordering all 16 major Postmedia newspapers across Canada to endorse Stephen Harper. Mercifully, voters were so appalled by Harper that they turfed him out of office anyway.

Godfrey became CEO of Postmedia in 2009. Since that time, he has laid waste to Postmedia’s business while earning millions in compensation. According to Postmedia’s most recent proxy circular, $100 of Postmedia shares purchased in June 2011 (when Postmedia became a TSX-listed company) had a market value at August 31, 2016 of less than $1. During that same period, Postmedia paid Godfrey over $8 million.

In mid-2016, Godfrey led Postmedia through a debt restructuring. The restructuring appears to have conferred control of Postmedia on New Jersey-based Chatham Asset Management. If you’ve heard of Chatham before, the reason might be that Chris Christie, the right-wing blowhard who governs New Jersey and stumped for Donald Trump, recently sought to award Chatham a $300 million pension management contract. Because Chatham’s principal had contributed lavishly to Christie’s re-election campaign, the contract appeared to violate New Jersey’s anti-corruption laws.

Chatham’s top priority for Postmedia should be to jettison the wildly over-compensated Godfrey, yet there is no indication that Chatham is anxious to liberate Postmedia from Godfrey’s disastrous reign. That’s bad news not only for Postmedia’s employees and shareholders, but also, and more importantly, for the 21 million Canadians who rely on Postmedia for their news. Paul Godfrey is not only the managerial equivalent of the bubonic plague, but he seems determined to have Postmedia act as Canada’s leading propaganda organ of the hard right.

A case in point is Postmedia’s reporting on the Green Party of Canada’s recent adoption of policies calling for sanctions on Israel.

The first of these policies was submitted to Green Party members in the second quarter of 2016. That policy expressed support for the use of boycott, divestment and sanctions, or ‘BDS’, as a means of bringing an end to Israel’s illegal, decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories. In August 2016, after the BDS policy received strong support in a preliminary online poll of the party’s members, it was adopted by a large majority of participants at the party’s biannual convention in Ottawa.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May opposed the BDS policy and publicly contemplated resigning after the party’s convention in Ottawa, but Ms. May resolved to remain as leader when the party’s federal council called a special general meeting (SGM) in order, among other things, to revisit the BDS policy.  Before the SGM was held, Ms. May assigned two members of the party’s shadow cabinet to supervise negotiations over a new sanctions policy that did not endorse the BDS movement, but that nonetheless expressed support for the 3 goals of the BDS movement and called for targeted sanctions and divestment as a means of pressuring the government of Israel to respect Palestinian rights. On December 3, 2016, at the SGM in Calgary, Green Party members voted overwhelmingly to replace the BDS policy with that new sanctions policy.

Since June 2016, Postmedia newspapers have published 15 articles relating to the Green Party’s debate on Palestinian rights. The first of these articles appeared in the National Post on June 27, 2016, shortly after the Green Party’s members expressed strong support for the BDS policy in a preliminary online vote. That article was entitled “Greens draw outrage, ‘anti-Israel’ accusations, over proposal to add BDS to party policies,” and it established the highly belligerent tone of all Postmedia reporting on the Green Party’s Palestinian rights debate. The National Post’s June 27 article quoted only persons who vehemently denounced the proposed BDS policy, using such language as “outrageous”, “just bizarre”, “tremendously hypocritical” and “anti-Jewish-Canadian”.

Like the National Post’s June 27 article, virtually all of Postmedia’s 15 articles on the Green Party’s Palestinian rights debate bore titles that suggested extremism, anti-Israel bias or infighting within the Green Party. For example, a Toronto Sun article of August 14, 2016 was entitled “Greens self-destruct with Israel Bashing.”  A mere seven days later, the Toronto Sun published another article entitled “Greens attacking Israel? Hardly a surprise.” (The titles and dates of all 15 Postmedia articles are listed at the end of this article.)

Even worse than the strident tone of Postmedia’s articles was the absence from Postmedia’s reporting of pro-BDS and Palestinian perspectives. Postmedia’s 15 articles quoted opponents of BDS on 17 occasions, quoted anti-BDS organizations on 8 occasions, and quoted Israel’s ambassador to Canada on one occasion. By contrast, on only one occasion did any of Postmedia’s 15 articles quote a supporter of BDS (Jill Stein, the leader of the U.S. Green party). In none of their 15 articles on the Green Party’s Palestinian rights debate did Postmedia newspapers quote a single Palestinian or Palestinian solidarity organization.

Worst of all, Postmedia’s reporters completely ignored the issue that lies at the heart of the debate over BDS: Israel’s long-standing and egregious human rights abuses. Not one of Postmedia’s 15 articles disclosed that the governments of Canada, the U.S. and the EU, as well as the U.N. Security Council and the International Court of Justice, all acknowledge that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are a serious obstacle to peace. Not one Postmedia article disclosed that Israel makes extensive use of collective punishment, and that that, too, is a severe violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Not one Postmedia article disclosed that multiple human rights bodies, including Amnesty International, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, have all documented the Israeli forces’ physical and psychological abuse of Palestinian children — in some cases amounting to torture.  And not one Postmedia article disclosed that Gaza, home to nearly 2 million trapped Palestinians, is on the verge of becoming uninhabitable due to Israel’s unrelenting and cruel siege.

In September 2011, the Canadian Association of Journalists issued a set of principles for ethical journalism. These principles include the following:

  • We avoid allowing our biases to influence our reporting;
  • We give people, companies or organization that are criticized in our reporting the opportunity to present their points of view prior to publication; and
  • We seek to capture in our stories the diverse values, viewpoints and lives of the people in our communities.

During the past six months, dozens of Palestinian solidarity organizations have issued statements praising the Green Party’s defence of Palestinian rights. Those organizations include Palestine House, Independent Jewish Voices and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East. Yet in its 15 articles on the Green Party’s Palestinian rights debate, Postmedia quoted no supportive statements from any such organizations – not one. How therefore could Postmedia claim with a straight face that it sought to capture Canadians’ diverse viewpoints on Palestinian rights? At Postmedia, the voices of Palestinians and those who support their rights simply do not matter.

Postmedia’s anti-Palestinian bias is so extreme that, shortly after the Green Party adopted the BDS policy, the Vancouver Sun published a shameless ‘editorial’ in which it defamed Independent Jewish Voices and three members of the Green Party (including yours truly). Within days of the publication of its smear-job, the Vancouver Sun received a letter from IJV’s counsel alleging defamation. The Sun promptly erased the ‘editorial’ from its website and later published a retraction and an apology.

At the end of the day, Paul Godfrey’s worst offence is not that he has enriched himself while helping to wipe out stunning amounts of shareholder value. No, Paul Godfrey’s worst offence is that the media empire he has helped to construct cares less about objectivity, fairness and human rights than the promotion of Godfrey’s right-wing agenda. Thus, the best service that Chatham Asset Management could render to Postmedia’s vast audience is to replace Godfrey with a CEO who will ensure Postmedia’s scrupulous respect for journalistic ethics.

Don’t hold your breath.

 

Postmedia’s 15 articles on the Green Party of Canada’s Debate Over Palestinian Rights

Greens draw outrage, ‘anti-Israel’ accusations, over proposal to add BDS to party policies (National Post, June 27)

Josh Cooper: The Green party’s anti-Israel agitators (National Post, July 26)

Holocaust deniers threaten Green Party credibility (Toronto Sun, August 2)

Elizabeth May: Greens stand firmly against anti-Semitism (National Post, August 2)

Greens remove reference to Jewish group in new policy to revoke status of charities that violate human rights (National Post, August 6)

Green Party’s boycott Israel policy ‘totally unhelpful’ to peace, ambassador to Canada says (National Post, August 8)

Green Party losing members, riding associations as BDS controversy highlights infighting (National Post, August 10)

Greens self-destruct with Israel Bashing (Toronto Sun, August 14)

Elizabeth May chooses to stay after Green Party’s pro-BDS stance tempted her to step down as leader (National Post, August 22)

Greens attacking Israel? Hardly a surprise (Toronto Sun, August 23)

Elizabeth May’s leadership versus the card shark (Toronto Sun, August 23)

Green Party Lost its Way (Vancouver Sun, August 25)

B.C. Green Party considering name change, as federal leader May fires shadow cabinet trio (Vancouver Sun, September 13)

Calgary Jewish Federation say Green Party resolution places blame on Israel (Calgary Herald, December 4)

Green Party rejects BDS movement, but still supports economic pressure on Israel (National Post, December 5, 2016)

Rex Murphy Tosses the Facts – and Palestinians – Under the Bus

January 2, 2017

As 2016 drew to a close, Canadians learned something new about the CBC’s curmudgeon-in-chief, Rex Murphy: when Murphy isn’t spewing disinformation about climate change or stroking the egos of oil barons, he busies himself by regurgitating Israeli propaganda on the pages of Postmedia newspapers.

This became abundantly clear when the National Post, a newspaper whose anti-Palestinian bias knows no bounds, published a Rex Murphy tirade against United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334

Adopted on December 23, 2016 by a vote of 14-0 (with the United States abstaining), Resolution 2334 states, among other things, that the Security Council:

Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

There are so many falsehoods and omissions in Murphy’s critique of Resolution 2334 that it is difficult to know where to begin, but it is incumbent upon those of us who care about journalistic integrity to give it the old college try.

Murphy’s first falsehood

Murphy writes: “In the past the U.S. has been a reliable shield against the shower of anti-Israel resolutions that are a constant in UN deliberations.”

The truth

Until the Obama administration abstained from voting on Resolution 2334, it was arguable that the Obama administration had been “a reliable shield” against the “shower of anti-Israel resolutions.” But Murphy’s comment is not confined to the Obama administration. Rather, Murphy  claims that the United States has acted as a “a reliable shield” against Security Council condemnations of Israel.

As Zaid Jilani recently explained, however, Obama’s predecessors permitted the Security Council to adopt dozens of resolutions condemning Israel, and sometimes voted in favour of those resolutions:

George W. Bush, allowed six similar resolutions to pass. This included, for example, a 2004 resolution calling on Israel to stop demolishing the homes of Palestinian civilians. Israel recently revived this internationally condemned practice, but under Obama it has not received a Security Council rebuke.

George H.W. Bush allowed through nine resolutions critical of Israel. Unlike with Obama, the elder Bush not only allowed some of these resolutions to pass, but he also supported them. For example, Security Council Resolution 681, passed in 1990, criticized Israel for engaging in deportations of Palestinian civilians from the Occupied Territories and called on the Israeli government to respect international law.

During the Reagan administration, 21 Security Council resolutions critical of Israeli government actions passed. This includes Resolution 573, which condemned an Israeli attack in Tunisia.”

To some, Murphy’s failure to acknowledge any of these Security Council condemnations of Israel may seem like a harmless oversight, but the fact that the Security Council has repeatedly condemned Israel is vital information to those seeking to understand the plight of the Palestinian people.

For one thing, these Security Council condemnations show the breadth and consistency of international opinion against Israel’s violations of international law.

Further, because Israel continues to abuse Palestinian rights despite dozens of Security Council rebukes, it has become obvious that mere words of disapproval are inadequate, and that the international community must move to sanctions against Israel. Murphy’s failure to disclose that the Security Council has condemned Israel for decades, but that the reality on the ground has gotten only worse, diminishes the force of Palestinian demands that the U.N.’s words must be translated into action now.

Finally, by omitting to acknowledge any of the Security Council’s pre-Obama condemnations of Israel, Murphy is lending credibility to Netanyahu’s strident but wholly unsubstantiated complaints that Obama, the President who just lavished upon prosperous Israel the largest military aid package in U.S. history, is biased against Israel. Were Murphy’s readers to understand the extent to which Obama has in fact pampered Israel, then perhaps they would ask why Netanyahu is so hostile to Obama. Could the hostility of Netanyahu – the leader of an openly racist government — have something to do with the fact that Obama is black?

Murphy’s second falsehood

Murphy writes: “Knocking Israel almost passes as a raison d’etre for some of the members of the UN. This latest one, condemning the ‘settlements’ as the barrier to peace in the Middle East, and declaring in most incendiary fashion that the Western Wall is in ‘occupied Palestinian (territory)’ saw its passage enabled by the guile of a U.S. abstention on the motion.”

The truth

Why has Murphy put quotation marks around the term “settlements”? Murphy does not tell us, and so his readers are left to infer the reason.

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines “settlement” to mean, among other things, “occupation by settlers.” By placing the term “settlements” in quotation marks, Murphy seems to be suggesting that there is a legitimate question as to whether the Jewish-only communities being constructed by Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are in fact being built on occupied land belonging to the Palestinian people. But the proposition that Israel is building these communities on occupied land – and therefore illegally — is beyond rational dispute.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled (with the concurrence of a U.S. judge) that the settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Government of Canada, one of Israel’s most ardent supporters on the international stage, expressly acknowledges the settlements’ illegality on the website of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and calls the settlements a “serious obstacle” to a just and lasting peace.  Intergovernmental organizations such as the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the European Union (also a strong supporter of Israel) agree that Israel’s settlements violate international law, as do Amnesty International and U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

Are Canadians to believe that Rex Murphy’s grasp of international law is superior to that of the International Court of Justice, Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch?

Quite apart from the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion, Theodor Meron, legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, opined in 1967, shortly after the Six-Day War, that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” Meron’s opinion was provided to Israel’s Prime Minister at the time, Levi Eshkol. Eshkol’s government did not disclose Meron’s opinion to the public and it allowed settlements despite Meron’s warning. Forty years later, Meron stated that “I would have given the same opinion today.”

Does Rex Murphy know of Theodor Meron’s legal opinion? Does he have the slightest inkling that the international community deems Israeli settlements to be a grave violation of international law, and that it has done so for decades?

Even more remarkable is Murphy’s assertion that Resolution 2334 declares “in most incendiary fashion that the Western Wall is in ‘occupied Palestinian territory.’”

There is an obvious flaw in this assertion: Resolution 2334 makes no reference whatsoever to the Western Wall. But to be fair to Murphy, the Western Wall lies in East Jerusalem, and Resolution 2334 does reaffirm that East Jerusalem is part of occupied Palestinian territory. Nonetheless, there is nothing “incendiary” about this reaffirmation, because it is simply a correct statement of the law. Virtually the entire international community regards East Jerusalem as occupied territory, and has done so for decades. The fact that Israel thumbed its nose at the international community when it illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 does not make Resolution 2334 “incendiary”.

On the contrary, if anything is “incendiary”, it is Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem includes the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Sunni Islam. Israel has restricted Muslim access to Al-Aqsa for years. Even worse, two days before the National Post published Murphy’s anti-U.N. tirade, 176 Israeli settlers backed by Israeli special forces stormed the mosque compound and tried to perform Talmudic rituals there. Settlers have attempted similar incursions in the past. In the context of an interminable and brutal occupation of Palestinian lands, one could hardly imagine a more dangerous provocation than an IDF-backed settler incursion into a holy Muslim site situated on territory illegally annexed by Israel. Yet these incendiary settler incursions are entirely absent from Rex Murphy’s rant against Resolution 2334.

Murphy’s third falsehood

Toward the end of his anti-U.N. tirade, Murphy complains that the “predominant concern of the UN’s world council” is “pacific Israel”.

The truth

Murphy’s claim that Israel is a “pacific” nation will come as a shock to those who have the misfortune of living in close proximity to Israel’s military forces.

The list of Israel’s acts of aggression is so long that one could not possibly do it justice within the space of a blog post, but the following examples should suffice to explode Murphy’s wildly inaccurate characterization of the West’s favourite rogue state.

Israel’s 1967 attack on a U.S. naval vessel: At the height of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, the Israeli Air Force launched an unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty, a U.S. spy ship that was monitoring the war from international waters. Israeli fighters hit the Liberty with rockets, cannon fire and napalm. Israeli torpedo boats then launched a more devastating attack. Thirty-four US servicemen and civilian analysts were killed and 171 were wounded. Israel claimed that the attack was an error, but evidence later emerged that Israeli commanders knew that the vessel was American.

Israel’s serial invasions of Lebanon: Israel has launched no less than 5 devastating invasions of Lebanon. The most recent (but not the most destructive) of those invasions occurred in 2006. That invasion was extensively investigated by numerous human rights bodies, including Human Rights Watch. HRW concluded that Israel’s 2006 invasion resulted in at least 1,109 Lebanese deaths (the vast majority of whom were civilians), 4,399 injured, and an estimated 1 million displaced. HRW also found that Israeli airstrikes destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of Lebanese homes.

Israel’s rampant abuses of Palestinians: Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights are by no means limited to its illegal settlements. As stated by Amnesty International in its 2015/2016 Report on Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories:

In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israeli forces committed unlawful killings of Palestinian civilians, including children, and detained thousands of Palestinians who protested against or otherwise opposed Israel’s continuing military occupation, holding hundreds in administrative detention. Torture and other ill-treatment remained rife and were committed with impunity. The authorities continued to promote illegal settlements in the West Bank, and severely restricted Palestinians’ freedom of movement, further tightening restrictions amid an escalation of violence from October, which included attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians and apparent extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces. Israeli settlers in the West Bank attacked Palestinians and their property with virtual impunity. The Gaza Strip remained under an Israeli military blockade that imposed collective punishment on its inhabitants. The authorities continued to demolish Palestinian homes in the West Bank and inside Israel, particularly in Bedouin villages in the Negev/Naqab region, forcibly evicting their residents. They also detained and deported thousands of African asylum-seekers, and imprisoned Israeli conscientious objectors.

The United Nations has predicted that Gaza, home to nearly 2 million trapped Palestinians, could become “uninhabitable” by 2020 due to Israel’s cruel siege and its devastating military assaults, the last of which resulted in the deaths of approximately 500 Palestinian children.

Finally, numerous human rights bodies, including the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, have documented Israel’s use of torture on Palestinian children.

If Israel is what passes for a “pacific” nation nowadays, then God help us all.

Murphy’s fourth falsehood

Murphy declares incredulously that “[i]n 2016, there were 20 General Assembly resolutions against Israel, and one each against Syria, Iran, North Korea and Russia. It’s astonishing, or would be, were it not by now so utterly routine.”

Plainly, Murphy is claiming that the United Nations singles out Israel unfairly.

The truth

Murphy omits to mention the most salient fact: the United StatesCanada and the European Union have all imposed sanctions on the four human rights violators whom Murphy singles out (Syria, Iran, North Korea and Russia) but have not sanctioned Israel despite its decades-long abuses of Palestinian rights.

If the curmudgeon-in-chief were remotely objective, it might have occurred to him that the reason for the General Assembly’s repeated denunciations of Israel is that Western powers have immunized Israel from meaningful sanctions, but those same powers do not hesitate to sanction human rights violators who challenge Western hegemony. The General Assembly is fed up with Western hypocrisy, and has every reason to be.

The claim that Israel is subject to an unfair double standard may well constitute the most pernicious piece of Israeli propaganda. Not only has Rex Murphy swallowed that propaganda whole, but he is now regurgitating it to Canadians through the National Post, Canada’s leading forum for anti-Palestinian sentiment.

In the final analysis, it is indeed true that Israel is subject to a double standard, but what the Rex Murphys and the National Posts of this world are not telling us is that that double standard advantages Israel and perpetuates the suffering of the Palestinian people.