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article imageOp-Ed: Canada is a cheerleader and arms provider for Israel in Gaza

By Ken Hanly     Jul 14, 2014 in Politics
Ottawa - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has always been a strong supporter of Israel so it is hardly surprising that he completely supports the Israeli response to rockets fired from Gaza.
Harper said that "indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification." Although the attacks have so far killed no one the response from Israel has killed well over 100 in Gaza and perhaps by now closer to 200. Those killed include women and children. The Israelis struck a police chief's house that killed many of his family and also struck a facility for the disabled. These actions Harper would justify simply as self-defense and are not worth mentioning. The idea that the Palestinian's might also have a right to self-defense against actions of the Israelis is not a usual topic in polite western mainstream discourse and is left to outlets such as Press TV an Iranian news outlet — although part of the report is from Calgary. The video appended makes reference to the Palestinian right to self-defense and at least one incident they might be reacting against.
The Prime Minister's Office(PMO) issued a statement outlining Harper's official line: The PMO says Harper reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terror attacks. Both leaders agreed that Hamas must end its targeted attacks on Israeli citizens.
As well as being one of the foremost global cheerleaders for Israel Canada plays a military role in Israeli actions in that many Canadian companies create the very military devices and technology that are used in bombing raids on Gaza.
A report by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada on our military exports claims that “a key priority of Canada’s foreign policy is the maintenance of peace and security." This often involves ensuring that repressive regimes such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are able to keep peace and security by violently repressing opposition protests using Canadian-supplied military equipment. Israel is also a recipient of many military goods from Canada.
Over 50 Canadian weapons manufacturers export products to Israel. Recently, a Canadian diplomatic, corporate, and military focused mission to Israel included over 200 people. Specific products exported include engines for a Bell helicopter the "viper" manufactured by Pratt and Whitney Canada in Montreal. The Israelis use helicopters produced in Mirabel Quebec by the Bell Helicopter Textron Canada.
CAE in Montreal has contracts with the Israeli army to train Israeli personnel to fly "next-generation combat aircraft." These and other companies are associated with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) that represents military oriented manufacturers. CADSI retains strong ties with Israel.
Canada signed an international "free trade" agreement with Israel back in 1997. There is also a "public security agreement" between Canada and Israel under which Israel sent a "defence attache" to Ottawa. The purpose is to "enhance cooperation" between Israeli state institutions with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, CSIS our intelligence service and CBSA, Canada Border Services Agency.
Not only does Canada's unqualified support for Israel help Israel obtain more political room to continue its slaughter in Gaza but we also contribute to the military tools that enable Israel to carry out these operations. There have been demonstrations against the Israeli attacks but also counter-demonstrations as well as in Toronto. Photos of a London Ontario demonstration can be found here.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Stephen Harper, canada israel relations, Israel gaza attacks
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