Monday, March 23, 2009

It's mine now!


Eli got lazy, and I have too many thoughts to fit in to my head, so this is now property of Daniel Wallach.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Israel deserves our support.

Forget Canadian politics for now. It can wait.
I am disgusted beyond belief at the reactions to Operation Cast Lead (Israel-Gaza conflict) from the leftist lobby. The Globe and Mail calling the rocket attacks "shock and awe" only to exert military superiority. The Star calling for proportionality and an immediate ceasefire. CBC broadcasting "analysts" that distort and mislead, and CTV giving carte blache to a hatemonger that call the operation a "genocide," "Nazi-like," and trys to legitimize Hamas's terrorist actions. Pro-Palestinian protesters in Toronto burning the US and Israeli flags. Even Jon Stewart hopping on the train, one hopes only to appeal to his liberal audience, saying that the "other side" (i.e., the terrorists) aren't getting enough press time.

It's not that I'm not used to this. I live in a country that leans to the left, and for the past couple of years, hating Israel has become quite "trendy" in the liberal camps. On top of that, I (usually) attend York University, one of the most anti-Israel universities in Canada, where it seems like "Israel Apartheid Week" all year long. But this latest outbreak of blame-Israelitis reaches a new low, as our good friend Comrade Sid "Death to Israel" Ryan, head of CUPE, proposes to ban Israelis from teaching in Canadian universities "unless they explicitly condemn... the assault on Gaza." The motion hearkens back to the days of communist USSR, where refusal to swallow the party line meant your destruction. It is racist, it is counterproductive, and it is just plain wrong.

Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post recently that this conflict "possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating." Perhaps it is ignorance that drives people to support an organization whose charter call for the destruction of Israel and laughs at any and all talks of negotiation. But the facts remain; Hamas has not only targeted only civilian areas in Israel for the past three years, (beleive it or not, the number of ripped-out waterpipes blasted at Israel since 2006 is almost at 6500) but has set up their own bases of attack to kill as many Palestinians as possible. To quote Krauthammer again, "For Hamas, the only thing more prized than dead Jews are dead Palestinians." And the facts, rarely shown on the news, prove him right. Palestinians told to stand on the roofs of soon-to-be-assasinated Hamas leaders. Mortar fired from the playgrounds of elementary schools. Mosques and universities stockpiled with rockets. Family members trapped in the homes of their terrorist father and husband, certain to be rocketed. Indeed, these extremists value death almost as much as Israelis value life. If they were really fighting for Muslim ideals, as they claim, they must have skipped over the part of the Quran that states, "if anyone slew a person... it would be as if he slew the whole of mankind." (al-Ma’ida, 5:32)

Israel has unceasingly tried to save as many civilian lives on both sides. She has sent text messages and dropped "sound bombs" to warn civilians in advance to get out. She is attacking only military targets. Israeli hospitals are giving aid to hurt civilians from their own attacks. Show me one country that has ever displayed that quality of ethics in a time of war.

The difference between the two sides are clear: one targets killers, while the other targets innocents. One warns civilians to get out, while the other tells them to literally bite the bullet.

Detractors of Israel use two tactics to try to drain public support from Israel without being labeled as extremists. First, they call the attacks "disproportionate." The entire concept is ridiculous. It implies that because there are less Israelis dead than Palestinians, something must be wrong. If Israel were to be "proportionate," they'd either have to a) send only Qassam rockets into civilian areas of Gaza, ensuring defeat and endangering civilian with no chance of destroying the terrorists, or b) let Hamas kill 400 Israelis to even the score. There is no other explanation of the concept; it is merely a buzzword to make people beleive that neutrality is the way to go. Second, they push for a ceasefire. This is clearly wrongheaded; if Hamas knows how to do anything, it's how to quickly regroup. All of the civilian lives lost in this battle will be in vain. Israel must do what it set out to do: destroy Hamas. Palestinians can no longer stand a government spending all resources on turning Gaza into a terrorist base.

When Israel pulled out of Gaza, they gave new hope to Palestinians that they could have a properous future. Hamas took away that dream in an attempt to destroy the country that gave them an autonomous territory of their own for the first time in Palestinian history. Now, Israel is finally doing what is expected of any democratic country; restore security to its citizens and the citizens of Gaza. Those so-called Palestinian supporters should look at the facts and hang their heads in shame.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions for Stephen Harper

First and foremost, Happy New Year, and welcome to my blog, The Mohel: Cutting Right to the Point. I've been meaning to start this blog for a while, if for no other reason that to have an alternative to boring my friends about my views politics every day. I see no better day to start than the first day of the first month of the last year of this decade.

While undoubtedly 2008 was a year dominated by the US in terms of news and politics, there can be no doubt that our own Parliament provided a few thrills (we even got on The Daily Show; an accomplishment, I believe, just to remind those Americans that we do still exist.) Today, our party leaders are no doubt reflecting on what went wrong in 2008, and how to move towards a strong, stable government in 2009. Over the next few days, I'll be suggesting New Years resolutions to the major party leaders on how to reach that goal. Tonight, I'll focus on Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservatives.
  1. Stop acting like you have a majority government. Yes, the Canadian people gave you a strengthened mandate, but that doesn't give you the right to paint the town blue. While I happen to think that Flaherty's economic statement was reasonably on-target (I'll explain my reasoning in a separate post), it doesn't take a genius to realize that the opposition parties will think otherwise. Be willing to settle for a more liberal budget (bigger economic stimulus, more social programs) that some of the more right-wing members of your party (myself included) would prefer, because the alternative will undoubtedly be a socialist budget; raising corporate taxes and killing hundreds of thousand of jobs, as a result of the dreaded Coalition of Incompetence.When even your advisors are telling you to cool it, I'd take their word. Which brings me to my next point:
  2. Start listening. Start listening to individuals in your cabinet. It's no secret that you like to run things on your own, but when suddenly you're the brink of political turmoil, reality should kick in. Start listening to Michael Ignatieff. He's a brilliant man, if a little conceited. Keeping an open mind during your meetings with him could save Canada from a bloodless coup after the confidence vote. Lastly, start listening to Canadians. Polls are consistently showing that even those who voted for the Libs and NDP want the electorate's wishes to granted; if it gets to the point that power may be stolen without the voters' consultation, the GG must be told, in the strongest terms possible, that the people must have their say.
  3. Fire Georganne Burke immediately. The aide to Tony Clement embarressed the Minister and the Tories by trying to shut down a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony at Or HaEmet Hebrew School, including special needs children from Zareinu (zah-RAY-nu) Educational Centre downstairs (where my mother happens to work), merely because Iggy was there and there was no Tory present. Such partisanship and lack of consideration leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the Jewish community, and with the possibility of an election in the coming months, the community that elected their first Tory MP since its creation may not be so forgiving this time around.
Next up, Iggy.