Harper's strong stand

Thirty-three nations voted for the resolution, 13 nations, mostly Western, abstained. Only one nation --Canada-- had the courage to vote "nay."

Le "pas" canadian...

Lorne Gunter, National Post - On Monday, Canada stood alone at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in opposing a motion that would have condemned Israel -- and not Hamas -- for the current Gaza conflict.
Thirty-three nations voted for the resolution, 13 nations, mostly Western, abstained. Only one nation-- Canada--had the courage to vote "nay."
This prompted the Toronto Star to insist "the Stephen Harper government has abandoned a more even-handed approach to the Middle East in favour of unalloyed support of Israel."
It's true the Harper government has been a staunch ally of Israel these past three years. It's the Star's other assertion that's hogwash: Under the Liberals, Canada never had an "even-handed approach" to Mideast affairs. It had a mealy-mouthed one.
Canadian diplomats and ministers claimed to see merit in the demands of both sides. Our official policy goal was to become an "honest broker" by putting as much stock in the integrity of terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the PLO as we did in the Israeli government.
We poured hundreds of millions of dollars in reconstruction aid into the West Bank and Gaza, then turned a blind eye when large chunks of that money was diverted into the villas and Swiss bank accounts of Palestinian leaders. We didn't want to jeopardize our chances of being a mediator acceptable to the terrorists -- should they ever decide to negotiate a last peace -- by being churlish about their kleptomania, cronyism and corruption.
Canada indirectly paid for textbooks for Palestinian schools that denounced Israel and left the Jewish state off maps of the Middle East. And,
under the Liberals, our UN diplomats time and again voted for resolutions condemning Israel for its self-defensive actions, or abstained and let the one-sided motions go through.
That's the approach the Star labelled "evenhanded." That's the approach the Harper government has abandoned -- though it should be noted that since it was getting us nowhere in our quest to become the region's fair-minded dispute adjudicator, there wasn't much to abandon.
Monday's UNHRC resolution accused Israel of "grave" crimes against humanity in several places, but never once mentioned the eight years of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians that brought about the current fighting. It called for Israel's military actions to be investigated, but never asked for the same scrutiny of Hamas.
The motion was typical of the UN's highly biased approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict: Condemn Israel. Enumerate its every possible transgression. Then ignore all Palestinian provocations and violence.
The symmetrics of the Middle East conflict are uneven. All Hamas has ever had to do to avoid bloodshed is recognize Israel's right to exist and stop lobbing bombs into Israeli backyards.
It cannot even do that.
Hamas television constantly foments for the eradication of Israel. Hamas schools teach that Jews are subhuman and need to be pushed into the sea. The so-called two-state solution--a homeland each for Palestinians and Jews -- is still largely a Western pipe dream. The goal of most Palestinians is the elimination of Israel, period. Many influential imams in Gaza and the West Bank routinely preach that is the duty of good Muslims to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.
Most Gazan Palestinians still refer to Israel as their "occupier," even though Israel has had no troops or settlers in the Strip for nearly four years. The reason is, so long as Israel occupies as much as a square kilometre in the region, Palestinian leaders will be unsatisfied. They are, at heart, one-state-solution proponents: That is, one Palestinian state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan with no Jews allowed.
Until the Harper government came along, Canada was an international enabler of such thinking. We were not alone. On Monday, Britain, France, Japan and South Korea abstained from the offensive UNHRC vote. Under the Liberals, we would have, too.
Permitting such resolutions to pass unchallenged merely confirms in the most radical Islamists' minds that they may continue in their extremism and the West will do nothing. Such abstentions encourage extremism, not compromise.
Good for the Harper government for wanting no part of them.

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