Canada Boycots Durban

    February 2011            
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It’s Canada Again

By Larry Domnitch

Prior to the United Nations sponsored Israel bashing festival, the Durban II Conference on Racism, on April 13, 2009, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the first leader to announce that his government would not participate. Other nations followed.

This year, Canada again took a stand. Upon the initial announcement that the Durban III conference will be held in New York in September, 2011, Canada promptly announced that it will boycott the event.

Its one thing to walk out, or not attend at the last minute, it’s far more powerful to say from the start that one will never attend.

Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney demonstrated moral clarity as he stated that, “Canada is clearly committed to the fight against racism, but the Durban process commemorates an agenda that actually promotes racism rather than combating it.”

Canada’s announced boycott has been supported both by the Conservative Party and the Liberal opposition lead by Michael Ignatieff.

After Durban I there should never have been another Durban conference. The event’s invective, its’ overall hateful environment, calls to eliminate Israel, along with sales and distribution of anti-Semitic literature, should have prompted nations to reject any future participation. They should have taken a stand, stopped hatred in its tracks and said ‘no’ to any future event. Canada has taken a stand.

Canada’s announcement on Durban III has been preceded Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s strong support of Israel. A few examples:

On February 27, 2009, in an inspirational speech before the United Jewish Appeal Federation, celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary, Prime Minister Harper spoke of the ‘miracle in the desert’, and the “light that emerged amid the darkness” in 1948, following the horrors of World War II.

In an address to the Parliamentary Conference Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, in Ottawa, on November 1, the Prime Minister in a long rousing speech in support of Israel stated “when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation. I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand”

In 2006, the Harper Government was the first to cut political and financial ties to Hamas.

In September of this year, in an appearance at the UN, as other nations allowed Ahmadinijad the opportunity to spew, the Canadians walked out from the start. Ahmadinijad’s record of Holocaust denials, threats, and incitement, did not entitle him to be heard at all. Israel did not attend the speech.

When international criticism was leveled at Israel following the Flotilla incident on June 6, in disregard to the real facts, as clearly demonstrated on videos, Harper stood with Israel and its’ right to self defense.

Under Harper, Canada has strengthened its relationship with Israel’s leaders, and has increased ties between the two nations.

There has been a price for such support. The Prime Minister mentioned that support for Israel has cost Canada a seat in the Security Council, stating, “I have the bruises to prove it.”

As Israel is so often condemned for acting in defense of its citizens and sovereignty, Canada has stood tall for principle, demonstrating conviction, and deserving of appreciation.

Other world leaders should follow Canada’s example.


from the February 2011 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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