Two Days After Hamas Massacre In Israel, The Hill Times Publishes Column Calling For An End To Canada’s Free Trade Agreement With Israel

When it comes to spectacularly ill-timed opinion columns, it’s hard to top a piece that one Ottawa newspaper published on October 9.

Barely 48 hours after the horrific massacre of upwards of 800 innocent Israeli men, women and children – in addition to the forced abduction of at least 100 more – by the Islamist terrorist group Hamas, which filmed many of their grotesque actions, The Hill Times published a column by a noted anti-Israel activist decrying Canada’s free trade deal with Israel.

Beyond the obvious poor taste of The Hill Times publishing a column attacking Canada’s diplomatic relations with Israel on the heels of the largest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust, the article itself was riddled with logical inconsistencies.

The column, “Canada-Israel free trade deal an obstacle to just peace,” written by Dan Freeman-Maloy, criticized Ottawa’s 27-year-old free trade agreement with the Jewish State, falsely labeling it an “obstacle to a just peace.”

Freeman-Maloy argued that the 1996 pact “makes no distinction between pre-1967 Israel, the settler economy in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the economy of the millions of the Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.”

He cites the 1993 Oslo Accords, which set out a basic framework between Israel and the Palestinian leaders, as a basis for an eventual Palestinian state.

Here, it is important to set the record straight.

The Oslo Accords were not a peace agreement, but a generic understanding setting forward responsibilities on both Israel and the Palestinian leadership, which could then be the basis for a subsequent final status peace agreement.

According to the accords, the Palestinians were required to negotiate in good faith with Israel, which they have blatantly failed to do, given their consistent funding of terrorists and their families, and the constant incitement in Palestinian news media outlets towards peace with Israel. As such, no Palestinian state has been created and no independent Palestinian economy has been established.

The free trade deal is not an obstacle to peace in any way. If anything, by showing the economic ties between Canada and Israel, and the future potential, it can serve as an encouragement for the Palestinian leadership to seek peace, and not violence.

In the eyes of international law, Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria (often called the “West Bank” by the news media) do not in any way contravene international law, Israel contends, and as a result, the economy of these communities would be part of Israel’s.

As for Freeman-Maloy’s claim that “millions of…Palestinians under Israeli military occupation,” according to the very same Oslo Accords he cites, the large majority of Palestinians in Judea & Samaria live under the civil and military control not of Israel, but of the Palestinian Authority. This includes the large Palestinian towns of Ramallah, Jericho, Jenin, Nablus and Bethlehem.

As factually flawed as Freeman-Maloy’s column is, that is only part of the problem with its publication.

While it is possible that Freeman-Maloy’s column was penned before Hamas’ barbaric assault on communities in southern Israel, it is beyond comprehension why The Hill Times would decide to publish this piece following those terror attacks. Out of respect for the close to 1,000 victims of the Hamas terror rampage, the Hill Times must atone for publishing this column on the heels of such a massacre of innocents.

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