Star Columnist Thomas Walkom Claims Trudeau’s Anti-Israel Rhetoric Can Help Him Win An Election – Except Polls Show Exactly The Opposite

In the latest anti-Israel opinion column appearing in The Toronto Star, a May 31 commentary by Thomas Walkom entitled: “On Israel, Justin Trudeau has found himself,” the columnist demonstrated a particular disregard for factual accuracy.

He wrote that “another tribunal, the International Court of Justice, called on Israel to end the war in Gaza.”

This is a complete figment of Walkom’s imagination, and is a blatant factual error.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague absolutely did no such thing. In its latest judgement, the world body did not even demand Israel stop its counter-terrorism operations in the Gaza region of Rafah. In fact, it required Israel to take steps to minimize civilian casualties, steps which Israel – contrary to Hamas disinformation widely repeated in news media outlets – already does. Following HRC’s complaint to the Star, a correction notice was published on June 1 which pointed out that the ICJ did not call for Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza.

Another eyebrow-raising comment from Walkom is when he wrote that the Hamas-Israel war is “a defining conflict between generations. It is a Vietnam War of the modern era. Trudeau understands this. It is why he feels free to be critical of Israel at all. It is his key to winning the next election.”

While anti-Israel activists have certainly attempted to frame the war as being of generational significance, that is decidedly not the case.

One only needs to look at the pro-Hamas campus occupations as an example. Despite achieving enormous positive media attention, the number of students across Canada in these occupations represent likely no more than a couple hundred in total – just over one in about 7,000 university students – representing nothing even remotely close to a popular movement.

In other words, while anti-Israel activists attempt to frame their cause as a popular one – a message embraced by uncritical, doe-eyed columnists – the reality says exactly the opposite.

The occupations are also widely opposed in the Canadian public at large, as demonstrated in recent opinion polling. This is despite Walkom claiming, in a May 3 column in The Toronto Star, that the anti-Israel mob could become a “moral force” for the Palestinian cause. It appears that prediction has fallen flat.

Walkom is also evidently unaware of political polling in general, which shows the Liberal Party of Canada regularly running around 20 points behind the Conservatives, as they have been for more than a year.

This is extremely significant because the Conservative Party of Canada, under their current leader Pierre Poilievre (and his predecessors, as well) is vocally supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas terrorists, and has made no secret in hiding this position.

And while polls show that Canadians widely favour the Conservatives over the Liberals for economic and other reasons, these surveys also demonstrate that, far from being a liability, the Conservatives’ overt pro-Israel position isn’t harming them in the slightest.

There are two ways Walkom could potentially make sense of these polls, and neither one fits with his worldview: either that Canadians are not, by and large, particularly engaged with the Hamas-Israel war, or that the vast majority are not willing to vote based on a leader’s anti-Israel bona fides, and if anything, prefer exactly the opposite.

Either way, Canadians are far from the anti-Israel ideologues that Walkom clearly hopes they are.

Take action now by sending a letter to the editor to the Toronto Star. Send letters to: lettertoed@thestar.ca.

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