Toronto Star: Judith Deutsch (letter to editor) "Battle over words a distraction" (18/5/2011) With the Harper majority there will be a proliferation of claims that Israel is not an apartheid state. The letter from Mike Fegelman, executive director of HonestReporting Canada, is most peculiar. He cites Alan Dershowitz, of all people, as a paragon of truthfulness in order to allege that Nelson Mandela has never used the word “apartheid” about Israel. Much can be said and cited to refute this. Suffice it here to note that in his book defending Israel’s human rights record, Dershowitz “never once cites a single mainstream human rights organization to support any of his claims” (Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, p. 92). This battle over words deflects from the reality of endemic racism in Canada and Israel, the only two countries already boycotting the World Conference Against Racism this September." Send letter to editor
24 Hours Toronto: Reuters: "Obama calls for further talks" (18/5/2011) "President Barack Obama, following talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah, said Tuesday it was “more vital than ever” to get Israel and the Palestinians back to negotiations toward a peace deal. But Obama, starting a week of intense Middle East diplomacy against the backdrop of popular unrest sweeping the Arab world, offered no new proposals for breaking the Israeli-Palestinian impasse after the failure of U.S.-led peace efforts."
The Mark: Staff: "Obama’s Middle East Moment" (17/5/2011) "Obama hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week for talks that The Guardian’s Aluf Benn predicts might be a tad testy. “To the U.S. president, Israel’s occupation and settlement-building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem represent grave injustices… To Netanyahu, Jewish people have a birthright to the Judean and Samarian hills; at most, Israel should throw a bone to the Palestinians to satisfy its western supporters who, in Netanyahu’s view, simply don’t get it.” Benn imagines the two will keep up appearances of cordiality to bolster their electoral hpes. But behind closed doors, the camps could prove irreconcilable, making Palestine’s goal of declaring official statehood in September all the more likely – and potentially volatile."
Embassy Magazine: Grafton Ross (letter to editor) "You call this democratic governance?" (18/5/2011 – not online) "I object to your statement that Canada is helping build democratic governance in the West Bank (Re: “Time for election monitoring?” May 11, 2011). In fact, Canada is helping prop up an illegitimate and corrupt regime there. Palestinian “prime minister” Salam Fayyad was never elected to office. He was appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas, whose own term of office expired over two years ago. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Legislative Council has not met in over four years, the real elected prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, is walled up in Gaza, and most of his cabinet have been jailed without charge in Israeli and Fatah prisons. The money that Canada used to send to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to support Palestinian refugees is now being spent on training and equipping Fatah security forces to suppress political opponents and popular resistance to the Israeli occupation. This is “democratic governance?” Send letter to editor
CTV.ca: AP: "Palestinians postpone local elections to October" (17/5/2011) "The government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday postponed municipal elections by three months until October, saying it needs more time to ensure the vote can be held in both the West Bank and Gaza." See also: Wateroo Record (not online)
National Post: Len Bennett (letter to editor) "Mideast reality?" (18/5/2011) "What would the Arabs do if they didn’t have Israel to vent their anger at? Tribalism ensures that the vast majority of Arabs remain downtrodden. Children in large, poor families cannot be properly supported -financially or emotionally -to enable them to grow up to be confident, functioning adults. And so they rage, and Israel becomes a handy diversion when they can’t address their frustrations more appropriately. In 1948, 600,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were forced out of Israel during the Arabs’ failed attempt to "throw the Jews into the sea." 850,000 Jews were forced out of Arab countries and most settled in Israel. The Jews took care of their brothers, but the Arabs treated their kin with disdain. If the Arab nations cared for the Palestinians, they would integrate them and get them off the UN welfare rolls."
Winnipeg Sun: Andreas Andreadis (letter to editor) "Tough choice" (18/5/2011) "Last time I checked, it was the Government of Canada, not Harper’s Government. I doubt you would be covering such a story if the Liberal party was in power and chose to bar Galloway and allow Wilders into the country. The difference between Wilders and Galloway is one is expressing his opinion and experiences on what he can do in his field. The latter is cited supporting a known terrorist group. So who do you support? A person like Wilders who is an Islamaphobe or Galloway, who has openly supported a terrorist group?"
Xtra: Andrea Houston: "Hundreds rally at city hall for Pride Toronto" (16/5/2011) "The rally was a show of unity after a rocky two-year saga filled with censorship and scandal for PT. The organization twice tried to force Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) out of the parade. Ultimately, organizers backed down in the face of sustained backlash from free-speech advocates. Then, a motion from Mammoliti last year set out to claw back city money from the festival for not kicking QUAIA out of the 2010 Pride parade."
National Post: Peter Goodspeed: "Obama faces deadline for forces in Libya" (18/5/2011) "U.S. diplomats face a perfect political storm in a region of popular uprisings and incomplete revolutions, Iran’s nuclear program, the Arab-Israeli conflict, troop withdrawals from Iraq, terrorist threats after Osama bin Laden’s death, and the risks high oil prices pose for the U.S. economy."
National Post: Alan Glover (letter to editor) "Mideast reality" (18/5/2011) "It is instructive that in the same issue of the National Post in which David Frum concisely explains the disease of anti-Semitism, there is a story in which the Israeli building of housing on "occupied" land is the only example given as a reason for the failure of the peace process. The construction of housing anywhere (perhaps even for Israeli Arabs?) is a net plus, especially when compared to the Palestinian contributions to the failure, notably, a murder of a young, sleeping family and thousands of indiscriminate rockets attacks designed to accomplish much the same thing…."
Ottawa Citizen: Editorial: "Brutality cannot stand" (18/5/2011) "The government of Syria’s attitude toward human rights is well established. (Just ask Maher Arar.) All the same, the current level of brutality toward protesters is shocking and cannot stand unopposed. Hundreds of people have died at the hands of the regime since the protests began." Send letter to editor
Embassy Magazine: Avisha Gavai: "Syrian envoy defends Assad government" (18/5/2011 – not online) "It’s these demonstrations that have catapulted Syria into the news. Known internationally for being a crucial ally of Iran, a partnership that also funds and supports the militant group Hezbollah in its struggle against Israel, Syria has since been the scene of massive pro-democracy demonstrations." Send letter to editor
National Post: Vardit Feldman (letter to editor) "Defining Islam" (18/5/2011) "It is a free world and anyone can define Islam, rightly or wrongly. And it’s true that all ancient texts have some problematic writings. However, some of those who are reading the Koran are the ones causing havoc around the world. George Galloway initially was not allowed into Canada, not because he was not a friend to Israel, but because of his alleged ties to the terrorist group Hamas…"
Mike is the Executive Director of HonestReporting Canada and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization, its financial management and project development. A seventeen-year veteran of the Canadian journalism industry, Mike was a former editor-in-chief, reporter, and anchor of various news programs and publications. Mike's focus is on delivering efficiency and professionalism as HRC moves into new technological and geographical spheres. Mike is a human rights expert and a frequent on-air commentator. His work has been published in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Toronto Star, CBC News and more.