Leave it to the Toronto Star to give an undue platform to comedian Scott Vrooman featuring a video he produced which portrays Israel as a bloodthirsty warmongering nation that wantonly kills Palestinian children and innocents, and that has blood on its hands.
The odious anti-Israel video was released on the Star’s Youtube page on June 4 entitled “When it comes to Israel, Canada’s love is blind” and has been viewed over 2,300 times, along with being featured on the Star’s website, and the anti-Israel website Rabble.
In the 2+ minute video (viewable immediately below along with a short transcript) which the Star labelled as “humour” and “opinion”, Vrooman stated the following and concluded by implying that Prime Minister Harper has blood on his hands for being an accomplice to the “killing (of Palestinian) children and unarmed people”:
Harper went on to say that “Canada will continue to stand by Israel through fire and water.” And we proved it last week by opposing a Middle East ban on nuclear weapons, so Israel wouldn’t have to give up their peaceful nuclear bombs, which are a crucial deterrent to Iran’s nonexistent nuclear bombs.
This steadfast support of Israel isn’t a controversial stance. The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP all refused to condemn Israel during the Gaza war last year. Although I’m not sure it’s a war when one side has a well-trained army of hundreds of thousands, an air force, tanks, nuclear weapons and effectively occupies the land it’s at war with — and the other side has none of those things.
During that “war” that killed over 2000 people — about 70 per cent of them Palestinian civilians, 495 of them children, Israel’s justice minister wrote in a Facebook post: “What’s so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy?” That’s the justice minister. Even George Orwell would be like “I dunno, it’s a bit on the nose.”
Interviews were recently released with members of the Israeli army who participated in that “war.” One staff sergeant said “The instructions are to shoot right away. Whoever you spot — be they armed or unarmed….Any person you run into, that you see with your eyes — shoot to kill.”
To our government’s credit, they reacted to that kind of savagery with a zero-tolerance policy. Unfortunately it’s not zero tolerance of killing children and unarmed people, it’s zero tolerance of the non-violent protest of it. So I guess when the Prime Minister said we’ll stand by Israel through fire and water, what he really meant was fire, water, and a lot of blood.
Vrooman completely ignores the fact that Hamas instigated the conflict with Israel by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli cities from Gaza (an area Israel does not occupy) and by building terror tunnels into Israeli population centres to maim and murder civilians. Vrooman portrays Israel’s armed forces as savages, but ignores the fact that Israel did everything in its power to avoid harming civilians, while Hamas did everything in its power to put Palestinian civilians in harm’s way by embedding themselves and their weapons in civilian installations and by targeting Israeli innocents when seeking maximum carnage. Indeed, Israel contends that more than half of the total Palestinian casualties were armed combatants which represents a 1:1 ratio of civilians vs. combatant deaths, an unprecedented statistic in the history of modern warfare. As well, the so-called testimonials of alleged Israeli soldiers that Vrooman refers to have been thoroughly debunked (see here) as the anti-Israel NGO that authored the report, Breaking the Silence, has been discredited due to its agenda, flawed methodology (all sources were anonymous which calls into question the veracity of the alleged claims), and foreign sources of funding.
Furthermore, irrespective of whether or not Israel possesses nuclear weapons, the concern is not the weapons per say, but who owns and controls those weapons. Israel has never used, tested, or threatened the use of nuclear weapons, while Iran represents a clear and present danger to the world and an existential threat to Israel which it regularly incites genocide against. No one is afraid that democratic countries like France, the United States, and the United Kingdom will use nuclear weapons, but everyone is terrified that rogue human rights offending nations like Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan will.
Mr. Vrooman is entitled to his own opinions, irrespective of how warped and disturbing that they are. And there is room for a healthy marketplace of ideas, but the Star exercised poor judgement in providing a platform to a video which under the pretense of good humour, presents the Jewish state as murderers of Palestinian children and innocents, and Prime Minister Harper as Israel’s willing accomplice.