Awaiting the Trudeau Government's Condemnation

CJPME Political Blog, Feb. 23, 2016:  Dear Mr. Trudeau Given that the House of Commons yesterday passed a motion calling the government “to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad,” I anxiously await your condemnation.  Although I regret that I have not had the opportunity to promote the BDS movement abroad, I have done my utmost to promote it in Canada.  I note that you are required to condemn “any and all” attempts to promote BDS, so I will list as many of my attempts as I can think of below.  Continue reading

The Paradox of Egypt’s Militarism and Legitimacy

CJPME Political Blog, June 26, 2015: Not since the early 1970s has Egypt been so militarily active in the Middle East. The calamitous legacy of Egypt’s previous military engagements in Yemen and Israel had long deterred an active military response to regional insecurity. Yet, under the emboldened leadership of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Egypt has expanded police and military operations in the Sinai Peninsula, and it has been playing a pivotal role in countering Islamic State activities in eastern Libya and in the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen. Indeed, this bellicose strategy signals a clear break from abstention in regional conflicts.  Continue reading

Reality check: Economic pressure on Israel

CJPME Political Blog, June 10, 2015: It’s time to take a reality check on the competing claims about the “boycott Israel” (BDS) movement in Canada.  For starters, let’s be clear on two things.  First, the Harper government doesn’t seem bent on jailing Canadian BDS activists anytime soon, and second, the BDS movement will never bring about the “destruction” of Israel. Continue reading

Canada’s Syrian refugee debacle highlights broader anti-refugee policies

CJPME Political Blog, June 3, 2015: Many in Canada would be surprised how refugee-unfriendly Canada has become over the last two decades.  For CJPME, the issue was clearly highlighted when we observed the extreme attitudes of the government vis-à-vis Syrian refugees.  And while some would blame the Harper government alone for Canada’s new anti-refugee policies, previous Liberal governments also share much of the blame. Continue reading

Let’s talk rationally about human rights in Israel-Palestine

CJPME Political Blog, May 19, 2015:  On Sunday May 2, a giant billboard calling to “End [the] Israeli Apartheid and Occupation of Palestine” welcomed commuters on Pat Bay highway traveling between Victoria and Sydney, BC. The billboard was erected on reserve land, home to the Tsawout First Nation. By Monday morning, the billboard contracting company began to receive calls, e-mails and even a letter from a BC MLA to take down the sign. The spokesman for the billboard contracting company announced to sponsoring groups that the Tsawout First Nation, after facing similar pressure, ordered the sign be taken down. Continue reading

When a Leader’s Persona and Person Align

CJPME Leadership Blog, April 6, 2015: With any well-known personality, I suppose it would be easy to confuse the celebrated public persona with the actual person.  But having recently wrapped up a 10-day cross-Canada trip with Gideon Levy, it is heartening to see that the impressive persona and the real person actually align.  Continue reading

Saudi Arabia, the Swedish example, and what Canada could learn

CJPME Political Blog, April 2, 2015: Earlier this month, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström had planned to deliver a speech on democracy and women’s rights at an Arab League conference in Cairo. Though it appears that her remarks were intended to be quite general in nature, she had planned to condemn the public flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, which has made headlines in recent months. However, Wallström’s speech was quickly and effectively blocked by the delegation from Saudi Arabia who felt that the speech was “incompatible with the fact that the constitution of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia [law].”  Continue reading

Jon Stewart, Netanyahu, and a Nuclear Free Middle East

CJPME Political Blog, March 8, 2015: If you haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s spoof on Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress this past week, it’s well worth the viewing. Among many other things, Stewart contrasts several different video clips of Netanyahu across the years, and demonstrates how self-contradictory, and flat-out wrong Netanyahu has been concerning Iran, Iraq, and other regional developments.   Continue reading

Seven key insights to the Israeli elections

CJPME Political Blog, March 19, 2015: There was no shortage of surprises and last minute twists with the recent Israeli elections.  Many on the left were disappointed to see Netanyahu’s Likud party come out on top again, with the likely result that Netanyahu will form the governing coalition.  Despite the overall bleak outlook for Palestinian human rights under Netanyahu, there are some otherwise important observations to be made.  Continue reading

Bill C-51, and why Canadians should care about privacy

CJPME Political Blog, March 11, 2015: Ever since Edward Snowdon leaked classified National Security Agency (NSA) information in the summer of 2013, the issue of privacy has become an increasingly mainstream one. More specifically, people all over the world have begun to heavily question the relationship between their governments, their rights, and their information.  Continue reading