When Government Concern Becomes Paranoia

CJPME Political Blog, Oct.12, 2016 Over thirteen years ago, the excitement was palpable.  In early June, 2003, Air Canada was about to launch its inaugural non-stop flight from Montreal to Beirut.  Thousands of Lebanese-Canadians had bought their tickets for the summer, delighted to avoid tiresome layovers in Europe on the way to visit friends and family. Continue reading

Will Elizabeth May Tear Apart the Federal Greens?

CJPME Political Blog, Sept. 16, 2016 Normally, political party conventions end with leaders trumpeting their satisfaction with their party’s progress and accomplishments. Not so last month with Canada’s federal Greens. Barely able to wait for the doors to close on August’s 3-day convention, Green leader Elizabeth May publicly and harshly criticized a key outcome of the convention.  At issue was the passage of a resolution calling for the party to adopt the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.  BDS is a tactic to pressure Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians.  “As leader, I am disappointed that the membership has adopted a policy in favour of a movement that I believe to be polarizing, ineffective and unhelpful,” May announced on the evening the convention closed.  Continue reading

Illegal Israeli “Settlements”: Silence is acquiescence

CJPME Political Blog, Sep.2, 2016  Last week, the world was informed of yet another expansion of Israeli “settlements” by the Netanyahu government.  Israel announced plans for 285 new units in the West Bank, and the retroactive approval of 178 units that were built in the 1980s.  Part of an ongoing series of announcements, Israel has now advanced plans for 1700 new units since July 1. Continue reading

May’s Behaviour unbecoming for a Federal Leader

CJPME Political Blog, October, 5th 2016 Elizabeth May should apologize to Green Party members.  May’s behaviour since the Green Party convention a few weeks ago has not only left the public deeply confused, but also humiliated party members.  Continue reading

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