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Paikin: On Iran, Canadian Leadership Needed

February 8, 2012

Laudably, the Government of Canada has unambiguously identified Iran as being a primary threat to international peace and security. Accordingly, Canada has adopted a series of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, including the invocation of the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA).

Despite these important moves, Canada’s stance on the Iranian file under the Harper government remains incomplete. Canada’s stance vis-à-vis Tehran focuses almost exclusively on the threat posed by the latter’s nuclear weapons program.

Without question, the threat of a nuclear Iran is an extremely serious one. Beyond the possible  use of such weapons, an Iran with weapons of mass destruction would provide a nuclear umbrella under which organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad — all listed as terrorist organizations in Canada — could operate in the Middle East.

An Iran with nuclear weapons could hold the Israeli-Palestinian peace process hostage. It would cause a shift in allegiance from many Gulf states from the Western-led camp to Iran’s revisionist camp. It could spark a nuclear arms race in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

A nuclear Iran would represent an existential threat for the Middle East’s only liberal democracy. And it would send the concept of “non-proliferation” — peacefully enforced by international institutions — to the dustbin of history.

Liberal MP Irwin Cotler — chair of the Responsibility to Prevent Coalition — has identified the Iranian threat to be in fact fourfold. In addition to the nuclear threat, there are threats posed by Iran’s state-sanctioned incitement to genocide, its funding of international terrorist groups, and its domestic human rights abuses.

In a recent op-ed, Foreign Minister John Baird extensively cited the genocidal statements made by Iran’s leaders. Despite this by leaving Iran in standing violation of the United Nations Genocide Convention, his government has yet to adhere to Canada’s international legal obligations as a signatory to said convention.

In an era of global inequality and environmental change, mass atrocities across the world — including genocide — threaten to spark cross-border violence, spread pandemics, and establish safe havens for terrorists. If Canada is to advance a vision in which mass atrocities no longer take place, it is essential that its government takes action against Iran’s genocidal rhetoric at the UN and before the International Court of Justice.

Regarding the final two aspects of the Iranian threat, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is at the forefront of both Tehran’s funding of international terrorism and the domestic repression of its citizens.

The IRGC’s funding of terrorist groups goes beyond terrorist acts committed in the Middle East. Hezbollah, acting on IRGC orders in 1994, carried out a bombing that killed 85 at Buenos Aires’s Jewish community centre. And with the help of the IRGC to crack down on anti-regime dissidents, Iran’s dictatorial regime put six hundred of its own citizens to death between January and November of last year.

The Liberal Party’s policy has been clear on this front: Canada should designate the IRGC as a terrorist group. Canada’s Conservative government needs to take this action immediately.

Despite the significant integration of our two economies, Canada does not have to wait for the United States’ approval to act to defend our interests. On one file, it took the Harper government six years and a rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline before it realized that it was fundamentally in Canada’s interest to seek significantly closer economic ties with China and other Asian markets. On the Iranian file, we don’t have to wait for Washington to tell us that “all options are on the table.”

Canada must take concrete action against the Iranian regime on the fronts described above and advance a vision for a world in which liberal democracies fight terrorism, mass atrocities, and human-rights abuses more openly and more effectively. Such a vision advances both Canadian interests and Canadian values.

It’s time for Canadian leadership on the world stage.

Zach Paikin was a candidate for National Policy Chair at the Liberal Party of Canada’s 2012 biennial convention.

51 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 2:54 pm


  2. Joe Lewi permalink
    February 8, 2012 3:50 pm

    What Jesse said.
    Wow, those talking points could have come straight from “Stand With Us” Campus’s Israel 101 lesson.

  3. J. Zimmerman permalink
    February 8, 2012 3:57 pm

    “An Iran with nuclear weapons could hold the Israeli-Palestinian peace process hostage.” And an Israel with nuclear weapons does not? How about the continual building of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank? How about the fact that the United States supports Israel despite this? That doesn’t hold the process hostage does it?

    “In an era of global inequality and environmental change, mass atrocities across the world — including genocide — threaten to spark cross-border violence, spread pandemics, and establish safe havens for terrorists.” < — this sentence doesn't make any sense. Are you proposing that the Iranian government is going to spread pandemics?

    "It would cause a shift in allegiance from many Gulf states from the Western-led camp to Iran’s revisionist camp." While not a fan of Iran you do realize that the Wahabi Saudi government is arguably worse–but oh, they are our allies so we can overlook their atrocities right? Who cares about the Bahrain Spring that was brutaly crushed…it's different when they are under the West's sphere of inlfuence right?

    "It could spark a nuclear arms race in one of the world’s most volatile regions." But it's ok for Israel to have nukes right? So long as the most violent country in the region has nukes it's ok. You are aware that Israel is the only middle-eastern nation staunchly against a Nuclear Free Zone for the Middle-East? Enough hypocrisy.

    "A nuclear Iran would represent an existential threat for the Middle East’s only liberal democracy." The typical parroted talk we expect from Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper: the helpless Israeli state, a bastion of liberalness. Nevermind that it's an ethnocracy/theocracy where you need to be of a certain ethnicity to get full rights there. How democratic do you think it feels for the people living under a 40+ year brutal military occupation in the West Bank? Or is it ok for Israel to persecute them since technically they aren't their people? A state where people get rights to housing and access to water resources on occupied land at the expense of another people–very liberal, very democratic.

    " And it would send the concept of “non-proliferation” — peacefully enforced by international institutions — to the dustbin of history." Again, not supported by Israel.

    By no stretch am I a fan of the Iranian government, but the repeated nonsense about Ahmadinajahd calling for Israel's destruction has long been debunked: And no repeating of John Baird or Jason Kenney can change that.

    " If Canada is to advance a vision in which mass atrocities no longer take place," – particularly considering its silence on the massacres in Lebanon and Gaza the past few years. Perhaps we should condemn those mass atrocities instead of suggested mass atrocities which have not been committed (particularly when said threats are the result of purposeful mistranslation and nonsense propoganda).

    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 8, 2012 7:26 pm

      Your reply to Zach is the “bullshit” referred to by your kin jzimmerman1984.
      Iran attacks Israel through its proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. Iran has called for the genocide of Jews, not just Israeli Jews but all Jews.
      The West Bank is not occupied territory. There has never been a Palestinian state. That is to be determined by a peace agreement if the Palestinians ever decide to discuss one.
      The Iranians are a threat to Israel, the US, the EU and their neighbours. So the world is just to sit back and wait for them to develop nuclear arms which they may use or pass them off to their terrorist buddies.
      Every country in the Middle East other than Israel is a Muslim theocracy that persecutes its own citizens and its minority religions. Syria has killed over 5,000 Syrians but I guess that doesn’t matter to you. Egypt persecutes, tortures and murders Christians while burning their churches but that doesn’t matter to you. Iran states it wants to kill Jews and destroy Israel but that doesn’t matter to you.
      You seem to like Palestinians who have turned down their own state on many occasions because their goal has never been peace but the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.
      I cannot understand why you hate Israel so much. It doesn’t persecute its minorities no matter what anyone says, where there is human rights for all, a free press, free healthcare. In other words a society like Canada or the United States. What is your fascination for Muslim theocracries where there are no human rights for anyone? Dissenters are tortured, imprisioned or even murdered. Would you like to live there yourself?
      You’re just another anti-American, anti-Israel protester who hates the West but wouldn’t live anywhere else.

      • February 8, 2012 8:19 pm


      • casaoui permalink
        February 8, 2012 8:54 pm

        Muslim theocracies? How about a Jewish theocracy that treats its minorities worse than any Muslim theocracy in the region? I’m not for mixing religion and politics, but this colonial self-righteous approach that the West takes in meddling in the Middle East only creates more problems and fuels fanaticism that much more.
        My the way, you quote Syria as a Muslim theocracy…Bashar Al Assad isn’t Muslim, he is Alawite. Inform yourself. People like you paint everyone with the same brush, and that ignorance is how Israel was built and you see the natives of the region as ‘savages’ much like Europeans saw First Nation natives.

  4. anna permalink
    February 8, 2012 8:30 pm

    @ HaroldPom – is there a reason u didn’t address a SINGLE fact stated by jzimmerman? Atleast acknowledge those facts and respond with your “counterpoint” if u even have one? Instead of getting emotional and calling everyone anti-american/anti-israel? That would be a starting point. Less opinion/emotion Harold. Start with facts. Then we can all have a CONVERSATION.

  5. J. Zimmerman permalink
    February 8, 2012 8:31 pm < — a Must Watch!

  6. Arash permalink
    February 8, 2012 10:22 pm

    This article is pure BS. Right on J.Zimmerman.

    @Haroldpom – ” Iran attacks Israel through its proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad ” – rightfully so, and the US has implanted and supported dictatorships all over the middle east that have enslaved their own population. That same US that you vehemently support. The same US that called both Saddam and Mubarak as allies in the region, and the same US that cozies up to the Saudi King that a majority of the 9/11 attackers were from. Why don’t you put down your banner of apartheid and get an education. Iran hasn’t attacked a country in over 300 years whereas Israel has been on the offensive and continues to do so for more than 30 years. Quote from HAARETZ : ” All Israeli wars since 1973 were flawed wars of choice. Israel initiated all of them. None of them was inevitable, none resulted in any benefit that could not have been achieved using different means. ”

    Your quote : The West Bank is not occupied territory . Again, I suggest you do some more research since you seem a bit uneducated and refer to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 478. Its searchable via the internet – if you know how to use it.

    But by FAR the most idiotic thing you have said thus far was this, ‘Iran has called for the genocide of Jews, not just Israeli Jews but all Jews’ hahaha.. Let me ask you one question smart guy, can you tell me where the largest population of jews outside of Israel live in the middle east??..hmmmm..IRAN. a little video made my national geographic if you care to watch..OR maybe their too anti-semetic for you?
    Also, they are free to practice and worship, even have members of parliament represented! GOOD GOLLY! you dont say?
    Meanwhile in APARTHEID ISRAEL – they want to cleanse the whole country of any foreigners, its all over the news. Go search it – again, if you know how to.
    Moreover, where are you getting the idea that Iran wants to wipe out Jews? Really? Give me one source? Was it the infamous Ahmadijenad speech? Let me address that by asking you one simple question. Do you speak farsi? Because everyone who does will tell you he said all the jews should leave the area – while everyone who speaks english decided to translate it to their benefit and misinterpret leave with cleanse ahha..what a bunch of morons.

    Mossad has been suspected in terrorist attacks in Iran with the help of the US as well. What country stands idly by while these things happen in their country? Only Iran shows such constraint.

    Harold – stay ignorant. You allow the rest of the educated people around the world fodder for humor.

    There is so much i could touch on more with you – but its a complete waste of my time really.

  7. Haroldpom permalink
    February 10, 2012 9:07 pm

    The only state in the Middle East that is not an apartheid state is Israel. Where in the ME is there freedom of religion, a free press, gender equality, human rights, independent judiciary other than Israel. Over 70% of the people living in Israel were born in Israel. So much for being foreigners. The only state in the ME where Jews, Muslims and Christians can live in peace and have access to their own holy sites is Israel. The only state in the ME where Christians are increasing in population is Israel. The only state in the ME where homosexuals are not tortured or killed is Israel.

    In 1967 Israel was attacked by Arab states. In peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, they refused to take back the West Bank and Gaza. East Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Jordan in 1948 and that doesn’t confer ownership to the Palestinians now. Under UNSCR 242 Israel does not occupy the territories as its ownership is unknown until there is a peace agreement to set the borders between a Palestinian state and the state of Israel. The territory is ‘disputed’ as the Palestinians and the Israelis are claiming it.

    When the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem were ‘occupied’ by Jordan and Egypt prior to 1967 why was no Palestinian state proclaimed? Do you think it might have been that the ‘Palestinians’ didn’t see themselves as being separate and requiring their own state. It was only when Israel captured the territories that the people demanded a separate state.

    Alawites are an offshoot of Shi’ites. Some other Muslims, particularly in Syria and Lebanon, accept them as Muslims, but others consider themheretics (ghali) and outside of Islam.
    They are Muslims. If they weren’t Muslims they wouldn’t be in control of Syria and friends and allies of Iran.

    The Iranians have called for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel on many occasions. They have never denied it. They were responsible for blowing up the Jewish Community Centre in Argentina. They hate Jews. Is that supposed to be a lie? Doesn’t it say that Muslims are supposed to kill Jews in the Koran? That’s what the Palestinian religious leader says in his Friday sermons.

    All of Zimmerman’s post is a bunch of anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric. In other words bullshit. It is the Arabs who attacked Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Terrorist attacks and rockets continue to this day. The Palestinians have declared they want to destroy Israel and murder the Jews. They don’t want peace and they only want their own state to continue their war diplomatically against Israel and Jews.

  8. Zai91 permalink
    February 11, 2012 3:00 pm

    is there a fiction section this forgot to be filed in? what kind of biased, zionist-washed propaganda is this?

    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 11, 2012 3:50 pm

      No propaganda here all truth. But what would biased anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Western intellectual such as you know about that. You must be an intellectual or how could you believe such crap that spews out of Iran and the UN.

  9. Sid permalink
    February 11, 2012 3:14 pm

    The crisis over Iranian nuclear weapons is a completely fabricated one. Why is all of the attention being focused on Iran POTENTIALLY getting nukes, when the US and Israel already have THOUSANDS of them?

    The contention that Iran is talking genocide about Israel is a complete fabrication. I defy those who repeat this allegation ad nauseum to provide evidence of it. Quoting the likes of Irwin Cotler on this matter is the equivalent of quoting a member of the Israeli government. That does not constitute evidence.

    Iran is a grotesque regime. But in that it is not unique: think Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt under Mubarak, etc., which have enjoyed the unstinting support of both the US and Israel. The reason Iran is being targeted is not because it is somehow unique with respect to issues of human rights. It is being targeted because it refuses to accede to US and Israeli attempts to impose their wills on the Middle East.

    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 11, 2012 3:58 pm

      More crap from the anti-Israel crowd. Just use google to find the multiple times Iran has threatened Israel and the United States. Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad all claim to want to destroy Israel and they are proxies of iran. Fully paid for, armed and financed by Iran. When they say they want to destroy Israel they are doing so on the order of Iran.
      There is nothing redeeming about any of the Arab governments now or probably in the future. Do you think the Egyptians under the Muslim Brotherhood will be better than Mubarek? Will the Egyptians have democracy? No.
      So you think Iran is targeted because it is somehow unique with respect to human rights? Unique really? In the Middle East they are not unique. They are like everyone else in the ME except for Israel with no human rights for anyone. Iran threatens Israel and the US and that is the concern of israel and the US.

  10. Sid permalink
    February 11, 2012 3:26 pm

    As commentator Eric Margolis says, “The Iran crisis has benefitted politicians in the US and Israel by defocusing public anger from the ongoing economic crisis in both nations, and by almost totally obscuring the Palestinian’s quest for recognition and statehood. Little wars are famously beneficial for politicians.”


    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 11, 2012 4:02 pm

      Who gives a crap what Eric Margolis says. Just another anti-Israel and anti-American commentator. Iran wants to export Islamic extremism to the other countries in the ME and threaten to use nuclear weapons to do so. The Iranians pose a danger to world peace and stability in the ME. Eric Margolis thinks that is worth supporting.

      • Sid permalink
        February 11, 2012 4:04 pm

        Iran poses a threat to the region? How many times has Iran attacked one of its neighbours? Compare this to how many times Israel has done so.

        Casting Iran as the aggressor in the region is the act of a liar or an ignoramus who doesn’t know any better.

  11. Sid permalink
    February 11, 2012 3:32 pm

    “In 1967 Israel was attacked by Arab states.”

    Uh, oh. If this is an example of your historical scholarship, Haroldpom, there’s no reason for anyone to take you seriously: even Israel’s staunchest supporters acknowledge that Israel launched what they describe as a pre-emptive attack against the surrounding countries in the region.

    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 11, 2012 4:05 pm

      Israel for forced to launch a pre-emptive attack on the Arabs because the Arabs were preparing to attack Israel in force. They removed the UN observers, closed the Suez Canal to Israel ships, massed their forces on Israel’s borders and said they were going to destroy Israel and kill the Jews. Israel was fully within their rights to launch a pre-emptive attack and didn’t have to wait until the Arabs attacked first which would have been catastrophic for a small country like israel.

      • Sid permalink
        February 11, 2012 4:10 pm

        Hmm. We seem to have had a change of position from Haroldpom from “In 1967 Israel was attacked by Arab states” to “Israel for forced to launch a pre-emptive attack on the Arabs…” We seem to be making some progress.

        FYI, Haroldpom, you may want to read the following on the 1967 War:

        “Both Yitzhak Rabin and Ezer Weizman clearly allude in their autobiographies to the fact that, prior to the attack of June 1967, the Israeli general staff organized a putsch, and barred any and all political solutions to the crisis. Rabin, Chief of Staff, admitted that: “Nasser didn’t want war. The two divisions he sent to Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it” (Le Monde, February 28, 1968). Levy Eshkol himself admitted that “the Egyptian layout in Sinai and the general build up there testified to a militarily defensive Egyptian set up, south of Israel” (Yediot Ahronot, October 16, 1967). On August 8, 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, defending the invasion of Lebanon, said: “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him” (New York Times, August 21, 1982).”

        — Footnote 11, page 58, POLITICIDE: Ariel Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians, by Israeli political sociologist Baruch Kimmerling. Verso Books, 2003.

        Now try to spin all this to make Israel out the victim.

      • Haroldpom permalink
        February 12, 2012 9:23 am

        From Jewish Virtual Library – you can read the rest if you want

        “Israel’s military strike in 1967 was unprovoked


        A combination of bellicose Arab rhetoric, threatening behavior and, ultimately, an act of war left Israel no choice but preemptive action. To do this successfully, Israel needed the element of surprise. Had it waited for an Arab invasion, Israel would have been at a potentially catastrophic disadvantage.

        In addition to Nasser’s verbal threats, Israel was under actual attack from Arab terrorists. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched.5

        Meanwhile, Syria’s attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down six Syrian MiGs. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union—which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt—gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt.

        On May 15, Israel’s Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.

        Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force, stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly, as his predecessor had promised, Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs proclaimed (May 18, 1967):

        As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence. 6

        An enthusiastic echo was heard on May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:

        Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united. . . . I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation. 7

  12. howard tessler permalink
    February 11, 2012 4:45 pm

    I thought it was satire! No one in their right (maybe sane would be a better word) mind would propose ideas of this nature.

    If the author was a candidate for a senior political party office I’m glad he didn’t get elected.

    • Sid permalink
      February 11, 2012 4:56 pm

      Yes, and the current Prime Minister is someone who wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal chastising then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s government for having failed to join the US invasion of Iraq.

      That was the first round of international hysteria generated by neocons and war hawks trying to generate support for war by issuing an endless series of hysterical announcements about the threat of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.”

      Now we’re witnessing a replay of the same tactics by many of the same people on behalf of the same forces in the world.

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  13. Sid permalink
    February 11, 2012 5:05 pm

    Hot off the press:

    “Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News”

    • February 11, 2012 6:33 pm

      How can people be so blind when tue facts are so readily available in this day and age?

      • Haroldpom permalink
        February 12, 2012 9:03 am

        I’ve wondered the same thing. Amazing how people can be blinded by anti-Israel, ant-Jew hate disguised as anti-Zionism. According to these people Israel/Jews can’t do anything right and the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims/Iranians can’t do anything wrong.

      • Sod permalink
        February 12, 2012 3:42 pm

        Unbelievable. What has been stated here that is anti-Jewish? I am Jewish. And I am criticizing Israel.

        In your world view, I suppose that makes me a self hater. Talk about a closed thought system. You can never let it enter your mind that there is something seriously amiss in Israel with regard to its treatment of Palestinians inside the Green Line; the 45-year-old occupation of the West Bank and Gaza; and the never-ending series of military aggressions against Israel’s neighbours.

        To state this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HATRED OF JEWS. It is to criticize the actions of Israel by insisting that it, along with all other countries, abide by international law and respect the human rights of the Palestinians.

    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 12, 2012 9:06 am

      “U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.”

      Anonymous sources again. Would the US betray an important ally by disclosing such information which if true would have been told to the US in confidence?

  14. Haroldpom permalink
    February 12, 2012 9:38 am

    We really shouldn’t be surprised that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei only recently released a new doctrine explaining why it would be ‘legally and morally justified’ to commit genocide and wipe Israel off the map. “Israel is a cancerous tumor in the Middle East,” Khameini wrote for the ultraconservative Farsi-language Alef news site. “Israel is a satanic media outlet with bombers. Every Muslim is required to arm themselves against Israel.”

    In short, despite his public claims that it is the moral obligation of every Muslim to destroy Israel and commit genocide against all Jews, nobody in the international community, none of the leading human rights organizations, not the New York Times nor any other known liberal outlet in the digital world has demanded that the ruling regime in Iran be perceived as an unacceptable apartheid regime harboring and based on explicit Anti-Semitism inherently
    illegitimate and has no right to exist.

    Hatred of Jews, demonization of Israel, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have all become interchangeable and analogous terms; acceptable politically correct superlatives in the public discourse in recent years. We hear it everywhere, whether from the mouths of Arab leaders, European organizations, academicians in the United States and Europe, and from leading journalists exercising their right of “free speech”, they all have elevated the hatred of Jews to socially acceptable. What we are witnessing without even realizing is the creation of an emerging new world order that is based on ridding the whole world of Jews.

  15. Rami permalink
    February 12, 2012 12:54 pm

    Your brain is stacked with Israeli propaganda. Go read a fucking book and stop listening to Nethanyahu’s bullshit speeches. Your points that Arab Regimes are oppressive and Israel has the perfect system is irrelevant and doesn’t mean that their CONTINUING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS should be accepted. And please don’t deny a Palestinian state. Go read a book

  16. Hardy Weinberg permalink
    February 12, 2012 7:53 pm

    Paikin states that a nuclear Iran will start a nuclear arms race. Is he disconnected with reality or what? Iran is a country that is situated in the middle of an ongoing nuclear arms race. Pakistan, India and Israel, all of which are striking distance of Iran all have nuclear weapons. Egypt, atleast under Mubarak, was looking into nuclear energy, and I wouldnt be surprised if other countries, in the ME are quietly looking into their own nuclear energy (especially those without oil).

    Personally, I feel the best and most progressive solution for Liberal Canadians (this is NDP and LPC) is to support a Nuclear weapon free ME.

    • Rami permalink
      February 13, 2012 12:00 am

      I think it’s time you get your he’s out of your ass. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH IT. I will agree with you one ONE point that arab rulers Mistreat their own
      People but nothing like what Israel is doing to the Palestinians. Please stop with your zionist logic. Your points are BS the only thing you try to prove is that arabs are being treated badly by their own leaders. And from what I understand you are trying to make it sound like the Israelis are a blessing to Arab nation and they are treated better. PLEASE GO READ A DAMN BOOK or actually visit Palestine and see how the people are under constant attack by Israel.

  17. J. Zimmerman permalink
    February 12, 2012 8:22 pm

    I’m with Weinberg on the Nuclear weapons free zone in the ME. My mouse pad which I bought at the UN in New York a few summers ago shows the Nuclear Weapons free zones of the world; all of Africa (Treaty of Pelindaba), Central America, the Caribbean and South America (Treaty of Tlatelolco), most of South-East Asia (Treaty of Bangkok), all of Oceania (Treaty of Rarotonga), and the Antarctic (Antarctic Treaty), as well as the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, and Mongolia’s Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status.

  18. Haroldpom permalink
    February 12, 2012 8:40 pm

    A nuclear armed Iran along with a nuclear armed Pakistan is dangerous to the world especially the countries that are neighbours. Pakistan could easily fall under Taliban rule and the Mullahs of Iran can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons. You expect 6 million Israeli Jews to honour a nuclear weapons free Middle East against almost 400 million Arabs/Iranians/Muslims who are supposed to do the same but could attack the Israelis and by overwelming numbers destroy Israel and the people who live there. To Israel nuclear weapons are a deterrent to her enemies. To the Arab/Muslim countries nuclear weapons are a means to destroy Israel.

    • Hardy Weinberg permalink
      February 12, 2012 9:31 pm

      Couldn’t Iran or any other ME country make the same claim? Pakistan says they have nukes cause india has nukes. India has nukes cause they say Pakistan has nukes.

      The use of nuclear weapons as a “deterrent” from attack is the precise mentality that has started the nuclear arms race. A nuclear arms race already exists in the asian subcontinent and in the Middle east, with or without Iran having nukes.

      • J. Zimmerman permalink
        February 12, 2012 11:45 pm

        If Iran is making nukes it’s precisely because they have two neighbours that are being occupied and have repeatedly been threatened with attack by Israel and the US.

      • Haroldpom permalink
        February 13, 2012 8:27 am

        Iran threatens to use nuclear weapons against Israel. They are already at war with Israel through their proxies Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. What would stop them from transferring weapons to these terrorist organizations for an attack on Israel yet their hands would seem clean? Nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands would lead to a weapons race in the ME with other countries purchasing or developing nuclear weapons. Would you want to see nuclear weapons in the hands of religious extremists? Well, maybe you would.

  19. Haroldpom permalink
    February 12, 2012 8:47 pm

    It is time to get your head out of your ass. There are more violations of human rights against Palestinians by other Arabs/Muslims that there is by Israel. Have you noticed how Palestinians are treated in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan especially in refugee camps?
    The Arab League has instructed its members to deny citizenship to Palestinian Arab refugees (or their descendants) “to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland. For the most part Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are governed by Palestinians. If they have any problems they know where to complain.

  20. J. Zimmerman permalink
    February 12, 2012 11:43 pm

    Palestinians in the West Bank are having their homes demolished by Israeli bulldozers, being dissallowed access to the resources in the West Bank so the resources can be diverted to Jews-only settlements which are gobbling up farmland and seperating Palestinian villages. The IDF exercises real sovreignty over the West Bank, which is why it’s a case of occupation and land appropriation. Two laws, two people on one land = Apartheid.

    Oh and the refugee camps, interesting you bring that up, completely missing the reason why they are refugees to begin with. They were expelled from their homeland to make way for a Jewish-majority state, which is the original sin from which Israel sprang from in 47-48. A Jewish state requires a Jewish majority, which is why Palestinians are seen as a demographic threat. <— another MUST WATCH video!

  21. Rami permalink
    February 13, 2012 12:03 am

    And believe me the Arabs realize the oppression by their leaders and if you opened the news recently, you will probably notice something called the ARAB SPRING. ISRAELS actions are not justified by the bullshit you say. Because Arabs are treated badly in their own countries. a fully developed nation like Israel should have the fuckinf decency to treat Palestinians who have occupied the land for many years like fucking humans and not demolish their Holmes and drop white phosphorus on civilians. Please fuck off

  22. Haroldpom permalink
    February 13, 2012 8:44 am

    Zimmerman reads too much Palestinian propaganda. When it comes to religious bigotry no one beats the Islamists and their battle against Jews and Christians throughout the ME and now the world.

    As for Rami he is reduced to swearing when the truth is told. The Palestinians have been offered a state on many occasions but why have just part of the land when the West will serve Israel up on a silver platter at the UN? Israel has become a fully developed nation and the Arabs haven’t. And they won’t as long as they decide to continue their war against Israel.

    Watch this.

    • Hardy Weinberg permalink
      February 13, 2012 5:04 pm

      Using Pat Condell, who is a bigot, as a reference is a sure fire way to ensure you have lost the argument. Here is an individual who believes that Islam as a religion should be opposed and should not exist. And also that all Muslims, regardless of their personal or political beliefs should be expelled from europe.

      There are so many intelligent people who advocate on behalf of Israel and zionism. Pat condell is not one of them and simply spews anti-muslim bigotry on his youtube which is watched over and over by his far-right followers.

      • Haroldpom permalink
        February 13, 2012 5:41 pm

        It is easy to call people you don’t agree with a bigot and many other epithets if you don’t want to discuss what they say or write.
        Islam is more than a religion. It is a political movement like communism or fascism. It seeks world domination. There are 56 Muslim states in the world, many of them governed by Islamic law and nary a democracy among them. Saudi Arabia exports an extremist brand of Islam to the West hoping to undermine Western democracies and to introduce Islamic law. Some of this is already taking place in European countries where Muslim immigration is quite large. That is what Pat Condell is against. Creeping Islamism and anti-Semitism. It is happening in Europe and don’t think it can’t happen here.
        The ordinary peace-loving Muslim who left the ME due to oppression and lack of human rights has nothing to fear from Pat Condell or anyone else. It is the extremist supporter we don’t want to welcome here.

    • J. Zimmerman permalink
      February 18, 2012 2:49 pm

      Ok, I feel arguing with Pom with the equivalanet to smashing my head against a brick wall so I’m done here.

      • Haroldpom permalink
        February 18, 2012 4:13 pm

        One liar gone. I hope he recovers from his concussion.

  23. Haroldpom permalink
    February 13, 2012 1:00 pm

    From Commentary:

    Those who have expressed grim satisfaction at the reports of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists have been told they will sing a different tune if Israelis or Jews are targeted by Iran. Today’s news of attacks on the Israeli embassies in Georgia and India will, no doubt, lead some to assume those responsible are in some way taking revenge for the Iranians. But the assumption that Israel is reaping what it sowed is off the mark. So, too, is the attempt by Israel’s critics on both the right and the left to claim there is some moral equivalence between Israel and Iran.

    The first problem with this equation is that Iran and its various terrorist auxiliaries need no new excuse to attack Israelis or Jews. Groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have been doing this for many years. When it comes to the question of whether or when Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah will strike, the assumption ought to be they are doing their worst at all times. Second, and more important, is that squeamishness about the attacks on Iranian scientists is entirely misplaced if not completely disingenuous.

    Last week, I wrote about the NBC news report about Israel’s alleged employment of an Iranian dissident group to help carry out covert operations inside the Islamic state. The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (also known by their Farsi acronym MEK) has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States. Some prominent Americans on both sides of the aisle dispute this label. Others have told me in the last week they doubt the veracity of NBC’s allegations. I took no position on the virtues of the MEK or on the quality of NBC’s reporting. What I did say was because Israel is locked in a war with Iran in which its existence is at stake, the use of the Iranian’s regime’s enemies to aid operations designed to forestall a nuclear threat is justified.

    This provoked angry denunciations of my position from both the left by Glenn Greenwald at Salon and Robert Wright at The Atlantic, and the paleo right by Daniel Larison at the American Conservative. All seem to agree Israel’s alleged use of the MEK to kill Iranian scientists is an act of terrorism, and this makes Israel a state sponsor of terrorism. They also believe it is terribly hypocritical of those of us who denounce terrorist attacks on Jews and Israelis to think it is okay to knock off those working on Iran’s nuclear program.

    This stance is not so much based on a devotion to an inflexible legal definition of terror as it is with delegitimizing concern about threats to Israel’s existence. Larison writes that a belief an Iranian nuclear weapon “has something to do with averting a second Holocaust … is a deeply irrational and unfounded assumption.” He bases that on the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons and this nuclear deterrent should put to bed any worries about Iran’s leadership thinking about a first strike on the Jewish state. Thus, in his view, any attempt to stop the Iranians from having the capacity to kill millions in a single stroke is just a criminal endeavor spurred on by an Israeli “fantasy” about Iran’s intentions.

    But one needn’t step into the world of fantasy to understand what Iran’s intentions might be toward Israel. Their leaders spell it out, leaving little to the imagination. As Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said earlier this month while defending his country’s nuclear ambitions, Israel is a “cancer” that must be removed from the region. There is an interesting debate as to whether the fanatical religious figures who run Iran are prepared to risk attacks in kind from Israel should they use nukes to make good on their threats. But while it is not possible to predict Iran’s conduct in advance with certitude, the notion that Israel should simply sit back and wait and see what will happen while a government that actively promotes anti-Semitism acts on their threats is not advice any rational or responsible government can take when the lives of millions of citizens are at stake.

    Above all, what Greenwald, Wright and Larison have a problem with is the entire idea of drawing a moral distinction between Iran and Israel. That is why their entire approach to the question of the legality of Israel’s attacks is morally bankrupt. Underneath their preening about the use of terrorists, what Greenwald, Wright and Larison are aiming at is the delegitimization of the right of Israel — or any democratic state threatened by Islamist terrorists and their state sponsors — to defend itself. They do so by dismissing the idea there is any credible threat to Israel and then by labeling those who are using their expertise to put a genocidal weapon in the hands of those who have made repeated threats of genocide as innocent civilians. However, at this point, doubts expressed about Iran’s intentions are mere sophistry cynically taken up by those who wish to hamstring the effort to avert a catastrophe.

    Undeclared wars, even those between evil regimes and democracies, are necessarily messy. But the idea that the United States or Israel must forebear from acting in defense of humanity against a regime such as that of Iran because the Iranian scientists have not been convicted in a court of law is a moral absurdity. Contrary to the disingenuous arguments of Iran’s intellectual defenders, it really is quite easy to make a distinction between an Iranian nuclear scientist and an innocent American, Israeli or Jewish victim of the anti-Semitic terror sponsored by that regime. Greenwald, Wright and Larison are unmoved by the prospect of Khamenei having his finger on a nuclear button and are aghast at Israel’s resort to cloak and dagger methods to avert the possibility. But the only really immoral thing for either the United States or Israel to do is to fail to act.

  24. February 18, 2012 3:08 pm

    Harold Pom claims that Israel is the “only” state in the Middle East with a “free press”. However, according to the Press Freedom Index at Israel ranks 92nd in the world this year – just ahead of Lebanon, which is 93rd and well down from Kuwait which is 78th. What, exactly, is the basis of Pom’s boast?

    • Haroldpom permalink
      February 18, 2012 4:12 pm

      I guess that is why the major newspapers and news organizations of the world base their ME reporters in Israel. I thought it was because israel had a free press. I didn’t know it was because Israel didn’t have a free press.

      • February 18, 2012 6:39 pm

        Evidently, Israel’s press is about as free as Lebanon’s and less free than Kuwait’s. The fact that foreign correspondents are based in Israel does not mean Israel’s press is free but that Israel is newsworthy. Most foreign correspondents to southern Africa were based in South Africa in the 1980s not because South Africa had a “freer” press than other countries in Africa (it didn’t) but because South Africa was newsworthy.

  25. February 18, 2012 6:41 pm

    Similarly, there are more foreign correspondents in Beijing than elsewhere in east Asia not because the People’s Republic of China has a freer press than, say, South Korea, Japan or Taiwan but because China is more important. In other words, the argument you’ve raised is irrelevant to the issue of press freedom.

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