By MARGARET VILLAMIZAR*
International law and principles that came out of the experience of the second World War establish that occupation is a crime and resistance to occupation is a right. The Palestinian people are affirming their rights by defending themselves from Israel’s occupation and attacks. They are affirming everyone’s right to be. By resisting the occupation they say No! to war crimes, to occupation and violations of human rights. By standing with them we affirm our own rights and the rights of all.
The Harper government does not represent Canadian public opinion. According to the Harper government there is nothing wrong with Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza from the air, sea and now land that has resulted in mainly civilians, many of them children, being killed as well as thousands of homes and essential infrastructure damaged or completely destroyed.
For Harper and Baird it is those living under the occupation and their resistance to it that are the problem and responsible for their own deaths. If only they accepted their fate as an occupied people with all the indignities that entails, things would be fine.
Harper is actively egging Israel on, trumpeting that “Canada” is unequivocally behind what it is doing. Civilians are being killed in Gaza only because they are being used as human shields, he says, exonerating Israel of all blame. This is pure disinformation, deliberately intended to make the victim look like the aggressor.
Harper’s ludicrous assertion and advice to other governments that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict shows he recognizes no norms of international law or principles. Everything is justified in the name of fighting terrorism. What he really means of course is that resistance to the systemic violence of the occupation will not be tolerated. The fact that Israel is engaging in state terror to mete out collective punishment to the people of Gaza is fine according to this twisted logic.
Not only this, in their desperation to disinform public opinion so that they get away with their own unprincipled support for Israel, the Harperites attempt to criminalize anyone at home who speaks or acts politically to oppose the occupation. They do so because the future they want for Canada is one completely embroiled in the U.S. imperialist project for world domination and occupation where the peoples are dispossessed of their lands and resources.
Students at the University of Windsor held a referendum in March this year to give youth a chance to express their conviction that the Israeli occupation of Palestine must be ended, which they did. Instead of recognizing that Canadian youth are not for war and occupation and when given information they stand for justice, the Harper government sought to demonize and criminalize them, and the University, to its shame, followed suit.
Cabinet Minister Jason Kenney equated the fact that students voted for their student government to boycott or divest from companies that profit from Israeli war crimes, occupation and oppression with “hatred.”
Jeff Watson, Conservative MP for Essex referred to the students’ stand as “this new anti-Semitism poisoning our Canadian campuses.”
The students’ vote, despite this pressure and blackmail, showed that Canadian youth are not for war and occupation and can be counted on to take a just stand.
The Israeli aggressors, U.S. President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Harper are justifying war crimes by calling it self-defence. All of it is an attempt to disinform public opinion so as to make sure firm stands against occupation and Israel’s war crimes are ineffective. But this is failing miserably as the peoples of the world rise up and demand an end to the occupation. Israel’s crimes – killings, demolitions, arrests and now ground invasion – show that its sole aim is to smash the resistance. But it has not succeeded. Let’s go all out to make sure it does not succeed.
Long Live the Palestinian Resistance!
End the War Crimes!
End the Occupation!
Source: TML Weekly Information Project, July 19, 2014, No. 24