Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why All The Fuss Over Israel?

Recent media reports suggest the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff are making strides to woo Canada's Jewish voters with strong words in support of Israel. The most recent I've seen comes from the Canadian Press under the headline: Liberals, Conservatives battle for Jewish Support in next election. Stephen Harper is widely believed to be stridently pro-Israel, and with good reason. In this Canwest News Service story it says that Conservatives..."acknowledge that many Canadian Jews appreciate Harper's unwavering support for Israel".

Is Canada's Jewish population so significant that the leaders of our two main parties should be falling all over themselves to voice their support for Israel?

According to Statistics Canada back in 2001 Canada's Jewish population wasn't much greater than the Buddhist population. In fact Canadians of the Jewish faith have numbers roughly equal to that of Hindus and Sikhs as well. We sure don't see Harper and Iggy battling it out to see who can be the most pro Tibet to win votes amongst the 300,000 or so Canadians who follow the teachings of the Buddha. You don't hear either of them having much to say about the Punjab either, a cause celebre with our 280,000 or so Sikhs.

There are hot spots all over the world, and Israel is just one of them. According to Israel doesn't even make the list of the top 24 countries with citizens immigrating to Canada. You think Stephen and Mike would have more to say on China, with over 300,000 Chinese citizens coming here to live since 1991. India and the Philippines are the next 2 in terms of immigration levels. When's the last time we saw Ignatieff or Harper doing all they can to attract the Filipino or Indian vote?

In the years leading up to the creation of the Israeli state Zionist groups resorted to terrorist acts to achieve their goal of a Jewish homeland. Now there are Islamic groups using terror tactics to achieve the same goal for a Palestinian state. There's no need to pick sides here, a pox on both their houses. Neither side in this conflict has the moral high ground, they're both guilty of atrocities.

If Harper and Ignatieff are really interested in attracting voters they should go after the almost 5,000,0000 of us who proclaim no religious affiliation.

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