On Friday Israel launched its latest outburst of violence against Gaza. Over 72 hours at least 44 Palestinians, including 16 children, were killed. More than 300 Palestinians were injured while many more lost their homes, businesses or other property. Children in Gaza have also been psychologically scarred by the bombings and, in another form of collective punishment, Israel closed the 360 km² strip of land to the outside world.
According to the New York Times, “Israel said its strikes were a pre-emptive effort to prevent an imminent attack on Israeli civilians.” In plain language, Israel decided to use violence “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause with the intention of intimidating the public”, which is Canada’s official definition of terror.
In response to Israel’s latest terror campaign, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) tweeted, “over the past 24 hours, Israelis have been bombarded with missile attacks launched from Gaza. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Canadian designated terrorist entity, has put Israelis — and Palestinians — in harms way.” Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre Canada echoed CIJA’s position. They noted, “Tragic that as Shabbat nears, terror has reared its ugly head again in the Middle East. The world must take a stand against Islamic Jihad, a listed terror group in Canada, that’s putting both Israeli and Palestinian civilian lives at risk.”
On Monday CIJA reiterated the terror angle when it announced the ceasefire, noting “In the 3 days of conflict, Gaza-based terror groups targeted Israel civilians with +1,100 missiles, with +200 of these landing in Gaza. Palestinian Islamic Jihad harms both Israeli & Palestinian civilians.” Not one Israeli died in the violence.
Canada’s apartheid lobby is arguing that Israel can terrorize 2.2 million Palestinians living in an open-air prison because some organization with limited means is listed as a terrorist group in Canada. It’s sick, but effective, propaganda. During previous Israeli terror campaigns in Gaza the apartheid lobby justified Israel’s actions on the grounds that Hamas is a listed terrorist organization in Canada.
Over 10 percent of Canada’s terrorist list is made up of organizations headquartered in a long-occupied land representing one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population. Representing much of Palestinian political life, eight of the oppressed nation’s organizations are listed, ranging from the left secular Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to the elected Hamas ‘government’ in Gaza.
A dozen years after the terror list was established the first ever Canadian-based group was added. In 2014 the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) was designated a terrorist organization for engaging in the ghastly act of supporting orphans and a hospital in the Gaza Strip through official (Hamas-controlled) channels.
While Palestinian groups are criminalized, Canada has close ties to the main terrorist organization in historic Palestine. Canada sells weapons to the Israeli military and the two countries’ armed forces work together on various fronts. Additionally, Canadian officials turn a blind eye to illegal recruitment for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while the Canada Revenue Agency takes a soft approach to registered charities that defy its rules by financially assisting the IDF.
Measured by the number maimed or killed, the Israeli army is responsible for far more violence than any Palestinian group (and they are doing so on behalf of a European colonial project). Yet the IDF is not a listed terrorist organization.
Canada’s terrorist list highlights the stark double standard in Ottawa’s treatment of the colonized and colonizer. It enables Israel to terrorize Palestinians in Gaza.