Canada’s most elite soldiers have been dispatched to Israel. While it’s unclear if they are assisting the onslaught on Gaza, their deployment highlights close Canadian ties to the genocidal apartheid regime.
Global News has reported that JTF2 were in Israel. The stated reason for the deployment of Canada’s most specialized soldiers is to assist the embassy with security and evacuations. That may be true. But the deployment also reflects Canada-Israel military co-operation and may entail a more direct role in Gaza.
Would Israel accept special forces from South Africa or Chile? How about Russia? Or Syria?
Extremely unlikely. At minimum the JTF2 deployment reveals close military, as well as diplomatic and political, ties between the two countries.
After Hamas’ October 7 attack the Canadian Air Force flew 30 Israeli reservists back into the country. With flights evacuating Canadians from Tel Aviv to Athens, military aircraft transported Israeli reservists in the other direction.
Ten days ago, Canadian Forces Intelligence Command endorsed Israel’s highly suspect claim the IDF wasn’t responsible for killing hundreds at the al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza. Echoing US and Israeli claims, Canada’s military intelligence suggested an errant Palestinian rocket was the cause of the destruction. But a subsequent New York Times investigation rejected an important part of that claim while previous Al Jazeera and Britain’s channel 4 reports have questioned Israel’s denial.
Through the Five Eyes, Canadian military intelligence has close ties to its Israeli counterparts. The Department of National Defence run Communications Security Establishment (CSE) has long gathered intelligence on Palestinians for Israel. According to files released by Edward Snowden, CSE spied on Israel’s enemies and shared the intelligence with that country’s SIGINT National Unit. “Palestinians” was a “specific intelligence topic” of a CSE, US NSA and British GCH project shared with their Israeli counterpart.
Alongside relations with the Five Eyes intelligence apparatus, Israel has a Strategic Partnership with NATO. Canada and Israel both have military attachés in each other’s countries and top military officials regularly visit each other. The Israeli Air Force trains in Canada and Canada has a “border management and security” agreement with Israel, even though the two countries do not share a border. Additionally, the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Fund has pumped tens of millions of dollars into joint research ventures between the countries’ military companies.
Through Operation Proteus Canadian troops in the West Bank have been regularly coordinating with their Israeli counterparts for over a decade. Since 2007 about 20 Canadian troops have been training Palestinian Authority security forces to act as the subcontractor of Israel’s occupation as part of a mission led by the Office of the United States Security Coordinator.
A bevy of Canadian groups, including some registered charities, assist the IDF in different ways. Israel and affiliated groups have long recruited Canadians in possible violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act. In 1947/48 hundreds of Canadians fought to establish Israel and ethnically cleanse Palestine. Israel’s initial Air Force was led by a Canadian and dominated by former World War II Canadian pilots.
Back to the present day, the JTF2 deployment to Israel may go beyond assisting evacuation efforts and embassy security. Since the fighting erupted three weeks ago the US has dispatched an aircraft carrier and about a dozen vessels with 15,000 soldiers to the region. US forces, including a three-star general, are advising the IDF on its fighting strategy. According to the New York Times, US special forces are helping locate Hamas hostages. Assistant secretary of defense for special operations, Christopher P. Maier, said their main task is to “identify hostages” but he also noted that “we’re actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things.”
JTF2 works closely with their US counterparts so they may be assisting its special forces with regards to hostages or other military planning. As part of their longer term plan, Israeli and US officials have discussed “granting temporaryoversight to Gaza to countries from the region, backed by troops from the US, UK, Germany and France”, reported Bloomberg. JTF2 could be preparing for that possibility.
From Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya to Haiti Canadian special forces have deployed on many politically controversial missions. What the secretive forces are doing in Israel remains unclear, but they certainly aren’t assisting the Palestinians being slaughtered in Gaza.