Canada's defence of illegal occupation

ON JANUARY 26, one day after the Palestinian election, Prime Minister designate Stephen Harper took pains to carry on the agenda of the Martin Liberals to meddle in the internal affairs of the Palestinian people and defend Israel's armed occupation.

"The new Conservative government wants clear evidence before recognizing the Palestinian group's democratic credentials," he declared.

The Canadian government wants it both ways. On the one hand, it deployed a Canadian Observation Mission to "monitor" the Palestinian election as part of its escalating political-diplomatic-military-economic interference in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

On the other hand, when the mission said in its preliminary report that "We expect the new legislative council to be substantially more representative of the current will of Palestinian voters than the one it will replace," Harper took up the imperialist jargon of George W. Bush to vent himself in an unbridled manner: "But for a nation to be truly democratic that nation must renounce any use of terrorism."

Taking up the Bush refrain "you are either with us, or with the terrorists," Harper's comments reveal the very essence of Canada's aims in Palestine and the Middle East, Haiti and Afghanistan, and elsewhere -- to impose the "democracy" suitable to the interests of the United States and look after the considerable Canadian monopoly interests in particular.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), which is the largest national, non-profit and independent voice of Canadian Muslims, urged Harper to respect the results of the Palestinian democratic elections and adopt a balanced policy on the Middle East.

"Palestinians are to be congratulated for holding their recent elections in a free, fair, and democratic manner," CIC national president Dr. Mohamed Elmasry said in a statement. The CIC warned that not recognizing Hamas would be "a serious setback to the peace movement and serve only to escalate the violence." The CIC recalled that the Irish Republican Army's political wing proved itself competent to govern without continuing armed violence; likewise, several former Israeli prime ministers were once labelled terrorists.

The Canada Palestine Association from Halifax also immediately issued an open letter to Harper demanding that Canada recognize the decision of the Palestinian electorate, as did the Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace (Halifax) in a later statement.

For the information of readers, Shunpiking Online is posting an editorial commentary by editor Tony Seed, an item on the Canadian Observation Mission, the Canada Palestine Association letter, the statement of Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace and the views of Hamas leaders and others.

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