By Richard Silverstein– Tikun Olam
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government seems to be the only one possibly in the entire world that unabashedly adores Israel’s current Likud government. It’s a slobbery political love affair embarrassing to behold. Not only does Harper support Israeli policy, he represses any hint of official Canadian interest in Palestinians.
In fact, there are many moments I’m sure when Bibi Netanyahu wishes he could replace one of his neighboring hostile states with Canada so that at least he’d have a single soul-mate in the region. I’m thinking particularly about the tongue-lashing administered by Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, who marvelled at the hypocrisy of the Mideast’s leading state sponsor of terrorism heading up an anti-terror march in Paris.
Israel repeatedly exploits Canadian intelligence (perhaps with its own approval) in the pursuit of its murderous plots around the region and world. One of the first instances was when Israeli assassins used fake Canadian passports to enter Jordan, where they came within a whisker of succeeding in assassinating Hamas’ Khaled Meshal (he survived through the alertness of a Jordanian doctor who gave the victim an anti-opiod antidote).
After the Mossad assassinated Mohammed al-Mabouh in Dubai, one of its agents used a fake identity provided to him by Canadian intelligence in order to enter Canada, where he presumably still lives.
Israel and Canada have signed secret agreements regarding their defense and intelligence relationship. Canadian ministers have even said publicly that their country considers an attack on Israel to be an attack on Canada. This unofficially raises Israel to the level of a member of NATO since such a defense pledge is only incumbent on member states.
Israel’s first defense attache in Ottawa, Eden Attias, was a member of the infamous IDF Mavi Marmara 200, those suspected of war crimes in the killing of passengers on the relief vessel. He enjoyed tremendous success and made the rounds of the Christian evangelical community drumming up support for his nation’s military policies. Attias ended his tour last May with this rousing encomium touting the increased weapons trade and “security cooperation” (read, covert intelligence dealings) during his term.
You’ll remember that Harper last year took a huge Canadian delegation to visit Israel where the Canadian and Israeli prime ministers celebrated the consummation of their bromance with a raging mutual admiration society. It even included a special concert as Harper’s tribute to Bibi. Among Harper’s entourage were right-wing extremist members of the Canadian Jewish community including one who is a member of the Jewish Defense League.
To top all this off, IDF chief Benny Gantz traveled to Ottawa in early January and met with his Canadian counterpart, Gen. Tom Lawson. Canada’s Jewish press fondly dubbed it Gantz’s ‘farewell tour’ as he leaves office in a few months. There have been many similar meetings of defense ministers and chiefs of staff on both sides. Apparently, the Canadian armed forces hold Israel in great admiration for its successes fighting Islamist terror. Doubtless, the IDF is teaching Canada how to staunch the ‘epidemic’ of Islamism raging across Canada. Yes, before someone fires up their PC to remind us there was a terror attack in Canada in the past few months, what’s important is that this has been a total anomaly and not a pattern. Unlike European countries with large Muslim populations, Canada’s is quite small and Muslims, as they are in the U.S., are quite integrated into Canadian society.
But Israeli military and intelligence agencies are expert at ginning up Islamist conspiracies whether real or imagined, and rumor has it that cooperation between the Mossad and Canadian intelligence is more robust than ever. Considering Israel’s cavalier abuse of Canadian sovereignty in past escapades, it’s a wonder that Canada’s approach seems to be so forgiving. One must ask what benefit Canada finds in the relationship in order to overlook so many insults.
The two generals also, no doubt, toasted Canada’s use of IAI Heron drones in Afghanistan and talked about upgrading them. Israel is also upgrading Canada’s fleet of Halifax-class warships. That will involve a sizable contract for the Israeli defense industry, which is music to Israel’s ears.