Canadians have no right to critique Israel
I am writing in response to the recent Israel-focused United Church event. I am an individual proud to instil in my children the essential nature of peaceful solutions to our problems, the critical imperative to avoid war, violence, and human suffering at all costs.
And yet, I am acutely aware of the hypocrisy behind Canadians — of any stripe — pushing an agenda rooted in critiquing Israel because of its colonization of anothers’ lands. The United Church is working hard to overcome its history of having participated fully in the destruction of Indigenous lives, families, and futures, via its role in the residential schools. Repenting for what one has participated in in such recent history does not endow one with the moral high ground displayed here.
Canadians across the board continue to benefit from our Indigenous people’s stolen lands, our governments’ continued broken promises; and Indigenous people in our country continue to be impacted by ongoing systemic racism, including right here in our own community. Our safety is not threatened by Indigenous people in our country. We have no excuse for the ongoing segregation, occupation of their lands, exclusion of their voices. And yet we continue on this course. Our domestic situation is something to boycott, to sanction, to condemn, to encourage divestment from — to attend to to the utmost of our abilities.
Remember the old adage: “clean your own house first”. We Canadians do not have a clean conscience, not historically, and not in the present time. We are in a position of urgently needing to clean up our own act, not to undermine the value and legitimacy of Israel, a nation under constant existential threat, whose citizens wake up knowing each day may be their last. Only when we are no longer active colonizers ourselves are we in a moral position to work on solving the problems of nations other than our own.