Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Illegal Israeli Settlements" and the Right of Return

With Israel pounding Hamas back into the wormholes they crawled out of, the far-left's opposition to Israel -- which they themselves insist is merely support of the Palestinian people -- has put them in quite the moral, ethical and ideological quandary.

They insist that they oppose the oppression of the Palestinian people. Yet they remain utterly silent on the true oppressor of the Palestinian people: Hamas. They insist that it's justified for Hamas to attack Israel; they ignore the fact that Hamas invariably strikes first.

But even they have no idea just how deep their quandary goes.

The far-left fervently believe in anti-colonialism. Anti-colonialism can most simply be described as follows: it is ethically and morally wrong for any country or nation to conquer another's lands and then drive them out by force. Any people subjected to such an offense should be afforded the right to return to their lands. It doesn't matter how long ago this happened.

This is the anti-colonial twist on the right of return. As it appears in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

As a general principle of international law, this is generally considered to apply largely to individuals. The anti-colonial left sees it rather differently: they believe that it applies to entire nations.

I don't necessarily disagree. (More on that shortly.)

Where I do disagree with them is on the hypocritical manner in which they insist upon applying this particular principle. Simply put, that it applies only to groups to whom they favour, and so it does not apply to the Israelis.

If you take the anti-colonial left at their word, if there's anyone this principle, as they interpret it, does apply to it's the Israelis. They were forced out of their lands in Biblical times via ethnic cleansing and since the Israelis returned to their land in the late 1940s their Arab neighbours continually attempted to ethnically cleanse the land once again -- this time via genocide. When that failed each Arab country dropped away and in time made their own peace with Israel. They utterly abandoned the Palestinians, whom they themselves had previously oppressed. (No Arab objected when the Egyptians or even the Ottomans occupied Palestinian lands.)

Now, Hamas -- whose brutal oppression of the Palestinian people seems to find so little place in the minds of the anti-colonial left -- attempts to ethnically cleanse the land of the Israelis, despite that it is simply not in their power to do so. When Israel defends itself, as is its right, Palestinian civilians are among the collateral damage. (No one is happy about this, aside from Hamas, who are ecstatic about it.)

It's not Hamas' right to ethnically cleanse Israel. Nor is it their right to deny Israelis their right of return, and especially not if Israelis return as they did -- with the intention to share the land with its then-occupiers.

Palestinian leadership, for their part, did not share those intentions. They opposed mass Jewish immigration to the region, and insisted they would kill the Israelis if they returned. Fearing such bloodshed, the British (who took over administration of the region from the Ottmans after World War I) attempted to impede the return of the Israelis. But even with the British attempting to do the heavy lifting, the Palestinian leaders of the day failed in their bid to keep their lands "pure."

So instead of resigning themselves to sharing these lands instead they retreated into slums and waged war against those who all along would have much preferred to be their peaceful neighbours.

The perverse thing about it is that most Israelis would happily share their lands still. Arab Israelis, including those of Palestinian descent, have expressed an astonishing level of appreciation for the rights -- inherent as a matter of natural law -- protected by their Israeli citizenship. Nearly 90% declare they'd rather be an Israeli citizen than a citizen of any other country in the world, Arab countries included.

Palestinians could share in that satisfaction, and they wouldn't even have to become Israeli citizens to do it. All they'd have to do is elect a government committed to restoring and protecting their freedoms, and living in a negotiated peace with Israel.

The sooner the so-called anti-colonial left find it in themselves to stop rhetorically propping up the foolish war-mongers of Hamas and the sooner they recognize that Israel's right to exist is rooted in the Israeli's right of return, the easier it will be for the Israelis and Palestinians to make a lasting peace.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Charter Cult & the Nanaimo Debacle

Ezra Levant really made short work of the jabronis on Nanaimo City Council. But though the battle is won, no one should think the war is over. It's far from it.

By now this is a fairly well-travelled story: Nanaimo city council was upset that a local Christian group had rented out the Vancouver Island Convention Centre to host a webcast of a Christian leadership conference emanating from Atlanta. The conference was sponsored by Chik-Fil-A, whose COO apparently doesn't believe in same-sex marriage.

My disagreement with Dan Cathy (Chik-Fil-A's COO) aside, anyone attempting to boycott or sanction the company is essentially a corny motherfucker. And apparently being overrun by corny motherfuckers, Nanaimo city council voted 7-1 to not only pull the rug out from under the local organizers, but to preemptively ban any organization deemed to be "divisive."

"Divisive" is a new buzzword adopted by corny motherfuckers the world over. It's perhaps the most insipid jargon-ization of a formerly-meaningful word the self-appointed police of political correctness have ever adopted. Jesus, in the '90s Nintendo vs Sega was considered "divisive."

But shining like a beacon of corniness through the corniness of it all was councillor George Anderson. Of all the councillors to vote in favour of the ban-Christians motion he perhaps stood out as the most corny of all the corny motherfuckers. He allowed himself an almost self-congratulatory smirk as he lectured the rest of council about how the Charter allowed the council to ban the conference from using their facility because "hate speech is not allowed."

So you'd almost think that Anderson is really, really into the rights protected by the Charter.

That is until you actually start reading it. You get no further than section 2(a), freedom of conscience and religion, when you start thinking this guy just isn't on the level. Then you keep reading. Section 2(b), freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication. Or section 2(c) freedom of peaceful assembly. Or section 2(d): freedom of association.

So in other words: in Canada Dan Cathy actually has the right to not believe in same-sex marriage. He has the right to express that belief. The Nanaimo organizers of the leadership conference have the right to assemble in order to hear such opinions expressed, even if such opinions were going to be expressed at the conference. (Word is they weren't.) To top it off, the Nanaimo organizers actually have the right to associate, directly or indirectly, with Dan Cathy.

So in voting for this infamous motion, George Anderson -- who smugly invoked the Charter -- managed to trample every single right contained in section two of the Charter. All of them: bar none.

Earlier this year, Canada's left complained to anyone who would listen that the current federal government chose to allow the anniversary of the Charter coming into power to pass unmarked. These are the same people who, like Anderson, have tolerated and advocated for all sorts of abuses of Charter rights, including some -- such as the activities of Canada's oppressive quasi-judicial Human Rights Tribunals -- that cannot be justified in a free or democratic society.

So it turns out that a lot of Canadians who revere the Charter actually do not revere the rights the Charter purports to protect. And perhaps that's just as well: via section 33 of the Charter -- the infamous notwithstanding clause -- any right contained in the Charter can be summarily ignored by any government in Canada willing to do. The Charter is practically self-abrogating. For rights-trampling Charter cultists like George Anderson that's really convenient.

It's also ass-backwards. The Charter is really no stronger than the will of a tyrannical government -- such as, say, that of Pauline Marois, who declared she would invoke section 33 to protect her government's oppressive Quebec Values Charter from Charter scrutiny. (Thank God that was never passed.) So perhaps its just as well that people for whom, for the purpose of their political agenda, those freedoms are terribly inconvenient.

It's time for a new narrative on human rights in Canada. So long as, in the name of the Charter, the rights allegedly guaranteed by the Charter -- which are actually the basis of natural law -- can be summarily stripped away, then the Charter is not a good enough piece of human rights-protecting legislation.

In short: the Charter is not good enough for Canada, and it's the excesses of the Charter cultists that have shown us that. So thank you, George Anderson. You may be a corny motherfucker, and if the citizens of Nanaimo have any sense whatsoever they'll toss you out of their city council at their earliest opportunity. But you've managed to remind us just how hollow a document the Charter really is. You've reminded us that it's time to chop the Charter and rebuild it from the ground up, properly.

But I do wonder what you'll smirk about in future.