Canadian government is hypocritical for not condemning Israeli apartheid 

Photo by: Taylor Brandon

Canadian politicians have put forward bold rhetoric, sanctions and funding in support of Ukraine’s struggle against Russia’s colonial actions, making the Canadian government nothing short of hypocritical for not doing the same regarding colonial Israel. 

At a Ukraine rally in Toronto, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made headlines when he lambasted a heckler in the crowd much to the applause of the crowd and the media: “Hey sir, I think Ukrainians can teach you a little more about freedom and liberty so why don’t you settle down.” 

Canada has been a financial supporter of Ukraine since the invasion took place little over a year ago, with $1 billion committed in military aid to the country alongside sanctions on over 1,600 individuals and entities affiliated with Russia. 

Sanctions are no doubt needed in this context, and military aid can be helpful, but Canada, like many Western nations, seems to see the funding and unquestionable support of Ukraine as a surrogate for peace negotiations which has already led to edifying examples of war fever

What’s especially hypocritical, though, is that this same energy of respecting a nation’s sovereignty doesn’t carry to analogous cases of illegitimate colonial violence in the world. 

Since the 1967 war, international law has recognized the annexation of Gaza and the West Bank in Israel as an illegal occupation. Despite this, Canada continues to build strategic trade agreements with the Israeli government, including an annual payment of $1 million towards industrial R&D in Israel, even as violence against the Palestinian population has ramped up in the past few months under the recently elected far-right Israeli government. With this in mind, critics are right to wonder if this is just a case of settler-colonial powers recognizing one another. 

Additionally, Canada continues to cut petrol-based bilateral import deals with Saudi Arabia that run into the multiple billions of dollars, despite their continued attacks on the internationally recognized Yemeni government, not to mention the mass-executions taking place within the oil monarchy’s borders.

Simply put, Canada cares more about supporting nations that are European, NATO-affiliated, free-market oriented or have key resources. 

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