compared to 5.40 for each of the Prime Minister and the Department of External Affairs. The Canadian/Arab Community at 1.80 was ranked sixteenth out of the eighteen estimated influence inputs. (2)
“Is there,” asked Gerald Caplan, another prominent Jew, “any act of Israel that will shame the leaders of Canadian Jewry into saying enough is enough?” (7)
Lobbying, moreover, is more acceptable in the American political culture and can be more open and hard hitting. A reputation for wealth, ruthlessness and success is in fact an asset whereas in Canada lobbies operate more discreetly and soft- pedal their influence.
Sydney Spivak, chairman of the Canadian Lobby’s 1998 policy conference, threatened a similar outcome when Joe Clark, then Secretary of State for External Affairs, criticized Israel’s suppression of Palestinian rights.
“All the Jews in America gathered to defeat Percy. And the American politicians got the message.” (8)
A comparable Canadian case was that of Dr. Frank Epp, an outstanding scholar and President of Waterloo University. In 1979, Epp ran as a Liberal in what was considered the safe Liberal seat in Waterloo. However, his desire for a more balanced approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict was falsely depicted by the Lobby as “anti-Semitic” ~ a charge the Lobby frequently uses to discredit critics of Israeli government policies.
In Epp’s case, the attack culminated in a full-page advertisement on election eve. In a constituency containing several thousand Jews, Epp was defeated by a mere 155 votes.
The Lobby certainly commands far greater wealth than opposing entities, and far easier access through its extensive business connections to members of the cabinet and other senior decision-makers.
Libby Davies, the NDP member for Vancouver-East, says MP’s live in what she calls “a climate of fear” on issues dealing with Israel-Palestine. (13)
“We were generally identified along with the United States as the most pro-Israel delegation in the UN … most of our delegates felt that this was not in the best Canadian interest.” (17)
One of Trudeau’s senior cabinet ministers at the time has speculated that this resulted from a call from “Montreal” threatening to cut the substantial Jewish contribution to the Liberal’s national fund. The minister added that he had never seen Trudeau so agitated. (19)
This was taken to imply that they were more interested in peace than Israel. The conference was outraged and responded with booing, a partial walkout and the singing of the Israeli national anthem. Loud applause greeted the suggestion from the chair that revenge would come at the next elections.
Samuel Bronfman, at the time president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, stated that “Canada has played the most important role in partitioning Palestine.” (24)
Israel, Asper once told a Toronto audience, “was an isolated island of democracy… in a sea of terrorism, corruption, dictatorship and human enslavement. Palestinian leaders … in their deadly campaign to destroy Israel … are aiming their bombs at innocent civilians or blowing up planes over Lockerbie…” (26)
“We do not run in our newspaper op-ed pieces that express criticism of Israel and what it is doing in the Middle East.” (28)
Stanfield became a strong supporter of Palestinian rights, insisting that “when the Israelis do something wrong, we should be prepared to say so.” (38)
ED Noor: If you have the time watch this rare Canadian documentary that never made it to the air (progamming changed at the last hour ~ I wonder who would be behind that!) and frequently disappears from the internet. It is an investigative report into Canada Park and its Palestinian origins. An amazing amount of coverups especially in Israel.
“If Canada is to play a constructive role, it has to re- establish its credentials as a fair and balanced interpreter of the developments that affect both sides.” (40)