In a frantic and unexpectedly hysterical decision made on September 7, the Canadian government suspended all its diplomatic ties with Iran, closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered the Iranian diplomats to leave the Canadian soil in 5 days.
The Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird made an unbelievably offensive statement, calling Iran “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.” He cited reasons such as the 2011 attack of Iranian students on the British embassy in Tehran, Iran’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its alleged failure in making confidence with regards to its nuclear program as the basis for breaking off the diplomatic relations with Iran.
Aside from the unconventionality of the Canadian government’s move, Mr. Baird’s statement was an outright and unmistakable insult to the Iranian people and their glorious culture and peaceful civilization.
Nobody can bring up any example of an aggressive action by Iran against the other nations throughout the past century. In the contemporary era, Iran has never invaded nor attacked any country; on the contrary, it was the subject of unjust and imposed wars by imperial powers. In 1941, the Soviet, British and Commonwealth armed forces invaded Iran in an attempt to undermine the Germans’ growing influence in Iran and their dominance over Iran’s vast oil reserves. Some 4 decades later, under the pressure from the United States and its European allies, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran and killed more than 500,000 Iranians with the final objective of nipping the newborn Iranian Revolution in the bud. Although both wars failed to realize their objectives, they made the Iranian people feel the bitter taste of subjugation and suppression. So, as a victim of imperialism and warmongering policies of the superpowers, it’s a vapid joke to claim that Iran poses the most significant threat to global peace and security.
But with the unilateral suspension of diplomatic ties between Tehran and Ottawa by the Canadian government, nobody is now happier than the Israeli regime’s officials. “I deeply appreciate the position and conviction that was taken by Prime Minister Harper and the government of Canada,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with CBC radio. “I think everyone in Israel appreciates its forthright stand against a regime that brutalizes its own people, that colludes in the murder of tens of thousands in Syria, that denies the Holocaust and calls for the eradication of the state of Israel while pursuing an illicit program for developing nuclear weapons,” he added.
The Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding role in the 1956 Kafr Qasim massacre which resulted in the killing of 6 women, 23 children aged 8-17 and a total of 49 people and expressed his thanksgiving to the Nobel Foundation with his direct involvement in the 1996 Qana massacre in Lebanon also couldn’t hide his happiness at the Canada’s move: “Canada has proven once again that morals come before pragmatism; Canada has demonstrated that policy must reflect principles and values,” he said in a statement. “I thank my colleague Governor-General David Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the whole nation of Canada for taking a stance based on the highest morals and hope that other nations will see Canada as a moral role model,” Peres continued.
Iranian officials called the Canadian government’s decision motivated by pressure from the Israeli lobby, branding it servitude to the Zionists who want to divert the international attention from the atrocities they’re committing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“The current government of Canada under the leadership of Mr. Stephen Harper is known for extreme policies in the domain of foreign policy,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. “The hostile behavior of the current racist government in Canada in reality follows the policies dictated by the Zionists and the British.” And of course the Iranian official is right. The Israeli lobby in Canada is extremely influential and powerful and the Canadian statesmen have been so subservient and obedient to the Israeli regime that one sometimes thinks of Canada as a satellite state of Israel.
Perhaps the deep-rooted and inextricable relationship between Israel and Canada is best described by Yves Engler in his spectacular 2010 book “Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.” The well-written, well-researched book portrays how the Canadian government helped with the formation of the Israeli state in 1948 and what enormous supports Canada has offered to Israel over the past 64 years.
There are several Israeli and Jewish organizations operating in Canada whose ultimate goal is to secure Israel’s interests in the decisions the Canadian government makes, especially with regards to the foreign policy issues. One of these organizations was Canada-Israel Committee, funded by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), the advocacy arm of United Israel Appeal Canada (UIAC). This group was dissolved in 2011, but its responsibilities were assumed by its parent organization, CIJA. According to the Jewish Federations of Canada website, some $4 million is annually allocated to the Israeli advocacy organizations in Canada. However, Peyton V. Lyon, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Carleton University revealed that Canada-Israel Committee’s budget prior to its extinction was about $11 million.
The Jewish Federations of Canada encompasses several subsidiary organizations each of which work to promote the Israeli values in the Canadian society, strengthen the diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel and empower the Jewish community of Canada, especially by taking over the newspapers, TV and radio stations in the country. Some of these organizations each of which receives a remarkable funding include Canada Israel Experience (CIE), Regional Jewish Communities of Ontario (RJCO), Bequest and Endowment Fund and Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC).
According to Zalman Amit, the Emeritus Professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canadian Jewish communities donate some $75 million to Israel annually.
It’s demonstrable that Canada’s Middle East policy is highly influenced by the Jewish/Israeli lobby. “Who makes Canada’s Mid-East policy? A ranking of influence by a panel of foreign affairs officials placed the Canadian Jewish Community first at 5.85 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,” says Prof. Peyton V. Lyon whom I quoted earlier in the article.
And the Canadian officials have never been embarrassed to show their unconditional support of Israel. On the 61st anniversary of the creation of Israel, Canadian premier Stephen Harper said, “We count ourselves among Israel’s closest partners. Since its founding in 1948, Canada has supported Israel and its right to live in peace and security with its neighbors. We value this relationship and look forward to continued friendship and collaboration.”
What seems clear is that Israel is now extremely thrilled that Canada has suspended its diplomatic ties with Iran. It sees this move in the context of a broader plan to isolate Iran internationally, and one can hardly doubt that Israel was involved in the decision the Canadian government made out of the blue. However, these attempts to isolate Iran have already failed. On August 31, 120 world countries of the Non-Aligned Movement gathering in Tehran threw weight behind Iran’s nuclear program and expressed their opposition to the unilateral sanctions of the United States and its European allies against Iran. Iran is not a country that can be isolated this easily.