Canada’s Ceasefire Motion Is Much Ado About Nothing

Canada was thoroughly embarrassed last fall when a former Nazi was applauded in Parliament. So why are Liberals now shaking hands with a notorious Holocaust denier? Or openly praising a […]
Published on March 25, 2024

Canada was thoroughly embarrassed last fall when a former Nazi was applauded in Parliament.

So why are Liberals now shaking hands with a notorious Holocaust denier?

Or openly praising a Hamas zealot who joked about baking a Jewish baby with baking powder, as MP Heather McPherson did when she introduced the Gaza ceasefire motion?

These are some of the questions we can ask after watching the heated House of Commons debate that took place on March 19, 2024. In what looked more like an amateur debating contest, many speakers appeared to be trying to outdo one another in how pro-Hamas they could be.

The motion was opposed by every Conservative, as well as by three Liberals. One of them, Anthony Housefather, is now contemplating his future with the Liberal Party. Here is how he described the motion that was passed:

“On Monday the NDP has a motion that it pitches as a call for a ceasefire. It does so without demanding Hamas surrender & no longer rule Gaza. It also calls for a litany of other things hostile to Israel. Changing foreign policy to reward a terrorist attack. Not smart”.

And he is exactly right.

Every Canadian wants the war to stop. No one wants to see innocent Palestinians die. However, that will require that the hostages be returned, and Hamas to lay down its arms. That has been Canada’s policy from the beginning of the Oct 7, 2023 conflict. Defence Minister Bill Blair was absolutely clear about Canada’s position, when he said this about Israel, shortly after the Oct 7 attack:

“I think they have a right to defend themselves against that terrorist threat. And quite frankly, Hamas has to be eliminated as a threat not just to Israel but to the world. They are a terrorist organization.”

That is the official position of Canada, and it has never changed. But now, in this non-binding – and largely meaningless – motion the Liberals who supported it have condemned Israel instead of properly putting the blame on Hamas –  the terrorist group that caused the single worst pogrom since the Holocaust

It is extremely important to remember in all of this verbiage that Hamas was, and is, a designated terrorist organization in Canada, and the rest of the Free World. It is also extremely important to remember that Hamas is a proxy of Iran.

However, all of the words wasted on this debate are essentially hot air. Canada’s official position has not changed – Israel has the right to defend itself. To do that, Hamas must be eliminated.

Not that a great deal would change even if Canada’s official position on Israel was altered. Canada was a leader on the world stage at one time. Those days are long gone. The motion is for a domestic audience. It shows the Liberals trying to have it both ways. They are trying to appease their more radical fringe, while not getting Canadian Jews and other Canadians who support Israel not too mad at their obvious hypocrisy. Actual government policy calls for the elimination of Hamas, but Liberals don’t want to say so.

We see Joe Biden and his Democrats doing the same thing – strongly criticizing Israel and its elected leader while the official American position is that Israel has a right to defend itself – which includes eliminating Hamas as a threat. Biden made his staunch support for Israel very clear after the Oct 7 massacre. Despite his equivocation since that time, official American policy towards Israel has not changed. Biden, and Democrats, like Chuck Schumer, are playing to their audiences in sensitive electoral areas, like Michigan with their recent anti-Israel rhetoric. But those are performances for their local audience, as opposed to official policy changes.

What is really important is the U.S. Security Council veto. As long as America continues to veto demands for an immediate ceasefire Israel can continue its legitimate, methodical campaign to eliminate Hamas in Gaza. To date it has taken extraordinary precautions to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties, in spite of Hamas’ shocking use of human sacrifice – namely innocent Palestinians – to achieve its goals.

It doesn’t appear that a ceasefire motion that will include terms demanded by the U.S., such as an unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’s barbaric Oct 7 attack, and an immediate release of the hostages, will happen any time soon.

Unless that changes the heated political speeches and increasingly violent protests we see and hear everywhere are just noise. Israel is determined to finish what it has started.

The Oct 7 has attack profoundly shaken Israel to its core. Except for fringe voices, those Israelis who had once hoped that Hamas would eventually morph into a peaceful neighbor have come to the painful realization that it is – in crude terms – “kill or be killed”. They are not going to stop until Hamas is eliminated as an existential threat to their survival. Any nation would do the same if faced with a threat to their very survival.

So, even if the United States should withdraw its Security Council veto the Israelis would probably continue until the job is done – for the simple reason that they have no choice. They are determined to get the job done. The future of Netanyahu will be determined only after the war is over.

The heated words, street demonstrations and politically-charged ceasefire motions. will be around for a while, but they are largely much ado about nothing.What is not much ado about nothing is Israel’s certain knowledge that if they don’t destroy Hamas, it will destroy them.


Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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