Bahija RéghaïSyndicate content

Bahija Réghaï is a well-known human rights activist, former president of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relatons (NCCAR).

Harper's cynical plays for the 'ethnic' vote

Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad at the opening inauguration of the Baitan Nur Mosque, considered the largest mosque in Canada in 2009. Photo: Itzafineday
What kind of Canada we will wake up to on May 3rd? Will it be a RelSocCon free-market Canada or will Canadians reclaim the country they love -- one which celebrates what citizens share in common.

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Canada deserves a thoughtful and intelligent foreign policy in the Middle East

For almost three weeks, the Egyptian people took peacefully to the streets to change the system that deprived them of their rights and freedoms. Canadians and peoples around the world stood up in solidarity with the people, but not Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Not only was he slow in addressing the uprising but when he finally did, it was to publicly express his support for President Hosni Mubarak, insisting that he wanted "those in power in Egypt to lead change."


'Delegitimization' is the new anti-semitism

In Israelspeak, "delegitimization" is the new anti-semitism -- the latter word having been so misused and trivialized that it is no longer an effective stick against legitimate criticism. The Israeli think-tank REUT (Vision) Institute identified and advised on how to combat the so-called delegitimization campaign. Blinkers seem to be de rigueur for all Israel's foot soldiers, resulting in the blind leading the blind.


Harper's policy on the Middle East: Israel can do no wrong

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has long been hawkish on Israel 's security; even rivalling President Bush in his unconditional support, i.e. " Israel , right or wrong." A staunch proponent of Israel 's right to use lethal force to defend its perceived interests, even preemptively, Harper justified the wars of aggression Israel waged mostly against civilians and their infrastructure in both Lebanon and Gaza . This stand supports exclusive entitlement to security for Israelis, denying the same level of security to others in the region. It also buys into victimhood as a shield to victimize others. This is immoral and unsustainable.


Time to boycott products from illegal Israeli settlements

They are illegal, "a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and ... constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace," said Minister Lawrence Cannon to the Foreign Affairs committee on March 16, 2010. He was referring to the Israeli settlements, colonies for Jews only, many of them built on privately owned Palestinian land.

The settlements have been Israeli policy since 1967, and still are, irrespective of the government of the day.


Al Nakba: Expelled from home and native land but not from history

'Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope'

- Mahmoud Darwish


Photo: flickr/Giuseppe Milo
| August 19, 2014

Gaza: Operation Déjà vu

Photo: flickr/DAVID HOLT

In her speech for the 70th commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto rebellion, the last Ghetto survivor, Chavka Folman Raban, revealed her understanding, from personal experience, of the plight of Gaza and all Palestinians by calling on Israeli youth to rebel against the occupation: 

"It is forbidden for us to rule over and oppress another people," she said. "The most important thing is to achieve peace and an end to the blood cycle. My generation dreamed of peace. I so want to achieve it. You have the power to help. All my hopes are with you." 


Harper's cynical plays for the 'ethnic' vote

Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad at the opening inauguration of the Baitan Nur Mosque, considered the largest mosque in Canada in 2009. Photo: Itzafineday

When the pro-sovereignty movement narrowly lost the Quebec sovereignty referendum, premier Jacques Parizeau, in his concession speech on October 30, 1995, attributed this outcome to "money" and the "ethnic vote." This provoked such a strong reaction that he had to resign as premier the following day.


Policy and prejudice: De-funding Canadian aid projects

Late last year, Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda cut Canada's 30 years of association with non-profit advocacy group, KAIROS, without explanation. When pressed, Oda said that the program didn't meet CIDA's current priorities. Another less pragmatic reason surfaced later when Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney explained to the audience at the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem: "We have articulated and implemented a zero tolerance approach to anti-semitism. What does this mean?


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