Yves EnglerSyndicate content

Yves Engler is the author of the recently released The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy and other books. The book is available at blackbook.foreignpolicy.ca.

Quebec's Maple Spring shows grassroots movements can force social and environmental change

Photo: ForgetTheBox.net

Usually it takes social movements years, even decades, to significantly affect public policy. The movement unleashed by Quebec students last spring has had a much quicker impact.

Beyond politicizing a generation, it has spurred a more socially and ecologically progressive political climate. It is within this context that Pauline Marois' government has adopted more progressive reforms in its first days in office than any other provincial government in recent Canadian history. 



How pro-Israel is Harper's government?

Today, the Palestinian Authority is pursuing a state on 22 per cent of their historic homeland. The least we can ask of our government is to support this move at the UN.

Related rabble.ca story:

Harper's 16 to 29 billion reasons for sending fighter jets to Libya

Would Stephen Harper attack Libya simply to justify spending tens of billions of dollars on F-35 fighter jets? Perhaps. But, add on doing it for major Canadian investors, reinforcing his "principled" foreign policy rhetoric and reasserting western control over a region in flux, and you pretty much have the range of reasons why a half dozen CF-18s four other military aircraft and naval frigate are currently engaged in combat 10,000 km away from Canadian soil.


A national Holocaust monument is welcome, but the Conservative ideology behind it is not

Last week, the House of Commons unanimously passed a private member's bill to establish a national Holocaust monument. While it is a good thing to commemorate the suffering of Jews in Europe, it is important to point out that uncritical support for Israel is part of the backdrop.

Edmonton Conservative MP Tim Uppal, who introduced the private member's bill, explained last year: "After I had decided on [accepting Minister Peter Kent's proposal to put forward An Act to Establish a National Holocaust Monument], I ended up going to Israel with the Canada Israel Committee in July. Being there, and learning what I did about the Holocaust and Israel, just made me feel more reassured that this was the right thing to do and get this bill passed."


Progressive Canadians must challenge Jewish National Fund's charitable status‎

Every Canadian who opposes racism should be embarrassed, and J.S. Woodsworth, the Winnipeg-based founder of Canada's Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which eventually became the NDP, must be turning in his grave.

The NDP premier of Manitoba, Greg Selinger, and two of his ministers recently visited Israel. Among other things, the official delegation strengthened the longtime "progressive" government's ties to the Jewish National Fund (JNF).



Harper's UN debacle shows how his disrespect for foreign affairs was noticed

In a stunning international rebuke, Stephen Harper's government lost its bid for a UN Security Council seat last week. The vote in New York was the world's response to a Canadian foreign policy designed to please the most reactionary, short-sighted sectors of the Conservative Party's base -- evangelical Christian Zionists, extreme right-wing Jews, Islamophobes, the military-industrial-academic-complex, mining and oil executives and old Cold-Warriors.


Supporters of justice and peace should get behind Canada's Gaza flotilla ship

A spectre is haunting the Harper government and its pro-Israel allies. It's been dubbed CBG and it stands for Canadian Boat to Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian activists recently began raising $300,000 to send a Canadian-registered ship to help break Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza. The plan is to fill the ship with various supplies, a couple dozen prominent activists and to return with Palestinian exports.


The term 'NGO' is a misnomer

They're called NGOs -- non-governmental organizations -- but the description is misleading at best, or an outright lie generated by intelligence agencies at worst.

In fact, almost all development NGOs receive most of their funding from government and in return follow government policies and priorities. While this was always true, it has become easier to see with Harper's Conservative government, which lacks the cleverness and subtlety of the Liberals who at least funded some "oppositional" activity to allow NGOs a veneer of independence.



Haitians see Canada as 'The occupiers'

Three weeks ago, the front page of Haiti Liberté showed a picture of President René Préval next to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and two Canadian soldiers. Part of the caption below read, "Préval under the surveillance of the occupying forces."

While Canada's dominant media rarely describe this country's role in Haiti critically, it's common in Haiti's left-wing weeklies. Since Ottawa helped overthrow Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government in February 2004, Haiti Liberté and Haiti Progrès have described Canada as an "occupying force", "coup supporter" or "imperialist" at least a hundred times.


Ottawa tilts towards Israel in a nonsensical way

Retired diplomat Robert Fowler made a splash in March when he voiced the widely held view that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's slavish support for Israel was driven by ethnic politics. Fowler told a Liberal Party conference on Canadian foreign policy that "the scramble to lock up the Jewish vote in Canada meant selling out our widely admired and long-established reputation for fairness and justice."


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