A report in the Globe and Mail gives us all fair warning that the Trudeau Liberals plan to operate an unprincipled foreign policy … especially in the volatile Middle East.
The report says that, “It is in this highly volatile region that the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must chart some of its most important policies.”
Of course some Middle East issues are already “on the front burner:”
- What to do about Da’esh/ISIL, beyond the half measures promised in the campaign which have, already, caused us to be left out of important international fora? and
- There is the issue of Light Armoured Vehicle sales to Saudi Arabia which the recent Conservative government, brokered but which is, now, bringing grief to the new, freshly minted Liberal government…
Some of my friends suggest that both the Liberals and the NDP were told, by their labour union paymasters and, in the Liberal case, by Premier Wynne, to support the deal because it means jobs. (By the way, I’m on record as supporting the deal, despite my oft recorded distaste for the House of Saud.)
Of course, Conservative policy towards the Middle East was seen by many, in the commentariat, in academe and within the civil service, as being narrow, shallow and one sided in its support for Israel, a point borne out by the comments in the article. One might have thought that would all change, quickly, but, no, it seems not. The Liberal Party of Canada has a higher priority, according to “a senior Liberal:
“First we want to make sure we’ve got the Jewish vote back,” he said.
Some may argue that the Conservatives were pandering to the Jewish vote, too …
… but I would argue that it is something of a politically ecumenical effort because all parties are fairly assiduous at courting the well educated, politically engaged Jewish community in Canada …
But, at least we cannot fault our Liberal friends for being honest about their real intentions. Our new, Liberal, foreign policy will, as it has done since circa 1968, rest on one, solid principle: what’s in it for us, electorally?
I believe that Conservatives were right to offer fairly unstinting, across the board support to Israel. It is ~ and we need to emphasize this ~ the sole democracy (and it is a vibrant, liberal democracy) too, in the entire region and it is surrounded by declared enemies who, for the most part, are oligarchies or worse. There is a good reason we welcome so many Muslim immigrant and refugees: they come to Canada seeking what they cannot find in most of the Middle East, outside of Israel: freedom, democracy and security. Not everything Israel does is right, but then not everything Australia or Belgium or Chile does are right, either, but those countries are not subjected to anything like the same degree of criticism as is applied to Israel ~ and that’s the second reasons it deserves our support. Supporting Israel is, in fact, promoting freedom and democracy for the Arab world, too. If Israel can have a free and democratic society so can its neighbours … if they want to fight for it. Conservatives should support Israel on principle and we should not be afraid to say that we do.