The war between Israel and Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization in this country that happens to govern Gaza, has prompted many groups and individuals to come out of the woodwork demanding the eradication of Israel and often, by extension, the slaughter of Jews.
Words like colonialists and accusations of Israel being an apartheid state can be heard on Canadian streets, shouted from university and college campuses, and propagated on social media.
Most people have no idea and don’t understand what’s really going on and that the division and the strife in that land has existed for ages, long before the creation of the State of Israel, said Parry Sound—Muskoka Member of Parliament Scott Aitchison. “Fast forward to the establishment of the State of Israel and it was immediately attacked by its Arab neighbours, by people who fundamentally do not believe it has a right to exist.”
Aitchison recently visited Israel and the West Bank and we asked him what his impression was of his short visit, a visit he said he’d like to repeat soon. “From what I can tell is this: Israel is a fairly modern state that is economically, socially, and culturally incredibly viable and it’s actually a remarkably inclusive society,” he said. People don’t understand that Israel wants peace and that this latest situation with Hamas is with a terrorist organization that does not care about the lives of Palestinians. They are backed by Iran, which supports terrorist-related activities. “War is a horrible thing but terrorism is worse,” said Aitchison.
He blamed the destruction and death in Gaza squarely on Hamas. “Hamas has used Gaza hospitals, people’s homes, and innocent civilians to launch their attacks and they will use civilians as human shields because they don’t care about human life…,” he added.
As for repeated calls from the international community for a ceasefire, “How do you have a ceasefire with a terrorist organization,” he questioned. Aitchison agreed with the concept of humanitarian pauses in order to get children and people unrelated to Hamas out. “And I think that effort should continue but people that are calling for a ceasefire don’t know what they’re asking for. They don’t know what they’re calling for. Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated completely and totally to killing Jews and destroying the Israeli State. You cannot have a ceasefire with an organization like that.”
Parry Sound—Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison at the Western Wall during his visit to Israel in July.
He spoke of the geopolitical conflicts in the area, particularly during the Cold War as superpowers attempted to gain supremacy in the Middle East, and said Israel was often used as a pawn. “The conflict in Israel is centuries old and I just wish everybody could just step back and just say, you know what, this was an arid piece of dirt before Israel was established and started to apply technology and innovation and entrepreneurship to this land. You can tell where the border is between Israel and its neighbours, it’s where the green ends. Israel is slowly making peace with its nighbours. It is making peace with water, it’s amazing. They’re pumping water into Jordan, you know, they’re helping,” he said. He referred to countries in the region that refuse to make peace with Israel as failed states run by terrorist organizations.
“So what do we expect? Self-respecting nations that actually try to serve their people like Jordan, like Egypt, I mean they’ve made peace.” Aitchison said during his visit to the West Bank he met a number of Palestinian leaders and individuals some are profoundly against Israel, while others have made peace with Israel and just want to live their lives. “Many of them have great jobs and a great life, they just want peace.”
Aitchison also said he does not understand the rise in antisemitism here at home. “I fundamentally do not understand it. It makes no sense to me but it is clear that it is rooted in centuries-old hatred. It certainly has no place in Canada.”
He said it is important for Canadians to remember that regardless of their background, ethnicity, nationality, or whatever part of the world they came from, they are Canadians now. “And that hatred, from wherever you may have been from, does not belong here. It has no place here. It has no place anywhere in the world but if you’re a Canadian, you’re a Canadian!”
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