How and why was Canada instrumental in Israel’s history? Has that distorted Canada’s own development as an independent nation? Excused Israel’s? The Canada Israel Nexus is a comparative political history of these two settler nations, their colonial past, their relations with the indigenous peoples on whose territories they imposed their rule, and what that tells us about where both are headed.
The Zionist project dominates the news with good reason. Jews are the most energetic force in western society despite their small numbers, and Jewish influence is now embodied in a Jewish-dominated state, which is both feared and respected, while headed toward being an international pariah. Its ‘best friend’ is Canada, not just in former Conservative prime minister Harper’s words, but from 1948 on, when a youthful Liberal, then UN ambassador and future prime minister, Lester Pearson, pushed through the plan for a separate Jewish state, leading to Israel’s creation—and a Nobel Peace Prize for Pearson, for his efforts related to the Suez crisis that followed.
The battle for justice in the Middle East involves treachery, terrorism, exile, apostasy, and, yes, conspiracy. It is the stuff of legend, of which Canada, Israel, and their relationship is a crucial part. The conflict of interests and rights between the colonizer and the colonized is central to this narrative, as is the relationship between Jews and the state in history, and how that relationship was transformed by the creation of a Jewish state.
The history of Israel-Palestine is like an accelerated version of Canadian-US history: the intifadas of the settler-dominated indigenous peoples, the duplicity of the British, the development of the same colonial perfidy by the states it spawned, the parallel techniques of dispossession, and how they became the supporters of terrorism, both state and non-state, in the 21st century.
Comparatively, the fate of the Palestinians looks both bleaker yet more hopeful than that of natives in Canada. Palestinians learn from Canadians (native and colonial) and seek support there, just as native peoples in Canada find inspiration in the struggle of Palestinians, and how to deal with the colonial master. There are vilified heroes in this story, both Jewish and non-Jewish.