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October 15, 2012

Voice of the people

The Canadian Charger

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Foreign policy error

Miles Tompkins, Antigonish NS

Benjamin Netanyahu’s grade school UN presentation accompanied by our prime minister’s cereal box PR award in New York was nothing short of shameful. We’re being used like rented mules. The important “line” in question is the “green line.” Iran getting nuclear weapons is not the issue; if Iran wants them, it will get them. The issue is whether or not we can have relations with Iran (a nation far more pragmatic than nuclear Pakistan) or whether we “cut and run” as Stephen Harper did when the heat rises in the kitchen.

Time will show that Harper’s unconditional alignment with Likudists will be the greatest foreign policy error in Canadian history.

I suggest we study Rabbi Elmer Berger’s prophetic words: “After the Palestinians, the next greatest victims of Zionism are the Jews” — and now Canadians.

Dialogue of the deaf

Scott Burbidge, Port Williams NS

Re: “As leaders tackles world’s troubles, where is Harper?” (Sept. 27). Canada was one of the founding states of the United Nations and one of its strongest supporters from its inception in 1945, promoting the goals and principles expressed in the charter through a host of initiatives, including support for multilateral nuclear disarmament, the creation of the International Criminal Court and a balanced approach to the Palestinian question.

The behaviour of the Canadian delegation at this year’s assembly is in stark contrast with our proud past achievements. Our prime minister is a no-show, and inevitably our delegation walked out during the address by the president of Iran.

Is this all the Harper government has to offer, at a time when it is obvious that efforts to isolate Iran are ineffective and self-defeating, that the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty is in shambles, and that there is no peace process to settle the Palestinian question? One can only hope that our minister of Foreign Affairs will have something constructive to offer when he addresses the assembly on Oct. 1.

In the midst of this dialogue of the deaf, the only ray of hope so far has been the considered and responsible speech by the newly elected president of Egypt, who called for moderation and restraint by all parties, a just and lasting settlement to the Palestinian issue, and for mutual respect among all religions, in contrast to President Barack Obama’s absolutist defence of freedom of speech.

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M. Elmasry

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