The recent election of a Liberal government means Canada no longer matters, “like Swaziland or Madagascar,” according to Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent and analyst Gil Hoffman.
“While [Stephen] Harper was in power, Canada mattered. He made Canada matter,” said Hoffman. “Now it will be different.”
Of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Hoffman said, “There will be a learning curve. It will take him a few years to realize that what he is doing is wrong. In the meantime, good luck.”
Hoffman was speaking, November 21, at Young Israel of Ottawa. His topic was “Peace, Politics and Palestinian Violence: An Insider’s Look at the Mayhem in the Middle East,” and he used the opportunity to offer pointed comments on a number of issues.
Hoffman said 85 per cent of Israelis were against the Iran nuclear deal.
“It is amazing to see 85 per cent of Israelis unite on anything – except falafel. These people hope they are wrong. They hope Obama is right, although they don’t think so.”
Hoffman pointed out the Iran nuclear deal has yet to be passed by the Iranian parliament.
“The ayatollah has not even approved the deal. In fact, he has given another nine conditions for the deal, which renders it null and void.”
Hoffman noted that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power “in part because he outlawed any opposition,” adding “I wish someone would have given that idea to Stephen Harper.”
According to Hoffman, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has come to the conclusion that it is in his best interest to attack Israel.
“He was elected in 2005 for a four-year term and is now in his 11th year of the four-year term. He is 80, a chain smoker and his time is limited.”
Saying Abbas had many opportunities to make peace with Israel, “notably in 2008 when Ehud Olmert offered 100 per cent of Judea and Samaria; offered to take in Palestinian refugees; and offered to divide Jerusalem,” Hoffman said that, by his refusals, Abbas has let his people down and is continuing to let his people down.
Hoffman said that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to stay in power, he must quickly find a way to stop the latest wave of terrorist attacks in the streets of Israel, a job he said will be difficult, much different from fighting traditional battles.
He remains optimistic about Israel’s future, however.
“They are going to continue to fail no matter what they try, and we are going to continue to thrive,” he said.
Asked what people can do to help Israel, Hoffman said “Helping Israel is ‘easy’: E – education; A – advocacy; S – solidarity; and Y – your money/your prayers.” He urged the audience to become involved in pro-Israel activities and groups.