Canada’s junior minister of foreign affairs has made a point of pointing fingers lately. For that matter, so has Canada, which was the only country on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council that voted against a motion condemning Israel for its recent attacks on the Gaza Strip.
The vote before the Geneva-based body shows the Stephen Harper government has abandoned a more even-handed approach to the Middle East in favour of unalloyed support of Israel, reads an article in today’s Toronto Star.
Peter Kent, a former anchor with CBC Newsworld and foreign correspondent for NBC, seems to be settling right into his role as Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon’s sidekick in an increasingly reactionary Ottawa. His outspoken condemnation of Hamas has rippled through the news as Israel continues its attacks on the Gaza Strip.
“The government of Canada has been very clear since the beginning of this crisis that it believes that the Hamas rocketing was responsible for the initial development of this crisis and for the continuing deepening humanitarian tragedy,” Kent told the CBC little more than a week after Israel began Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
Since the attacks on Gaza began on December 27th, more than 900 Palestinians have been killed and at least 25,000 internally displaced. The number of Israeli dead stands at 13.
But those statistics don’t seem to matter for Kent, who went so far as to blame Hamas for Israel’s recent attack on a United Nations school, where 42 people -including many children- were killed.
The Globe and Mail reported that:
Canada’s junior foreign minister, Peter Kent, said that despite sketchy details on the school strike, it is clear that Hamas “bears the full responsibility for the deepening humanitarian tragedy.
Kent’s snap judgment on Israel’s massacre of Palestinians at the UN school prompted a blogger at Macleans magazine to surmise:
(Oddly enough, in his previous profession, publicly arriving at such a conclusion with an explicit lack of “complete details” would’ve been considered irresponsible.)
Right. So now that Kent’s the second in command of Canada’s foreign policy, he’s got a free pass for speculating. That’s a frightening thought. It’s also fuel for the fire here at Foreign Correspondence, Canada’s only blog dedicated exclusively to the exploits of Peter Kent.