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Who Calls the Shots? An inquiry into the effect of Jewish and Arab lobbies on Canadian Middle East policy
By Brent Sasley
Literary Review of Canada, May 2011
In their advocacy work, both Arab and Jewish communities refer to Canadian values and interests; they argue that their preferences fit with Canadian identity. Canadian Jewish groups assert that Canadian values such as democracy and negotiation should encourage policies more favorable to Israel, and that Canadian identity naturally predisposes a closer relationship with the Middle East’s only genuine democracy. The Canadian Arab community argues that Canadian values such as the rule of law and human rights should prompt a more critical policy toward Israel: that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians precludes a close Canada-Israel relationship.
The notion that any ethnic community should be suspect because it maintains a connection to kin in an ancestral homeland at the expense of loyalty to Canada ignores the fact that these communities do not see a clash between their dual identities. Indeed, of all the Jewish and Arab community leaders I have interviewed in four years of research, not one indicated a preference for being Jewish or Arab over Canadian, and when they appeared distressed by the direction of Canadian policy, much of it was because they viewed it as weakening the specialness of Canada.
Name of Publication: Literary Review of Canada
Volume/Issue: May 2011
Copyright Holder: Author
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Sasley, Brent. Who Calls the Shots? An inquiry into the effect of Jewish and Arab lobbies on Canadian Middle East policy. Literary Review of Canada. Literary Review of Canada. May 2011: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=11944
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