In the instant that Hamas became the legitimate government of Palestine, Israel did what Israel should have done. That, of course, was to take immediate steps to cease all financial aid to the entity which has vowed to erase it from the map. What happened next, however, is quite amazing and for some, extremely surprising.
In most instances where the world is needed by many to stand up in a united voice against tyranny and terrorism, those who need the help are usually sorely disappointed. By the time that the people who are responsible for making decisions in times of crisis usually get around to making them, it is usually a case of too little, too late. There are matters of political discourse to attend to, attempts to obtain a consensus, and of course the oldest standby; holding one’s finger out into the wind to see which way the winds of public opinion are blowing.
Those things all take time and more often than not have one simple purpose, and that is to avoid being the first one to make a decision. During the time that it takes to reach a consensus or merely a decision on how to proceed, or perhaps to weigh the pros and cons of any particular choice, most world leaders simply hope to, in the end, follow somebody else’s lead. After all, if following somebody else’s lead proves disastrous, they can simply pass the buck.
Once in a while, something happens to upset the careful balance of the apathy cart that we all seem content to push. Out of the blue, without warning, somebody stands up and becomes leader. I am proud to say that for the first time in a very long time, Canada is that leader. Being the first nation to decide to cut financial aid to the barbaric Hamas organization gives Canada a noble image and I for one believe that for the first time in a very long time, Canada is once again a country that many other nations will look up to and will gladly follow.
Barely a week ago, Canada’s Foreign Affairs minister, Peter MacKay, announced that Canada would not support a terrorist organization and was therefore suspending all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority which is now in the grips of Hamas. They were harsh words for any political figure and harsher still for a minister still cutting his political teeth. Mr. MacKay was, of course, absolutely correct, and I am happy to say that I am not the only one who thinks so.
The European Union and the United States have just announced that they, too, will be cutting all aid to Hamas until it meets the three conditions that Canada has stated that it must see to begin to once again aid the Palestinian State. Those conditions are the recognition of Israel’s right to exist and its statehood, the honoring of all previous agreements between the Authority and Israel, and the cessation of all hostilities and calls for violence.
It is good to see Canada once again at the forefront of world issues instead of somewhere in the crowd; lost, obscure, and unimportant. I, for one, am proud of the new stance that our government has adopted. It is encouraging and hopeful, and it is the right road to be on. Once again, we have real leadership.