Al Jazeera has become my ‘bible’, supplanting The New Yorker. Supplant means supersede and replace. Synonyms are replace, displace, supersede, take the place of, take over from, substitute for, undermine, override. Al Jazeera has taken over from superseded and overridden the publication which is pro Israel.
But also Al Jazeera has, what one would call, a worldly viewpoint, it does not think that the sun rises and sets in New York and Washington.
Here is a prime example of that. On May 22, Andrew Mitrovica did an Opinion piece: Will Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau Finally Keep His Word? The Opinion begins: A few years ago Trudeau called for healing Palestinian children. Today, he appears to have forgotten his own words”.
Justin Trudeau was once Canada’s little darling, was worshipped, particularly when compared to former President Trump. But he is/was and will always be, what I call, an empty suit. What is an empty suit? “A person with the appearance of authority, importance, or significance, but who, in reality, is completely ineffectual, incompetent, or unremarkable” Justin may be handsome and have better hair than Trump, but that is about it. His father Pierre Trudeau was in-power when I left Canada, and Justin was there when I returned, but there is no comparison between the two of the Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was a magnificent leader, but not his son. Pierre was a bachelor most of his life but married a woman much younger who hailed from Vancouver. Margaret did kick over the traces – was later diagnosed as being bipolar and having an inconsistent manic-depressive mother is not fun. So Justin should, in a way, be pitied. I did get in trouble with some of my Canadian friends over my extensive dislike of Trudeau’s lack of leadership but I held my ground and Justin is doing everything possible to make me look like I knew what was talking about. It is a bit difficult to keep up with Canadian news (and even existence) when one lives in these United States, however my 2017-2019 hiatus in the land of my birth did help.
Mitrovica is a Toronto-based writer – Qatar must think that Canada is important enough to warrant a Canadian based writer. The New Yorker does not and news of Canada on their pages is as rare as hen’s teeth. What does that expression mean? Exceptionally rare, as in On a rainy night, taxis are as scarce as hen’s teeth. Since hens have no teeth, this term in effect says that something is so scarce as to be nonexistent. [ Mid-1800s]. The phrase was originally a US colloquialism, dating from the mid 19th century.
It is a heart wrenching piece, it begins: These days, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish feels like a forgotten man. From his Toronto home, he has watched with an exhausting mixture of frustration, grief and anger as Israel’s incessant persecution of Palestinians in occupied Palestine briefly pierced, once again, the complacent consciousness of Western political and media elites only after an eruption of violence. And he has waited for those same complacent Western political and media elites – who once fêted the Palestinian-Canadian physician, teacher, humanitarian and, perhaps most importantly, father with flattery, awards and honours – to heed his pleas to stop Israel’s sinister designs and heal Palestine’s grievous wounds. But few are returning his calls.The TV hosts and newspaper writers who once told poignant stories about how Dr Abuelaish somehow transformed the Israeli army’s killing of three of his daughters and a niece during the 2009 invasion of Gaza into a life-affirming message of hope and reconciliation, have mostly abandoned him. The politicians in Canada and abroad who once dubbed him the “Martin Luther King of the Middle East” and pinned baubles on Dr Abuelaish’s lapel in recognition of his work to vanquish hate by erecting bridges built on understanding and amity have abandoned him too. Still, he has tried, largely in vain, to be heard amid the cacophonous terror and familiar horrors exacted on occupied Palestine by Israel over 11 unrelenting days.
On May 11, Dr Abuelaish issued a press release addressed to “government leaders and people around the world” which read, in part: “We can no longer accept silence in the face of atrocities against unarmed civilians…It is time to end the bloodshed; it is time to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”No one replied. Earlier, Dr Abuelaish had approached the opinion page editors at The Globe and Mail and The Guardian newspapers, hoping they would publish his admonition that the world must longer remain “deaf and mute” to the historic injustices visited upon imprisoned Palestinians by Israel.
Again, no one replied.“They do not want to join me in telling the truth,” Dr Abuelaish told me in an interview. “It is sad and hurtful because silence in times of injustice is an injustice. But I will never give up.”
The history of Trudeau’s initial support of the Palestinian cause is explored. ‘At the time, part of Trudeau’s forceful rhetorical approval of Heal100Kids was, no doubt, calculated to establish his caring credentials in contrast to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s shameful refusal to meet with Dr Abuelaish and denial of visas to broken Palestinian children and their families to come to Canada.The former drama teacher is adept at playing the part of a kind, considerate leader and father.
It turns out that Trudeau’s endorsement of Heal100Kids was as cynical as it was hollow.”
To try to understand the motive behind the prime minister’s egregious volte-face I contacted Trudeau’s press secretary, Alex Wellstead, earlier this week requesting an interview to discuss Dr Abuelaish and Heal100Kids. This was Wellstead’s dismal, instructive answer: “I am unfamiliar with this initiative. Could you share more information and where this intersects with the federal government…”Simply put: Wellstead, and, by extension, the prime minister, have forgotten all about Dr Abuelaish and Heal100Kids.”
Trudeau will meet with no one advocating support for the Palestines, including a member of hid own Liberal party.
Mitrovica’s concluding paragraph absolutely sizzles.
“Later, Trudeau’s press secretary declined to be interviewed. “Have a good day,” he wrote in an email. I can think of no more graphic indictment of this factitious prime minister and his government than their all too predictable amnesia about a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee’s herculean efforts to help Palestinian children recover – in mind, body and spirit – from the trauma of war.
Trudeau and company may want to forget, but the figures are appalling.”
What a graphic indictment, calling him a factitious prime minister. Mitrovica is a wordsmith, indeed he is. Synonyms of factitious: Bogus. fake, not genuine, specious, false, counterfeit, fraudulent, spurious, trumped-up, sham, mock, feigned, affected, pretended, contrived, unnatural, fabricated, manufactured, engineered; artificial, imitation, simulated, ersatz; phoney, pseudo, pretend; ANTONYMS genuine.
I am not sure which ones describe Trudeau best but fabricated, simulated, sham, pseudo and phoney are most accurate and rather fun.
Perhaps the Globe and Mail and the Guardian would mot print Abuelaish’s pleas but Al Jazeera did and now alexismcbride.com has put her words in. I am read throughout the world, according to my trusty statistics and some men of great power and influence do read me – or did at one time.
On the home front my world fell apart. The remote on my television stopped working. What did I do? I unplugged the television and was rewarded with silence. This morning, turned on my trusty Apple and was rewarded with a black screen. But I kept a good attitude, deciding that Allah was telling hinting that my television viewing was excessive. Initially decided that Allah was giving me a day off of writing and instructing me to do other things to take care of myself so I made a list and crossed out each task as was completed. Then and only then, was a call paced to Apple Support. A most kind and helpful man restored the computer’s functioning and guess where he was located? In Manitoba – that is Canada, between Saskatchewan and Ontario. Small world.
As usual thinking ahead to next blog topic. Fascinating article in the current magazine edition of The New Yorker written by William Finnegan addresses the issue: Is Horse Racing Too Cruel to Continue. Hmmmmm. Scanned the article, so much I did not know, changes my mind about a lot of things.
The two cartoons are taken from the magazine. One has particular appeal as my birthday looms and it is most appropriate. The other one funny as I am planning to begin a podcast.