“Islamophobia motion” in Canada stirs controversy

There’s a great to-do in Canada about a motion (“M-103”, which is not a law but a recommendation) about discrimination, one that singles out “Islamophobia” as deserving special mention. The bill was introduced last December by the Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, a Pakistani-Canadian, and is being discussed now in the House of Commons. Here it is:

Systemic racism and religious discrimination

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This bill has been criticized for three reasons, with most of the criticism coming from Conservatives. (For a spectrum of opinion, go here, here, here, and here.) Do remember, though, that this is a motion and doesn’t have the force of law.

1.) It doesn’t define “Islamophobia,” and thus leaves open the possibility that criticism of religion itself might be criminalized.

I think this criticism is valid, for, as always, the term “Islamophobia” conflates bigotry against Muslims with dislike of the faith itself. I fall into the latter class but not, I hope, the former. But the latter form is not systemic racism and religious discrimination.  Further, Muslims are not under any classification a “race”, so it’s not racism. Even in the nefarious construal, it is bigotry against believers, not members of a race or even an ethnic group.  If you construe “Islamophobia” as “criticism of Islam” or even “fear of Islam” (which I possess as well), then the motion could be seen as an attempt to quash criticism of Islam as a whole.  Even if I thought it was worthwhile singling out bigotry and discrimination against Muslims in particular, while not mentioning other faiths (see point #2), it would be better to either define “Islamophobia” or, better yet, replace it with a more accurate term. So far, though, Khalid has resisted any changes to her motion.

2.) While mentioning other religions in general, M-103 singles out Islam twice while not identifying other faiths.  

This criticism also has some validity. While “hate crimes” against Muslims, like the murder of 6 people in a Quebec mosque, are on the rise, and are reprehensible, if they’re going to condemn hate crimes against races and religion, they should just say that, and not specify particular faiths?

It’s telling that Islam is singled out for special mention, for while it may be a well-intentioned way to reassure frightened Muslims, some of the support of this motion comes from Muslims who want, I think, to inoculate their faith itself against criticism. And that intention leads to what happened with the Danish cartoons and Charlie Hebdo.

Further, most of the “hate crimes” against believers in Canada are not anti-Muslim, but anti-Semitic. Below are the latest data on “hate crimes” in Canada from a 2013 report by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, a government operation:


Now the number of hate crimes against Muslims in those two years was 45, and against Jews 242.  But that disparity is even greater if you take into account that there are about 1,044,000 Muslims in Canada and only 385,000 Jews. That means that in those years the per capita hate crime rate against Muslims was 0.0043%, and against Jews 0.063%—a rate of anti-Semitic hate crimes fifteen times higher. Were there motions singling out anti-Semitism? I have no idea.  Nor do I really care. I object to the idea of “hate crimes” in general, because what should be punished is the action, not the biases behind it, and determining whether bias is involved is often tricky. Note the case of Craig Hicks, who killed three young Muslims in North Carolina two years ago. The police found no evidence that Hicks had an animus against Muslims in general, or these Muslims because of their faith; nevertheless, the Muslim community and many others continue to insist that it was a hate crime driven by “Islamophobia”.

If you’re going to condemn bigotry against members of all religions, ethnicities, genders, and sexes, then just say that without singling out any particular group. For such singling out gives succor to members of that group without, in this case, providing any solace to Jews or other believers.

I recognize that the statistics may be different now, and Canada can and certainly should collect them to monitor what’s happening in their country, but I still don’t think that the concept of a “hate crime” has much valid use in a democracy.

3.) While the motion is couched in terms of discrimination and bigotry, it could act to chill freedom of speech. 

This is possible, but I don’t see it as likely. It is not, after all, a law, and Canada’s freedom of speech laws will remain the same.

But I must add that Canada still has a “blasphemous libel law” on the books, one that lacks a very definition of what that libel is! It also has laws against “hate speech” and “hate propaganda”, which have been used by those who have, for instance, either denied or justified the Holocaust. Those would not have been crimes in the U.S., nor, I think, should they be. If you censor or intimidate those who deny or justify the Holocaust, then there can be no public discussion that will give evidence for the existence of the Holocaust or the reasons why Jews should not be murdered en masse.

So I’m not too worried about the effect of this motion on freedom of speech in Canada. What Canada needs to do, though, is clean up its “hate speech” laws, get rid of its law against blasphemous libel, and ditch the special category of “hate crimes”.  As for singling out Islam for special protection, I don’t favor that, for it plays into the hands of Islamists whose goal is to immunize their own faith while leaving others open to criticism.

h/t: Diana MacPherson


  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Canada has a tabled petition to get rid of the blasphemy law. I signed that e-petition.

    • Martin Levin
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I did as well, but signatures are now closed and the number is very disappointing, largely, I suspect, because almost no one knew of the petition.

  2. Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Even the term ‘discrimination’ is problematic because it can so easily be used in a number of contexts.

    Critics of religion that give Islam special attention are being discriminating in identifying an ideology which deserves criticism that other religions do not. When such critics also express critical concerns about other religions, but less so, that doesn’t mean they are discriminating in the other sense, of unfairly treating Muslims (though some could do).

    In a critical discriminatory sense I’d say many Muslims in their overt sensitivity to criticism of their religion will conflate the two. And M-103 appears to conflate the two.

    • Zach
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Christopher Hitchens always said the problem with bigots is that they don’t discriminate. That is, when they group people into categories, they forget they’re individuals and fail to treat them as such.

      So yes, there are positive and negative versions of discrimination. The conflation of the two causes much confusion (especially on the left).

  3. Eric Grobler
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Besides being Islamophobic I am also Anthrophobic – I only feel safe amoung cats.

    • eric
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink


      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 4:45 am | Permalink


  4. eric
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Do remember, though, that this is a motion and doesn’t have the force of law.

    Probably not relevant in this case, since the motion is calling for the Government to do a study. If the motion passes, they’ll do the study and if it doesn’t pass, they won’t.

    It would be kinda amusing for the committee to do the study and then report back to Ms. Khalid that the Canadian government needs to do more to protect blacks, gays, and…Jews. 🙂

  5. Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The danger of ‘Islamophobia’ is that liberals have to accept Islamic terms of reference for what that term means – which, as you indicate, can mean any criticism of Islam.

    The current euphemism for sexual repression is ‘modesty’. We are seeing it increasingly employed in the mainstream press.

    For instance:

    Modest wear is making a groundbreaking appearance in contemporary fashion – and it’s about time

    Debenhams is soon to become the first major UK department store to sell hijabs as part of a new range of Muslim clothing. London-based clothing brand Aab, which is behind the line, describes itself as selling ‘contemporary modestwear’ for women


    There’s no examination of the definition of ‘modesty’ here – it is presented as self-evidently a virtue.

    This is an Islamic value presented as a mainstream liberal one – and which, by implication, paints those who do not conform as ‘immodest’.

    • darrelle
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Yes. This has become a primary tactic. The age old propaganda tactic of claiming the exact opposite of reality and packaging it very nicely. Plenty of people will accept it. Black is really white, don’t you know?

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Quotation from the article posted in comment #5:

        “There is no doubt that we are seeing more demure looks in today’s industry as the hijab and modest wear trend enter popular culture.”

        The use of the words “demure” and “modest” with regard to women and how they dress is most disturbing. Oxford dictionary defines demure as “quiet, reserved; modest”. Kinda the same thing as saying women should know their place. Next step? Women should stay in the house and only go out with the permission or accompaniment of a male relative?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      This has always been one of my main issues with the hijab – calling it modest and the implication that non-wearers are therefore immodest and not deserving of being treated with respect.

      That takes us to clothing being used as a justification for abusing women.

      And, can a Muslim man therefore use “immodest clothing” as a defence for a sexual assault/rape charge?

      • Craw
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Google “rape, cats, raw meat, Australia, imam”

        • somer
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          Most media give only a snippet of the whole story which is even worse. For the whole sermon see “The mufti uncut” translated from the original recording by someone from the Special Broadcasting Service (i.e. official multicultural channel)


          • somer
            Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

            This is the one I was particularly looking for, part of the same sermon beginning

            “Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast?
            “Where will they end up? In hell. And not part-time. For eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.”


            The 65 year sentence referred to was actually 55 years quickly changed to 25 years on appeal – to Bilal Skaf – leader of a rape gang that targetted young non Muslim women and girls in Sydney’s western suburbs. They were all completely unrepentant and supported by relatives in court – Skafs home was also full of weapons. His sentence was severe but was much the heaviest and he was the gang leader.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        And of course, it also suggests that if covering your hair is modest, then not covering your hair is immodest or whorish and who needs all this baggage around hair?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha and my pun was probably subconscious with “baggage”.

      • nicky
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Muslim men however (many of them at least), are very immodest. Carrying a placard reading “death to those who mock Islam”, can one think of something more immodest?

      • Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Yes! It should be repeated at every opportunity that everyone who praises veiled women for their modesty is by this implying that unveiled women are sluts.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          Good call!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Sexual puritanism makes for strange bedfellows — as it has with the religious right and sex-negative feminists.

      • somer
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        the difference is that in trad religion its about forcing chastity and (usually also) obedience in a relationship to a man, sometimes in feminism its about the right to not be harrassed into a relationship through expectation of constantly being in a sexual partnership.

    • eric
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Funny, I didn’t hear anything about modesty becoming a trend in men’s fashion.

      I guess that’s just coincidence.

    • Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      That depends on what the Standing Committee does. (That’s the problem with stipulative definitions, of course.)

  6. Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I believe a similar motion was passed to do with anti-Semitism in 2015.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Do you know what motion that is? I couldn’t find it anywhere and I’d like to see the language of it if there was such a motion. I did find that there were members of parliament who had self organized to study anti-semitism but that is it.

      • Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        I couldn’t find it, either. If one exists, and singles out the Jews, I’d object to that, too. All religions should be equally protected under law.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          And what is even more interesting, in this case, is that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada has special consideration for protecting minority rights. That covers Jews and Muslims (also atheists), so this whole thing is redundant. Sure, maybe you want to have a study done but does that really need a motion given that other MPs self organized to study anti-semitism.

        • nicky
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          I’d say no religion should be protected by law. It’s followers yes, but not religion itself. But then I guess that is what you meant.

      • Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Diane, here’s the link within the government’s website:


        There are a couple of links to do with anti-Semitism motions. One might be the right one. If not here’s an email address; mailto:infonet@parl.gc.ca

        Perhaps you got this far and I’m not telling you anything new.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          The first link is broken, the second one is generic anti-hate laws, the third one is this one which was to combat the BDS movement in 2016. The rest of the documents just mentions anti-semitism inside them for whatever reason so I still can’t find the 2015 motion. Perhaps people are thinking of the one I linked to above which was about the anti-Israel movement of BDS.

      • Kelly
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Here’s a link to info on that anti-semitism motion:

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          It’s weird. I can find he mentions it on the blog but no other trace of the motion.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            At least it says clearly that criticism of Israel is not anti-semitism.

  7. Bruce
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with the points you have made with respect to this motion and to the use of the term Islamophobia. I have also signed the petition Diana MacPherson refers to. There was an additional petition against this motion but I believe it did not receive enough signatures. Possibly because it was a motion rather than a bill, people may have been less concerned. In addition there is, as you say, a lot of confusion surrounding the term Islamophobia.

    The murders at the mosque shocked everyone in Canada. For many who have not been as close participants in the conversation it makes matters seem much more cut and dry than they really are.

    I think it is another example of how religion muddies the waters. Because religion can be diverse and rigid at one and the same time, it is nearly impossible to define it clearly. This resistance to classification in terms of practices and values moves through all arguments and criticisms, and when arriving at terms like Islamophobia, is predictably confounding. I would suggest that this term is as useless to its proponents as it is to its detractors. But since it is used by apologists and directed st those who criticize the beliefs, it becomes more effective in advancing their views that the critics are somehow guilty of something – even if it is not entirely clear what that is.

    As you say, those who have concerns about religion in general and Islamism specifically, are not to be lumped in with those who commit acts against individuals whether physical or verbal.

    This horrible act was the result of one man who seems to have been influenced by right wing groups and individuals.

    Your point about antisemitism is a good one. In a book on the history of Montreal there are images of posters which could be seen in the Laurentian region. I don’t recall the title. My parents remembered them as well.

    (Google “anti semitism in 1950’s Quebec” in images)

    All of this makes it much more difficult to criticize without being seen as bigoted or hateful, and pushes concerns about these beliefs out of the spotlight.

  8. shadowofadoubt616
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi all, as a Canadian I’ll weigh in on this one.

    Firstly as our host noted, it is only a motion, which does not carry the weight of law as yet, however motions are often the first step to bills which do become law. This makes it slightly scary and not because of the motion on its own.

    The original post makes reference to “Canada’s free speech laws”, however it should be noted Canada does not actually have free speech protection. We have a Charter of rights and freedoms which guarantees freedom of speech as a default state, however unlike the first amendment to the constitution this can be (and frequently is) overwritten by other law. Canada has a “Human rights council” which is essentially a censor board which can fine and potentially imprison individuals for anything it decides is hate speech as it is. This is why Canadians tend to be a little edgy when it comes to things like this as people have been fined upwards of $10000 and threatened with imprisonment (under the guise of being held in contempt for refusing to pay the fine) for offensive speech before.

    I won’t post links to trigger a spam filter but there is a great post on popehat regarding European (which the Canadian “freedom of speech” is based upon) free speech and what i protected and what isn’t.

    • somer
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile this sort of thing goes unchecked
      “Canadian Muslim preacher Imam Sheharyar Shaikh suggests Muslims who leave Islam should be killed.”

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    My spidey-sense always goes off when I hear things like “community-centered approach.” I am always suspicious that this is code for “not individual rights-based.”

  10. Craw
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Singling out Islam is intended to imply that “Islamaphobia” is a particularly pernicious problem.

    Hooking one thing to a bunch of platitudes is an old trick that should be resisted.
    Let’s consider other cases where we can hitch the “Islamaphobia” wagon to a platitude train. “This house condemns beating old ladies, polluting rivers, poisoning cats, and Islamaphobia”. Who can support any of those things? Yet such a resolution would be an abuse, and should be opposed.

    I am less sanguine that Coyne this won’t chill speech. We have these damnable “Human Rights Tribunals”, which have enforced censorship, and might cite such a resolution. Canada does not have the kind of 1st amendment jurispridence the USA does.

  11. Kelly
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I agree that a major barrier to free speech in Canada is our blasphemy laws and the way in which the Human Rights tribunal has been used to try and limit free speech. The Canadian Islamic Congress for example had Mark Steyn who was writing for Macleans magazine tied up in the tribunal for two years over his article, “the future belongs to Islam”. A recent protest in Toronto outside a mosque with a whopping 12 people reported to be holding signs saying things like “No Islam”and “Stop Sharia” led to police investigating them for possibly committing a hate crime, according to several media reports. I have no idea if these people were bigots or if they were protesting due to some apparent comments made my imams at that mosque calling for the death of apostates and Jews. What is concerning is the fact that a peaceful protest could be investigated as a possible hate crime here in Canada. As far as Motion 103, I think in principle anything looking to eradicate Ïslamophobia” is problematic for all the reasons you have pointed out. I’m not sure why MP Khalid, outright refuses to consider alternative wording such as anti-Muslim bigotry, refuses to engage in discussion about the definition, and has consistently refused media requests for interviews. All this despite her intention to want to highlight the issue of Islamophobia.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Maybe she’s being difficult so that we are all distracted from Trudeau going back on his election promise of election reform.

      I too was disturbed about the protestors. Do I think they should have blocked or hassled people going into the mosque, no. But they have a right to express themselves and being investigated for a hate crime is a step or two too far. Of course, most liberals won’t listen to this if I say it and just think I don’t get it, am a mean atheist or I’m a white supremecist. Other liberals don’t dare say anything for fear of being labeled with one of these performatives.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Pejoratives. Darn autocorrect.

      • Kelly
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Looking at the pictures of the protest, I was struck by the police presence. I think there was as many police as there were protestors. Interestingly at the protest in Toronto outside the US Consolate, where BLM had a speaker, Syed Hussan speak to a much louder crowd saying things like, “we must become the enemy that sows terror in their hearts”. There was no talk about investigating him for a hate crime. So there seems to be a very selective use of the laws here in Canada.

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Justin “shirtless” Trudeau showed one more time where he stands on free speech, delivering the well known “free speech is important but […]”. Quoting from the linked article:

        Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about M-103 during a town hall meeting in Yellowknife Friday, with a participant questioning how the motion squares with Trudeau’s claim to be a feminist. The questioner said by referencing Islamaphobia, M-103 risks silencing voices critical of oppressive practices rooted in Sharia law.

        In a seven-minute response, Trudeau said fundamental rights and freedoms are enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but that individual rights must be balanced with others in our society. determining the parameters is an ongoing discussion in a dynamic, successful society like ours, he said.

        Trudeau said the motion aims to address the fact there is a community that is “particularly vulnerable these days to intolerance and discrimination.”

        “You’re not allowed to call ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theatre and call that free speech,” Trudeau said. “That endangers our community. And as we saw 10 days ago in Quebec City, there are other things that can endanger our communities. And we need to stand strongly and firmly against that.”

        Virtually on every issue pertaining free speech the current federal government is on the wrong side, and his press secretary Justin Trudeau does not miss a chance for spelling it out.

  12. RossR
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Would it not be simpler all round to simply redefine a “hate crime” as “any crime that threatens or injures a person the perpetrator does not know personally”? That would cover everything motivated by bigotry or hatred and we need never mention religion again.

  13. Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all Canadians for commenting. I think the situation is: an Islamist is using a horrific crime against Muslims in an attempt to give Islamic supremacy legal status, with a high chance to succeed.

  14. Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    “This bill has been criticized for three reasons”

    It is not a bill. This is important, because bills can become law, and hence more attention is needed. (You correctly state this elsewhere; this might be due to a cross-jurisdiction difference.) I *think* the parallel is to “resolutions”, which we talked about on another thread a while ago.

    Now that I reread the motion I think only the first mention of “Islamophobia” is problematic – the other seems to me to be clearly an example.

    What *is* interesting is the federal interest. In Ontario an actual Directorate exists for these sorts of matters, which I attended a public consultation by a few months ago. The distinction between religious discrimination and racism is not obvious to a lot of people. A group named (something like) “Ontario Sikh Motorcycle Club” were complaining that they are discriminated against because they cannot wear turbans and the (legally required) helmets. In my view this is an example of something that would have to be “all or nothing” – either require helmets or allow people to choose, based on whatever criteria they want, but don’t enthrone anything into the law based on religion. For all I know this is what will happen, since this was just a “read into the record” for ideas, but …

  15. Posted February 20, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  16. Posted February 21, 2017 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I’ve found that people who say they are anti-Islamist are actually anti-Muslim just like you can bet that people who say they are anti-Zionist are actually anti-Semitic.

    • Veroxitatis
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 3:22 am | Permalink

      I abhor your certitude. I am certainly anti Zionist but am not anti Semitic. It would be somewhat eccentric were it otherwise since I know no Jews and to my knowledge have met only one, other than in passing.

      • Malgorzata
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        Since historically Zionism was a movement of liberation and self-rule of Jewish people (Holocaust and persecution of Jews in the Arab world have shown how much it was needed) and now, when there is a Jewish State, it is a movement calling for acceptance of this state and for the right of Jewish people to live in peace in their land and to be a place Jews living in Diaspora can escape to if and when they are in danger, your being an anti-Zionist must mean that you are hostile to the idea of Jewish independence and you propose to dismantle the State of Israel, no matter the consequences.

        • veroxitatis
          Posted February 21, 2017 at 4:51 am | Permalink

          Err no. The British Government never intended that there should be a State of Israel. The interpretation placed on the Balfour Declaration from the early 1920s was that a semi autonomous enclave as a “Homeland for the Jews” should be established within Arab lands. As you will be aware British Governments towards the end of the war and immediately afterwards took deliberate steps to prevent mass migration into the Mandate lands. However, notwithstanding history, we need to accept that the only realistic way forward is the “Two State Solution”. Unfortunately, that possibility recedes with every passing year of Israeli expansion.

          • Malgorzata
            Posted February 21, 2017 at 5:07 am | Permalink

            You are putting your interpretation on Balfour Declaration, even changing wording a little. The wording there is not a “homeland for Jews” but National Home for the Jewish nation”. Later you have San Remo decision, British Mandate decision etc. That British Foreign Office acted against those decisions doesn’t mean that they said anything else than they did. This was not “Arab land”. If you want to be a stickler, it was the land of Ottoman Empire previously and, as far as I know, Turks are not Arabs. Before Arabs came im 7th century it was Jewish land (plus untold empires which came and went). The mantra about “Israeli expansion” doesn’t stop to be false, no matter how often repeated. No new settlements were build for the last 20 years which now even The Guardian admits. Settlments are on about 2% of the West Bank’s territory. You do not mention another problem with the “two state solution” – Palestinian leadership’s refusal for years to accept it, their stated goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic state, the fact that there are two Palestinian entities (Gaza Strip and West Bank) hostile to each other and the hostile attitudes towards Jews instilled in the Palestinian children from a very young age. Settlements is the least of the problem.

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