An early plan leaked from the Israeli government suggests Canada as a possible final destination for those displaced by the Gaza war Israel’s Intelligence Ministry has come up with a creative solution for dealing with those displaced by the Gaza conflict, of which there are an estimated 1.4 million and counting: Go west — all the way to Canada.
As Gaza residents are being directed by Israel to clear out and move towards the southern border with Egypt, while the IDF pelted the northern part of the enclave with missiles where most Hamas forces are reportedly concentrated, a major question arises; where over 2 million Palestinians would possibly go. A leaked Israeli government document, dated October 13 and published by Israeli news site Sicha Mekomit, provides some insight into what at least some Israeli government officials have been floating as a solution to this issue. According to the paper, the refugees would head to Egypt initially, but since Egypt has previously refused to absorb Gaza residents, it may ultimately end up just being used as a staging ground for their mass relocation to other countries. The proposal is for Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to provide financial support for this mass displacement and possibly offer to take in some refugees themselves. However, the real kicker is that one particular western country, Canada, is singled out for its “lenient” immigration policy, making it a feasible place for the displaced Palestinians to be resettled.
Although Canada has a reputation for being a refugee-welcoming country, the reality is quite different especially when considering the Syrian refugees who have already arrived in the country. Despite the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s welcoming tweets and the initial assistance given to Syrian refugees upon their arrival in the country, some provinces have ended aid for immigration and refugee programs and a low percentage of refugees have found employment. This has led to a struggle for many Syrian families as they try to integrate into Canadian society. Canada also has an ongoing housing crisis with high rent and mortgages which has caused many Canadians to feel that there is too much immigration to the country, indicating that Canada is not as welcoming as it is perceived to be.
Given these circumstances within Canada, it is clear that Israel never bothered asking Palestinians if they would like to be displaced to the other side of the planet from their home. Additionally, no one in Israel has asked Canadians how they feel about the possibility of receiving individuals from Gaza. There has been no debate about this possibility and until there is a full discussion in Canadian parliament, Israeli officials need to abandon this proposal. Canada’s official position is to support a two-state solution for a Palestinian homeland, meaning that Gaza residents ultimately get to stay in Gaza, and don’t get offloaded onto other countries in mass displacement just because some folks in Israel may be in favor of using revenge against Hamas as a convenient pretext to wipe Gaza off the map as an independent entity.
At least 10,000 Palestinians have been killed so far amid Israel’s pursuit of security in the wake of the Hamas attacks of October 7th. Neither they – nor Canadians on who this proposal is offering to unload survivors – should be reduced to being pawns as the proposed plan suggests. The statements, views, and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.