Walker: Canada has good reason to be cautious about Gaza refugees

The federal government has a solemn duty and responsibility to vet each and every potential newcomer, particularly from a territory where the majority supports Hamas.

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The following was written in response to “Canada’s temporary residency program for Palestinians from Gaza has serious flaws,” published on January 29:

In his op-ed, Matthew Behrens criticized the federal government’s restrictions placed on Gaza refugees who want to come to Canada under a new temporary immigration policy.

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Behrens took issue with statements from Immigration Minister Marc Miller, who, in a recent interview, I used the words “terrorism” and “security” 11 times when talking about the program. Behrens wrote that in doing so, the federal government has been “repeatedly painting Palestinians with the unfair brush of suspicion,” saying that “that suspicion is also built into application forms that raise unprecedented questions about the origin of each scar…”

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Security is an eminently reasonable concern when considering any immigrant who wants to live in Canada, much less those who come from a region where Hamas, a genocidal Islamic terrorist group, has a firm grip on power and numbers tens of thousands. of combatants.

Given the omnipresence of Hamas in Gaza, it does not seem unreasonable to take precautions to ensure that those coming to Canada are not involved with the Islamic terrorist group currently fighting Israel.

However, nowhere in his column did Behrens ever acknowledge the extent to which Hamas has invaded Gazan society. In fact, Behrens did not mention Hamas even once, as if the group did not exist at all.

By failing to mention Hamas’ influence over its citizens and Canada’s official designation of the group as a terrorist organization, Behrens never provided readers with context for his claims about the government’s growing suspicions and security concerns.

The column also did not mention the possibility that a Hamas-ruled region has citizens who admire its leaders’ murderous policies and may even have participated in them.

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Recent polls show that Gazans have increased their support for Hamas since October 7. A Palestine-based research group found that more than half of all residents in the Gaza Strip… 57 percentt — approve Hamas’ actions in the October 7 massacre and kidnappings in southern Israel, which deliberately targeted innocent men, women and children to murder, rape and brutally torture them.

Other polls place support for Hamas’ genocidal attacks on Israeli civilians near 70 percent.

While many well-meaning observers in Canada would like to believe that Hamas is holding the population of Gaza hostage, it appears that Hamas currently enjoys widespread popularity there.

It does not seem like a stretch to ensure that those who actively support Hamas’ actions will not be allowed into Canada. Would they leave their hateful views at the door once they entered Canada, or simply channel that hate onto Canadian soil, as has happened in a chilling number of public demonstrations expressing violent extremist views?

Before the current war, Hamas boasted of having 40,000 armed members, which represents approximately one in 12 adult men in the coastal enclave. Before the war, and even now, Hamas was not a marginal organization on the margins of society, but a central actor integrated into the entire Palestinian society of Gaza.

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Behrens’ column, in which he criticized the federal government for what he viewed as onerous regulations for Gaza refugees, did not share the reasonable security concerns that recent arrivals from Gaza may present.

Canada has a solemn duty and responsibility to vet each and every potential newcomer to Canada, particularly from a territory where a large majority of the public express fanatically violent views.

Robert Walker is deputy director of Honest Reports Canadawhich monitors media coverage of Israel and the Middle East.

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