Canadian Forces Report Raps Israel
OTTAWA— A Canadian Forces inquiry blamed Israeli forces for the killing of four UN observers, including one Canadian, during the Second Lebanon War.
An Israeli air strike on a UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) post in southern Lebanon on July 26, 2006, was “tragic and preventable,” said the investigative report, delivered Feb. 1.
“The board was unable to determine if a specific individual was to blame for the death; the board does however find that, as an organization, the [Israel Defence Forces] is responsible,” it added, complaining of limited co-operation from Israel in the probe.
Aside from Canadian Maj. Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener, the others killed were from China, Austria and Finland. Israel apologized for the incident, calling it an accident.
The UN secretary general at the time, Kofi Annan, angered Israel by calling the attack “intentional.” Israel’s Winograd Commission of inquiry into the war, which published its conclusions this month, provided no new details on the controversial shelling.
“This was a tragic accident that demonstrates the very real dangers inherent in the work that members of the Canadian Forces are asked to do on a daily basis,” Canada’s chief of defence staff, Gen. Rick Hillier, said.
TORONTO — Two Jews were among 13 people honoured with an Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship from Lieut.-Gov. David Onley Jan. 31 at Queen’s Park. Judith Rosenberg, a Guelph nurse, was honoured for creating Spark of Brilliance, a mental health program that promotes healing through the arts, and Daniel Greenglass of Toronto was honoured for helping to found Best Buddies Canada, which fosters friendships between students and people with intellectual disabilities.
VANCOUVER — Canadian Jewish Congress and the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center commended the B.C. Supreme Court last week for convicting Keith Noble, 32, of rural Fort St. John, for wilfully promoting hatred against Jews, gays and non-whites in Internet postings he made on his own website from 2003 to 2005. He was sentenced to four months in jail and three years probation, and he was ordered to stay off the Internet. His computer equipment was also to be forfeited and destroyed. Police said the Wiesenthal Center tipped them off to Noble’s postings.
Natives Visit Israel
TORONTO — Seventeen aboriginal women are back in Canada after a recent 11-day tour of Israel organized by Canadian Jewish Congress and financed by Toronto businessman Larry Tanenbaum. The women on the trip included lawyers, tribal chiefs and academics from such places as Calgary and the Yukon. CJC has organized tours to Israel for native Canadians in the past and said it plans to do more.