This paper re-examines Canada’s response to the Suez Crisis within the context of its overall approach to the Middle East in the early 1950s. It reminds contemporary readers that most Canadian policymakers, including Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and his Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, viewed the distant and unfamiliar region with reserve, as one better left to the Great Powers to sort out. That view only changed in 1956, when the Suez Crisis, Anglo-American discord, and the possibility of nuclear war threatened Canadian strategic interests, transforming Canada into a small regional stakeholder.
Over 60 years ago, the Jewish nationalist movement known as Zionism culminated in the creation of the State of Israel. Millions of Jews immigrated to Israel over the twentieth century, a process known as aliya (literally, “going up”). Yet over the years, thousands of Israelis have also chosen to leave Israel in a movement termed yerida (“going down”). As the term suggests, this reverse migration has been highly stigmatized. During the 1960s and 1970s, emigrants were publicly disparaged in the Israeli media for having abandoned a struggling state. Consequently, Israeli migrants suffered strong feelings of guilt that often, hampered their integration process abroad, a phenomenon observed as late as the 1990s. This paper, however, reveals that feelings of stigmatization have greatly decreased among Israeli migrants in recent years. The study is based on research that I conducted in 2008–2009, involving nine months of participant observation in Vancouver’s Israeli community and 34 in-depth interviews. Unlike in previous studies, most of my informants expressed no feelings of guilt over having left Israel. Of those who did, most framed their guilt as a longing for family and friends rather than the patriotic longing for the land as expressed by previous generations. Previous studies have also found that Israelis harbour a “myth of return”– a continuously expressed desire to return to Israel and a reluctance to accept their stay abroad as permanent. However, I have not found that the myth of return is still strong today, despite the continued prevalence of a strong sense of Israeli identity among Israelis abroad. I suggest that these changing attitudes are the product of shifting ideals in Israeli society that have developed as the state of Israel has matured. This paper thus serves to update the outdated image of Israeli migrants as it exists in the prevailing literature.
Since September 11, 2001, a growing body of scholarship has traced the intensification of surveillance in countries of the industrialized West. However, less attention has been paid to analyzing the impact of surveillance of discourse, particularly public discourse normally considered a hallmark of liberal democratic freedoms of speech and association. In this article we consider the case of Canadian public discourse and illustrate how surveillance has intensified in relation to freedom of expression regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict. Drawing on accounts from media, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), we highlight notable moments in the Canadian state’s deepening ties with Israel, tracing direct intervention in public discourse concerning the Israel/Palestine conflict. The regulation of public discourse on the part of state and non-state actors in Canada is aimed to influence universities, civil society events, access to meetings and events with international speakers, and even the expressions of NGOs abroad. In addition, the regulation of public discourse has impacted the securitization of borders, immigration, and surveillance in light of an ascribed "terrorist threat." This has resulted in a new and distinct pattern of surveillance—or watching—of words, loyalty, and organizations, according to their presumed political views concerning the Israel/Palestine conflict.