Jim Manly, prophet and Lorne Gunter, pundit

Former  MP and United Church minister Jim Manly has returned to Canada on October 25  after being detained for 3 days in in an Israeli jail.His crime was attempting to breach the illegal blockade of Gaza. Manly was accompanied by a stellar crew of European legislators who were attempting and succeeding to keep the spotlight on Israel’s ongoing oppression of Palestinians.

Typical of the ugly coverage of Manly’s conscience voyage was the Sun Media’s column of Lorne Gunter. He referred to Manly et al as being on “a shop of fools,” Gunter is typical of the right wing press and ex-members of the Alberta Report. There part of the punditry who know nothing of life in the West Bank or Gaza and like the PM Harper, reflexively parrot Israeli propaganda.

Gunter reflects SUN MEDIA’s criminal use of the sacred trust of media. He is a pundit.The Sun is full of pundits.Conrad Black’s papers are similarly pundit papers, full of ideologues which parrot the ultra right view of their owners. These papers and these chains no longer hire investigative reporters to actually go the West Bank and Gaza and actually report what they see. Pundits of course are cheap to hire. Predictable opinions, usually slavish to their ideological masters are their stock in trade.Their employers are too profit-driven to actually pay a reporter to go and use his or her  talents and actually report what he sees. Anybody who spends any time in Israel comes back disgusted by the colonialization and humiliation of the Palestinians.

So here’s the Middle East expert Gunter , sitting at his computer, ridiculing a great man of conscience Jim Manly for daring to fracture the official line, the received consensus of the Sun Media. Manly on the other hand now isa justice-loving man of God, a Christian of the highest repute, well-respected by all who know him.At 79 he could have put his feet up in retirement but prophetic fire still burns inside him. But to Lorne Gunter and his ilk he is dismissed as being on a “ship of fools.”

It is Gunter, Harper and John Baird who are in a bubble, traducing our formerly respected international opinion. No longer honest brokers they have no idea or understanding how Israel is viewed globally.In European polls Israel with its cache of nuclear weapons is ranked as the most dangerous country in the world, followed closely by the US. Middle Eastern nations , Iran while disliked, is farther down the list,

Pundits like Gunter so quick to dismiss true moral agents like Manly seem to be totally unaware that Israel has consistently refused nuclear inspectors in its country, refuses to sign any Non-Proliferation Treaties while vigorously condemning a country which has every right to develop nuclear power and which is years away from anything like a bomb. Here is a country, Israel,  which has consistently ignored UN and Security Council resolutions about land conquered in war, continuously fills the Occupied Territories with settlers born outside Israel while refusing the right of return  of displaced Palestinian natives.

Bravo for Jim Manly, a great defender of Palestinian dignity.

As for pundits like Lorne Gunter, get on a plane and walk around Israel/Palestine. Until you do, your words lack any credibility.

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