Newfoundland man wants Stephen Harper, John Baird charged with advocating for genocide in Middle East conflict

·Politics Reporter

There's a segment of the Canadian population who think the Harper government's devout support for Israel is not the right approach amid the ongoing conflict between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.

These people — who often argue that Israel is the aggressor — have made their opinions clear via petitions, on message boards, social media and even community rallies.

According to the Western Star newspaper, a Newfoundland resident has taken it a step further.

The report notes that Andrew Abbass has filed a complaint with police claiming that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird were advocating for genocide.

He's posted his allegations on the Change.org petition website:

Sections 318, 319, and 320 of the Criminal Code of Canada forbid hate propaganda. "Hate propaganda" means "any writing, sign or visible representation that advocates or promotes genocide or the communication of which by any person would constitute an offence under section 319."

Section 318 prescribes imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years for anyone who advocates genocide. The Code defines genocide as the destruction of an "identifiable group." The Code defines an "identifiable group" as "any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation."

By choosing to side with one religious state (Israel) and declaring Hamas to be terrorists that need to be destroyed at the expense of civilian lives, Stephen Harper is advocating the destruction of an identifiable group and therefore should be charged with creating and disseminating hate propaganda under the Criminal Code and imprisoned alongside John Baird.

According to the Western Star, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s Corner Brook headquarters have forwarded the complaint to the RCMP as they're required to do.

The Prime Minister's office didn't immediately respond to an email asking about the complaint.

[ Related: Harper Conservatives pledge support to Israel with a new YouTube video ]

Abbass' biggest annoyance seems to be the Conservative Party's "Through Fire and Water" video — put on YouTube last week — where they pledge their support Israel.

[ Related: Air Canada cancels Toronto to Tel Aviv flight after rocket explosion ]

Both Harper and Baird have, indeed, positioned themselves as the world's most staunch supporters of the Israeli regime in their very divisive conflict with Palestine.

In January, Harper became the first-ever Canadian prime minister to address the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, speaking of the bond between the two countries and explaining his unflinching support for the Jewish state.

"We either stand up for our values and our interests here in Israel, stand up for the existence of a free, democratic and distinctively Jewish state, or the retreat of our values and our interests in the world will begin," Harper said to great applause.

For his part, Baird continues to make bold statements criticizing the actions of Hamas.

"Hamas's continued aggression, combined with cowardly tactics that endanger civilians, has resulted in the tragic deaths of an approximately another 87 Palestinians," he said last weekend.

"Innocent civilians living in Gaza deserve far better than the reckless actions of this terrorist organization."

Despite the Tories' strong support for Israel, however, a recent survey shows that Canadians are split on whether they support Israel or Palestine.

The survey, conducted by Forum Research, found that 17 percent of respondents sided with Israel in the ongoing conflict, 16 percent favored the Palestinians while 64 percent said they didn't lean to either side.

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