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Title: Canada and the Palestine question : on Zionism, Empire, and the colour line
Author: Freeman-Maloy, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 1836
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation assesses the historical engagement of Canadian state and society with the Palestine problem. Canada’s contemporary position on the pro-Israel edge of the spectrum of world politics raises questions about long-term patterns of change and continuity in Canadian politics concerning the Middle East. Liberal patriotic historical narration of Canadian foreign policy conventionally invokes what Lester B. Pearson referred to as ‘the broad and active internationalism’ with which Canadian officials approached the world in the years after World War II. Moderate voices within the contemporary Canadian mainstream typically counterpose this history to a narrow support for Israel that pits Canada against a majority of the world community. This dissertation argues that contemporary political opposition in Canada needs to find other historical precedents to build upon. The established liberal internationalist framing obscures the formative influence upon Canadian foreign policy of a racialized politics of empire. The development of Canadian politics within the framework of the British Empire, and the domestic structures of racial power that formally endured into the twentieth century, need to be taken into account if the historical evolution of Canadian external affairs policy on Palestine – as more generally – is to be understood. Historical and political analysis structured around the assertion of national innocence undercuts the kind of understanding of the past that can inform constructive engagement with the problems of the present. As against the pervasive theme of fair-minded Canadian innocence, this dissertation finds that the implication of both the Canadian government and Canadian civil society in the denial of Palestinian rights has deep historical roots. It is critical to look not only at the scope of internationalist tendencies within Canadian political history, but also at their exclusionist boundaries. In so doing, this study positions Canada within wider Western structures of support for Israel against Palestinian and neighbouring Arab societies.
Supervisor: Pappé, Ilan Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Canadian foreign policy ; Middle East studies ; historiography of the British Empire ; Israel/Palestine ; Western alliance politics