UPDATES : Randy Hoback reports from Israel

Tyler Clarke
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Arriving at a nearly empty airport in war-ravaged Israel on Tuesday morning, Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback hit the ground running on his fact-finding mission.


“We dropped our bags off at the hotel, hit the showers for five minutes and went into our first set of meetings,” he said.

Hoback is visiting Israel this week alongside a handful of other Tory and Liberal MPs who accepted an invitation from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs -- an effort of the Jewish Federation of Canada.

The organization has branded the politicians as “demonstrating solidarity with Israel” on their official website -- a frame of thinking that Hoback appears to have adopted.

“We heard a lot of different reports in the media of what was going on in the Gaza Strip and in Israel, and a lot of accusations flying back on forth on who’s to blame for some of the killings and that,” Hoback said on Tuesday.

“I must say, the meetings we’ve been having this morning really showed us what Israel has been doing to basically control the civilian casualties, but also highlight the fact of what’s really gone on here.”

Hoback explained Israel’s most recent show of force as a necessary means of ending the “over 100 rockets” that they were firing into Israel per day.

“Hamas wants to defeat Israel, and until Israel is no longer here they’re not considered successful,” Hoback said.

“You can’t talk to them, you can’t negotiate with them -- these are people who take their neighbours’ kids and family members and put them in a school and put them next to a rocket launcher and use them as human shields.”

Placing blame on Hamas -- an organization Canada has branded a terrorist organization -- Hoback clarified that Israel’s ongoing military action isn’t against Palestine.

It’s difficult to understand Hamas, Hoback conceded.

“For us to come out of Canada and the western world to try to understand who these people are and what they do and what they stand for, it’s so foreign to us it’s hard to get our head around it.”

The recent discovery of tunnels leading in and out of the Gaza Strip have further perplexed Hoback, who said that the concrete and steel used to build the tunnels was intended for use in humanitarian projects.

“Instead of putting it toward the people, they used it for military benefits and military gain, and that’s just disgusting,” Hoback concluded. “We value life; they don’t, necessarily.”

The meetings we’ve been having this morning really showed us what Israel has been doing to basically control the civilian casualties, but also highlight the fact of what’s really gone on here. Randy Hoback

Hoback said that a few “red alerts” have sprung up so far during his three-day guided foray into Israel, indicating rockets fired out of the Gaza Strip.

Although the group of Canadian politicians is being hosted and guided through Israel by officials from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Hoback insists that he’s getting a well-rounded view.

“We’re getting a good … cross-section of people to meet … to get a good overview and get their versions of what’s going on, here,” he said.

The Prince Albert MP is scheduled to arrive back in Canada on Thursday, after which time he said that he’ll be able to divulge more details of his trip.

International media’s latest consensus on death tolls varies, but CNN is reporting more than 1,100 Palestinian deaths since the latest conflict began on July 8. The United Nations is estimating that around 75 per cent of Palestinians who have been killed were civilians, of whom a third are children.

At latest update, Israel reported 53 soldier deaths so far and three civilians killed. 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Daily Herald

Geographic location: Israel

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Recent comments

  • Mark
    August 08, 2014 - 13:15

    If Mr Hoback has really gone to learn, as he claims, he should arrange to leave his minders and go into Gaza to see what Israeli armed forces are really doing. But what are the chances of a harperite trained seal doing that?

  • G. Johnson
    July 31, 2014 - 19:14

    This sounds like a PC puff piece. Reporting or regurgitation?