The Canada-Israel “Public Security” Agreement by Michel Chossudovsky

Dandelion Salad

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, April 2, 2008

Canada and Israel have signed a far-reaching public security cooperation agreement.

The agreement, described as a “Partnership”, involves a “Declaration of Intent” by the two governments. The Declaration was signed in Tel Aviv on March 23.

“Today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety Canada and Avi Dicter, Minister of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, signed a Declaration of Intent to enhance cooperation in the area of public safety.

“The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the security of Canadians – both through our actions at home and with our international partners.” said Minister Day. “Today’s declaration demonstrates the longstanding cooperation between Canada and Israel on public safety issues, and we welcome this increased cooperation in order to improve our countries’ capacity to protect our citizens.”

This declaration will allow Canada and Israel to better enhance cooperation in the areas of organized crime, emergency management, crime prevention, and other related public safety concerns. The declaration seeks to establish a more structured framework for the continued cooperation on public safety issues between Canada and Israel.

“The Declaration of Intent is an opportunity for Canada and Israel to strengthen their commitment to safeguarding their citizens and respective national interests from common threats,” said Minister Dicter.” ( http://www.ps-sp.gc.ca/app_support/xml/ps_news_e.xml)


Cheney Mission to the Middle East Shrouded in Secrecy

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day was in Israel on the same day as Vice Cheney Dick Cheney.

Coincidentally, a US mission led by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff was also in Israel on official business, as guest of Israel’s Minister of Public Security, Avi Dicter. There are no reports on Canada-US-Israeli consultations during these official visits. In all likelihood, officials from the respective departments/ministries of US Homeland Security, Israel’s Public Security and Canada’s Public Safety had meetings behind closed doors.

Terms of Reference of the Partnership

Israel’s Ministry of Public Security carries out public security, law enforcement activities as well as the operation of Israel’s prisons, which are in large part used to detain Palestinians.

Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety, established in 2003, is a copy and paste version of US Homeland Security, with which  it has a close bilateral relationship. Public Safety Canada works closely with several government agencies including the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Officials from these agencies have no doubt been consulted regarding the terms of reference of the Israel-Canada declaration.

The terms reference of the Canada-Israel Declaration are extremely broad. They include issues of immigration and ethnic profiling, the management of borders, intelligence and the exchange of information, emergency preparedness, correctional services, prisons, law enforcement and counter terrorism.

The Declaration of Intent involves the setting up of a close bilateral cooperation arrangement at the ministerial level. A management committee has been set up under the helm of  the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Director General of Public Security of the State of Israel.

Senior Israeli and Canadian officials respectively from Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and from various Canadian federal departments and agencies (including the RCMP, CSIS and CBSA), which are under the jurisdiction of Stockwell Day’s ministry  would carry out “an approved program of work”.

The programme would be implemented by a Senior Coordinator from each country, namely, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Strategic Policy) for Canada’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Deputy Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Public Security of the State of Israel;

The agreements requires the two countries to “[b]uild on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats”. 

What type of border security and control of immigrants is involved?

How does this impinge upon Canada’s immigration procedures?

The agreement appears to be built upon a much broader agreement between Canada and the US in the area of Homeland Security.  But it also replicates the pattern of a February 2006 agreement reached between US Homeland Security and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security

The Israel-Canada agreement has been in the pipeline since Minister Dicter’s October 2007 visit to the US and Canada. Minister Dicter met Stockwell Day last October in Toronto “with the intention on establishing cooperation on homeland security” and counter-terrorism.

Nature of the Agreement

Israel is not part of North America. Canada and Israel do not share a common border. So what is the underlying agenda?

Will Canada assist Israel in policing its border with Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories?

Conversely, will Israeli officials assist Canada in ethnic profiling of people (including biometric applications, which is mentioned in the agreement) who visit Canada from the Middle East? Will Israeli officials have access to confidential files of Canadians?

What type of cooperation is envisaged in the areas of prisons and law enforcement? Interrogation techniques? Are Israeli consultants going to help reorganize our correctional services?

The agreement would allow officials from the State of Israel,  a country on record for its numerous human rights violations acts directed against the people of Palestine, to play a role in Canadian public security. In this regard, will Israeli officials assist the RCMP and CSIS in the profiling of Canadians citizens who are Muslims.

Will Israeli officials assist their Canadian counterparts in dealing with individuals and/or organizations in Canada involved in supporting the rights of Palestinians. Will Israeli officials assist their Canadian counterparts in the domestic “war on terrorism”, which in recent years has led to numerous arbitrary detentions on trumped-up charges.

At the same time,  the Declaration establishes a de facto complicit relationship whereby Canadian officials (RCMP, etc) would contribute to assisting Israel in its domestic police and border activities (e.g. Lebanon, Syria, Gaza), not under the auspices of the United Nations, but directly in cooperation with Israeli police and security officials.

The timing of this agreement coincides with Dick Cheney’s visit to the Middle East. Is it in any way related to US-Israeli war plans directed against Iran, Syria and Lebanon?

The issue of “counter-terrorism” is not mentioned explicitly in the Declaration although the terms of reference suggest that the “war on terrorism” is an integral part of the agreement.

The Canada-Israel Public Security agreement has barely been mentioned by the Canadian media. It has not been the object of a debate in parliament. Why has this issue not been brought to the forefront of public debate?  Why has the parliamentary opposition remained mum on the subject?

The text of the Declaration states that “:{it] is not intended to create legally binding obligations, under either domestic or international law. Yet, at the outset, it violates several fundamental principles of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It should be forcefully challenged in Canada’s courts.


ANNEX

FULL TEXT of AGREEMENT

http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2008/nr20080323-1-eng.aspx

Public Safety Canada March 23, 2008

Declaration of Intent Between the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel

The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, declare their intent:

1. To prioritize and manage cooperation in the following areas within the responsibility of the Ministries:

1. Border management and security, including biometric applications;

2. Correctional services and prisons;

3. Crime prevention;

4. Critical infrastructure protection;

5. Emergency management;

6. Illegal immigration;

7. Law enforcement cooperation;

8. Money laundering;

9. Organized crime;

10. Terrorist financing; and

11. Trafficking in persons.

2. To achieve the following objectives:

1. Build on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats;

2. Integrate and coordinate of the identification, prioritization, and implementation of cooperative efforts between themselves in the area of public safety;

3. Manage the delivery of approved cooperative activities within the scope of this Declaration;

4. Establish of clear lines of communication and points of contact between themselves as part of an ongoing process of dialogue and partnership in pursuing common goals;

5. Share knowledge, experience, expertise, information, research, and best practices;

6. Identify and share public safety concerns on the basis of threats, risk assessments, priorities, vulnerabilities, and consequences; and

7. Facilitate technical exchange cooperation, including education, training, and exercises.

3. To establish a Management Committee that would:

1. Be comprised of the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Director General of Public Security for the Government of the State of Israel;

2. Meet annually and as needed to develop and approve a program of work, consistent with the scope and objectives of this Declaration, for that upcoming year;

3. Evaluate and approve progress and results of activities carried out under this Declaration from the previous year;

4. Identify officials from the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel and from the department and agencies for which the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada is responsible, to carry out, within specific timeframes, each of the items in the approved program of work;

5. Be supported by a Senior Coordinator, namely, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Strategic Policy) for the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Deputy Director General for the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel; and

6. Have the Senior Coordinators ensure the delivery of the approved program of work and recommend new activities for the Committee’s approval.

4. To bear respectively the costs that they each incur for performing, managing, and administering its activities under this Declaration;

5. To ensure the appropriate protection of all information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against any unauthorized access, alteration, publication, or dissemination; and

6. To protect any information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against disclosure to any third party with the same degree of care as they each exercise with their own information, knowledge, expertise, etc. of a similar nature;

It is understood that:

This Declaration is not intended to duplicate or supersede any existing arrangements between any departments and/or agencies of the Government of Canada and the Government of Israel; and

This Declaration is not intended to create legally binding obligations, under either domestic or international law.

Signed in duplicate at Tel Aviv, this 23rd day of March, 2008, which corresponds to the 16th day of Adar b’5768, in the English, French, and Hebrew languages with all texts being equally valid.

FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS OF CANADA

FOR THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

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© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2008
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