I bet not many Canadians have even heard of Operation PROTEUS despite the fact that according to former deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter Kent, Operation PROTEUS is Canada’s “second largest deployment after Afghanistan” and it receives “most of the money” from a five-year $300 million Canadian “aid” program to support the security apparatus of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
Canadian troops under the command of U.S. Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton train Palestinian Authority security forces who are engaged in undermining the democratically elected Hamas government and enforcing Israeli rule in the West Bank.
“The Canadian contribution is invaluable,” explained Dayton. Canadians are particularly useful because “U.S. personnel have travel restrictions when operating in the West Bank. But, our British and Canadian members do not.” Calling them his “eyes and ears” Dayton said, “The Canadians … are organized in teams we call road warriors, and they move around the West Bank daily visiting Palestinian security leaders, gauging local conditions.”
“We don’t provide anything to the Palestinians,” noted Dayton, “unless it has been thoroughly coordinated with the state of Israel and they agree to it.” For instance, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Shin-Bet, vets all of the Palestinian recruits.
As part of the U.S. Security Coordinator office in Jerusalem, the Canadian military mission in the West Bank in addition to the military troops,also includes RCMP officers as well as officials from Foreign Affairs, Justice Canada and the Canadian Border Services Agency.
Brigadier-General Michael Herzog, chief of staff to Defence Minister Ehud Barak, explained the Israeli military’s position: “We’re very happy with what he’s [Dayton] doing.”
Of course the Israelis are happy with Dayton’s force because it keeps the population in the West Bank under control. On August 25, 2010 "Dayton's Men"(as the Palestinians derisively call Abbas’ security force) suppressed a demonstration in Ramallah against the negotiations, which were taking place without preconditions and while Israel continued to build the wall as well as Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Similarly, “Dayton’s men” disrupted demonstrations in the West Bank against Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza that left 1,400 dead.
As you can see the "Harper Government's" unconditional support of Israel goes far beyond rhetoric and has real life consequences. Operation PROTEUS is but one piece of the "Harper Government's" active participation in the oppression of the people of Palestine. The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) invests in firms that sell arms to Israel and Harper's free trade deal with Israel has eliminated tariffs from arms sales. The size of our trade in arms to Israel is difficult to guage due to the (likely deliberately) lax way in which our government tracks arms exports.