From: Ismail Zayid

To: Dion, Stephane

Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2006 5:40 PM

Subject: Letter to Mr. Stephane Dion,MP.


Canada Palestine Association,

P.O.Box, 1085,

Halifax, NS. B3J 2X1


Dec. 3, 2006


The Hon. Mr. Stephane Dion, MP.

The House of Commons.


Dear Mr. Dion:


I was in the process of writing to congratulate you on your election as the leader of the Liberal Party.


In this context, I have just heard a recording of your interview with Mr. Jason Caron of the CJPAC and Canada Israel Committee. I was surprised and alarmed at some of the statements you made in the interview. Thus, I feel, as a Canadian, that it is my responsibility to bring to your attention some of the facts you appear to overlook and which you, as the future prime minister of Canada, ought to be aware of.


You express praise for Israel and describe it as a true democracy. The facts on the ground are contrary to that, as affirmed by prominent Israeli human rights workers and thinkers. Unfortunately, Israeli democracy and human rights practices are selective. The noted Israeli author, Maxime Ghilan, stated in an editorial in the Feb. 1983 issue of the Paris-based magazine, Israel and Palestine, : "Israel is a Western-type democracy for Jews only......Arabs, who are citizens of the state of Israel are less fortunate...They are not granted equal economic priviliges, are prevented from access to public housing and loans given only 'to those who served in the IDF and allied services', bodies into which most Israeli Arabs are not admitted. Finally, Israeli Arab workers are economically discriminated against, receiving lower pay than their Jewish counterparts.....Arabs in the territories, conquered by Israel since 1967, have no rights whatsoever. Their children are shot. beaten up, jailed; their young men assassinated. Their women are brutalised. Their cars are wantonly destroyed by hammer and bomb. Their elected mayors and leaders are deposed......Their politicians are often deported. Foreign settlers jeer at them, provoke them, squat in their homes and on their lands. International law, concerning the behaviour of conquerors in conquered land, is opely flouted."


The late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil  Rights, summed it up accurately in his statement: "It is my considered opinion that the state of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term. In this state, people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried today mainly in co-operation with the institutions of the Zionist movement." (Quote taken from The Racist Nature of Zionism and of the Zionist State of Israel, an article published in Pi-Ha’aton, the weekly newspaper of the students of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Nov. 5, 1975.)

Derek Tozer, an Israeli thinker, stated: "The official policy of the government (of Israel) is unequivocal. Arabs, like the Jews in Nazi Germany, are officially ‘class B’ citizens, a fact which is recorded on their identity cards."

The predicament of Israel’s roughly 1.2 million Arab citizens is evident, as the 2003 Israeli State Committee of Inquiry made clear: "They suffer systemic discrimination in employment, housing and education, and lack of equal access to state resources."

Israel’s "Nationality and Entering to Israel Law", passed by the cabinet in 2002, and reaffirmed annually by the Knesset, and recently, May 2006, reaffirmed by a wide margin in the Knesset, denies any Arab Israeli citizen the right to reside in Israel with his/her spouse if they marry a Palestinian. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned the law as racist, and Israel-based B’Tselem human rights group, claims that it contravenes the Israeli Basic Law.

You go on to describe Hezbollah as a "terrorist militia." It is relevant to bring to your attention that Hezbollah came into being in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and occupation of South Lebanon, in 1982, that brought about the killing of 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. It was the national military resistance by hezbollah that forced Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in May 2000, after 22 years of illegal occupation, that followed the first war of aggression against Lebanon in March 1978, and remained in defiance of international law and Security Council resolution #425, of March 19, 1978.

 The recent Israeli attack on Lebanon is claimed to be in response to the capture by Hezbollah, on July 12, of 2 Israeli soldiers in a military encounter. Nothing is mentioned of the fact that Israel has kidnapped and continues to hold for decades over 10,000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners. However, the facts, as reported by the noted journalist Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker, Aug. 21, 2006, indicate that this attack on Lebanon was planned and approved by the White House many months before the capture of the Israeli soldiers. The shelling by Hezbollah came after the indiscriminate Israeli bombardment and invasion of South Lebanon that brought about the killing of 1,200 civilians and the destruction of the infrastructure of South Lebanon and demolition of many towns and villages and thousands of homes. Israeli war crimes included the firing of four million cluster bombs. UN reports indicate that one million of these bombs have failed to explode and continue to kill innocent civilians. As well, they have severely injured two international bomb experts who were working to dismantle these criminal weapons. This is confirmed by the Israeli daily, Haaretz, Nov. 24, 2006. This is what our current prime minister, Mr. Harper, called "proportionate response."

You go on to describe the democratically elected Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Similarly, Hamas came into being as a natural national resistance movement against an illegal brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory that has been allowed to stand for 39 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council and UNGA resolutions. The brutal actions of this illegal occupation include extra-judicial assassination, torture of prisoners and detention of prisoners without charge or trial, demolition of thousands of homes and expropriation of property for the creation of illegal colonies [settlements]. All these practices are in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are war crimes, as defined by international law, and have been condemned by all international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights groups, including B'Tselem.

Do I need to remind you that the UN Charter and international law entitles all peoples, under foreign occupation, to resist the occupation. We all applauded French and other European resistance movements in their action against the illegal Nazi occupation of their land.

It may be of interest to you that terrorism was introduced in the Middle East by leaders of the Zionist movement, and continues to be practiced by Israel. I will forward to you separately an article that outlines briefly some of the documented acts of Israeli terrorism.

You criticise the actions of the UN Human Rights Council and its resolutions against Israel. The repeated condemnation by the overwhelming majority of the Council members is a direct result of the continuing Israeli vioalation of the human rights of Palestinians, which I referred to above.

Finally, Mr. Dion, it is our hope that our government and political leaders take note of the facts on the ground in the Middle East and begin to abide by the UN Charter and internatioal law that Canada claims to uphold. Israel must not be allowed to remain above international, regardless of the power of its lobbies.

Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing your response to my message, and hope you will listen to the Palestinian side of this conflict and truly understand the essence of this human tragedy that the Palestinian people have been subjected to.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

President, Canada Palestine Association.