Letters to Editor.             Voice of the People             The Chronicle Herald.             June 11, 2007


Wealth of detail

Recently, I read one of Mark David’s many letters to this newspaper in defence of Israel and its occupation of Palestine. Ismail Zayid responded by providing a well-written and detailed history of the conflict. Dr. Zayid backed up his comments with facts, including the specific identifying numbers of the UN resolutions condemning Israel and demanding its withdrawal from the "occupied" territories.

Your paper then printed a letter from Daphne Caldwell (June 7), criticizing Dr. Zayid’s letters. She said his opinions were biased, one-sided and emotional and, in consequence, could not be taken seriously. Unfortunately, she provides no evidence whatsoever to back up her allegations.

If I must choose between the two sides, I need only to look at the paucity of real information provided by Mr. David and Ms. Caldwell, and the wealth of detail provided by Dr. Zayid.

Thank goodness there are educated and intelligent individuals such as Dr. Zayid who attempt to bring facts and reason to such discussions. Without his input, your readers would be subjected only to statements supporting the uncritical belief in and acceptance of Israel that has proven so harmful to U.S., British and Canadian foreign policy.

Terence Rowell, Dartmouth


----- Original Message -----

From: Ismail Zayid

To: Halifax Herald

Cc: Bev Dauphinee

Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 3:49 PM

Subject: Stating the facts.


531 Young Avenue,

Halifax, NS, B3H 2V4

Tel: 429 9100


June 8, 2007


The Editor,

The Halifax Herald.


Dear Editor:


Morris Givner [Letter June 6] and Daphne Caldwell [Letter June 7], object to my letter of May 30, responding to a letter by Mark David, May 24, and calling my letter one-sided. Interestingly, they did not call Mr. David's letter one-sided, though it contained a series of statements blaming the victims with no hint of any criticism of Israeli policies, as I accurately related. My statements on the Palestine/Israel conflict are consistently stating the facts, and defy any challenge. There is in my letters reference to the dispossession of the Palestinian people and their ethnic cleansing from their homeland, as well as the violations of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention by Israel throughout its illegal occupation of Palestinian land, that has been allowed to stand for 40 years in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. These Israeli practices are regularly condemned by international human rights bodies including, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the renowned Israeli human rights organisation, B'Tselem. It behoves your correspondents to read the outstanding expose of these Israeli crimes, as related by the Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, in his recent book :"The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine."


In my letters, I have always affirmed that the killing of innocent civilians, be that by suicide bombers or Israeli B 52 bombers and Appache helicopters, as abhorent and criminal and must be condemned. It has been always my hope that we, Muslims, Christaians and Jews, will come to live together as equals in this Holy but tortured land.


Finally, if stating the facts is considered one-sided and biased, then welcome to more one-sided contributors.


Yours sincerely,


Ismail Zayid, MD.



Letters to Editor.                  Voice of the People.         The Halifax Herald.         June6, 2007


Closed to debate
 Re: “Height of audacity" (May 30 letter). Over many years, Ismail Zayid has had many letters and opinion articles published in The Chronicle Herald in which he advocates for the Palestinians and makes aspersions about
  On our planet Earth, a joint ac
­ceptance of reality is a require­ment for civilized debate. On Dr. Zayid’s Internet home page, a map of Palestine is displayed which excludes Israel in her en­tirety. This unconscionable fan­tasy precludes any basis for com­munication.
 Morris Givner, PhD,



Letters to the Editor.                 Voice of the People                  The Halifax Herald.                    June 7, 2007




Too one-sided

Once again, I have read with annoyance a letter to the editor from Ismail Zayid (May 30). Mr. Zayid’s frequent letters are so obviously one-sided in their view that they become irrelevant.

He frequently rails about the "atrocities" committed by the Israeli government, yet seems never to have a negative thing to say about Hezbollah or Hamas. He writes about violations by Israel to the Geneva Conventions, but makes no mention of same by Hezbollah or Hamas. Do we assume, then, that suicide-bombing, arming children, etc., are accepted by the Geneva Conventions?

Because Mr. Zayid’s opinions are so completely biased, it is really hard to take what he says seriously. It appears that he relies on emotion as the basis for his opinions.

Daphne Caldwell, Kentville


Letters to Editor.                 Voice of the People             The Halifax Herald.                May 30, 2007                

Height of audacity 

 A. Mark David (May 24 letter) at­tacks Hezbollah and Hamas for the capture of three Israeli sol­diers in military clashes, but makes no mention of over 10,000 Palestinians and Lebanese, men, women and children, kidnapped by
Israel and held for decades in Israeli prisons, mostly without charge or trial.
  He describes the Israeli inva
­sion of Lebanon last year as “overwhelmingly restrained." That attack brought about the killing of over 1,200 men, women and children, the destruction of the infrastructure of South Le­banon and of hundreds of homes. He accuses Hamas and Hez­bollah of violating the Geneva Conventions. This is the height of audacity. The Israeli practices in the Occupied Palestinian Ter­ritories stand in violation of vir­tually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and include extra-judicial assassination, torture, daily humiliation, de­nial of health care, demolition of thousands of homes and expro­priation of property for the cre­ation of illegal Jewish settle­ments. These violations are de­fined, by international law, as war crimes, and have been con­demned by all international hu­man rights bodies as well as by the Israeli human rights organi­zation, B’Tselem. He castigates Hezbollah for failure to implement UN Resolu­tion 1701, but makes no mention of Israeli defiance of hundreds of UN resolutions and over 70 Secu­rity Council resolutions, includ­ing 242, 338, 446, 1405, amongst many others. How long must Is­rael be allowed to remain above international law?
 Ismail Zayid, Halifax 


Predicted precursor                            The Halifax Herald                      May 24, 2007

Last summer, when Israel finally responded militarily to Hamas and Hezbollah’s incessant rocket attacks and the kidnapping of IDF soldiers, and fed by often wildly inaccurate reporting, the world seemed surprised that Israel would react so vigorously to such provocations. After the brief but violent war ended, many predicted it would be a precursor to further hostilities.

That prediction seems to be coming to fruition. In the south, even as Hamas and Fatah fight a deadly internecine war for control of Gaza, rocket attacks launched against Israel from Gaza continue unabated. In the north, not only has Hezbollah not been disarmed as required by UN Resolution 1701, it has been re-armed by Syria and Iran, while UN peacekeepers have stood by and watched.

It appears likely the volatile situation will soon again spiral out of control. How long can any sovereign nation sit by while its civilian population is subjected to continuous rocket attacks?

The Israeli response last year was overwhelmingly restrained, especially in light of Hamas and Hezbollah’s "military" strategy to use civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields and targets respectively, in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. All Israel received in response was harsh international criticism and domestic upheaval.

If there is a next time, restrained reaction will not likely happen again. Rather than feign outrage or surprise, nations of the world (and the media) should consider how they would react under similar circumstances.

A. Mark David, QC, Halifax