Original Message -----

From: Ismail Zayid

To: Halifax Herald

Cc: Dauphinee, Bev

Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 10:31 AM

Subject: Whose right to exist?


Canada Palestine Association,

P.O.Box, 1085

Halifax, NS. B3J 2X1


Feb. 21, 2007


The Editor,

The Halifax Herald.


Dear Editor:


Your editorial {" No closer to peace" Feb. 20} and your columnist, Paul Schneidereit: {"It's a matter of having the right to exist" Feb. 20}, display an extraordinary indulgence for Israel by making excuses and justification for its policies, that stand in violation of international law. You demand that the Palestinian government, led by Hamas, should recognise Israel's right to exist. Hamas has in fact accepted, in the recent Mecca Accord, the two-state solution; thus, in essence, recognising Israel's existence. However, should you also not ask for Israel to be required to recognise the Palestinian state's right to exist within secure borders, under its democratically elected government, without Israel's continuing actions to annex Palestinian territory? You demand that Hamas renounce violence, when Hamas, in fact, has declared a longstanding truce. Should Israel not also be required to renounce violence, including targetted assassinations of Palestinian leaders and repeated military incursions into the West Bank and Gaza, killing hundreds and demolishing thousands of homes? Hamas is being required to abide by previous agreements, which Hamas has declared, in the Mecca Accord, its willingness to respect. Should Israel not also be required to abide by previous agreements with the Palestinians, especially those that barred the establishment of new Israeli illegal settlements and the expansion of the existing ones in the West Bank? The expansion and creation of new settlements stand in defiance of the Oslo Accord, 1993, with the Palestinians, and the requirements specified by the Quartet, of the US, UN, Russia and the EU. Yet, strangely, none of these demands are being asked of Israel.


The lack of peace in this tortured land is blamed on Hamas. Yet, Hamas came to authority only one year ago. The truth is that there is no peace there because of the illegal oppressive Israeli occupation that has been allowed to stand for 40 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Why is there no clear demand of Israel to comply with Security Council resolutions? Security Council resolution # 242 is stpulated as the basis for the Oslo Accord and the Quartet Road Map.


Mr. Schneidereit describes the call, by critics, for Israel to define its borders to allow for recognition, as sophistry. Israeli leaders refused to define its borders when it was created in May 1948. Israeli first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, had different plans, after Israel had already conquered 50% of the territory that was apportioned for the Palestinian Arab state by the UNGA Partition Resolution # 181, of Nov. 29, 1947. He stated in 1954: " We have created a dynamic state bent upon expansion." And the palns for expansion continued in the various wars Israel waged against it neighbours in 1956, 1967, 1978, 1982 and the recent expansionist designs expressed by Mr. Olmert. Israel is the only state in the world that has no defined borders and refuses to define them. Mr. Schneidereit states :" The nation of Israel is recognised by the United Nations and countries around the world." Perhaps it is relevant to remind Mr. Schneidereit that Israel was admitted to the UN on the basis of UNGA resolution #273, of May 11, 1949, which required Israeli implementation of the UN Partition resolution # 181 and the UN resolution #194, Dec. 11, 1948, explicitly stipulating the Right of Return for the Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled from their homes. Neither of these two conditions has been implemented by Israel, making Israeli UN membership of questionable legitimacy.


Finally, it must be emphasised that peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians must be attained, in this tortured land. This will be achieved only if Israel is made to comply with international law and UN resolutions, and the Palestinians accept to live in peace with their Israeli neighbours.


Yours sincerely,


Ismail Zayid, MD.

President, Canada Palestine Association.