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

From: Ismail Zayid

To: Halifax Herald

Cc: Bev Dauphinee

Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 10:02 PM

Subject: Fabrication and Distortion of History.

Aug. 11, 2007


The Editor,

The Chronicle Herald.


Dear Editor:


                                                                         Fabrication and Distortion of History.


Mr. A.Mark David, in his lengthy article,: {"Hamas: neither democratic nor interested in peace" Aug. 11} makes a series of baseless charges . My statement in my letter,July 31, was that whatever the religious views of Hamas are, the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories. This occupation is part and parcel of the expansionist policies of the Zionist programme and the state of Israel. When Israel was created in 1948, it refused to define its borders. Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, stated in 1954, after Israel had conquered 78% of historic Palestine: " We have created a dynamic state bent upon expansion." And the plans 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, including annexation of the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and large areas of the Jordan Valley. To this day, Israel remains the only state in the world that has no defined borders.


As to Hamas, it had offered and complied with a ceasefire for a period of 18 months, while Israel continued its attacks against Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas also accepted the Mecca Accord, which entailed the acceptance of a two-state solution. Ironically, believe it or not, Israel played a role in the creation of Hamas. This is documented in Israeli and international media reports, including statements by Israeli leaders. This was part of the Israeli policy to create dissension and a civil war amongst Palestinians , so as to claim that there is no Palestinian partner to negotiate with and thus continue its occupation. This is confirmed in a number of reports including : "Israeli Roots of Hamas are being exposed", by Dean Andromidas, Executive Intelligence Review, Jan. 18, 2002, and in the Israeli major newspaper: {"The Israeli Connection" by Ilil Shahar, Maariv, March 28, 2004". Shahar states in his article: " The security establishment has not always looked at the Islamic Movement through the barrel of a gun * In the late 1970s Israel aided and abetted it, in the hope of counterbalancing the PLO . "By the time we realized what was happening, it was too late" said Binyamin (Fuad) Ben Eliezer, former Labor leader and Defense Minister, "It was a time of blindness and wishful thinking".


As to Mr. David's statements about Israeli democracy. This democracy and equality is not experiened by its 1.2 million Muslim and Christian citizens. This is confirmed by Israeli thinkers and Israeli human rights organisation, B'Tselem:


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..."


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.

Shulamit Aloni, a former minister of education in Israel, confirms, in an article in the Israeli daily, the aparheid nature of Israeli policies: "The US Jewish Establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp...... .....Indeed Apartheid does exist here. ...." { Yediot Acharonot, Jan. 5, 2007}

Mr David questions my statement that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal. Is he not aware that the UN Charter and international law considers the acquisition of territory by war is illegal as stated clearly in the preamble to UN Secutity Council resolution #242?

He claims that international lawyers question that. Perhaps, he should see the reviews by international lawyers, like Francis Boyle, and Israeli and US academicians like Professor Tany Reinhart, Professor Jeff Halper, Ilan Pappe and others.


The PLO, led by Yasser Arafat stated clearly, in 1988 and at the Oslo Accords in 1993, its recognition and willingness to live in peace with Israel, as did the entire Arab League in its Beirut Summit in 2002, provided Israel complied with international law and UN resolutions. But Israel refuses these offers of peace and contiues its expansionist settlements programme and illegal occupation.


Mr. David makes the incredible statement that Palestine is a country that has never existed. It is time that he knew that Palestine has existed since history began. Its strategic location and historic and religious significance made it a target for invaders, including the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Assyrians, the Hebrew tribes, the Turks and the British and now the Israelis. If Palestine did not exist, I wonder what Theodor Herzl was talking about in 1896 when he put forward his Zionist programme to create a Jewish state in Palestine, or Arthur Balfour when he stated in his infamous Declaration in Nov. 1917, that :" His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national homeland for the Jewish people.."?


He notes the map on my website. This is the map of historic Palestine, which will remain regardless of what creations may take place in it. It is, however, interesting that he observed at my website this map but clearly failed to note the war crime that Israel committed, in direct orders from Yitzhak Rabin, demolished my home, my entire village, Beit Nuba, and the neighbouring villages of Imwas [Emmaus] and Yalu. He should have observed that, to the shame of every Canadian, stands today at the site of the ruins of these villages the infamy called Canada Park, a picnic area built with Canadian tax-deductible dollars by the Jewish National Fund [JNF] of Canada, using its claim as a registerd Canadian charity.


Finally, it is time that Israel's apologists come to accept that Israel cannot be allowed to remain above international law.


Yours sincerely,


Ismail Zayid, MD.



Hamas: neither democratic nor interested in peace

By A. MARK DAVID | 4:41 AM               The Chronicle Herald                      Aug. 14, 2007           

In his response to your July 27 editorial, "New hope in Middle East," Dr. Ismail Zayid (July 31 letter) is so quick to divert attention from Hamas that it is not clear whether he actually thinks that Hamas is in fact an obstacle to peace. Perhaps the following excerpts from the Aug. 18, 1988 Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) may help resolve the question:

"Israel will exist, and will continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it, as it abolished that which was before it."

"The initiatives, the so-called peace solutions, and the international conferences for resolving the Palestinian problem stand in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement, for to neglect any part of Palestine is to neglect part of the Islamic faith. The nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its (Islamic) faith. It is in the light of this principle that its members are educated, and they wage jihad in order to raise the banner of Allah over the homeland."

By its own words, Hamas is clearly an obstacle to peace. The fact that it was democratically elected does not change its essential nature – there is no independent judiciary, there is no respect for human rights, there is no freedom of religion, there is no freedom of the press, there is no right to dissent (even for rival groups of Palestinians – just ask the members of Fatah who were recently barely able to flee with their lives).

Being elected democratically does not make one democratic. In contrast, Israel (in which its one million Arab citizens are full citizens and whose parliament includes Arab members) has actively sought peace with its neighbours, and has successfully concluded peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Further, the democratic nature of Israel’s government and the adherence to the rule of law ensures that Israel will abide by peace treaties that it makes with other parties.

The question of whether the so-called "occupation" is in fact illegal is an extremely complicated issue of international law. It is amazing that Dr. Zayid has such a clear answer to an issue that has challenged the leading experts in international law for such a long time. However, legal niceties aside, I will allow that it is one of several issues "on both sides" that need to be conclusively resolved by all concerned before a lasting and meaningful peace can be achieved.

Dr. Zayid is also very selective in his comments about purported Israeli violations of international law and Security Council resolutions, implying no Arab country or group has ever been accused of the same thing. Finally, Dr. Zayid states that the Palestinian people have expressed recognition of the state of Israel for decades and solely seek for Israel to terminate its "occupation."

I am surprised to learn that this has been the stated policy over the years of such groups as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. Elementary research leads to a much different conclusion.

For example, the stated goals of Islamic Jihad include the "eradication of Israel." As to what to expect from an immediate cessation of the "occupation," one needs only look to what has taken place in Gaza since Israel vacated it lock, stock and barrel in 2005 – the immediate destruction of synagogues and sorely needed industrial infrastructure, terror attacks, arms smuggling, and rocket attacks against Israel.

In closing, I find it difficult to accept the continual complaints from Dr. Zayid about perceived bias, inaccuracy and misrepresentations when he makes the types of (at best) unsubstantiated statements that appear in his letter. It is instructive that on his own website, the map of the Middle East does not even refer to Israel, but to Palestine – a country that has never existed. Need Dr. Zayid be reminded that prior to the 1967 Six Day War, Gaza was part of Egypt and the West Bank was part of Jordan, and the inhabitants of those areas were Egyptians and Jordanians respectively?

A. Mark David, QC, lives in Halifax.