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

From: Ismail Zayid

To: presdnt@mcmaster.ca

Cc: provost@mcmaster.ca

Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 10:40 PM

Subject: What about Freedom of Expression?


Canada Palestine Association,

P.O.Box, 1085,

Halifax, NS. B3J 2X1


Feb. 20, 2008


Dr. Peter George,

President, McMaster University.


Dear Dr. George:


We find it unbelievable that an enlightened Canadian university would deny its students the right to hold a public meeting dealing with a political issue that has a tremendous impact on the human rights of victims subjected to an oppressive illegal occupation, as well as an impact on world peace.


The pretext for this denial, we are told, is that the use of the term "Apartheid Israel" is an inflammatory one. The facts on the ground demonstrate clearly that the policies of the state of Israel towards the Palestinians, under its illegal occupation, are racist and identical, if not worse, than those practised by the Apartheid regime in South Africa. The apartheid nature of these practices are confirmed by many persons of honour and courage who knew first hand that these practices fully qualify for the apartheid term. These distinguished persons include, amongst many others, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Carter and many Israeli authors and intellectuals.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu, after visting the west Bank in December 1989, stated: "I've been very distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about..."


Shulamit Aloni, a former Israeli cabinet minister and a distinguished author wrote an article in Haaretz and Outlook titled: "Yes, there is apartheid in Israel.", and illustrated the manifestations of the Israeli policies that qualify for this term.

The Israeli Professor Tanya Reinhart, came to see parallels with apartheid South Africa, writing in 2003: "What Israel is doing under Ariel Sharon far exceeds the crimes of the South Africa's white regime. It has been taking the form of systematic ethnic cleansing, which South Africa never attempted." It was the analogy between Israel and South Africa's apartheid that she used in justifying the academic boycott movement of recent years.

The racist laws and policies of Israel are also used against the Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel. The late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor and the then Chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights stated: "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 out today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement." {" The Racist Nature of Zionism and the Zionist State of Israel" Artcle by Israel Shahak, published in Pi-Ha'aton, the weekly newspaper of the studebts of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, November, 5,1975.}

In essence, we find you decision surprisnig, in view of the facts on the ground, and it is our hope that freedom of expression will not be denied at our universities, and trust that you will re-consider this decision.

Your sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

President, Canada Palestine Association.