Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 3:11 PM
Subject: Political Intimidation.
Canada Palestine Association
Halifax, N.S. B3J 2X1
April 18, 2002
The Hon. Ms. Alexa McDonough, M.P.
Leader of the NDP.
Dear Ms. McDonough:
We heard this morning your press conference, related to
Mr. Svend Robinson, with utter shock and disbelief.
To penalise Mr. Robinson, for stating his opinion with
courage and integrity, is a clear submission to political intimidation and
reflects badly on the political standing of the NDP, as a party that claims to
honour international law and human rights. The punishment of Mr. Robinson
reflects nothing but political cowardice.
The statements made by Mr. Robinson, who saw with his own
eyes the horrendous crimes committed by the Israeli army using US most
sophisticated weaponry against a largely defensive population, have been
corroborated by many human rights groups including the International
Commission of Jurists and Israeli main human rights group
B'Tselem. The UN envoy to the Middle East,
Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen described Israeli actions in Jenin as "
horrifying beyond belief". In
England, The Guardian described these actions
as "monstrous war crimes." British Paliamentarians
equally condemned these horrible crimes, as did many spokesmen for the free
press, and European politicians.
It is time that all our politicians free themselves from
their subservience to US policies and recognise illegal actions for what they
are, regardless of the perpetrator. It is time for those who claim to uphold
international legitimacy and human rights, as the NDP does, to abandon political
expediency and call crimes by their name. Israel must not be allowed to remain
above international law, regardless of its powerful lobby and political
Ismail Zayid, M.D.
President, Canada Palestine Association.