Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2002 3:39
Subject: Address to Canada Israel
Canada Palestine Association
Halifax, N.S, B3J 2X1
The Hon. Mr Bill Graham M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Dear Mr. Graham:
We note with surprise that, in your address to the Canada
Israel Committee, you referred,repeatedly, to Palestinian ' terrorism' and
'terrorist' attacks, but not once you described any of Israeli
killing of Palestinians, extrajudicial execution of some of their
leaders or the demolition of thousands of their homes,expropriation of
their land, to create llegal settlements, and a whole series of Israeli
acts as "terrorism". I am sure you are aware that all these acts are in
violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva
Convention, and have been condemned by UN Human Rights Commission,
Amnesty International and Israeli human rights groups, including B'Tselem and
the Israeli League for Civil and Human rights, amongst others including the
International Committee for Red Cross, which described some of these actions as
war crimes. Are these "the values of tolerance and human rights that we share
with Israel", that you referred to? You spoke of Israel's "democratic
institutions.'" Need I remind you that these democratic institutions
and principles do not apply to Christian and Muslim citizens of the state of
You spoke of personally telling the Speaker of the
Palestinian Legislative Council, Mr. Qureia, of the need for the
Palestinians to stop their acts of terrorism against Israelis. Dare we assume
that you will be passing the same message to the Israeli President, Mr. Katsav?
You spoke of "Israel's right to defend itself". Are the Palestinians entitled
the right to resist foreign occupation, as enshrined in international
We note that there was not a single reference, in your
speech, to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian
territory, that has been allowed to stand for 35 years, in defiance of
international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Is upholding of the
UN Charter still one of "the tenets of our foreign policy" ?
You spoke, rightly, of our country's committment to
"prohibit donations for terrorist activities." Does this apply to our
tax-deductible dollars that have been used by Canadian Jewish National Fund[
JNF] to create the infamy called " Canada Park" built at the
sites of the systematically dynamited villages of Imwas[Emmaus], Yalu and Beit
Nuba [my own home town], erased from the face of the earth after their
occupation, without a single bullet being fired, in June 1967? This has been
described, by then Israeli member of Knesset Uri Avnery, as a war crime. It
is in the view of many Canadians and Israelis a dishonor to have Canada's name
linked to this crime.
You were quite right when you said that the killing of
innocent Israelis and Palestinians is unacceptable and that only through a just
peace can security for both peoples be assured. This peace must be in
concordance with international law and UN resolutions.
Ismail Zayid, M.D.
President, Canada Palestine Association.