From: Ismail Zayid
To: Mr. Jean Chretien M.P.
Cc: Mr. Lloyd Axworthy M.P. ;McDonough.A@parl.gc.ca
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 2:44 PM
Subject:Human Rights Violations
Canada Palestine Association
The Right Hon. Mr. Jean Chretien
The Prime Minister,
Dear Mr. Chretien:
We applaud your concern for human rights, during your visit to the Middle East, raising the question in Syria and Saudi Arabia. However, we find your selective concern for the violation of human rights puzzling. Why was this concern not raised during your meetings with Israeli leaders? Israeli violations of the human rights of Palestinians are longstanding, including systematic torture of prisoners, arrest and detention for years without charge, demolition of homes, expropriation of property, creation of illegal settlements, amongst many others. Virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention is violated by Israel. Israel has been repeatedly condemned , for these violations, by the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists and Israel’s own human rights organisations, including B’Tselem and the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights.
We note that this week the U.N. Human Rights Commission adopted a resolution condemning Israeli violations in the occupied Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, including "in particular the continuation of the acts of wounding and killing of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and settlers, in addition to the detention of thousands of Palestinians without trial and the continuation of the confiscation of Palestinian lands".
Yet, we note, that Canada abstained on this resolution, which was adopted by the Commission.
Is there a limit to our government’s hypocrisy and double standards?
Ismail Zayid, M.D.
President, Canada Palestine Association