April 2, 1997
His Worship Mayor Walter Fitzgerald
Halifax Regional Municipality
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The news of your Worship's visit to Israel and the city of Jerusalem, as a guest of Mayor Olmert, brings forth a number of serious concerns to many citizens of our municipality, other Canadians and internationally. In an attempt to bring our concern to your attention, we hoped to meet with you and we were very disappointed that you were not able to grant us this privilege. As your Worship knows, the question of Jerusalem is of serious concern to millions of Palestinians, hundreds of millions of Muslims and Christians throughout the world and the international community at large.
Israel's claim for Jerusalem as its capital is illegal and in violation of international law and is not recognized by our country, Canada, or any of the other 185 members of the United Nations, apart from Costa Rica and El Salvador.
U.N. Resolution #181 of Nov. 29, 1947 stipulates that Jerusalem is an international corporate and Israel has no legitimate claim to it.
Israel's occupation of Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 is illegal and its annexation by Israel has been condemned and considered null and void by repeated Security Council resolutions, including Security Council Resolution #252 of May 21, 1968 and Resolution #267 of July 3, 1969 and Resolution #298 of September 25, 1971, amongst others.
Our concern is that your visit to East Jerusalem will be used to bestow legimization to this illegal occupation and is contrary to our country's status as a country that upholds international law.
The Muslims and Christians of Jerusalem will be offended by such an act and the least you may do during your visit to Jerusalem is to meet with representatives of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, as an act of fairness to an innocent people who continue to suffer from an oppressive illegal occupation. If you wish to have such a meeting, we are willing to facilitate the arrangements, please call Dr. Ismail Zayid at 429-9100 or 473-6893.
Ismail Zayid, MD
President, Arab Canadian Association of the Atlantic Provinces