From: Ismail Zayid
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 1:38 PM
Subject: The election of Hamas

Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box 1085,
Halifax, NS. B3J 2X1
Jan. 27, 2006
The Hon. Mr Stephen Harper, MP.
Dear Mr. Harper.
We read with interest and surprise your statement, quoted in The Globe & Mail, Jan. 27. You state that "The new Conservative government wants clear evidence before recognizing the Palestinian group's democratic credentials". We understood that Canada, the US and other governments have been calling for the introduction of democracy in the Middle East. The Palestinian people, under occupation, have freely expressed their wishes in a free election, confirmed by international observers. Is that not what we call democracy? Surely, this must be accepted by all, regardless of whether one may approve of the views of this elected authority.
 You state: " for a nation to be truly democratic it must renounce any use of terrorism." Is Israel subject to this rule, and have you called on Israel to renounce all its acts of violence and state terrorism? Surely, you are aware that Israel was created through a campaign of terrorism, against the Palestinians, the British, and others, including Jews. To this day Israeli illegal occupation of Palestinian territory has been sustained by continuing acts of state terrorism. These include extra-judicial assassination, bombing and murdering thousands of civilians by F16's and Apaches, torture, demolition of thousands of homes, expropriation of territory for the creation of illegal colonies[settlements] and other practices that stand in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus defined by international law as war crimes. These practices have been condemned, as acts of state terrorism, by all international human rights bodies, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights groups, including B'Tselem.
Article One of the Fourth Geneva Convention calls on all High Contracting Parties, of which Canada is one, to take action against any state that violates any article of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
As to the statements that Hamas does not recognise the existence of Israel, the answer is simple. Israeli leaders continue to refuse to recognise a Palestinian state, let alone the existence of the Palestinian people. Golda Meier, the then Israeli prime minister, stated: " There is no such thing as Palestinians. They did not exist." [Sunday Times, June 15, 1969]. This policy continues.
Our government must stop this practice of double standards, and must call on Israel to comply with international law and terminate completely and unconditionally its illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory, that has been allowed to stand for over 38 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Only, then can peace be secure and assured for all Israelis and Palestinians.
Ismail Zayid, MD
President, Canada Palestine Association