Sent: Friday, December 29, 2000 4:45 PM

Subject:The Right of Return : What about International Law?


Canada Palestine Association
P.O.Box, 1085
Halifax, NS. B3J 2X1

Tel: 902.429 9100

The Editor,
The Globe And Mail
Toronto, ON.

Dear Editor:

Your editorial {" If only the Mideast spirit were willing", Dec. 29}, dismisses lightly the fundamental right of the Palestinians, who were systematically uprooted from their homes and land, by the Zionist and Israeli forces, in 1948 and 1967.You state: "Palestinians must accept that the right of return is not essential to their central goal of creating a Palestinian state to which any refugee could return". Even if we accept that it is possible to create a Palestinian state on truncated portions of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the ‘Right of Return’ for these refugees, who have been subjected to this suffering for decades, IS central, and cannot be sacrificed for the sake of Cinton’s legacy or the political fortunes of Barak or any Arab political leader. This right of return is enshrined in UN resolution # 194, of Dec. 11, 1948, which has been reaffirmed repeatedly, and in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13. It is the height of hypocrisy to accept ‘the right of return’ for millions of Jews, from Moscow, Kiev, New York and Toronto, who have never been in this land, and deny this right to refugees who and their ancestors have tilled this land and still legally own it and have every right to choose to return to it or accept compensation, in accordance with international law.

As to allowing Israel to annex territory, in the West Bank, that was illegally occupied because it has illegal Jewish settlements, that continue to exist in violation of Security Council resolutions, this defies credibility. Why does Israeli defiance of Security Council resolutions require bargaining and haggling, when Iraqi illegal occupation of Kuwait requires nothing less than massive destruction and starvation of its people?

Surely it is time that this practice of double standards must cease and Israel must not be allowed to remain above international law.

Yours sincerely

Ismail Zayid,
President, Canada Palestine Association.