From: Ismail Zayid
To: Globe & Mail

Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2001 3:49 PM
Subject: How about the facts in the Palestine-Israeli conflict?

 

Canada Palestine Association
P.O.Box, 1085
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1
Tel: 902 429 9100

The Editor:
The Globe & Mail

Jan. 6, 2001

Dear Editor:

Your editorial {"What of the refugees?" Jan.6} is laden with errors and distortions. You speak in support of a simple bargain: "Israel surrenders control over the Temple Mount and most of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians surrender the right of millions of refugees to return to their homes in Israel." All of East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and Gaza, are under illegal occupation in defiance of Security Council resolutions. The right of return for the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, from which they were uprooted, is enshrined in UN resolutions and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What kind of simple bargain is this?

You state that: " Arab countries attacked the nascent country of Israel in 1947 and 1948, rejecting a UN plan to peacefully divide the Holy Land into Jewish and Palestinian states." Before a single Arab soldier entered Palestine on May 15, 1948, Zionist forces drove out 300,000 Palestinian refugees from their homes, committed numerous massacres and occupied many cities, like Jaffa and Acre, and scores of towns and villages that were to be part of the Palestinian state. The 1947 UN partition scheme of Palestine was unfair. It apportioned to the Jews, who constituted one third of the population and owned 5.6% of the land, 56% of the country and 42% for the Arabs. This resolution was forced through the General Assembly by massive pressure by the US, as confirmed in the words of the then US Secretary of Defense James Forrestall : " The methods that had been used....to bring coercion and duress on other countries in the General Assembly bordered closely onto scandal." Contrary to implied statements that the Israeli leaders accepted this scheme, the facts are otherwise. Mr Ben Gurion, Israelís first prime minister, when announcing the creation of Israel on May14, 1948, refused to define its borders stating: "We are announcing the creation of a state in the western part of our country". He wrote in his diaries: " To maintain the status quo will not do. We have to set up a dynamic state bent upon expansion."

You accuse the Arab states of hypocrisy for refusing to settle the refugees. It is the refugees who continue to refuse to this day any resettlement, and call for their legitimate right to have the choice to return to their homes and land. You refer to " Jews who were expelled from Arab countries." The facts are that many of these Jews were intimidated by acts of terror by Israeli agents, sent by Israeli leaders to bring in more immigrants to Israel. Modechai Ben Porat , was accused by the Israeli writer Baruch Nadel of tossing hand grenades in the crowded Masouda Shem Tov synagogue in Iraq. Ben Porat was boasting about his personal share in organizing Zionist underground activities in Iraq which encouraged Jews to "come home to Israel". Also contrary to your statement, a number of Arab countries have stated publicly that they would welcome back those Jewish former citizens of their countries.

Alas, it is about time that Canadians and the rest of the world are told truth about this tragic conflict, so that a modicum of justice is obtained by the Palestinians. For without justice, there will be no peace for Arab or Jew in the Middle East.

Yours sincerely

Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association.