From: Ismail Zayid
To: Patrick Martin ; Globe& Mail
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 11:14 AM
Subject: Defending the indefensible
April 26,2002
The Editor
The Globe & Mail
{Submitted for consideration for publication}
Dear Editor:
Anne Bayefsky, in her tirade { "Why we shouldn't trust the UN" April 26} against many countries for violations of human rights, is practicing blatant hypocrisy in her defense of Israel. Be that as it may, the facts remain, to all those who have an open mind, that Israel has been practising systematic violation of the human rights of Palestinians under a brutal occupation since 1967. Israel has been in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These practices have been repeatedly condemned not only by the UN Human Rights Commission, which she lambastes, but also by all international and national human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists and Israeli human rights groups, including B'Tselem and the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights.
As to her reference to Zionism and racism and attacks on the Durban Conference, Israeli racist practices against its own Arab citizens, are blatant and have been condemned by Israelis and many international figures of renown. The late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor and Chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, stated : " It is my considered opinion that the state of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term. In this state, people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement."
The Israeli thinker, Derek Tozer, stated : " The official policy of the government [of Israel] is unequivocal. Arabs, like the Jews in Nazi Germany, are officially 'class B' citizens, a fact recorded on their identity cards."
Nelson Mandela, not unfamiliar with racist practices, in one of his first speeches after release from prison, compared blacks in South Africa to Palestinians who are fighting "against a unique form of colonialism."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu observed after a Christmas visit to Jerusalem in 1989 :" I am a black South African and, if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, could describe events in South Africa."
Ms. Bayefsky, in blaming the victims and defending the horrendous destruction, murder and crimes committed by Israel in Jenin refugee camp, and other are areas in the West Bank, wants Israel, as Sharon requires, to act as the judge and jury, in the proposed UN investigation of these attacks. She carefully omits that Israel is in illegal occupation of these territories for 35 years, in complete defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions.
Yours Sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, M.D.