From: Ismail Zayid
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 6:43 PM
Subject: The Sunday Herald Article, Oct. 22, by Peter Duffy.
Arab Canadian Association Of the Atlantic Provinces
Mr. Peter Duffy
The Halifax Herald
22 Oct. 2000
Dear Mr. Duffy:
In your article in The Sunday Herald, Oct. 22, and in reference to oil prices, you describe the Middle East as a "scorpion’s nest". Arab Canadians find this language offensive and ill-mannered.
You forget that the high price of oil, in North America, Europe and Britain, is largely due to the heavy taxation on oil by the governments of these countries, ranging from 50 to 80 percent. It is well known that Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States have been anxious to pump more oil and bring down the price of oil, against their own self interest.
As to your expressed wish that this oil was in Europe, this is hypocritical. Since when have the Europeans, who have for centuries exploited the resources of their colonies in Asia and Africa, been generous with their own resources?
If your comment is in reference to the continuing violence in the Middle East, namely between Palestine and Israel, let me remind you that it is your British forefathers who are the primary cause of this conflict. It was the British Government’s Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur Balfour, who, in Nov. 1917, issued that infamous document "The Balfour Declaration" in which he practiced this unique act of ‘generosity’, at the Palestinian people’s expense, promising to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The renowned British historian, Professor Arnold Toynbee described the British role in this document accurately in these words:
" We were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind, in the Palestinian Arabs’ country to a third party".
I believe, Mr. Duffy, that a little more attention to facts should be made before you make statements that are hurtful and inappropriate.
Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Arab Canadian Assoc. of the Atlantic Provinces.