19 May, 1998

The Editor,

The Ottawa Citizen,

Ottawa, Ontario.


Dear Editor:

Your editorial "Why Israel Balks" {17 May} is astounding in its mendacity and falsification of the history of the Middle East. It contains a legion of falsehoods, but I will deal only with few:

You state that:" Israel has always been pressured to give back land it seized only after being attacked or threatened with imminent attack by its Arab neighbours". This clearly refers to Israelís war of aggression in June,1967. I will let Israelís own leaders rebut your claim: Yitzhak Rabin, Israelís army chief of staff at the time, stated : " I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai Would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it" {Le Monde, Feb.28, 1968}. Menachem Begin,while Prime Minister,addressing Israelís National Defence College

on Aug. 8,1982, stated : " In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with our selves. We Decided to attack him" {The New York Times,Aug. 21,1982}.

The land that Israel is being asked to withdraw from is illegally occupied territory, that Israel continues to occupy in defiance of international law and Security Council resolutions, which we claim to uphold.

We sent our troops to Iraq to enforce one such a resolution. The Jewish settlements in the Occupied West Bank, for which you are demanding security are illegal and exist in defiance of Security Council resolutions and the 4th. Geneva Convention. Your demand is equivalent to the argument by the thief that he must be guaranteed security for his plunder .

Your argument that Israel is small and has narrow dimensions, justifying annexation of its neighbours territories, is a strange logic. Is this a new licence for smaller countries to expand at their neighbours c expense?

Your claim that "the Israeli military has withdrawn from Hebron" defies credibility. Whose troops are those that we see almost daily shooting Palestinian children in Hebron?

Perhaps a little more veracity is called for to sustain some self respect for Canadian journalism.

Yours faithfully

Ismail Zayid, M.D.