From: Ismail Zayid
To: The Hon. Ms. Alexa McDonough
Cc: Robinson.S@parl.gc.ca
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 3:11 PM
Subject: Political Intimidation.

April 18, 2002
 
The Hon. Ms. Alexa McDonough, M.P.
Leader of  the NDP.
 
Dear Ms. McDonough:
 
We heard this morning your press conference, related to Mr. Svend Robinson, with utter shock and disbelief.
 
To penalise Mr. Robinson, for stating his opinion with courage and integrity, is a clear submission to political intimidation and reflects badly on the political standing of the NDP, as a party that claims to honour international law and human rights. The punishment of Mr. Robinson reflects nothing but political cowardice.
 
The statements made by Mr. Robinson, who saw with his own eyes the horrendous crimes committed by the Israeli army using US most sophisticated weaponry against a largely defensive population, have been corroborated by many human rights groups including the International Commission of Jurists and Israeli main human rights group B'Tselem. The UN envoy  to the Middle East, Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen described Israeli actions in Jenin as " horrifying beyond belief".  In England, The Guardian described these actions as  "monstrous war crimes." British Paliamentarians equally condemned these horrible crimes, as did many spokesmen for the free press, and European politicians.
 
It is time that all our politicians free themselves from their subservience to US policies and recognise illegal actions for what they are, regardless of the perpetrator. It is time for those who claim to uphold international legitimacy and human rights, as the NDP does, to abandon political expediency and call crimes by their name. Israel must not be allowed to remain above international law, regardless of its powerful lobby and political intimidation.
 
Yours Sincerely
 
Ismail Zayid, M.D.
President, Canada Palestine Association.