Canada Palestine Association
19 July, 1999
The Globe & Mail
Re: "Why are we depriving Palestinians of the Fourth Geneva
Convention?" [Commentary July 19].
Rachad Antonius says it as it is,accurately. The fourth Geneva Convention was formulated by the world community,in 1949, to prevent the recurrence of the crimes and violations of human rights committed by the Nazis against civilians under occupation,during the Second World War. All members of the United Nations, including Canada,the USA and Israel, are signatories to this Convention. Sadly,however, Israel has been in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention,since its occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,since 1967,and in defiance of repeated Security Council resoloutions affirming the applicability of the Convention to these occupied territories,including East Jerusalem.
What is equally saddening is our country’s support for Israeli policies,in violation of international law. This unquestioning support is well described in the statement by Professor Israel Shahak, a Belsen Nazi concentration camp survivor and Chairman of Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, who stated in his recent book,"Open Secrets",1997,page 125:
" Curiously,Canada represents a case where influence of its organized Jewish community upon the country’s policies is even more palpable than in the US. The effect is that although Canada’s interests in the Middle East are quite secondary,its dedication to Israel surpasses even that of the US."
President,Canada Palestine Association.