Dr. Ismail Zayid*



At 0745 on the morning of Monday, June 5, 1967, the first


wave of the Israeli airstrike went in, directed against all


Egyptian airfields and destroying the entire Egyptian Air


Force on the ground. The Syrian Air Force was destroyed that


afternoon, followed by the Jordanian air force, for what it





The choice of this timing was carefully made. The U.S.A.


and the Soviet Union had two days earlier warned Egypt and


Israel not to initiate any military attacks, lest there would


be devastating retribution. The Egyptians accepted this


and awaited the outcome of continuing negotiations in the


Security Council for peaceful resolution of the conflict,


then at hand. At the same time, they accepted an invitation


from the U.S. government to send Vice-President Zakraria


Mohieddin to meet President Johnson. At the time of the air


strike, President Mohieddin was in Cairo airport awaiting to


fly to Washington to meet with with President Johnson on June


7th. Israel was afraid that its planned and calculated war


would be thwarted, if this process of negotiation was allowed


to continue.



*Dr. Ismail Zayid is Professor of Pathology,

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.









True to form, the top Egyptian military and air force


commanders were not at their stations and were at one


airfield lined to welcome the Egyptian Chief of Staff from


an inspection trip.



The attack against Egypt forced Jordan and Syria to


declare their involvement in this war, as part of their


Mutual Defence Treaty with Egypt.



On June 8, the Security Council passed a resolution calling


for a ceasefire. Israel, with its objectives not fully


completed, refused to comply and proceeded to attack the


Golan Heights and complete its occupation of the West Bank,


having destroyed, on June 8, the U.S.S._Liberty, stationed


off the coast of Sinai and functioning as a listening post


to all the happenings in the area. The destruction of the


U.S.S._Liberty, which brought about the killing of 34


American servicemen and injury to 171 others, was a


calculated attack to complete its occupation of the Golan


Heights, in defiance of Security Council resolution, and to


cover-up Israel's premeditated unprovoked attack on the


Golan Heights and the West Bank, which went beyond the green














light given to Israel by the U.S. to occupy Sinai and bring


about the destruction of Nasser. The story of the


U.S.S._Liberty and its coverup is another long story that


needs to be told elsewhere.



By the end of June 10, Israel had succeeded in occupying the


whole of Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.






I am relating this account for the simple reason that


Israel's apologists and surrogate media in North America,


have succeeded in brainwashing the North American public to


believe that in 1967, Israel_was_attacked by the Arabs and


Israel was conducting simply a defensive war to repel its





It is true that Israel foisted this fable, at the Security


Council on June 5th to justify its expansionist war. Many of


its leaders claimed, at the time, that Israel was facing a


threat of extermination and genocide. However, it did not


take the world long to see through this lie and Israel's own


leaders came to admit that Israel started the war and the


threat of extermination was a fable created after the fact:











"There was never any danger of extermination ....

This hypothesis 'had never been maintained

in any serious body'."

General Ezer Weizmann

Maariv, 4 April 1972

(quoted in Le_Monde,

3 June 1972).



"All this story about the danger of extermination

has been a complete invention and has been blown

up a posteriori to justify the annexation of new

Arab territories."

Mordechai Bentov, former

Mapam Minister and member of

the coalition during the June war.

Al_Hamishmar, 14 April 1972

(quoted in Le_Monde, 3 June 1972).





"The thesis that the danger of genocide was

hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel

was fighting for its physical existence is

only a bluff, which was born and developed

after the war."

General Matitiahu Peled,

Ha'aretz , 19 March 1972

(quoted in Le_Monde 3 June 1972).




Not only was there no threat of extermination directed at


the State of Israel but in fact there was no threat of attack


from Egypt at all, as testified to by none other than the


commander of the Israeli Armed Forces, General Yitzhak Rabin


who said:














"I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two

divisions he sent to the Sinai in May would

not have been sufficient to launch an

offensive against Israel. He knew it and

we knew it."

General Yitzhak Rabin,

Le_Monde, 29 February 1968.



and the Prime Minister of Israel at the time, Levi Eshkol


who said:


"The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general

military build-up actively there, testified to a

military defensive Egyptian set-up south of Israel."

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol,

Yediot_Aharonot 18 October 1967.



All this did not perturb the Encyclopaedia_of_Zionism


and_Israel which printed in 1971 the following:



"When, in the early hours of 5 June 1967,

Israeli radar screens indicated approaching

flights of Egyptian planes and armoured units

moving towards the Israeli border, the Israeli

Air Force was ready. Within hours, practically

all the U.A.R.'s military airfields had been


Official spokesman of the Israeli

Foreign Ministry quoted in


New York, 1971.



And finally, in 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a


speech at the Israeli National Defence College, gave away


the fable:












"The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai

approaches do not prove that Nasser was really

about to attack us. We must be honest with

ourselves. We decided to attack him."



This may be labouring this point but the perpetuation of this


lie by our North American media, to this day, justifies my


attempt to put this fable to rest, hopefully.



I do not need to remind you that this war was planned for


twenty years and Israel's expansionist objectives go back


farther than that and Israel's attempted annexation of


"liberated Sinai", as Mr. Ben Gurion called it in 1956, was


thwarted by President Eisenhower who went before the


American T.V. public on February 20th, 1957 and stated:



"Should a nation which attacks and occupies

foreign territory, in the face of U.N. disapproval,

be allowed to impose conditions on its own



If we agree that armed attack can properly achieve

the purpose of the assailant, then I fear we will

have to turn back the clock of international order."


President Eisenhower

February 20, 1957.

















Be that as it may, by June 11th Israel's objectives were


completely achieved, through the connivance and collusion of


the U.S. government. The remaining territory of occupied


Palestine, namely the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well


as the Golan Heights and Sinai, became Israeli-occupied


territory. It is there that I want to direct your attention


to what happened to the Palestinian territories occupied for


the last twenty-five years and how the State of Israel


treated the 1.7 million civilian inhabitants in these





Despite the repeated statements by Israel's leaders days


before this invasion which included Prime Minister Eshkol,


who told Washington Post on the 23rd of May 1967:



"Israel has no aggressive designs."




And later, on June 5:



"We do not demand anything except to live in

tranquility in our present territory and

we do not covet a single inch of Arab




despite these hollow assertions, it did not take Israel's


leaders long to uncover their designs.











No sooner had Israel's projected victory been completed and


occupation of these coveted territories assured, than a


process of destruction, expulsion and uprooting of people


from their homes and villages was started. The extent of the


destruction varied from one area to another. In the Latroun


area, the villages of Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba (my own home


town) were occupied on the 6th of June, without a shot being


fired, and, two days later, a process of systematic


dynamiting of every home, and later bulldozing, was carried


out. A population of approximately 12,000 people were driven


away, many of them trucked to the River Jordan and told to go


to Hussein. Those of you who may have seen the Fifth_Estate


program on the 22nd of October last year will have seen the


callous disregard that Yitzhak Rabin and his soldiers


displayed towards these innocent people. The inhumanity of


dispossession and the brutality that goes with it are


difficult to describe. In the characteristic style of the


Zionist ideology and its machinations, the process of


the destruction of these villages was hidden from the rest of


the world and the process of re-writing history ensued. It


was only for the courageous and gallant objections of an


Israeli soldier, the writer Amos Keinan, and the work of the












noted British journalist Michael Adams, that brought about


the disclosure of this crime, because the stories and the


anguish of the dispossessed were totally overlooked by the


world media. It is with shame, I state as a Canadian, that


today stands at the ruins of these villages what is called


Canada Park. Mr. Uri Avneri, the Israeli Member of the


Knesset and a man of honour, described this act as a war


crime that Canada should not allow itself to be a party to


it. However, our governments continue to allow Canadian tax


deductible dollars to be used for the erection of picnic


areas and recreation facilities for Jews from Kiev, Moscow,


Toronto and New York, while the villagers who, and their


forefathers, have built these homes and cultivated these


orchards, have now to live in refugee camps in Jordan. My


protestations to our Ministers of Revenue Canada, including


Mr. Elmer MacKay, Perrin Beatty and our current Minister,


Mr. Otto Jelinek, have achieved nothing but the usual cliches


of "we are investigating and we will let you know", and they


have been investigating for years, and nothing happened.



The destruction was not limited to these areas but in


Jerusalem, 160 homes, historic sites, ancient libraries













and museums were demolished to create a plaza outside the


Western Wall. The process of destruction and expulsion went


on, and over approximately 400,000 people from the West Bank


were driven out to Jordan. The same loudspeakers that we


heard in 1948 were going again in Jerusalem, telling people


that the road to Jericho and Amman is still open and flee


before death and tragedy befalls you.






1967 was only the beginning of a new chapter of dispossession


and agony for the Palestinian people and twenty-five years


later this saga of pain, torture, deprivation and humiliation


under occupation, continues. It is perhaps appropriate at


this stage to describe what international law stipulates as


to the behaviour of an occupying power towards civilians


under its occupation. After the Second World War, and to


prevent the atrocities committed by the Nazis against


civilians under its occupation, both Jewish and non-Jewish,


the world community formulated an international convention


to complement the Hague Convention of 1907 and adopted the


Fourth Geneva Convention in August 1949, which remains until


this day, the international convention to which all its













signatories, which include all countries of the world,


including Israel, Canada and the United States, are committed


to abide by it and see that it is enforced. Ironically,


however, the State of Israel today violates every article of


the Fourth Geneva Convention. We do not have the time to go


through the mammoth brutality that Israel practises against


the civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. A few


examples might highlight what I am trying to say.






Article 27 states:


"Protected persons shall at all times be humanely

treated and shall be protected especially against

acts of violence."




Article 31 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:


"No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised

against protected persons in particular to obtain

information from them or from third parties."





and Article 32 prohibits corporal punishment, torture and

















"The high contracting parties specifically agree

that each of them is prohibited from taking any

measure of such a character as to 'physical

suffering'. This prohibition applies not only

to murder, torture, corporal punishment, but

also to any other measures of brutality whether

applied by civilian or military agents."



Israel's record in this field has excelled in its brutality


and ingenuity in developing appropriate methods of torture.


On the 26th of February 1968, the International Committee of


the Red Cross, in a report on conditions in the Tulkarm


prison, stated that:


"Detainees have undergone torture during

interrogation by the military police.

This torture took the following forms:


(a) suspension of the detainee by the hands

and the simultaneous traction of his other

members for hours at a time until he loses



(b) burns with cigarette stubs;


(c) blows by rods on the genitals;


(d) tying up and blindfolding for days;


(e) bites by dogs;


(f) electric shocks at the temples, the

mouth, the chest and testicles."

















Amnesty International has repeatedly described that a process


of systematic torture and brutalization is undertaken in


Israeli prisons against individuals who have not been charged


and who have had no access to legal counsel. The Insight


Team of the Sunday_Times of London wrote in June 1977:



"Torture of Arab prisoners is so widespread and

systematic that it cannot be dismissed as rogue

cops 'exceeding orders'. It appears to be

sanctioned as deliberate policy."



Felicia Langer, a distinguished and humane Israeli Jewish


lawyer, stated:



"With my own eyes, I have seen marks of torture

on the faces and bodies of suspects and accused

persons. I say it here and now and challenge

any one to contradict it."



Mr. Michael Adams of The_Guardian wrote on 26th of January





"I had my ups and downs during four years as a

prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, but the Germans

never treated me as harshly as the Israelis are

treating the Arabs of the Gaza Strip, the

majority of whom are women and children."



To add insult to injury, the Landau Commission which


investigated the reports of torture and killing of













Palestinian prisoners, confirmed this but proceeded,


incredibly, to sanction the use of "moderate physical


pressure" during interrogation.






Here a judiciary commission sanctions torture, giving


it a new name, "moderate physical pressure", in violation of


international law and every notion of civilized behaviour.


This ingenious description of torture as "moderate physical


pressure" reminds me of the Orwellian newspeak of 1984.


Israeli leaders have a great skill at this, and, perhaps


while we are about it, I might give you a few examples: the


territories under Israel's occupation are not occupied but


"administered" territories. A policy of expelling


Palestinians from their homeland is not described as


expulsion or more appropriately as a national genocide


against an entire nation but 'transfer'. In 1982, Israel


waged a war of aggression against Lebanon, killing 20,000


Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and destroying whole


villages and communities, and this was called "Peace for


Galilee". I don't think George Orwell had much to teach


Israel's leaders. The stainless steel bullets covered with












a thin coating of rubber are described as "rubber bullets"


... Incarceration, without charge or trial, is


"administrative detention", and I could go on and on ...



I must, however, go back and tell you that the killing and


torture continue unabated. During the period of the


Intifada since December 7, 1987, over a thousand


Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and so-


called settlers who are armed to the teeth, roaming towns


and villages in the West Bank and Gaza, abusing people and


destroying their property and humiliating parents in front


of their children. Of these thousand people killed, over


200 are children who have had the audacity to resist this


oppressive occupation and lift their fists with stones


against this mighty oppressive occupier.








Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:



"Destruction by the occupying power of

real or personal property belonging individiually

or collectively to private persons is prohibited."














Yet, apart from the destruction of total villages and


communities, thousands of Palestinian homes have been


bulldozed and dynamited, at the whimsical command of an


Israeli military officer, because a child suspected of


living in that household or in the neighbourhood may have


dared to throw stones at this mighty occupier. The home or


homes or the accused are demolished without as much as being


charged, tried or convicted, let alone the fact that such


destruction of property is totally prohibited under any


pretext by international law. During the Intifada alone,


and until the end of 1991, 2,108 homes and buildings have


been demolished or sealed. Approximately one-half of these


have been demolished because of the claim that no permit was


obtained for building these homes. Over the last twenty-five


years of occupation, Israel has, while building settlements


for Jews on Arab land, persistently refused to allow the


Palestinians to build new homes for their expanding families


and communities and hence this brutal act, destroying


people's homes and leaving families with children completely


homeless, and denying them even the right to rebuild their


homes. To compound the brutality, the families whose homes


are destroyed are required to pay for the cost of the











explosives and bulldozers that dynamite and bulldoze their


homes! Israeli Supreme Court Justice Maltz, supporting the


demolition of a convicted Palestinian's home which left a


grandmother, children and a mentally-ill woman, homeless,


said: "I agree. It is legal, according to Clause 119 of the


Defence Emergency Regulations of 1945 which in the words of


defence lawyer Lea Tsemel "gives the military commander


authority to order the destruction of an entire street or an


entire neighbourhood".



It is ironic that these British Mandatory regulations


imposed in 1945 were described in 1946 by Dr. Bernard Joseph,


who later became Israeli Minister of Justice:



"With regard to the Emergency Laws,

the question is: Are we all to become

the victims of officially licensed terrorism?"



Ya'acov Shapiro, who became Minister of Justice in 1949


and enforced these laws, described them in 1946:



"Unparalleled in any civilized country.

No such laws existed in Nazi Germany."



Yet both of these distinguished men of law re-imposed these














same laws, which were annuled by the British on May 15, 1948,


and duly enforced them, against Arabs only, in Israel and the


Occupied Territories.



Alas, none of this disturbs the likes of Messrs. Bush,


Mulroney and Major.







This is, my friends, only one example of Israeli justice.


A headline in July 1990, in the Jerusalem_Post captured the


current spirit of Israeli justice in the occupied territories


where the headline read:



"Soldier kills man, gets four months; youth stones

bus gets two years."


Four Palestinian children were buried alive and the soldiers


who committed the act were reprimanded.



District Court Judge Zvi Tal lightened the sentence of Yehuda


Ben Ariel, a settler in the Ma'ale Levona settlement, who


shot and killed a Palestinian worker in the settlement.


Tal sentenced him to 6 months and stated:



"One must lighten the punishment of Jews

who take revenge on Arabs."











In May, 1990, a study from the Swedish Save the Children


Organization and funded by the Ford Foundation, documented


that: "the Israeli army has systematically become child


killers." Between December 1987 and December 1989,


159 children under age 16 were killed by soldiers. The


average age of the dead was l0 years. Between 50,000 -


63,000 children were beaten, gassed or wounded. More than


half of those killed were not near a demonstration when they


met their death. Only 19% were involved in stone-throwing.


Even after slaughtering children, the Israelis weren't


content: "soldiers obstructed or interferred with more than


half of the funerals".



The Guardian_Weekly_Report of July 22, 1990, by Colman


McCarthy, of the Washington_Post, went on:



"When not killing children or mistreating

prisoners, the Israeli military has found

other outlets for violence. In May,

Amnesty International documented allegations

of torture and harrassment of Palestinian

members of a joint Israeli-Palestinian group

called Runners For Peace. The athletes

wearing T-shirts calling for peace between

Israelis and Palestinians and jogging through

the West Bank were threatened and beaten.

If George Bush can lecture Nelson Mandela

on the virtue and necessity of non-violence,

why not the same message to the Shamir

government which needs to hear it a

hundredfold more?"










The brutality and torture of prisoners have no limits. The


description of the conditions in the prison called Ansar III


defies description.



However, a novel mode of torture and humiliation was


described in the Globe_and_Mail on May 17, 1988 when it


reported an account by an Israeli member of the Knesset,


reported in the Israeli newspaper Hadashot, of May 16,


1988, who described the happening as follows:



"Soldiers of the base invited Israeli high

school students to participate in a new

'sport' -- beating Arab prisoners. Some of

the boys accepted and later told their friends

about this great experience."



In an interview with one of the students who said he had


participated in beating Palestinian prisoners, the student





"We saw three Arabs whose hands, feet and

eyes were tied",


the youths said.


"We asked a soldier if we could hit them freely

and he said 'Sure, why not?'".


"After dinner I took off his blindfold and punched him in

the face. He started begging for us not to hit him and

then I got a truncheon and hit him in the face. Another

prisoner started screaming. I went into a rage. I

picked up a piece of metal and beat the hell out of him.

He looked like mush -- a lump of flesh and bones when I

finished with him.







I had an immense urge to beat them. I am telling you,

if I had a machine gun at the time I would have

killed him. Not that he did anything to me or said

some bad word, but because of what those Arabs do

here in this country."



It is clear that this process of brutality is inculcated in


this young new generation of Zionist children who, and their


leaders, have not learned the lesson of history. This


reminds me of what the great British historian, Professor


Arnold Toynbee told a largely Jewish audience at McGill


University in 1961:



"The Jewish treatment of the Arabs in 1947

(He might have said "and since") was as morally

indefensible as the slaughter by the Nazis of

of 6 million Jews.


He pointed out:


The most tragic thing in human life is when

people who have suffered impose suffering

in their turn."



In 1948, the Jews knew, from personal experience,

what they were doing. It was their supreme

tragedy that the lesson learned by them from

their encounter with Nazi German gentiles

should have been not to eschew, but to imitate

some of the evils that the Nazis had committed

against the Jews."




















The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the expropriation of


property. Nearly 70% of the land of the West Bank has been


expropriated to create Jewish settlements. In the tiny strip


of Gaza which is the most densely populated strip on earth,


approximately 50% of the land of that tiny strip has been


expropriated to accommodate approximately 3,000 settlers


while the rest of that strip provides accommodation for


750,000 Palestinians. The creation of these settlements is


clearly in violation of international law and the Fourth


Geneva Convention. Article 49 of the Convention states:



"The occupying powers shall not deport or transfer

part of its own civilian population into the

territory it occupies."



Speaking of deportation, another newspeak for expulsion of


people from their homes, their country and their families,


thousands of Palestinians have been expelled from their home-


land, leaving behind families uncared for and in violation of


international law. Article 49 states:



"Individual or mass forceable transfer as well as

deportations of protected persons from occupied

territory to the territory of the occupying power

or to that of any other country, occupied or not,

are prohibited, regardless of their motive."










Another aspect of this most brutal form of inhumanity is the


continuing refusal to allow families to unite. Wives and


children are not allowed the right of residence with their


husbands or fathers and the struggle for the unification


of these hundreds of families remains untouched by human


conscience. It is ironic that the Palestinians are not


allowed to be reunified with their families or returned to


their homeland, and this continues without any impulse of


humanity on the part of great powers, who claim democracy and


humaneness and civilized behaviour like in the United States,


Canada, Britain or others. Yet hundreds of thousands of


Russian Jews are allowed to move into Palestinian land and





An interesting aspect of the expropriation of homes


and property in Jerusalem, that is going on now at fast


speed,is being done under the so-called Israeli Law_of


Absentee_Property, formulated in 1950, which dictates that


any person, meaning Christian or Muslim and not Jewish, who


may have left his home, after the 29th of November 1947 and


until it became occupied by Israel, to any other town under


enemy control, becomes an absentee. Tens of thousands of


Palestinians who may have gone to a dentist between 1947 and











1948, or happened to become occupied after 1947 having been


in territory not yet occupied by Israel, become absentees.


Some of these live in Israel and are Israeli citizens but


they are called "present_absentees" and their property is


subject to expropriation. "Present absentees", I ask you?!


Where, except in the state of Israel, such laws would exist


and the state is described by the so-called free world as the


oasis of democracy?



The recent expropriation of homes in Silwan, to be taken over


by Jewish settlers, is another example of this incredible law


and Israeli justice. The owners may have visited Amman,


Damascus or Cairo for any period of time and thus have become


absentees and their property is open for expropriation.


This process is just beginning in Jerusalem and these are


another collection of "present absentees". Only Israeli


justice can invent such modality of fraudulence and








Not only the homes may be destroyed but the trees may be


uprooted. Over 120,000 olive and fruit trees have been














uprooted during the years of the Intifada alone, for they may


have committed the crime of hiding between them a child who


may have dared to throw a stone at an Israeli vehicle. This


is the same ideology of Zionism that is supposed to have come


to make the desert bloom. The uprooted Palestinian trees and


orchards are a testimony to this big lie.






In 1962 an Israeli soldier spoke of seeing a small child


younger than 12 years being punished and kicked by three


Israeli soldiers at Ramallah military government headquarters


in the West Bank:



"The scene that followed was one of the most

distressing I have ever seen: brutality and

cruelty such as I had never before witnessed."



he stated.



Today this brutality would go unnoticed because it has become


a routine mode of behaviour. One in every twenty children in


Gaza has been seriously injured by gunfire, beatings or so-


called tear gas. Over 50,000 children have been seriously


injured since the Intifada. Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, as a


Minister of Defence who is now being sold to us by the










American administration as a dove, ordered his soldiers to


beat and break the arms and legs of these children. We have


seen this on television as we have seen this most oppressive


and brutal behaviour. An Israeli colonel accused of ordering


soldiers to break limbs of Palestinian children testified


that beatings were "part of our accepted norm in this


period". (The_Chronicle_Herald, June 23, 1990). British


surgeon Pauline Cutting, who worked in hospitals in Lebanon


and Gaza said when interviewed (Globe_&_Mail, 29 May 1990):



"The war in Lebanon was terrible but I never saw

a child who was systematically beaten up.

But here I have seen a 10-year old boy

who was beaten unconscious with big wheals on

his head. I keep thinking about what it takes

to stand and repeatedly hit a child, what that

soldier thinks about when he goes home."



This process has gone further and now these children and


youth are being shot and killed on sight without prior


warning, if they happen to wear their Arab headress or for


any reason that may occur to the appropriate soldier or


settler. These death squads now roam in Arab dress,


camouflaged as Arabs, to do the killing. The killing and


brutalization of children is not incidental according to


Dr. James Graff of the University of Toronto, who wrote:












"Palestinian children are being targeted because

they are actively engaged in a common struggle

to realize those aspirations for freedom and

self-determination. In our view they are

targeted because the present government of Israel

seeks to smash them, their older brothers and

sisters, physically and psychologically in order

to secure a relatively docile demoralized subject








The process of killing and beating and torture of children


is only one aspect of this brutality. The denial of


education to these children is another manifestation of what


Zionism means to the Palestinians. For nearly four years or


more all universities in the occupied territories were closed


and schools of all stages were closed for nearly three years.


It was a crime for a family to teach their children even in


their own homes. Where else would you find such behaviour


totally condoned by the leaders of the so-called civilized


world? Besides the closure of schools and universities, the


academic freedom of teachers and students has been violated


persistently and repeated closures and imprisonment of


students and teachers for any peaceful demonstration or


protest. The school syllabuses have not been spared.














The Israeli authorities have erased from school syllabuses


any material referring to Palestine, love of country,


Palestinian nationalism and the Palestinian people's national


identify. Any reference to the Arab contribution to human


civilization history are subject to censorship. Periodicals


and books that are available in Israel to Jewish schools and


universities are denied to Palestinian schools and univer-









The Declaration of the Rights of the Child stipulates that


the first_principle:



"The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth

in this declaration. All children without any

exception whatsoever (even if they are Palestinians)

shall be entitled to these rights, without

distinction or discrimination on account of race,

colour, sex, language, religion, political or

other opinion, national or social origin, property,

birth or other status, whether of himself or his




In the Zionist state of Israel, there is a policy of


discrimination against the Palestinian child, not only in


education but in every aspect of life.












The second_principle is that:



"The child shall enjoy a special protection

and shall be given opportunities and facilities

by law and by other means to enable him to develop

physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and

socially in a healthy and normal manner and in the

conditions of freedom and dignity."



Under Israeli occupation a child may see the humiliation of


his parents before his own eyes and the destruction of his


own home and the closure of his own school, in defiance of


all these principles.



Principle_No.3 states:


"That the child shall be entitled from

his birth to a name and a nationality.



The Palestinian child is the only child in the world who is


denied any recognition of his nationality.



I could go on about the denial of all rights to the


Palestinian child. Our distinguished Prime Minister not long


ago chaired an international convention on the rights of the


child and proclaimed himself as an ardent supporter of the


rights of the child. Yet, when questioned about Israeli


treatment of Palestinians, including children, in the


occupied territories, he was angered by the question and












stated that Israel is a democratic country and upholds all


human rights. Mr. Mulroney and his Foreign Minister do not


see beyond their financial supporters, who are committed to


the cause of Zionism.



All these violations of human rights and international law


go virtually unnoticed by Mr. Bush, Mr. Major, or


Mr. Mulroney and others. The hypocrisy and double standards


are blatant. In 1990 half a million troops were sent to


the Gulf to enforce a Security Council resolution, we were


told. Iraq was destroyed and its 17 million people continue


to die of starvation and disease, because U.N. resolutions


have been incompletely enforced. Yet, Israel continues to


violate human rights and occupy illegally Palestinian,


Syrian and Lebanese territory, in continuing defiance of


repeated Security Council resolutions. Yet, U.S. military,


economic and political aid to Israel continue, in support of


this violation of international law. Has the word Sanctions


against Israel been whispered? Does Mr. Bush and his "New


World Order" mean anything but that the world must remain


subject to the interests of the U.S. and its friends,


including Israel? The dictionary, my friends, on our


leaders' hypocrisy is voluminous ...














Since 1948, the Palestinian people have endured the hardship


and indignity of exile and have waited for the world


conscience to allow them the right to return to their homes,


a right that is fundamental in The Universal Declaration of


Human Rights and a right that has been repeatedly reaffirmed


by the United Nations General Assembly since the 11th of


December 1948, when Resolution No. 194 resolved that:



"Refugees wishing to return to their homes

and live at peace with their neighbours

should be permitted to do so at the earliest

practicable date, and that those wishing

not to return should be compensated for

their property."



The U.N. mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden stated


in a report to the U.N.:



"It would be an offence against the principles

of elemental justice if these innocent victims

of the conflict were denied the right to return

to their homes while Jewish immigrants flow into

Palestine, and, indeed, at least offer the threat

of permanent replacement of the Arab refugees

who have been rooted in the land for centuries."



It was interesting that two weeks ago in the Globe_&_Mail of


May 22nd, Mr. Joel Cuperfain, an ardent Zionist, wrote that


it is "outrageous and unprecedented" for the Palestinians to










claim the right of return. This is ironic when Israel


entitles every Jew from any corner of the globe, including


millions of Russian Jews who, and their ancestors, had never


set foot in Palestine, to have the "right to return" while


the Palestinians who were born, and their forefathers had


lived, and cultivated the land of Palestine for thousands of


years are now denied this right, which is described by


Zionists as an "outrageous claim". Only in Zionist


philosophy and rewriting of history can such an incredible


statement be made.



In 1967 more injustice was inflicted upon the Palestinians.


For the last twenty-five years they have been subjected to a


system of manipulated administrative and legal structure


causing political oppression and economic exploitation.


Their fundamental rights are denied to them. The rule of


law does not exist. More than 1,290 military orders have


been passed in the West Bank amending local laws beyond


recognition and in violation of the Fourth Geneva


Convention. These laws stipulate that the Palestinian


cannot dig a well in his own land or deepen an existing well.


He cannot plant a tree without the order of the military













governor. The four colours of black, green, white and red


are prohibited to be gathered. A grocer who arranges his


tomatoes and apples and oranges in any system pertaining to


these four colours, is liable to be gaoled. A child may


not carry these four colours, which are his national flag.


The Palestinian is denied any system of law. He or she may


be arrested and detained for as long as a year without charge


or trial, and this may be renewed by the stroke of the pen of


a military officer. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians


have been held in this manner. A university professor in


Bethlehem was detained, in the most oppressive conditions,


because he dared to teach his community how to plant carrots


and tomatoes to feed themselves, a crime in the eyes of the


Zionist ideology.



I have only scratched the surface of the oppression, the


cruelty and injustice to which the Palestinians have been


exposed over the last twenty-five years. Every facet of


human right has been violated and every method of torture,


humiliation and indignity has been apportioned to them and


the world remains silent. Not only that, there was a time


when many of Israel's apologists in the media, or as Mr. Pat













Buchanan described them as the "Amen_corner", who described


the Israeli occupation as a liberal occupation. To


this, Professor Israel Shahak, who had experienced the Nazi


Belsen concentration camp, and saw what goes on in Israel,


described this statement in these words:



"The Israeli occupation regime in the conquered

territories is not only not a liberal one, it

is one of the most cruel and repressive regimes

in modern times."







Brutality is legislated. Racism is the order of the day.


Discrimination is manifest in every aspect of life, and by


legislation. But I assure you my friends that the


Palestinian people's tenacity is unyielding. Our people are


willing to struggle and sacrifice and you cannot defeat a


people with this tenacity, when a child turns his little


hand into a fist, with a stone, that defies the oppressor.


The oppressed people of South Africa were able to teach


F. W. De Klerk a lesson that has made Mr. De Klerk


declare that the book on apartheid is closed. I am afraid


the book on the Zionist ideology is not yet closed but I can


assure you that Zionism, like apartheid, is running against












the natural course of history and I am optimistic that right


will overcome wrong. I am also optimistic because there are,


though few, Jewish voices who are speaking out. The great


Jewish journalist, I. F. Stone, wrote a few years ago:



"How can we talk of human rights and ignore them for

the Palestinians? How can Israel talk of Jewish

rights to a homeland and deny one to the Palestinians?"



Similarly, Professor Israel Shahak, Chairman of the Israeli


League for Civil and Human Rights, said:




"The majority of the Israeli public are shutting

their eyes to the simple human cry of the




and warned his people:



...not to allow the experience of the German

people between the two World Wars to befall them.


I am not afraid to say publicly that Israeli Jews

and with them most Jews throughout the world,

are undergoing a process of Nazification.



He went on to state that he is saying this:



... so that no one can say as the German

people did, 'I did not know'. And like

Albert Speer, I am trying to act before

it is too late."












This is the kind of authentic Jewish voice that I am happy to


say gives me hope that, in time, there will be more people


like I. F. Stone, Israel Shahak, Felicia Langer and


Mordecai Briemberg. For if the other voice, the voice which


has come to dominate Israeli and Zionist thinking, arrogant


with power, which thinks only of territorial expansion and


practise discrimination and terror, the voice of Ariel


Sharon, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, if that voice


should continue to speak for Israel, then Israel will bring,


I am afraid, tragedy on herself and the Palestinians and


very likely on the rest of the world.



Palestinians are calling for a modicum of justice for


without justice, I am afraid, there will be no peace for


Arab or Jew in the Middle East.