Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 9:23 PM
Subject: Canada's Middle East Policy.
Canada Palestine Association,
Halifax, N.S., B3J 2X1
The Hon. Mr. Bill Graham MP,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dear Mr. Graham:
We are appalled to hear the details of a Propsal, submitted by Ms.
Carolyn Bennett MP., together with other members of the House of Commons and
Senate, dealing with " Canadian Position on Israel and the Middle East."
The Proposal states that "Canada's policy must reflect
realities on the ground." We fully agree with that. The realities
on the ground show an Israeli illegal occupation of
Palestinian territory, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, as
well as the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights, that has been allowed to
stand for 36 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security
Council resolutions. The practices of this occupation have included detention
of thousands of Palestinians,for years, without charge or trial, torture,
extra-judicial assassination, collective punishments, daily humiliation,
demolition of thousands of homes and expropriation of property and land, for
the creation of illegal settlements. All these acts are in violation of the
Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus defined by international law as
The Proposal calls for "protection of the integrity of the
United Nations." There is,indeed, an essential need for
upholding the integrity of the UN, by making it the duty of every member
state of the UN, like Canada which claims to uphold the UN Charter, to
insist on the implementation of UN resolutions. It is relevant, on this score,
to indicate that Israel stands, for decades, in defiance of scores of UNGA
and Security Council resolutions. It is also relevant to point out that the
admission of Israel to the membership of the UN, per Resolution # 273, in May
1949, was conditional on its compliance with UNGA resolutions # 181, of
November 29,1947, and resolution # 194,0f Dec. 11, 1948. Israeli non-compliance
with hese resolutions makes it reasonable to argue the legitimacy of Israeli UN
The Proposal states that "Canada should make every
effort to promote policies conducive to the cause of democracy and peace in the
region." Indeed, that is so. The most compelling need to bring
about peace in the Middle East, and provide peace and security for the Israeli
and Palestinian peoples, as well the entire region, is to bring about Israeli
compliance with international law and UN resolutions by complete termination
of Israeli occupation of Palestinian, as well as Syrian territory.
The Proposal speaks of Palestinian terrorism, and describes Israeli
state terrorism as self defence. This is the height of hypocrisy and double
standards. The Palestinian people are under foreign occupation. The UN Charter
and UN resolution # 2787, of Dec. 6,1971, recognises the right
of all people under foreign occupation, including the Palestinian People, to
resist foreign occupation. The killing of innocent civilians, be they Israeli
or Palestinian, is abhorent and must be brought to an end, by termination of
this illegal occupation.
Finally, Sir, we call on our givernment to take heed of our
committment to international law and the UN Charter and call on Israel to
completely terminate its illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land, and
comply with international law so that peace and security can be attained gor
all the people of the region. The charade of the so-called peace process
and negotiation between the occupier and the occupied is unjust . Illegal
occupation must be terminated unconditionally.
Ismail Zayid, M.D.
President, Canada Palestine Association.