From: Ismail Zayid
To: Mr. Bill Graham
Cc: Clark.J@parl.gc.ca ; The Hon. Ms. Alexa McDonough ; Mackay.P@parl.gc.ca ; Robinson.S@parl.gc.ca ; Geoff. Regan
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 12:39 PM
Subject: Is Canada the new US proxy?

 
March 20, 2002
 
The Hon. Mr. Bill Graham,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Ottawa.
 
Dear Mr. Graham:
 
We are astounded to read in the press, The Globe & Mail: { "Canada to protect Israel at UN session" March 20}, that " Canada is picking up the slack for the US, which has been Israel's traditional defender at the annual rights conferences in Geneva."  So, is that Canada's new role on the world scene, a proxy for the US and an apologist for Israeli racism and violation of human rights?
 
You are quoted stating that " Israel is taking steps to defend itself in extremely difficult circumstances." The difficult circumstances, you are speaking of, are the direct outcome of an illegal occupation, that has been allowed to stand for 35 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Canada's stand should be to call for the immediate complete termination of this illegal occupation, and bringing to an end the killing of innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilian citizens.
 
As to the charges of racism against Israel, let us look at the facts. Israeli practices and laws demonstrate blatant racism  and discrimination against its own citizens, who are not of the Jewish faith. The list of laws and practices is lengthy but I will allow Israeli human rights activists and thinkers , amongst others, to describe these practices:
 
 The late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor and Chairperson of The Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, stated: " It is my considered opinion that the state of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term. In this state people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement."
 
The Israeli thinker Derek Tozer stated: " The official policy of the government [of Israel] is unequivocal. Arabs like the Jews in Nazi Germany are officially 'Class B' citizens, a fact which is recorded on their identity cards."
 
Denis Goldberg, a Jewish South African, sentenced to life imprisonment for " conspiring to overthrow the Apartheid regime", was released through the intercession of Israeli officials, came to Israel and stated in 1985 that he sees " many similarities in the oppression of blacks in South Africa and of Palestinians", and pledged never to stay in Israel and moved to England.
 
Nelson Mandela, not unfamiliar with racist practices, in one of his first speeches after release from prison, compared blacks in South africa to Palestinians who are fighting " against a unique form of colonialism".
 
South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu observed, during a Christmas visit to Jerusalem in 1989: " I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, could desribe events in South Africa."
 
Attorney Malea Kiblan, a member of the American National Lawyers Guild Group who visited Israel and the Occupied Territories, stated at the Guild's Press Conference on Aug. 1, 1977: " Before I came, I had never fully understood the UN Resolution that equated Zionism with racism, and I came here with an open mind to have personal access to the facts of the situation. When I saw things first hand, I was totally overwhelmed by the way the Arabs are treated as inferior people. I didn't really understand institutional racism until I made this trip, although we have racism in the United States. Israel is built on an exclusive system, and the Arabs racially cannot qualify as equal citizens in the West Bank or in Israel in any area, including health , education, personal treatment and every other area."
 
To quote one of the many laws in Israel that discriminate against non- Jewish citizens of the satate, there is the Development Authority Law of 1950, which remains effective. This law grants the Jewish National Fund authority over 92% of the land in Israel. By means of a "land Covenant", all this property, most of it expropriated from Palesinians, becomes the "inalienable property" of the Jewish people worldwide. This means non-Jews, citizens of the state, can never buy any of it, rent it or till it. If such a law stipulating only Christians or any specific religious entity, can own or lease or till 92% of the land of Canada, would there not be an outcry of discrimination and racism?
 
Israel has been, over the last 35 years, in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its racist practices have been condemned by virtually all international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, UN Human Rights Commission, International Commission of Jurists, and Israel's own human rights groups, B'Tselem and the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights.
 
We have been led to believe that our country prides itself on its support for the UN Charter and human rights. Is this stand of yours a new chapter annulling our pride in this legacy?
 
Clearly, Mr. Graham, there is a need for an open mind and examination of the facts so as not to give a free licence to those who practice racism and to continue to do that unchallenged. No country, including Israel, must be allowed to remain above international law, and Palestinians as well as Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel are humans too.
 
Your sincerely
 
Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association