From: Ismail Zayid
To: Beverley Dauphinee ; The Halifax Herald
Cc: Bob Howse
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 10:33 AM
Subject: Laden with falsehoods .

May 15, 2002
The Editor:
The Halifax Herald
Dear Editor:
Bob MacLaughlin's letter ["Not that simple' May 15] is laden with falsehoods. What he calls "the myth of a Palestinian homeland" is Palestne, the historic homeland of the Palestinians, whose ancestors have lived in this land since history began, despite numerous alien invaders. Professor Maxime Rodinson, who is Jewish and the then Proessor of History at the Sorbonne University in Paris, like many authoritative historians, stated in 1968 : " The Arab population of Palestine was native in all senses of the word and their roots in Palestine can be traced back at least forty centuries."
Ironically, Mr. MacLaughlin's letter comes on may 15, the 54th. anniversray of the Palestinian Nakba [the great catastrophe], when they were systematically ethnically cleansed from their homeland by massacres and expulsion. He reiterates the fable that the Arabs invaded Israel in 1948. Before a single Arab soldier entered Palestine, on May 15, 1948, the Zionist forces had already driven out 350,000 Palestinian refugees and occupied many cities and towns assigned, in the 1947 UN Partition Scheme, for the Palestinian state. Mr. Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, on declaring the creation of Israel, on May 14, 1948, refused to define its borders and stated : " We are announcing the creation a state in the western part o our country." He stated, in his diaries, " To maintain the status quo will not do. we have to set up a state bent upon expansion." He alaso stated that had it not been for the Arab intervention, Israel would have taken the whole of Palestine and cleansed the Palestinians completely, as he stated in a letter to his son, Amos, in 1937 that when the Jewish state comes into being : " we will expel the Arabs and take their places."
I have stated repeatedly that the killing of innocent civilians, be they Palestinians or Israelis, is abhorent and must be condemned. Mr. MacLaughlin objects to the suicide bombers, but,evidently, finds no fault in the killing of hundreds of Palestinians by F16's and Apache gunships bombing with rockets, besides bulldozing their homes, and denying them any medical aid. These acts have been condemned as war crimes by Amnesty International, ICRC, Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights groups like B'Tselem. The few Palestinians who unfortunately revert to the suicide bombing are young people who see their homes demolished, their parents humiliated and are subjected to an oppressive occupation and daily humiliation and find themselves helpless and hopeless. Give them F16's, tanks and Apaches and they will abandon suicide bombing.
Evidently, Mr. MacLaughlin, like Israel and its leaders, Sharon etc., have no place for international law and human rights conventions. The fact remains that Israel is in illegal occupation of Palestinian territories that stands, for 35 years, in defiance of international law and repeated UN Security Council resolutions. It is the duty of all those states and people , besides Israel's apologists, who care for human rights and international legitimacy, to demand complete termination of this illegal occupation, so that peace and security can be obtained for both Palestinian and Israeli peoples.
Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, M.D.