Saturday, October 2, 2004 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

Voice of the People

State terrorism

In his column, "A terrorist's a terrorist: Isn't he/she?" (Sept. 28), Basil Deakin presents an interesting analysis of the term "terrorist," using the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the term: "a person who uses or favours violent and intimidating methods of coercing a government or community." In his analysis, he includes reference to Palestinians, amongst others.

Would he, or CanWest, apply the terrorist term to the Israeli pilot who, in his Apache or F16, pours tons of bombs on refugee camps, killing scores of innocent men, women and children; or the pilot who uses his rockets to execute extra-judicial assassination of individuals in cars travelling on Gaza streets and killing innocent bystanders? Would he apply the same term to the Israeli political leader who authorizes his bulldozers to demolish homes and leave thousands homeless?

As to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, it should be remembered that they have been subjected to an illegal oppressive occupation, that has been allowed to stand for 37 years in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. International law and the UN Charter entitle all people, including even the Palestinian people, to resist foreign occupation. We all hailed the French and other Europeans who resisted, with all their means, the foreign Nazi occupation.

It is unfortunate that the Palestinians do not have the Apaches and F16s, and resort, in response to their daily humiliation, by using the tragic suicide bombing. The killing of innocent Israeli or Palestinian civilians is reprehensible and must be brought to an end by the complete termination of the illegal occupation.

Ismail Zayid, MD, Halifax