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Subject: Letters to Editor. The Halifax Herald. Oct. 25, 2008/
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Voice of the People.                           The Chronicle Herald                    Oct. 25, 2008



No hope for peace

Monday night, I attended a presentation by the group Canadian Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace. Monday night I found out why there will never be peace in the land Israel/Palestine.

The purpose of the lecture was to provide information about Canada Park in Israel and the parkís dubious history, as it had been the site of three Palestinian villages prior to 1967. The lecturer was informative and the film presentation useful; however, matters quickly deteriorated with the question-and-answer session.

People felt obliged to defend either the Israeli or Palestinian viewpoint in a "he said/she said," contemptuous style that did nothing to inform or further the debate. Some of those in attendance openly laughed at the idea that in the past, Muslims have protected Jews (it is true, people, please read your history). Others felt the need to defend those who have terrorized the citizens of a democratic state. I left the meeting early as I no longer wished to hear such hatred and saw no attempt to listen and compromise.

This acrimonious debate took place in the safe confines of Canada, where no one is threatened or at risk of real harm. It is little wonder, then, those who live in Israel/Palestine with the daily reality of terror and hatred will never be able to see their way to peace.

Peter D. Tufts, Halifax


Law is not context

Iím not quite sure if A. Mark David understands international law when he describes Beit Nuba, one of the Palestinian towns destroyed by IDF forces, as being located in the "pre-1967 strategic heart of Israel" (Oct. 22 letter).

Mr. David makes much of the fact that there were Egyptian commando units in the village. Amos Kenan, an Israeli soldier present during the operation, said: "In the houses we found one wounded Egyptian commando officer, and some very old people." Canadian trained Norwegian UN staff leader Odd Bull stated that "the status quo was all the time being altered by Israel in her favour as Arab villagers were evicted, their dwellings demolished, and all Arab villages disappeared."

And Mr. David, as a Queenís Counsel, should know that "what happened to the villages is the unfortunate price paid by ordinary Arabs" has no basis in law whatsoever. Acquisition of territory by force is illegal. As well, I doubt if that Egyptian commando is still present today and since Israeli has signed a peace treaty with Egypt, I donít see any arriving in the foreseeable future. Thus the Palestinians, all 15,000 who were removed, should be permitted to return to their homes in the three towns destroyed by IDF forces. Law is not context; itís justice.

Miles Tompkins, Antgonish