From: Ismail Zayid
To: Halifax Herald
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2006 11:12 AM
Subject: Double Standards.

 
Aug. 13, 2006
 
The Editor,
The Chronicle Herald.
 
Dear Editor:
 
Martin MacKinnon, in his letter; {"Hezbollah at fault" Aug. 13}, makes a series of distortions and falsehoods, in his justification for the war crimes committed by Israel in its massive invasion, murder and destruction of the entire infrastructure of Lebanon.
 
Hezbollah came into being as a resistance movement to free their country after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which brought devastation and the killing of 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinian innocent civilians. It was the war of resistance that the Lebanese and Hezollah conducted to force the Israeli army out of most of South Lebanon, in May 2000, ending an occupation that lasted 22 years, since the initial invasion of Lebanon in 1978. This illegal occupation lasted 22 years, in defiance of Security Council Resolution # 425, in 1978. Israel continues to occupy some Lebanese territory, the Shebaa Farm, which is what Lebanon and Hezbollah are fighting for. Furthermore, if the capture of two Israeli soldiers is a crime, how about Israel still holding, for decades, over 9,000 Palestinians and Lebanese, mostly without charge or trial, in what Israel calls 'administrative detention' ?
 
MacKinnon claims that Hezbollah use civilians as a human shield. The falsehood of this allegation is confirmed in the report by Human Rights Watch which stated:
"Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack" and that Hezbollah's actions do "not justify the IDF’s extensive use of indiscriminate force which has cost so many civilian lives."  UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland accused Israel of breaking humanitarian law. "It is horrific. I did not know it was block after block of houses...It makes it a violation of humanitarian law," Egeland said, just hours after an Israeli strike had devastated a suburb of Beirut." 
 
As to charges of terrorism, the history of this Middle East conflict shows clearly how Israel created terrorism in the Middle East and continues its state terrorism by extrajudicial assassination, demolition of thousands of homes and the use of chemical weapons. The late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and then chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, wrote: "There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends."
 
Surely, it is time that Israel's apologists begin to look at the facts on the ground and cease this practice of double standards.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Ismail Zayid, MD