Dr. Zayid writes a letter
Countering the lies of the Canadian media on President Arafat and the Palestinian issue

Rather than providing objective information on the life and work of President Yasser Arafat, the Canadian media -- especially the editorial pages of the daily newspaper -- has been full of distortions and disinformation, totally misrepresenting the nature of the conflict with, in the words of Dr. Ismail Zayid of Halifax in a letter to the Halifax Herald, "no reference to historic facts or context. You do this without reference to a Palestinian point of view, as an attempt of balance." Dr Zayid has been actively countering media bias with letters to the editor, which are reprinted below. Please keep in mind that though the daily newspaper presents its letters page as the democratic "voice of the people", most of Dr. Zayid's letters never see the light of day. He wrote some 24 letters over the course of 2003 to the Globe and Mail, not one of which was published. Others have even been crudely rewritten. Therefore Shunpiking Online is posting three of his most recent letters.

To the Halifax Herald:
The killing of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians is unacceptable

21 November 2004

The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.

Dear Editor:

In your editorial ["The next war" 21 November 2004]*, you regurgitate the diatribe of Mr. Michael Oren [Israeli 'historian' ....], with no reference to historic facts or context. You do this without reference to a Palestinian point of view, as an attempt of balance.

The Palestinian 'terrorists', you refer to, are people who have been subjected to an illegal occupation, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, that has been allowed to stand, for 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Under this occupation, the Palestinians are being subjected to detention without charge or trial, torture, extra-judicial assassination, daily humiliation, denial of health care, demolition of thousands of their homes, expropriation of their land for the creation of illegal Jewish colonies 'settlements', and collective punishments, all in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These practices are war crimes, and state terrorism, as defined by international law.

The UN Charter recognizes the right of all peoples, including the Palestinian people, to resist foreign occupation. UN Resolution #2787, on 6 December 1971, confirms : "the legality of the peoples' struggle and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably in Southern Africa .... as well as the Palestinian people, by all means consistent with the Charter of the United Nations."

A number of Palestinians are driven, by desperation under this oppressive occupation, to commit the abhorrent acts of suicide bombing. They do not have the F16's and Apaches, that Israeli leaders and soldiers shower them with their missiles, killing thousands of men, women and children and destroying their homes, in their refugee camps, where they have been waiting for 56 years to be allowed to return to their homes, from which they were ethnically cleansed by Israel. This Right of Return is stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and repeated UN resolutions, which Israel continues to defy.

The killing of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians is unacceptable. And if Mr. Oren truly cares for the security of his fellow citizens, he should call on his government to comply with international law and bring about complete termination of this illegal occupation, and thus security for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can be attained.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

To the Halifax Herald:
Intifada was provoked by Sharon, not Arafat

13 November 2004

The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.

Dear Editor:

In your editorial ['Arafat's death leaves void', 12 November 2004], you accuse Arafat of "launching a bloody, doomed-to-failure Intifada." This is a total falsehood. The Intifada was deliberately provoked by Ariel Sharon who marched, on 29 September 2000, with a thousand armed Israeli soldiers, into the sacred Muslim compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in collusion with Ehud Barak, Israel's then prime minister. The peaceful demonstration of Palestinians at the Mosque, against this intrusion, resulted in killing many Palestinian worshippers with Israeli gunfire.

The primary cause for the lack of peace in The Holy Land is Israeli continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions.

It is time that the international community, including the US, should act to enforce UN resolutions and thus ensure peace and security for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

CBC Radio 'Main Street' disputes birthplace of Dr. Ismail Zayid

12 November 2004

The Producer,
"Main Street" Program,
CBC Radio, Halifax.

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing to express my strong objection to your reporter's description of my birthplace, on the CBC Main Street Program today, as "a village in the disputed territories."

I was interviewed this afternoon by your reporter, Mahira Lashman, at The Islamic Centre on Kearney Lake Road in Halifax. I was asked as to my birthplace, and I told your reporter that I was born in the village of Beit Nuba in Palestine. There is nothing disputed about the Palestinian village of Beit Nuba, where I was born, except perhaps in the Israeli colonial lexicon, but certainly not according to international law or historic record.

Finally, I would like a public correction of this erroneous statement. Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box 1085,
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1

To the Globe & Mail: "a catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods"

Who introduced terrorism into the Middle East?

12 November 2004

The Editor,
The Globe & Mail.

Dear Editor:

Your editorial ["Yasser Arafat's ultimate failure" 12 November 2004] is a catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods. You speak of the "tragic unforgivable failure [of Arafat] for which he himself bears the primary blame." There is not a word about the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their homeland, in 1948 and 1967. There is not a word about the Israeli illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that has been allowed to stand for 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions, together with the atrocities committed during this occupation, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, constituting war crimes.

You state : "If terrorism today is a worldwide phenomenon, we have Mr. Arafat to thank." The 'credit' for the the introduction of terrorism in the Middle East and on the international scene must clearly go to the Zionist movement and Israel.

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."

The record of Israel and the terrorist gangs [the Stern, Irgun Zwei Leumi and Haganah] that brought it about is massive and would take volumes to relate, but I will refer only to a few examples:

The Irgun Zwei Leumi, led by Menachem Begin, was responsible for the bombing of King David hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing over 90 men,women and children. In 1944, Yitzhak Shamir was responsible for the assassination the British minister, Lord Moyne, in Cairo in 1944. A horrible crime was committed in the assassination of the Swedish nobleman, Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Mediator, on 17 September 1948, in Jerusalem on the orders of Yitzhak Shamir, who later became prime minister of Israel. Count Bernadotte's sin was his recommendation, as the UN Mediator, that the Palestinian refugees, who were driven out from their homes by Israel, should be allowed to return to their homes. This was the substance of the UN resolution #194, of 11 December 1948, which remains unfulfilled to this day.

The first act of air piracy in the history of civil aviation was carried out by Israel in 1954, when a civilian Syrian airliner was forced down in Tel Aviv and its passengers and crew held hostage, despite international condemnation.

The first act of shooting down a civilian airliner was deliberately carried out by Israel when a Libyan airliner was shot down by Israeli jet fighters over Sinai in February 1973, on the orders of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, killing 107 of its passengers and its entire French crew.

Israeli terror was not restricted to Palestinians, Arabs and Europeans but included its own closest supporter and ally, the United States. In 1954, Israeli secret agents bombed the U.S. diplomatic centres in Cairo and Alexandria (known as the Lavon Affair), in an attempt to put the blame on the Egyptians. Israel later honoured the perpetrator, Marcello Ninio.

In June 1967, Israeli forces attacked the U.S.spy ship USS Liberty, and strafed rescue boats, killing 34 and injuring 170 U.S. servicemen, in an attempt to conceal its own secret communications, and again tried to blame it on the Egyptians. To this day, incredible as it may seem, the U.S. Congress refuses to hold an inquiry into this crime, as requested by the surviving crew. Needless to say, no sanctions were imposed or calls to extradite the perpetrators were made.

Zionist terror did not spare Jews. In 1940, Menachem Begin's Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist gang bombed the ship Patria in Haifa harbor, killing 240 Jewish refugees, so as to put the blame on the British for political gain.

In 1950-1951, Israeli agents were dispatched to Iraq where they tossed hand grenades into the crowded Massauda Shem-Tov synagogue, killing innocent Jewish worshippers, in order to blame it on the Iraqis and encourage reluctant Iraqi Jews to emigrate to Israel.

This a mere sample of the acts of terrorism that Israel conducted and continue to carry out against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories and on the international scene.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association.

Dear friends:

This is today's editorial in The Halifax Herald, a totally biased output, as usual. I will be replying to it and hope others will do too.

Ismail Zayid

Sunday, November 21, 2004
The Halifax Herald Limited

The next war

THE PALESTINIANS have lost Yasser Arafat and the Israelis have won the war on terror.

That blunt assessment -- the second half of it, at least -- comes from Israeli historian, author and think-tank fellow Michael B. Oren. The statistics speak for themselves. More than 400 suicide bombings have been thwarted in 2004 (a 90 per cent success rate), while Israeli casualties are down 70 per cent.

"I count it as a victory because we, Israel, defeated an enemy that had a very specific goal," Mr. Oren told The Chronicle Herald editorial board late last month. "The goal was to unravel _ Israel's society, to ruin the economy, and to break the morale of the Israeli people. ... On every single score, they've lost." At first, it didn't look that way. The Israeli economy tanked. But it has since rebounded. In fact, the terror onslaught boomeranged on the Palestinians as Israeli reprisals and countermeasures -- border closures, the building of a barrier ringing the country, and the assassinations of terrorist leaders -- bore their bitter fruit. It's the Palestinian Authority, society and economy that are unraveling now.

Sadly, the dynamic of the Middle East is such that it does not alternate between war and peace, but war and war, no matter who wins. And so the next war has already begun, says Mr. Oren. With the diminishing effectiveness of suicide bombings, militants have switched tactics, firing missiles into Israel. So far, they've had limited success from Gaza as they target sparsely populated parts of Israel, but the day is coming when a new front will be opened up in the West Bank. From there, they can hit Israeli residential and industrial areas, including airports, says Mr. Oren.

The Israeli response will be both offensive and defensive -- demolishing workshops and launch sites, while fine-tuning early warning systems that give citizens 20 seconds "to hit the dirt," and eventually developing "some low-grade, low-flying anti-ballistic missile" that can knock down projectiles.

But the toughest battle will happen on the international scene, Mr. Oren predicts. "Here, the Palestinians are embarking on an interesting policy, a very sophisticated policy, of making common ground with the Europeans against the United States."

The idea will be to goad the U.S. into abusing its veto power at UN Security Council, and to garner overwhelming support to move the issue from the Security Council to the General Assembly. "It will eventually come to a vote about sanctions of one type or another, the South-Africanization of Israel," Mr. Oren says.

"The United States will put itself in violation of the General Assembly _ but the fact of the matter is that 80 per cent of Israel's trade is with Europe, not the United States.

"One of the few reasons it hasn't happened -- the idea of sanctions comes up in the EU almost every year -- is because European manufacturers don't want it to happen."

Of course, Israel could also pre-empt a gang-up job by removing the prime irritant in the eyes of the international community: settlements on occupied land. This would be the wise and the right thing to do.

Source: http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004/11/21/fEditorial.html#175.raw

Copyright 2004 The Halifax Herald Limited

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Copyright New Media Services Inc. 2004. The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of shunpiking magazine or New Media Publications.