Dr. Zayid writes a letter

"unedited, unexpurgated, and to the point"
Second in an ongoing series

(EDITOR'S NOTE) DR. ISMAIL ZAYID of Halifax, president of the Canada Palestine Association,is a persistent writer of cogent and informative letters to the media, attacking deliberate disinformation in the news, editorial or letters pages. The media, in his words, provide "no reference to historic facts or context. You do this without reference to a Palestinian point of view, as an attempt of balance"(Letter to the Halifax Herald, 21 November 2004). Along with the historical context of the question of Palestine, his letters focus on Canadian foreign policy and the principles of international law. Though one of the most knowledgeable authorities on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Canada today, he is rarely interviewed or invited to contribute "op ed" commentaries. Please keep in mind that, although daily newspapers present their letters page as the democratic "voice of the people", most of Dr. Zayid's letters never see the light of day. In 2003 not a single one of his 24 letters to the Toronto Globe and Mail was printed. On occasion, editors have crudely doctored his letters.
(See http://www.shunpiking.org/ol0103/Media-Culpa.htm)

Nevertheless, though now retired, Dr. Zayid continues to fire, and he also circulates his letters through his e-mail list. Beginning with our December 2004 edition, the editors of Shunpiking Online decided to begin a new monthly column for the information of our readers entitled "Dr. Zayid Writes A Letter". It features Dr. Zayid's most recent letters, unedited, unexpurgated, and to the point.
Dr Zayid's website is: http://izayid.tripod.com


Canadian Foreign Policy

To Alexa McDonough
, MP (Halifax) and foreign policy spokesperson, New Democratic Party
Subject: Selective opposition to "foreign occupation"(The Lebanese crisis). 18 February 2005

To Paul Martin
Subject: Selective Stand on Human Rights ... 21 January 2005

Media Culpa, The Occupation, Israeli 'Democracy', Six Day War

To the Halifax Herald
Subject: Lack of balance (Lebanese crisis). 8 March 2005

To the Guardian Weekly
Subject: Is Israel above international law? (Abbas's pleading for negotiations) 4 March 2005

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Israeli 'democracy'. 3 March 2005

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Yes, for human interest to all. 28 February 2005

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Edward Luttwack's incitement to civil war. 14 February 2005

To Middle East International
Subject: The Six-Day War -- The lies that were propagated. 13 February 2005

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Democracy for Jews only. 4 February 2004

* * * * *

To Alexa McDonough, MP (Halifax) and foreign policy spokesperson, New Democratic Party Selective opposition to "foreign occupation"(The Lebanese crisis)

February 18, 2005

Dear Ms. McDonough

We read, in the Halifax Herald, February 17, with extreme surprise, quotations of your statements related to your recent visit to the Middle East and the recent tragic terrorist action in Lebanon.

You are quoted as having said: "Peace in Palestine cannot be maintained unless Syria pulls back from both its open and clandestine activities."

Do I need to remind you that the lack of peace in Palestine is a direct outcome of Israeli policies, including the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland, the illegal oppresive Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, associated with violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention including detention of thousands without charge or trial, torture, extra-judicial assassination, demolition of thousands of homes and expropriation of Palestinian territory for the creation of illegal Jewish settlents. All these acts are war crimes, as defined by international law.

You state: "I really felt Pettigrew showed a lot of diplomatic skill as well as a lot of guts, in having stated very strongly the case for the Syrian presence in Lebanon to recede if in fact, the real concern was for peace in Palestine and Israel."

Mr. Pettigrew and the rest of our Canadian distinguished politicians are calling aloud for Syria to comply with last year's Security Council Resolution #1559 and withdraw its troops from Lebanon. However, why did we not hear Mr. Pettigrew make the more relevant call in Israel to withdraw its troops from Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territory, that has been allowed to stand for over 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions? Furthermore, whatever the merits, or otherwise, of the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon, do I need to remind you that the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon is at the invitation of the Lebanese government? Surely, it is for the elected Lebanese government, and not Messrs Bush, Chirac or Pettigrew, to decide whether the Syrian troops leave or stay in Lebanon. And do I need to remind all these distinguished politicians that the Israeli troops are uninvited in their illegal occupation of Palestinian or Syrian territory?

Finally, if you and our politicians truly care for peace and security in Palestine and Israel, you should use your guts to call on Israel to terminate completely, immediately and unconditionally its illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory. The call should also go to Israel to comply with scores of Security Council resolutions related to illegal Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as well as scores of UN resolutions calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from their homeland by Israel. The call should also call on the U.S. government to cease its unquestioning support for all the crimes and policies of Israel, which the U.S. automatically vetoes.

I am also surprised to see that, in relation to the charges that Syria is responsible for the killing of Mr. Hariri, you state: "I don't think there's any doubt in anybody's mind."For you to make this statement is surprising, when, in fact, no one in the world knows who perpetrated this crime. Others have listed the major beneficiaries from this crime, but those must also be dismissed until the facts are obtained.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association

* * * * *

To Paul Martin
Subject: Selective Stand on Human Rights


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

21 January 2005

The Right Hon. Mr. Paul Martin
Prime Minister
Ottawa
min.dfaitmaeci@international.gc.ca

Dear Mr. Martin

We applaud your stand on human rights, as expressed today in China, where you stated that your stand on human rights is "persistent and consistent."However, we are disappointed to note that this "consistency"is not applied to the Israeli practices of continuing violation of the basic human rights of the Palestinians. We recall your statement in last November, before the Canada Jewish Advocacy Group, where you sated that:"Nothing will shake Canada's commitment to Israel."

It is quite obvious that Israeli practices, including extra-judicial assassination, detention of thousands without charge or trial, torture, daily humiliation, demoilition of thousands of homes and expropriation of land for the creation of illegal Jewish settlements, are in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus tantamount to war crimes, as defined by international law. These practices have been repeatedly condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all Israeli human rights group, incuding B'Tselem, and the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights.

We trust, Sir, that your "persistent and consistent"stand on human rights will not remain selective and will apply to the continuing violation of the human rights of Palestinians under the illegal Israeli occupation.

Your sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD,
President, Canada Palestine Association

* * * * *

To the Halifax Herald
Subject: Lack of balance (Lebanese crisis)
Tuesday, March 8, 2005


The Halifax Herald Limited

Voice of the people

Your March 1 editorial "Bloody blunders"shows striking inconsistencies.

You refer to the "detestable regime in Damascus"and, in support, you describe, "The people of Lebanon are rising up against the 29-year Syrian occupation of their land."

However, in your reference to Palestinians, we note there is no mention of the Palestinian uprising against the 38-year illegal and brutal occupation of their land, and no call for the immediate termination of this illegal occupation.

While it is right and timely for the Lebanese to call for the withdrawal of Syrian forces from their land, it must be remembered that the Syrian forces came to Lebanon in 1976 at the invitation of the Lebanese government. However, the Israeli oppressive occupation of Palestinian land is uninvited, illegal and stands in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions.

Is it too much to ask our media editors to show balance and fairness in their contributions?

Ismail Zayid, MD
Halifax

* * * * *

To the Guardian Weekly
Subject: Is Israel above international law?


4 March 2005

The Editor
Guardian Weekly

Dear Editor:

Re ["Abbas pleads for direct talks with Israel"by Ewen MacAskill, 4 March 2005].

The pleading by Abbas for direct negotiations with Israel is incomprehensible. Israel stands in illegal occupation of Palestinian territory for 38 years in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Immediate and complete termination of this illegal occupation should be demanded by the Palestinian Authority, as well as the USA and all those who claim to speak for international legitimacy and the UN Charter. When Iraq illegally occupied Kuwait, in 1990, no one said the Kuwaitis should negotiate with the Iraqis about withdrawal from 90 per cent or otherwise of their land. A Security Council resolution was passed, and when withdrawal was not accomplished in few weeks, the US and its allies sent nearly a million troops and evicted Iraqi forces from Kuwait, besides bombing and destroying the entire infrastructure of Iraq. Even after the eviction of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, the US and the UK claimed that Iraq was not in full compliance with one Security Council resolution and imposed economic sanctions, that brought about the death of over a million Iraqis, mostly children.

Israel stands today in defiance of scores of Security Council resolutions. Why does Abbas need to plea for negotiation? Is Israel above international law?

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

* * * * *

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Israeli 'democracy'


Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box, 1085
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1.
Tel: 902.429.9100

3 March 2005

The Editor
The Globe and Mail

Dear Editor

Re:Shoel Silver's letter ["Israeli democracy", 3 March 2005].

Israeli democracy was best summed up by the noted Israeli author, Maxim Ghilan, who wrote in an editorial in the February 1983 issue of the Paris-based magazine "Israel and Palestine", titled "Israeli Democracy: Values and Limits."

"Israel is a Western-type democracy for Jews only. All Jews living in Israel, or emigrating there, are granted the same kind of rights a citizen of a Western industrial democracy possesses... Arabs, who are citizens of the State of Israel, are less fortunate... They are not granted equal economic priviliges, are prevented from access to public housing and loans given only to 'those who served in the IDF and allied services' -- bodies into which most Israeli Arabs are not admitted. Israeli Arab workers are economically discriminated against, receiving lower pay than their Jewish counterparts.

"Arabs in the territories conquered by Israel since 1967 have no rights whatsover. Their children are shot, beaten up, jailed; their young men assassinated. Their women are brutalised... Foreign settlers jeer at them, provoke them, squat in their homes and on their lands. International law concerning the behaviour of conquerers in conquered land are openly flouted."

This the true Israeli 'democracy' as practised to this day.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid,MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association

* * * * *

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Yes, for human interest to all


28 February 2005

The Editor
The Globe & Mail

Dear Editor

Barry Novak, in his letter ["In the national interest"Feb.28], calls on Palestinian spokesman, Mr. Erekat, to consider the blowing up of civilians as morally reprehensible and his "condemnation [should] reflect human as well as national interest."Would Mr. Novak extend his call to the Israeli authorities to condemn and cease their continuing blowing up and murder of Palestinian civilians, and bring to an end the illegal occupation of their land?

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid

* * * * *

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Incitement to civil war


14 February 2005

The Editor
The Globe & Mail

Dear Editor

Edward Luttwak, in his article ["Steering into civil war?", 14 February], calls for civil war amongst the Palestinians so as "to establish an independent state on land given by the Israelis in exchange for peace."The Palestinians are not asking Israel to 'give' them land. They are calling on Israel to terminate an illegal occupation of their land that has been allowed to stand for over 37 years in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

* * * * *

To Middle East International
Subject: The Six-Day War -- The lies that were propagated


13 February 2005

The Editor
Middle East International

Dear Editor

Congratulations to Jeremy Bowen, dismantling , in his book: ["Six Days: How the 1967 War Shaped the Middle East", reviewed in MEI, January 21, by John Gee, the falsehoods propagated by the media, about the threats that Israel faced from an impending invasion by President Nasser and other Arab armies.

The falsehood of these claims and the fact that this war was planned by Israel, is clearly exposed by Israel's own leaders at the time who stated:

Yitzhak Rabin, chief of staff of the Israeli army at the time, stated:"I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it."[Le Monde, Feb. 28, 1968}.

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol stated:"The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military build up there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up, south of Israel"[ Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Oct. 18, 1967].

Modechai Bentov, an Israeli cabinet minister at the time, stated: "All this story about the danger of extermination [of Israel in June 1967] has been a complete invention and has been blown up a poseriori to justify the annexation of Arab territory"[ Al Hamishmar, 14 April 1972, and quoted in Le Monde, 3 June 1972].

Menachem Begin, a cabinet minister in June 1967, stated, while prime minister, addressing Israel's National Defence College, on Aug.8, 1982,: "In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with our selves. We decided to attack him"[The New York Times, Aug. 21, 1982].

As to the statement that "Syria was shelling Israeli villages from the Golan", and this was the justification for invading the Golan Heights, General Moshe Dayan, Israel's Defence Minister at the time, is quoted having stated:

"he regretted not having stuck to his initial opposition to storming the Golan Heights. There really was no pressing reason to do so, because many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland.....I know how at least 80% of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80%, but let us talk about 80%. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plow some area, in the demilitarised area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that is how it was."[The New York Times, May 11, 1997.]

The book review mentions the report by the late Michael Adams of the total demolition of the villages of Beit Nuba [my own home town], Imwas [Emmaus] and Yalu, on the direct orders of Yitzhak Rabin. This war crime was effected on June 10, 1967, immediately after the occupation of these villages without a shot being fired.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: Democracy for Jews only


4 February 2005.

The Editor
The Globe & Mail

Dear Editor

The statement by Mark Bessoudo, about the rights of Arab citizens in Israel, in his letter ["Rare Arab rights"Feb 4], is contrary to facts on the ground. It is true that Arab citizens in Israel can elect their own members in the Knesset. However, they are clearly denied rights available to Jewish citizens. Muslim and Christian citzens of Israel are not allowed, by law, to buy, lease or till over 90 per cent of the land in Israel. There are scores of Arab villages in Israel which are designated as "Unrecognised Villages", and are denied all basic infrastructure facilities. A blatant example of discrimination is the recent legislation denying Arab citizens of Israel the right to marry Arabs from the Occupied territories, or Arab countries, and be citizens of Israel.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.


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