'Outrage' at 'morally unconscionable position'

It is no longer tenable to claim "I didn't know" about crimes against humanity

TORONTO (3 August 2006) - THE Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation is a voice for peace in the Middle East along with other Jewish and Palestinian women's groups in North America and Israel.

We in Canada are outraged that the Canadian Government and media again choose a morally unconscionable position and stand by silently while Israel perpetrates a massacre of civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. It is a repeat of Sabra and Shatilla, of the massacre at Qana in 1996, with the world leaders looking on.

After World War II at the Nuremburg tribunal, Nazis attempted to exonerate themselves by claiming that they did not know about the genocide. It is no longer tenable to claim "I didn't know" about crimes against humanity. There is ample witnessing and documentation of genocides in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala and now in the Middle East.

We know from Israeli historians themselves about the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians in 1948, and we know from Israeli NGOs and journalists of the current massacre of civilians and destruction of the societal infrastructure and physical environment of the Palestinian people.

The language of propaganda and war is twisted so that aggressor appears to be victim. Language is sadistic when a "military operation" is called "Summer Rain" as a whole people are deprived of water in the intense heat of summer. Language is terrifying when Israel calls the current attack on Gaza "Samson's Pillars" - Samson in myth was the biggest suicide terrorist of all - purportedly killing 3000 people when he committed suicide by tearing down the temple pillars.

We fear that Israeli crimes against humanity will persist when even speaking about them entails accusations of anti-Semitism.

Will Canada collude with state terrorism or will Canada adhere to the rule of law with respect to the illegalities of occupation and the physical and psychological tormenting and murdering of civilians? We call on Canada to call for an immediate ceasefire, observed by the U.N. and not NATO, and for the immediate restoration of aid to the democratically elected Palestinian government.

In a just world, Israel would make reparations, just as Germany did to Jewish people.

Elizabeth Block
Smadar Carmon
Judy Deutsch
Sue Goldstein
Rachel Gorman
Reena Katz
Deborah Mandell
Jill Rogin
Susan Starkman
Esther Vise
Naomi Binder Wall
Judith Weisman

for the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation, Toronto

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