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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 15, 2003

Arab Chutzpah knows no limits

On February 12, 2003, the Ottawa Citizen published the following news story:

Canada urged to criminalize funding of Israeli settlements

BY James Baxter


The Chretien government should treat people who fund Israeli settlements as criminals, just as they do Arabs who support Palestinian causes, the head of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations said yesterday.

"If Canada is to improve relations with the Arab world, it must approach the Middle East from a position of fairness and evenhandedness in applying international standards," council president Hussein Amery told the council's annual dinner.

He called on the federal government to "apply the full measure of Canadian law and stop those Canadians who are donating and supporting the illegal (Israeli) settlements and the occupation... We believe that these settlements constitute a war crime and those who are supporting and abetting financially or otherwise are subject to prosecution under Canadian law."

Mr. Amery was referring to Canada's decision to mirror U.S. anti-terrorism measures outlawing donations to a large number of Arab charities and causes.

He also chided the government for calling on Iraq to follow United Nations Security Council resolutions to disarm while turning a blind eye to Israel's refusal to comply with similar resolutions to end "its illegal occupation of the West bank and Gaza".

In his remarks to the council, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham reiterated the Chretien government's policy calling for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "with Israel and Palestine living side by side in security and peace."

He said Palestinian suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism "undermine the very goals of the Palestinian people ... Such actions are inimical to Canadian values and everything Canada stands for."

The number of points which require rebuttal is quite incredible, but for a letter to the editor to have a chance of being printed, one has to be very selective as to which points to stress. In my letter to the Citizen I selected a couple of points that seemed to me to be important, and learning from the Arabs themselves, I made demands of my own. My letter, published today [February 15, 2003] on p. B5 reads:

Canada shouldn't be so tight-fisted toward Israeli victims

Re: Canada urged to criminalize funding of Israeli settlements, Feb. 12.

Far from caving in to the absurd demand of the Council on Canada-Arab Relations (CCAR), Canada's government should extend a financial helping hand to the Israeli victims of terrorism. Canada provides financial aid to many a dictatorship in Africa as well as to the corrupt regime of Yasser Arafat. Yet when it comes to our sister democracy, Israel, Canada becomes tight-fisted even when humanitarian aid is considered.

The demand made by the CCAR was accompanied by a diatribe based on standard Arab propaganda. To the Arabs, Judea, Samaria and Gaza may constitute "illegal occupation," but to U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, they are "so-called occupied territories," and to an objective Middle East researcher, they are merely disputed lands; Lebanon and Tibet, on the other hand, are indeed occupied territories.

Contrary to Arab claims, the Jewish communities that have sprung up in Judea, Samaria and Gaza violate no article of international law, and therefore, no "war crime" is possible, even in theory. Anyone who reads the 1949 Geneva Convention (it can be read at the Web site: www.icrc.org/web/Eng/siteengo.nsf/htmlall/party_gc) can attest that the Convention prohibits forceful transfers, but none of the Jews who now live in these Communities was ever "transferred," and anyone is free to get up and leave. Repeating Arab propaganda lines does not Create a fact out of a myth.

Joseph Alexander Norland,
Ottawa
I would urge you to write to the Citizen too, as I have left many points without a response (e.g., the moral equivalence between Islamist terrorist groups and the Israeli communities). The e-mail address of the Ottawa Citizen is:

letters@thecitizen.southam.ca

When writing, please add name, full address and phone number, in addition to e-mail address. The paper does publish letters from people who write from outside of Canada.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.