Open Letter To The Doha Debates’ Producers

The following message was sent on Jan 25, 2009 to the BBC’s “Doha Debates” (thedohadebates@qf.org.qa), the Qatar Foundation that finances them (info@qf.org.qa) , and to the BBC, as of the posting date of this letter March 1, 2009, none of the above ever sent even an acknowledgment of our message.

After the devastation in Gaza that lasted over three weeks, you decided on January 18 2009 to put to your scripted House who had no qualms in attending your debate while the BBC refuses to broadcast a humanitarian appeal to Gaza, the following resolution: “This House believes that political Islam is a threat to the West
This choice of wording is extremely suspect and contributes nothing to informed debate; in fact, it looks like a page from the Israeli propaganda machine (Hasbara). It hijacks the agenda and diverts the attention from fresh Israeli atrocities, while putting the blame on the shoulders of the victim by opening the door to debate whether Hamas as a political Islamic movement (and the Palestinian people it represents) is a threat to the “West”.

First, I would question which intelligence service headquarters drafted this resolution?

Second, if your resolution was drafted to serve the long term interests and understanding of the Arab people and European and North American people (as opposed to the agenda of multinationals and governments), it would be put the following way:

“This house believes that the North American and European unconditional support for Israel is a threat to the West”. Or, “This house believes that the bias of most Western media, including the BBC, is a threat to world peace”.

Also Arab public opinion, who you presumably are targeting with your “Doha Diatribes” have many other concerns aside from “Threats to the West” especially after the massacres in Gaza. Maybe some of your future resolutions should read:

  1. “This house resolves to boycott the West on all levels for their complicity in Israeli war crimes against Gaza.”
  2. “This house denounces the silence and complicity of the Arab regimes in allowing Israeli war crimes to continue unabated” for over three weeks, while Palestinian children and civilians were being slaughtered.
  3. “This house demands that a special international tribunal be set up to prosecute Israeli war criminals and their accomplices.”
  4. “This house urges the UN General Assembly to impose economic and military sanctions until Israel implements all UN resolutions.”
  5. So if you really care about the future of the people of the Middle East, I challenge you to introduce any of the above resolutions for debate.

    We will make our position public on the Voice of Palestine, Canada (VOP), and we will also announce your response if care to answer my email. If you prefer to debate your position on the VOP, we offer you an open invitation at a mutually convenient time.

    Waiting to hear from you.
    Hanna Kawas
    Chairman, Canada Palestine Association www.cpavancouver.org
    Co-host Voice of Palestine www.voiceofpalestine.ca

Justice Will Reach All Those Who Are Complicit In War Crimes

The following message was sent to Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party in Canada, on Jan. 3, 2009, under the title “Justice Will Reach All Those Who Are Complicit in War Crimes”. As of March 1/09, we did not receive even an acknowledgment from Mr. Ignatieff.

Mr. Ignatieff:

In the first part of your media release on “the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip” dated December 29, 2008 you state: “I am greatly concerned by the deepening violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip and the fear and suffering on all sides that this mounting instability has caused.

The Liberal Party of Canada unequivocally condemns the rocket attacks launched by Hamas against Israeli civilians and calls for an immediate end to these attacks. We affirm Israel’s right to defend itself against such attacks, and also its right to exist in peace and security.” http://www.liberal.ca/story_15558_e.aspx

Your party “unequivocally condemns” Hamas, but not the government of Israel and its disproportionate military bombardments. Can you not see the double standard in your position? I am sure you are aware of who broke the cease-fire. If you cannot research these basic facts, then Canada is in real trouble if you become our Prime Minister.

I do NOT want to burden you with my side of the story, and I am not hopeful that you will change your position. Since your father’s involvement (George Ignatieff) in the UN Partition Plan in 1947, official Canadian policies have favored the aggressor (Israel and the Zionist Movement) against the victim (the Palestinian People).

However, I would like to remind you that the current Canadian government, as a signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and your Liberal Party in government and in opposition are all complicit in Israeli war crimes by legitimizing and giving cover to these atrocities. History has shown that eventually justice will reach all those who commit and are complicit in war crimes; and just as previous war criminals were brought to the International Court of Justice, so to will Israel’s military generals and those who supported them be held accountable for their heinous actions.

By supporting these atrocities and war crimes, are you truly standing up “for Canada’s best interest”? Just to show you the contrast between your war-mongering position and the position of peace loving Israelis, I would like to forward the following message I just received from them (see below).

Hanna Kawas
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association www.cpavancouver.org
Co-Host, Voice of Palestine, Canada www.voiceofpalestine.ca

Protest Against the War in Gaza

Press Release

Supreme Court clears police obstruction of Tel Aviv anti-war procession

Thousands of Jews and Arabs to take part in Tel Aviv march
Protest against the Gaza War “Stop the killing! Stop the siege”!
Saturday night,January 3, 2009 at 6.30 pm
The march will set out form Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square (at the corner of Frishman St. and Chen
.Boulevard) and will culminate at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque

Following an urgent proceeding at the Supreme Court on Friday morning, the way was cleared to holding an mass anti-war march in Tel-Aviv, with judges instructing the police to grant a permit to the demonstration and not to interfere with the political message expressed in it. Specifically, the police had to give up its demand that no Palestinian flags be raised during the procession, should some of the participants wish to do so. There is no law forbidding the raising of Palestinian flags in Israel, and indeed on some occasions such flags were displayed during official ceremonies at the Prime Minster’s Residence in Jerusalem. The judges ruled that the fact that raising Palestinian flags might anger some people is no reason to forbid flying them; rather, the police is obliged to protect the demonstrators’ freedom of speech and prevent any act of violence against them.

Thousands of demonstrators, among them Jewish and Arab Knesset Members and public figures, are expected to take part in the march and call for a cease-fire, for the sake of the inhabitants on both sides of the border, and for immediate removal of the Gaza siege. Marcel Abarjil, a peace activist from Ashdod whose home is within range of the missiles shot from the Gaza Strip, is also joining the demonstration and will address the rally at its end, so as to help disprove the assertion made in the media that all inhabitants of southern Israel are in support of the war and the bombing of Gaza. There will also be read out a special message from Dr. Eyad Sarraj, Palestinian peace activist and head of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

We are going out on the streets in these dark days in order to reiterate together: Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies! We demand ceasefire and the immediate removal of the Gaza siege. Hundreds were killed and thousands wounded in Gaza, and the bombings continue to sow fear and destruction. The siege on Gaza continues – a lack of vital goods, of medicines, and of fuel harms gravely all inhabitants of the Strip. The government of Israel and the heads of the army threaten to invade the Strip and perpetrate even more destruction, while ignoring all the calls for a cease-fire.

We call upon all peace-seekers in Israel to join us for a mass demonstration against the war!

The coalition of anti-war groups and organizations:
Ahoti, Alternative Information Center (AIC), Anarchists against the Fence, Balad, Banki, Bat Shalom, Coalition of Women for Peace, Combatants for Peace, Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Da’am – Workers’ Party, Gush Shalom, Hadash, Hithabrut – Tarabut, Indymedia, Israeli Communist Party (Maki), New Profile, Public Committee Against Torture (PCATI), Ra’am – Ta’al, Sadaka-Re’ut, Social TV, Student Coalition – Tel Aviv University, Ta’ayush, Tandi (Democratic Women), The Campus is Not Silent, The Shministim (Highschool Seniors’) Letter, Women in Black, Yesh Gvul, Zochrot,

Contact: Adi 050-8575730, Einat 052-3554815, Adar 052-5444866, Adam 0506-709603