Open Letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien

Right Honorable Jean Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada

Dear Prime Minister:

Today marks 36 long years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights of Syria.

While the Canadian Government has maintained publicly that this occupation is illegal and must end, it actions speak otherwise and support this occupation economically and politically. Economically the Canadian government maintains a free trade agreement with Israel, and politically it did not support the significant resolutions that call Israel to task on its illegal policies of house demolitions, illegal settlement building, war crimes and human rights violation of Palestinians including the civilian population of the West Bank and Gaza.
In the case of Iraq occupying Kuwait in 1990, we saw a different resolve and actions from the Canadian government…

The least that can be regarding the different reaction to these two occupations is that it is hypocrisy and double standards.
During this year’s “Walk With Israel” in Vancouver the Jewish Western Bulletin reported on May 30, 2003:

“Stephen Owen, member of Parliament for Vancouver-Quadra, brought greetings from the federal government, which he said has been one of Israel’s greatest international allies since the state’s inception in 1948.”

Mr. Prime Minster:

You CANNOT imagine the mental, physical, moral and economic suffering the Palestinian people have endured since the establishment of the state of Israel. The Canadian government of that time was instrumental in Israel’s creation and accordingly complicit in all the injustices that have been inflicted on the Palestinian people and nation.

The new so called “Road Map” will only add more broken promises to the Palestinian people and accordingly will compound Palestinian suffering, resentment, anger and hate, – yes, hatred toward all those who support Israeli war crimes and its violations of international law, UN resolutions and the Fourth Geneva convention.

Mr. Prime Minister:

I urge your government to take a stand on the side of history, humanity, justice and peace and to demand an unconditional end to the illegal Israeli occupation of all Palestinian and Arab land. Furthermore, the Canadian government must implement this position in concrete steps and reflect this policy without interference from lobby groups and Israeli or US dictates.

I have been waiting for 36 years to go and live in my hometown Bethlehem and my homeland Palestine. No force on earth will stand in the face of my and my people’s dream.

Yours truly
Hanna Kawas
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association