We will Remember – Stop the Deportation of Issam Al-Yamani

Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada
Mr. Prime Minister:

On March 10, 2006, the Canadian representative at the UN voted against a motion calling on Israel to allow all Palestinian refugee women and children to return to their homes. The UN Economic and Social Council adopted the South African-sponsored resolution by a vote of 41-2, with only Canada and the United States voting against it.

On March 29, 2006, the Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and International Co-operation Minister Josée Verner announced that Canada was ending contacts with the duly elected Palestinian Authority and suspending Canadian aid to the PA. Canada was the first western country to officially do so, even before the US.

Your Government also issued a deportation order effective Thursday April 20, 2006 for Issam Al- Yamani. Issam is a stateless Palestinian refugee, long time Palestinian community leader and a human rights activist who lived in Canada for twenty years and has a long record in serving the community at large.

Mr. Prime Minister:

I would like to remind you of the following facts that relate to the role of Canada in the dispossession of the Palestinian people, in case your advisors did not bring them to your attention.

  1. Canada was directly responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem. ” Mr. Justice Ivan Rand… played a central role in formulating the recommendations of its majority report (for the U.N. Partition Plan) … with Mr. (Lester) Pearson playing an active role in securing its passage. … Zionists were so grateful to Canada and to Mr. Pearson for the part he played in the whole process that they called him ‘the Balfour of Canada’.” (Report of the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs published June 1985, page 49.)
  2. During the creation of the state of Israel, Canadian volunteers and equipment were sent to help in the colonization of Palestine. “More than 300 Canadians eventually joined the Israeli forces while tons of military equipment, from Harvard training aircraft to radio sets, were smuggled out of Canadian ports”. (Canada and the birth of Israel, David J. Bercuson, page191.)
  3. On May 11, 1949, Canada co-sponsored the U.N. General Assembly resolution 273(111) to admit Israel as a state to the U.N. That resolution stated: “Recalling its resolution of 29 November 1947 (the Partition Plan) and 11 December 1948 (the Right of Return), …decides to admit Israel into the membership of the United Nations.”

Now Canada, under your leadership, shows its true face regarding the Palestinian refugees. It was clear to all objective people that when Canada co-sponsored U.N. resolution 273, it was for the sole purpose of admitting Israel to the U.N. and not because of any concern for implementing UN resolutions, nor for human rights and dignity. Your recent vote at the UN removed the last fig leaf.

Your government and previous Canadian governments concretely supported Israeli occupation and war crimes. To mention just a few examples:

  1. The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement allows products produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank to enjoy the benefits of this agreement.
  2. Revenue Canada gives tax deduction status to Zionist groups that support the illegal Israeli settlements, including the so called “Jewish National Fund” that openly discriminates against Christian and Moslems, simply because of their religion.
  3. Canada’s financial, political and diplomatic support for Israeli occupation and war crimes is well documented and contravenes all international humanitarian laws, the Fourth Geneva Convention andU.N. resolutions. The recent visit of former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon to Canada showed that you are not only supporting Israeli war crimes, but you are also directly participating in protecting war criminals.

Following the role of Canada in forcing the Partition Plan of Nov. 29, 1947 on the indigenous people of the Holy Land, Mr. M.S. Massoud, the President of the then Canadian Arab Friendship League declared in Montreal that we “would remember Lester B. Pearson and Justice Rand… who… did their utmost to impose upon Arabs the infamous partition scheme.”

Now, almost 60 years later, we tell you and all those who are complicit in supporting Israeli atrocities that we will also remember your hostile actions against the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim peoples.

Mr. Harper:

We are certain that the day will come when all those who are committing war crimes against the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and other countries in the world will be held responsible and brought to justice for violating the sovereignty of these countries and for committing war crimes against their civilian populations. For the sake of humanity, we hope this will happen sooner rather than later.
We urge you to stop taking Canada down this dead-end path, which will hurt the strategic interests of the Canadian people. We call on you to stop such unconditional support for these crimes. The US Empire is rapidly crumbling economically and militarily, and no one should gamble the future of Canada on continued U.S. world supremacy.

We demand that you, your minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness put a stop to the deportation order of Issam Al-Yamani on April 20, 2006, until he can freely return to his homeland Palestine.

Yours truly,
Hanna Kawas
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association
Host, Voice of Palestine