Christmas Message 2009 – To the Canadian People

From a Bethlehemite

Successive Canadian governments have supported the Zionist project, the creation and maintenance of the state of Israel, and the accompanying military expansion and trampling of Palestinian human and national rights. In 1947 Canadian representatives played a major role in formulating and passing the UN Partition Plan for Palestine [Resolution 181 (II)]. Lester B. Pearson, then the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, was instrumental in ensuring the passage of the Partition Resolution and Supreme Court of Canada Justice, Ivan C. Rand, was a central figure in drafting it. As such, Canada must be held directly responsible for the dispossession of the Palestinian people and the ensuing suffering of the Palestinian refugees.

Dissenting voices at the time warned of the consequences of such Canadian complicity. The Canadian Arab Friendship League called the partition vote an act of betrayal by “the selfish interests of so-called ‘Big Nations’” which broke, ignored, or forgot their promises to the Arab people. M.S. Massoud, president of the league, told the Montreal Optimist Club that the Arab world “would ‘remember’ Lester B. Pearson and Justice Rand … who … did their utmost to impose upon Arabs the infamous partition scheme.” (1)

And Sir Zufrallah Khan, the representative of Pakistan to the UN further warned Western powers after the resolution was passed in his address to the 128th UN General Assembly by saying: “Empires rise and fall …We much fear that the beneficence, if any, to which partition may lead will be small in comparison to the mischief which it might inaugurate.”(2)

When the head of the Iraqi delegation to the UN, Mohommed Fadhel Jamali, asked Lester Pearson during the debate in 1947: “Mr Pearson, do you believe that the act of partitioning Palestine against the will of its inhabitants is an act dictated by conscience and law?” (Pearson) answered frankly, “Dr Jamali, politics doesn’t know conscience or law unless they are supported by power. As for us today, we are obliged to comply with the policy of the U.S.A. in what she decides on Palestine.”(3)

Canada insisted in 1947 to take the side of U.S. “power and might” rather than the side of “conscience and law”. Accordingly, the Arab and Muslim world witnessed upheavals, one after another for the past sixty-two years: revolutions, counter-revolutions, civil wars, Arab Israeli wars and countless Israeli aggressions, massacres and war crimes. Now, following and in large measure due to their interventionist policies especially in this region, the U.S. Empire is in decline.

The Israel lobby and its supporters are increasingly aggressive and strident in their efforts to maintain the old status quo and to criminalize and silence any legitimate criticism of Israeli policies. Earlier this year some pro-Zionist Canadian politicians (most notably cabinet minister Jason Kenney) from the Conservative, Liberal and NDP parties formed the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism CPCCA and asked for feedback from the public. They received an “impressive volume of submissions” (4) from people and organizations that said criticizing Israel is NOT anti-Semitic, according to Mark Freiman, the national president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (who probably knows the inside workings of the CPCCA more than anyone else). However, because the CPCCA is so “democratic” and “unbiased”, they have yet to invite anyone to represent this point of view in their public hearings.

Recently, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler also exposed that the Canadian delegation to the Anti-Racism Conference in Durban, South Africa that was headed by Hedy Fry remained at the conference “at the request of the Israeli government”(5). Obviously such people are not serving the interests of the Canadian people and Canada. They are serving the Zionists and the Israeli state’s interests.

Occupying other nations, exploiting other people’s natural resources, suppressing other peoples’ freedoms by imposing dictatorships and supporting the murder of millions, engaging in ethnic cleansing and war crimes all over the world with superior military might is not Christian, nor ethical nor human.

On this Christmas, to all those who believe in the true teachings of Jesus Christ, who believe in human dignity, human rights and freedom for all, we wish a Merry Christmas. And to all those who have supported and continue to support aggression, war crimes and ethnic cleansing, humanity will remember and hold them accountable and history will not be kind to their memory.

We call on the Canadian people to support “conscience and law”, to support peace with justice, and to say loudly and clearly that Canadians will break this shameful history of complicity with Palestinian dispossession and betrayal of the Palestinian people.

Next Year in a Free and Peaceful Bethlehem:

A Bethlehem without walls, without Apartheid, without oppression

Hanna Kawas
Dec. 24, 2009
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
Co-Host Voice of Palestine

1- Canadian Arab vol. III 7/8/9 as quoted by David J Bercuson in Canada and the birth of Israel page 135, 136
2- Bitter Harvest, Sami Hadawi page 71 (Forth Printing March 1983)