Whose Interests are you Serving?

By Hanna Kawas. The following message was sent on April 12, 2010 to Manitoba MLA’s regarding a motion condemning Israeli Apartheid Week, to be debated on Thursday Apr. 15th, 2010.

Dear MLA:

It has come to our attention that a private members motion is expected to be introduced in the Manitoba Legislature later this week. This motion will reportedly call for censoring a student activity on campuses called Israel Apartheid Week, and is an attempt to use political office to stifle legitimate debate and criticism of Israeli government policies. A similar motion was already defeated in the House of Commons last month on March 11, as it became obvious to many it was a serious infringement on Palestinian human rights and the right to freedom of expression. We urge you to follow the example in the House of Commons and add your voice to those who said no to such abuse of office and censorship. We thank you and we hope you will take the path of standing up for justice and free speech.

Hanna Kawas
Canada Palestine Association

Links to a series of open letters sent to Ontario MPPs, who regrettably did pass such a motion (introduced by MPP Peter Shurman) prior to the one defeated in Ottawa, can be found at www.cpavancouver.org I draw your attention to the questions below that were raised in my response to MPP Shurman, which were never answered. They are just a few of the pivotal points to be considered and answered before entering into any debate and vote, especially if you wish to serve your constituents, humanity and the truth.

  • The Israeli “Law of Return” applies only to Jews (Israelis or not) and does not apply to the twenty percent of Israeli citizens who are non-Jews, mainly Muslims and Christians. Is this law democratic or discriminatory?
  • The “Absentee law” was used to rob the Palestinian people of their land when Israel was established, and now there is confiscation (robbery) of much of the West Bank land for illegal settlements, roads, the separation (Apartheid) wall and Israeli military bases. Are these actions democratic or are they part of the Ten Commandments “Thou shall not steal”?
  • The Jewish National Fund JNF and its affiliates that control 93% of the total area of Israel does not lease or sell to Christian and Muslim Palestinians. Is this the democratic principles you are talking about and how would you describe these practices?
  • What is the name of the Israeli Jewish author who wrote the book “Israel: An Apartheid State” in 1987?
  • Is a state that allows for discrimination against women democratic? See: Invoking Rosa Parks, Haredi Women Move to Back of the Bus http://www.forward.com/articles/13821/
  • A recent poll in the Jerusalem Post found that 50% of “Jewish Israeli schoolchildren” are against equal rights for Arabs, http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=170735. Do you think this has to do with their education at home, or school or the Israeli society in general?
  • And finally, I might ask you to give only one quote from any Anti-Apartheid South African leader to prove your assertion that “it is also offensive to the millions of black South Africans oppressed by a racist white regime until the early 1990s”