Letter to the Editor of the Ottawa Citizen Regarding the “Haters’ Test”

In response to the Ottawa Citizen’s attack on NDP MP Libby Davies
By Hanna Kawas

The Ottawa Citizen “Haters’ test” http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Haters+test/3139300/story.html, published June 11, 2010 is misleading, lacking in historic facts and crudely apologizes for Israeli occupation and discrimination. I am going to burden you with some documentation and references the Ottawa Citizen editors did not want to bother with.

Before 1948, there was no state of Israel. It came about as many historians (Jewish and otherwise) have now recognized – on the tragedy of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine from its indigenous people, the Palestinians. (See: All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948 by Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi http://www.palestine-studies.org/books.aspx?id=591&href=details and also The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/3041)

To say “Happily, virtually every major Jewish and Israeli leader has, over the years, come to accept in principle the idea of a Palestinian state” is simply dishonest. From day one, Israel was trying to prevent the establishment of any such state. “In fact, secret negotiations with the King (Abdullah of Jordan), involving Shiloah (Ben-Gurion’s chief advisor on intelligence), Moshe Dayan, and others in Ben-Gurion’s inner circle, resulted in a secret agreement, lubricated by bribes, that Abdullah would collude with Israel in order to ensure that the independent Palestinian state envisaged by the United Nations would never come into being.” (Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, page 34.) And if any Israeli leader seriously wanted to accommodate such a state, the obvious question to counter your blatant propaganda is why successive Israeli leaderships have planted over half a million illegal settlers in the 22% of historic Palestine (complete with apartheid infrastructure) that is supposed to go to this phantom Palestinian state. No Israeli leader has ever embraced the concept of a Palestinian state that would be independent and sovereign and contiguous, something the Citizen editors seem to dismiss as trivial details.

To say that “Jewish nationhood, (is) a key aspect of Jewish identity for 5,000 years” is not only inaccurate but also against Judaism (see “Israeli Independence Day” by the Torah Faithful Jews http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Statements/20090429IID.cfm).

And the real “Hate Test” question we would ask the editors of the “Ottawa Citizen” is this … Do you believe in the equality of all humans in practice, not just in abstract words? Would you support equal rights for the twenty percent of Israeli citizens who are non-Jewish (one in five Israelis are Christians and Muslims) and insist that they should be treated equally? Would you call for the Israeli law of return to apply to all Israeli citizens and that all discrimination in land ownership, education, municipal allocations and freedom of association should end? If not, then the Citizen editors don’t believe in equality and that would explain why they are insisting on a theocratic and exclusive “Jewish state” in the 21st century that denies equal rights to certain citizens on the basis of their religion.

On May 11/1949, the U.N. General Assembly passed resolution 273(111) that admitted Israel as a state to the U.N. We should note that this resolution was co-sponsored by Canada.

The resolution stated: ” Recalling its resolution of 29 November 1947 (the Partition Plan) and 11 December 1948 (the Right of Return), and taking note of the declaration and explanation made by the representative of the government of Israel before the ad hoc Political committee in respect of the implementation (my emphasis) of the said resolutions the General Assembly … decides to admit Israel into the membership of the United Nations.”

However, to this day, Israel has not honoured either of these commitments made to the UN. In fact, since 1948 and in violation of UN Resolution 273(111), Israel continues to hold on to over 20% more of historic Palestine than what even the Partition Plan allotted to it, another “fact on the ground” accomplished by military force. This figure doesn’t even include the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. Also, Israel adamantly and openly refuses to implement the Palestinian Right of Return.

Finally, even though its apologists continue to call Israel a democratic state, it is a state with no defined borders, no charter of rights for all its citizens and no constitution. And the editors of the Ottawa Citizen pontificate about “bad faith”.

What a mockery of truth, logic and decency the Ottawa Citizen is promoting!

Hanna Kawas
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association