Private Members' Motion 93 Reads:
'That, in the opinion of this House, the term Israel Apartheid Week is condemned as it serves to incite hatred against Israel, a democratic state that respects the rule of law and human rights, and the use of the word 'apartheid' in this context diminishes the suffering of those who were victims of a true apartheid regime in South Africa.'
To: Every member of the Ontario Legislature,
I am writing to denounce in the strongest words possible the
legislative motion to condemn Israeli Apartheid Week.
Israel has illegally occupied and oppressed the Palestinians in the West Bank
for many decades, destroying homes, orchards, businesses, schools and countless lives,
as Palestinians are forced from their homes and replaced by violent, racist,
religious extremist 'settlers'.
Israel's ongoing illegal military siege of Gaza is destroying the innocent lives
of 1.5 million Palestinian people in the most densely packed and impoverished
place on the planet.
It is a lie when Israel says the siege is to stop
rocket attacks. Hamas stopped the rocket attacks during the agreed upon
ceasefire last year. Israel was supposed to lift the siege. Instead, Israel girded
to destroy Gaza in a betrayal worthy of Nuremberg.
I wonder, how are chickens, cows, goats, farm fields, hospitals, water wells or water treatment plants
a security threat to Israel? Because during Israel's massive military attack
on the defenseless Gaza Strip last year, Israel's brave and 'moral' military
destroyed the means for the Palestinians to tend the injured, to drink clean water or to feed themselves.
After a full review of the facts, Judge Goldstone, highly respected (and a
South African Jew), rightly condemned
Israel's actions in Gaza as war crimes of the highest order.
Gaza is the world's
largest open civilian prison camp in the entire world. Their suffering is nothing
less than a crime against humanity. All the children suffer PTSD. They are
severely emotionally traumatized. Many are the little children who have seen a beloved
family member murdered before their eyes. Physically, many are stunted in their
growth because of Israel's deliberate blockade preventing food and medicine from getting in.
They have been preventing food and medicine from getting in for three years now.
What we ought to contemplate is the fact that this is Jews doing this to another
people at all. After the Holocaust came the loud conviction - Never Again!
The following political cartoon by Latuff says it all:
There are many righteous Jews
all over the world who stand opposed to Israel's racist violent agenda against
the Palestinian people. They stand with them in solidarity.
Sir Gerald Kaufman, a highly respected British parliamentarian is but one.
In a public speech he gave in Parliament January 16, 2009 (which I quote briefly) he said:
"...A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. Madame Deputy Speaker, my
grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering
Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.
"The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the
continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust
as justification for their murder of Palestinians."
(Full speech can be viewed, third video down, here. This compelling speech has
been viewed over 330,000 times.)
Israeli Apartheid Week is a yearly endeavor by university students to
educate students and the pubic at large regarding the facts on Israel.
Discussion forums, guest lecturers, and the showing of educational films are
organized for this purpose. The diaspora of violently displaced and uprooted Palestinians
encircles the globe. They are trying to tell the world what is being done to them.
They are in desperate need of our help.
That the Ontario Legislature en mass would condemn such a vitally necessary endeavor
as Israeli Apartheid Week is an absolute disgrace. It is a betrayal of Ontario's cherished legacy of respect
for human rights and the dignity of all persons everywhere.
Again, I urge each and every one of you to come together and pass a unanimous motion condemning
the siege of Gaza, the military occupation of the West Bank, and to declare
that all Ontarians hope for a day when Jews and Palestinians will live together in peace.
Diane V. McLoughlin, writer, peace activist
Update, February 26, 2010:
The following was e-mailed to me today:
OPEN LETTER from Andrea Horwath
New Democrats are committed to working with partners for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine, within a framework of respect for UN resolutions and international law.
This means recognition of the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with negotiated, agreed-upon borders; no settlements remaining in the Palestinian state; an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land; an end to loss of life of innocent civilians; and an international peacekeeping presence.
On Thursday, MPP Peter Shurman (Thornhill) introduced a private member’s motion that was divisive by nature. Singling out activists or shutting down debate, on this or any other matter, is not constructive and is entirely unhelpful.
Ontario’s New Democrats believe in finding avenues towards a peaceful solution in the Middle East. MPP Peter Shurman’s motion did not contribute to that in any way.
Andrea HorwathLeader, Ontario’s New Democrats
Update, February 26, 2010 my reply to NDP leader Andrea Horwath:
Dear Ms. Horwath,
I wish to thank you for your thoughtful, informed and heartfelt reply.
You might be interested to know that of the five responses received thus far,
yours is the only one that does not hide behind the requirement that I be a
I would share that I personally am of the view that Israel would
have the best possibility of peace if it was one bi-national state.
However, I cannot agree more that in order to assist normalization of relations
a cooling off period utilizing international peacekeeping forces would be a good move
if both sides would let the world community help.
Thank you again for your heartening reply,
Diane V. McLoughlin