Jul 19, 2006

Express Your Outrage!

This is a forward I received and I'm posting it in hopes of getting the word out as quickly as possible. Many emails have gone out, but please continue to pass this info on.


In Lebanon as in Gaza, hundreds of people have been killed; bridges, roads, buildings, power plants, petrol stations, ports, airports, vehicles have been destroyed. Israel is maintaining a land, sea and air blocade of the country, with devastating consequences. Under the attack, people are abandoning their homes and fleeing into central Beirut with nowhere to go.

Yet the Prime Minister of Canada, in recent public statements in London, England, framed the military assault as a matter of Israel's legitimate right to self-defence and characterized it as "measured". Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his 12 July statement, condemned Hizballah for its actions against Israeli military targets but remained absolutely silent about Israel's crimes against civilian populations.

**In the NEXT 24-HOURS, please CALL, FAX and EMAIL Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mackay.

INNUNDATE THEIR LINES and let them know that WE WILL NOT TOLERATE their support for war crimes. DEMAND that Canada immediately and forcefully condemn Israeli war crimes and demand that Israel immediately cease its aggression towards and withdrawfrom Lebanon and Gaza.

Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada,
Telephone: 613 -992-4211 and Fax: 613-941-6900
pm@pm.gc.ca and Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Telephone: (613) 992-6022 and Fax: (613) 992-2337


* The destruction to lives, public infrastructure and private property in both Lebanon and Gaza has been appalling, even measured against theIsraeli government's habitual disregard for international law and human life. Israel has invaded a sovereign country, is bombarding civilian areas indiscriminately, has systematically destroyed land, sea and air routes out of the country and is holding all of the people of Lebanon undersiege. Entire families have been murdered, buried under their houses, fleeing in cars, walking on the streets.

* Statements by Harper and MacKay on the current crisis in the Middle East have been entirely lacking in balance, in any measure of objectivity, in basic knowledge of the region's history, in respect for international law, and in basic compassion for human suffering. Mr. Harper's statements in London, England early last week, condoned the Israeli military assault on Lebanon and charaterized it as legitimate self-defense and "measured" - an extraordinary claim when measured against the reality of the destruction wreaked the country and the hundreds of civilian deaths on the pretext of the capture of three of its soldiers. Peter MacKay's July 12 statement condemned Hizbollah and called on the governments of Lebanon, Syria and Iran to take measures to bring an end to the crisis. Not one word was directed at Israel. These statements are tantamount to condoning state crimes, state terror, the disregard of international law and conventions,and whatever geo-political aims lie behind the Israeli government'sappalling contempt for human life.

* Israel demands the implementation of UN Resolution 1559 from 2004, that among many things, calls for the disarmament of Hezbollah. Israel itself fails to respect the multiple resolutions adopted by the UN decades ago in favour of the rights of the Palestinian people; the international community fails to enforce them. The non-application of these resolutions- most importantly that of UN Resolution 242, that for close to 40 years has called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in 1967 - is the context of the current conflict.

* The government's stance on this issue - as well as that of the Prime Minister - has helped squander the precious political or moral capital Canadians have with people in the Middle East, and Arab and Muslim communities around the world. It has encouraged racism and exacerbated divisions between communities within Canada. It has undermined whatevercould be taken from the fact that Canada did not publicly stand on the same ground as the United States when it came to its dealings in the Middle East. This will not be easy to recover.


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