Before you write to correct me on the title of this blog entry, the way I wrote it is indeed correct as you'll see when I explain my situation coming from Palestine and landing here in Canada, where a similar situation has been brewing for many years.
Canada was settled by French and English explorers out looking for a quicker way to China...battles broke out between them for territory in the 'New World'. The bottom line being that England won what is now defined as Canada. However, a large French speaking population remains.
Today, there are about 8-million French-Canadians living in Canada, primarily they live in the province of Quebec and make up just over a quarter of the Canadian population. The problem was that in the first 100 years in Canada, that if you were French Canadian you were considered a second class citizen. French Canadians as recent as the the 1970's weren't allowed into managirial positions or positions of authority, they were more likely to get the subserviant roles and were essentially held down by an English power base. Canada has two official languages but outside of Quebec you wouldn't know it. This has changed since the Quebec separtist movement began. Not only has the movement made practical changes but they have also sensitized Canadians of the French history of this great country. The first parliamentary system was actualy based on that of France...later changed to reflect British parliament. Even the word 'Parliament' is based on the French ward 'Parle', to speak...but I digress.
So here I come, a new refugee from Palestine out of that firey situation into what became know as the October Crisis. Quebec separtists kidnapped and killed a political leader...the Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau - a French Canadian himself, call's out the army and declare's martial law! Pretty bad from a Canadian point of view...a step up from a Palestinian point of view.
The difference was I still have my rights.
Natural political process took place and a Quebec separtist party took control of the provincial government in 1976, who called a referendum in 1980 on the separation of Quebec from Canada, to turn Quebec into it's own country. After losing that referendum (and scaring away a good portion of the Quebec English population, not to mention a good portion of corporate Canada who had head offices here in Montreal, the resulting 'depression' if you will stunting the growth of this great province) they vowed to try again, which they did in 1995...this time getting an increased number of voters to vote 'Yes' for separation...but alas again not a majority.
Now, before you jump to conclusions and liken the Palestinians situation to that of the Quebec separtists...as my separtist friends like to believe...that is not what I have in mind for this blog article.
Could you imagine if the British had held a referendum amongst Palestinians (pre-1948) to decide whether they wanted to separate and create a Jewish only area and another area for Muslims and Christians? What do you think the outcome of that would have been??
How about if after the October Crisis in 1970 the United Nations stepped in and gave Canadians a 'partition plan' to divide up the country between it's French speaking population and everybody else...but gave Canadians no say in the situation?
Here's another thought for my readers in Europe: imagine if after decades of abuse from English Canadians the French population decided they wanted to go back to France and create their own "Quebecois" nation within the borders of France...how would that have gone over!?!?
The greatest injustice ever done to the people of Palestine was the creation of a 'Jewish only' nation within their territory, it defies any sense of logic! This injustice needs to be reversed, amends for the 500 or so destroyed Palestinian villages need to be made and finally Palestinians need to be allowed to return home. How can Israel proclaim to be a democracy if it wasn't created democratically?
If PEACE is the goal, we need a united and FREE Palestine now!